AW 08 Nail Trends

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Information & Advice

A/W 08 Nail Trends

This season’s manicure has been given a makeover – say goodbye to pearly pinks and hello to seductive goth-inspired shades of mulled wine and winter berries. Release your inner vamp…

Jennifer Needham

Jennifer Needham

Editorial Assistant

This season’s manicure has been given a makeover – say goodbye to pearly pinks and hello to seductive goth-inspired shades of mulled wine and winter berries. Release your inner vamp…


The Shape

It’s official – the square shape favoured by WAGS worldwide is out.  This season is all about rounded nails. Oval or ‘Almond’ shaped nails were seen on the catwalks everywhere from Giles to Ossie Clark. The length is shorter than previous seasons – just past the tip of your finger - but the delicate shape means that your hands still look elongated.

Nail Expert Andrea Fulerton, who has tended to the nails of Daisy Lowe and Nigella Lawson says, “Your nail shape should be a mirror image of your cuticle shape. If your nails are weak, file off the corners because you will catch them on things, especially if you have got a fan nail shape, which is common. If you’re not sure, then just do a soft round shape, take off the corners and make them gentle.”

And if you really can’t stand the thought of letting go of your square shaped talons, ease yourself into this season’s trend gently by shaping your nails halfway between square and oval – otherwise known as a ‘squoval’!


The Colour

Exciting colours dominate this season. Mirroring the goth chic look on the catwalks this autumn, nail colours are deep, rich and mouth-wateringly juicy. Winter berry colours such as plum, raspberry and black cherry are right on trend and compliment the country tweeds and tartans that are on the runways. Save your bright summer corals till next spring – this season is all about dark, seductive nails. “Think beautiful greys, charcoals and matte coffee shades,” says Andrea. “Go for deep pinks and purples but not black – it has been done too much.”

Fancy being a little more daring? Metallic shades – especially gold - are back with a vengeance, but have a more grown-up feel. The shades are dark and smouldering, with a metal finish. Think burnished, antique metals with a hint of shimmer – perfect for party season. In a total contrast to this, caramel and chocolate shades also made their way onto the beauty scene this season.

If the ‘seductive vamp’ look just isn’t your thing, then a rich caramel beige will work just as well.


Hot right now:

Match this season’s berry red lips and smoky eyes with these great polishes:

Chanel le Vernis 481 Fantastic (availble in store)
Chanel Facette D’or Gold (available in store)
Dior Vernis 827 Red Ebony (available in store)
Jemma Kidd Nail Duo in Red Russian
No.7 Speed Dry Nail Colour in Iced Mocha
Estee Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Berry Cordial and Crème Caramel
Lancome Le Vernis (Exclusive Online) in 307.


The Must-have Kit

Before you begin turning your nails into trend-setting talons, take care of them. Help keep cuticles intact with a good cuticle cream. “What I find works really well is the likes of Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, Vaseline or a really thick intense moisturiser,” says Andrea. “I also keep Boots Protect and Perfect Hand Cream in my car. I apply it to the back of my hand and literally put big smudges around my cuticles and let it soak in.”

Dark nail polishes may leave unsightly stains, so invest in a base coat. “Nail varnish is made up of pigment, and if it’s a strong pigment, it will stain, says Andrea. “Base Coat stops strong pigments of any nail colour seeping into the nail bed and staying in.” Try No.7 Smooth Base Coat.

Following the all-natural trend? Try these fantastic hand and nail saviours too:
Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream
Burt's Bees Lemon Cuticle Cream
Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream