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August 30 2014

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29 posts tagged "CND"

EXCLUSIVE: Mani Masterpiece Theatre

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I got the opportunity to see the inner workings of the CND Design Lab earlier in the week at the Thompson Hotel on the Lower East Side, where a team of nail artists was camped out and meticulously bedazzling tips for The Blonds show that took place tonight. One can always expect to see over-the-top corsets (worn by the likes of Katy Perry and Jennifer Lopez) as well as the most incredibly detailed nails come down the runway—in the past, horror film-themed versions made an appearance (think Janet Leigh from Psycho emblazoned on tips), and Thai-inspired talons topped off with a hand-sculpted dragon. This season, however, they turned to the original blond (or at least whom Phillipe and David Blond believe to be the original): Tweety Bird. “You have to be blond to be at the collaboration table,” Jan Arnold, co-founder of CND, quipped. There were various iterations of the canary-colored cartoon—from a graphic take on her (although the gender of Tweety was never actually made clear) big blue eyes to dangerous fanglike elements (reminiscent of pointed beaks and Barbarella, another flaxen-haired muse for the collection, being attacked by parakeets). The most impressive set, however, included hinged “bionic” tips with insides made from watch parts. After seeing so many nude manicures on the runway for Spring 2014, this is certainly a radical change of pace. Watch the video above to see how these finger paintings come to life.

CND Nails

Photo: Instagram

Contemplating The Third Coat

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While I was in Milan for the shows, I did something I’ve never done before in Italy: I got a manicure. On a friend’s recommendation, I made an appointment at Bahama Mama (read: I had the concierge at the Principe make me an appointment to overcome a serious language barrier) and went to the vintage store-meets-mani/pedi destination with high hopes. I was not disappointed. The well-curated space had select pieces of mid-nineties Miu Miu and old Sportsmax as well as a vast collection of Sade DVDs, which I happily watched while a pretty Milanese girl impressively groomed and shaped my nails. It was when she started in on that third coat of Essie Bourdeaux that we came to an impasse. “Too much polish,” I protested as the rich, burgundy lacquer began to build into a thick film and visions of sitting there, watching Sade for hours waiting for my fingers to even begin to dry, filled my head. My aesthetician seemed confused by my objections, and after it became clear that it would be easier to just let her finish than continue to explain—in English—why I’d prefer a normal, two-coat manicure, I let it go. When she was done, I sat there in discontent for about 30 minutes waiting for the OK to get out from under the dryer and then left in a rush. But a few hours later, I noticed something: My nails looked amazing. After just one smudging incident, the polish hardened and resembled a flawless, deep gel rather than a more temporary varnish. As the shows went on I got a wealth of compliments on the color, too—well into Paris, where it persisted, fully intact, until I got back to New York last week, at which point it finally started to show signs of wear. But a polish job that lasts almost two weeks is an incredible feat, which got me to thinking: Should I always ask for a third coat?

No, according to CND education ambassador Roxanne Valinoti. “If you are using a high-quality professional brand, three coats is not ever necessary,” the backstage regular explains. “Most professional nail polishes are developed and designed for two-coat coverage for the best, most even color and dry time. The first coat allows for outline of application and the second coat is to perfect and for coverage.” The biggest drawback to piling on the extra polish, according to the nail artist, is the potential for increased dry time, which should be minimal if you apply two very thin layers of lacquer and two alone. “Less is best,” she says. If you’re feeling up to a triple-coat test drive, however, Valinoti has a few time-tested application tips to make sure you can still be in and out of the salon in the time it takes to watch, say, one Sade DVD:

Step 1: Wipe the brush on the neck of the bottle several times, to prevent too much polish from building up on the brush.

Step 2: Angle your brush parallel with the nail—”like a squeegee,” she says—for the thinnest layers.

Step 3: Always finish with a high-shine top coat, like CND Air Dry top coat, to increase the longevity of the manicure, as well as a fast-dry spray, like CND SolarSpeed Spray, to speed up dry time.

Photo: Giuseppe Graziano

The Nails That Were Built With 200 (Wo)man Hours

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As we stagger through day six of New York fashion week, the nude nail—or no nail—movement is gaining steam with each passing show. But that hasn’t stopped the industry’s nail artists from flexing their creative muscles. Michelle Huynh’s spiel at Rodarte yesterday started much like many similar spiels have gone since the weekend. “We created a base with two coats of Frosting Cream and Desert Suede, which we followed with a glossy topcoat,” the CND manicurist began. But it ended quite differently. “Then we mixed those two colors with Chocolate Milk, painted a piece of wax paper, let it dry, and topped that with a matte topcoat,” she continued—at which point our ears perked up. “We cut the paper into strips,” she explained, demonstrating how the microscopic slivers were then crisscrossed on top of the nail and glued down by another coat of the band’s Super Shiny Topcoat, which was slicked on underneath the paper pieces, not on top of them, so there was a “glimmer” from the different textures playing off one another when models walked down the runway. Not your average nude nail, to be sure.

Photo: Courtesy of CND

More Dungeons & Dragons, Less Kim Kardashian, Backstage At Rodarte

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“A modern-medieval face” is what the tip sheet James Kaliardos was passing around to his team backstage at Rodarte said, but there was more to it than that, of course. “The collection feels Dungeons & Dragons to me, not Joan of Arc,” Kaliardos elaborated, referencing the austerity of old religious paintings and “getting rid of the Kim Kardashian look—forever.”

That meant skipping those familiar, heavily bronzed contours and focusing instead on a paled-out complexion that was treated with NARS Skin Optimal Brightening Concentrate and a light-handed application of its Sheer Glow Foundation just in the center of the face, “because once it gets on the cheeks, it actually looks like foundation,” according to Kaliardos. There wasn’t much visible product on the face at all, really, save for NARS’ Triple X Lip Gloss, which was swathed onto mouths and eyelids and applied through girls’ brows as well, including show-opener Jessica Stam’s. “Can you fix me,” Stam beseeched Kaliardos, who added a little fullness, too, at the model’s request.

Odile Gilbert was working off the proportions of Kate and Laura Mulleavy’s designs. “When they showed me the clothes, I thought [the girls] needed something long,” Gilbert said, referring to the hair, which she made “strict and straight” to accommodate a dragon earring cuff clipped onto models’ left ears. “It’s like the girls are shaved,” she explained, slicking strands with Kérastase Ciment Thermique for a pre-blow-dry polish, and dividing them into three sections: two in back—one hanging straight down over the other—and one in front, which was combed all the way over to one side and coated with its Elixir Ultime for added shine.

The finishing touch came from the most conceptual neutral nail we’ve seen this week. “It took 200 man-hours,” CND manicurist Michelle Huynh said of the three-dimensional polish-on-polish basketweave tips that showcased a blended base of its varnishes in Desert Suede and Frosting Cream. Nude, it turns out, doesn’t necessarily mean boring.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri / GoRunway.com

Your Favorite Beauty Products, Back By Popular Demand; L’Oréal Paris Names A Global Facialist; And More…

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Thanks to increasing buzz through social media outlets, beauty brands are starting to take consumer gripes about discontinued beauty products seriously. Companies like MAC, Bobbi Brown, and Pantene have all brought back old favorites for a limited time due to popular demand. Make a note of it—and “Like” your discontinued favorites on Facebook now. [NYT]


Spring temperatures may have dipped into the 40s and 50s of late, but that hasn’t stopped Katy Perry from giving her nails a serious floral makeover. The queen of bold color choices unveiled her latest experiment with nail art, tweeting, “My fingers are in FULL bloom today” alongside a picture of 3-D petals. [Grazia]


Street-style blogger favorite Ulyana Sergeenko swears by Parisian facialist Joëlle Ciocco—so much so that she only gets facials four times a year when she travels from Russia to France for the Couture and ready-to-wear shows. And Ciocco’s fame among the style set hasn’t gone unnoticed; L’Oréal Paris has just named the skincare expert as its first global facialist. [WWD]


After CND founder Jan Arnold said neon nail polishes were illegal in the United States, sparking a few days of horror from lacquer lovers looking forward to Day-Glo pedicures for the summer, the brand’s chief scientific adviser has amended her comments, explaining that neon varnishes are not illegal to wear; they have simply never been officially registered with the FDA. Phew. [Daily Mail]

Photo: Courtesy of Delphine Achard