To quote the famous actress, fashion icon, and extremely photographed Audrey Hepburn, “I believe in manicures…” Yes, it’s true, what you have on the tips of your fingers really does matter in the production of vintage-style imagery. Here are some tips to guide you in preparing for your photo shoot.
First, let’s talk about the shape of your fingernails. Nails should be rounded or filed into an egg or almond shape. These fit more natural lines, giving your nails a timeless popularity. While many women love the look and durability of square-shaped fingernails, they aren’t recommended for retro photographs. Square nails didn’t appear on the manicure scene until the 1980’s. Stiletto nails, which are trending again now, can also look good. In ancient times, the longer the female’s fingernails, the higher was her social status.
If you don’t have much growth on your fingernails, press-on nails in one of the preferred shapes are a great temporary choice and look better than no nails at all. In fact, at my local salon Serene Nails, my manicurist, So Yong, fitted custom press-on nails for me. The technical jargon is “custom virtual nails applied with virtual bond”, but I just call them amazing. A gel glue dot is applied to your nail bed, allowing you to wear them five to seven days. They’re reusable too; remove any glue residue after you detach them carefully using cuticle oil and a toothpick.
Manicure by Serene Nails & Day Spa
When choosing a polish, I find red to be best. Nude, pink or even black would be my next choices. These hues date back to the 1920’s and they are easily purchased today. The “moon” manicure, which highlights the half-moon shape found at the nail bed, is also a good choice that allows for some color contrast and visual interest on your hands. You might be tempted to have a French manicure or French tips done before your appointment, thinking it looks natural and will go with many wardrobe changes. Resist that temptation; French manicures weren’t popular until the 1970’s. A nude nail would be the better option. The worst look of all is chipped nail polish. Take some time to primp before your appointment, have your nails professionally done or perhaps even do them yourself. This small detail will make a huge difference in the authenticity of your pin-up results.
Manicure history from thefashionspot.com
Audrey Hepburn quote from goodreads.com