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A Polished Look

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | November 4, 2011

Seasonal nail colors run the gamut from reserved to rock star.

Opulent jewels and warm earth tones ruled the high fashion runways this year. Consumers may not be able to afford those designer styles but they can purchase nail lacquers to capture the look of the season.

 
 
After all, colorful fingers and toes are still on trend, as nail polish sales climbed 20% to $363.4 million for the year ended May 15, 2011 in supermarkets, drugstores and mass-market retailers excluding Walmart, according to SymphonyIRI Group, a Chicago-based market research firm.
 
 
"This season, manicures are emerging in waves of rich jewel tones, earthy and worn shades and comfortable colors," says CND co-founder and style director Jan Arnold. For 15 years, CND has created trend-setting manicures to perfectly accessorize designer visions on the catwalk. This season, the nail care marketer worked with 22 designers including household names such as Jason Wu, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Carolina Herrera, Malandrino and Monique Lhuillier. For Fall 2011, CND released a box set of Midnight Sapphire and Dark Amethyst Colours and Sheer 24K Sparkle Effect.
 
 
Designer Tracy Reese teamed up with Sally Hansen on a collection of colors.
Sally Hansen took New York Fashion Week by storm, joining forces with Tracy Reese, Prabal Gurung, Rachel Roy, J. Mendel and Stacey Bendet of Alice + Olivia to create exclusive nail colors to complement each of their runway collections, while designer Naeem Khan used a classic Sally Hansen polish. The designers looked to two of Sally Hansen’s top nail technologies, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure and Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips. Complete Salon Manicure is an all-in-one formula that combines the components of a professional salon manicure—base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, rich color and top coat in a single multi-tasking polish; while Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips are an affordable at-home nail technology that puts bold color, high- shine, and intricate design at your fingertips—just peel, apply, file and go.
 
 
CND for Jason Wu’s fashion-forward nail lacquers.

Fashion designer Tracy Reese joined forces with Sally Hansen for the eleventh consecutive season to create six bold shades and rich metallics that mirror the designer’s opulent fall aesthetic, according to the company. On the runway, models wore Complete Salon Manicure in Shiny Penny, a rich bronze, and Oxide, a gunmetal grey.
 
 
Touring America by OPI, available now, defines the look of nails for fall and winter, with 12 shades that revive classic, iconic colors—from cool gray, khaki and chocolate to warm rose, peach and red, according to the company. Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI executive vice president and artistic director, shared her favorite trendsetting choices from this collection with Happi.com.
 
 
“Red will appear this season as an accent color in clothing, home goods, beauty and accessories; with its richly-pigmented color, A Color to Diner For is the perfect choice for hands and feet,” explains Suzi.“The neutral trend that started in 2011 will continue throughout 2012, but with deeper, more opulent hues like dark taupe [A-Taupe the Space Needle] and olive green khaki [Uh-Oh Roll Down the Window], for a striking contrast to past seasons’ barely-there nude tones.
 
 
“These three shades complement trends from the runway, and can be worn with delicate feminine pieces or more dramatic menswear touches. For a glamorous yet affordable look, these three lacquers offer the perfect accessory for winter,” she added.
 
 
Moody blues are big at OPI.

This season, fall fashion is all about pushing limits and going against the norm with daring style. Nail color is a girl’s go-to accessory that shows off her individuality and flair. That is why celebrity nail expert Jessica (who goes by one name, like Madonna) created a fall collection of wild hue that rock traditional style, according to the company.
 
 
The new Rebel Glam collection is a bold, sexy six-piece assortment of dark, rich colors that will make a statement and inspire one to live glamorously rebellious. With a wide range of dramatic shades including moody plums, grunge greens and vampy red, there are a variety of edgy looks for 2011.
 
 
Over-the-top opulence goes glam rock with an eccentric edge this season at Orly. The afterglow of duo chrome reflection and high intensity pigments create an eye-catching effect in the new Mineral FX Collection. The daring color palette reflects smooth, metallic shimmers embellished with holographic sparkle and burnished gold undertones accented with ultra rich jeweled hues. Mineral FX draws inspiration for these shades from the richness and depth of the tones found in precious metals and rare minerals, according to the company.
 
 
Timeless glamour is also a top trend for the season. “My Fair Lady” was the theme of Sue Wong’s 2011 show that took place at her private residence in Los Angeles, CA. Paying homage to the Edwardian styling of the film and the overall theme of transformation, Sue Wong decided that China Glaze was the most fashion forward polish to complement her collection, which was filled with ornate gowns, rich satins, flowing chiffons and fine laces.
 
 
To accentuate the delicate appliqué and intricate embroidery seen on the dresses of her Fall 2011 collection, Wong herself decided that China Glaze Drastic (a dark, brick red) and China Rouge (a rich, creamy red) would fit the mood she was looking to set. All manicures were then topped off Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat for a high gloss shine.
 
 
At Essie, the Fall 2011 collection paid homage to the glorious world of handbags. Inspired by the clean lines and simple elegance of post-war styles and the colors of classic purses, this collection is comprised of retro shades reinvented for modern times, according to the company.
 
 
“The accessories that you wear and carry say so much about who you are and who you want to be,” said Essie Weingarten, founder of Essie Cosmetics. “The same is true with your manicure and your nail color. The first thing a person notices when they meet you for the first time are: your shoes, your handbag and your nails.”
 

The collection consists of six creamy rich shades reminiscent of autumn with complex colors that are a throwback to the fashions of the 1940s and 1950s.
 

After all, what’s old is always new when it comes to cosmetic hues that stand the test of time and become bestsellers again and again.
 
 

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