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Red Nails, Can’t Fail?

Does Celine’s most recent Daria Werbowy-infiltrated ad mean that my short, bare nails have to get it together?


In collaboration with Sally Hansen.

It’s not really the beginning of a new season until Juergen Teller’s ads for Celine have impregnated the September issues. As far as I call tell, these particular ads are fantastic conversation starters. Was it not last season that I questioned how far topless-in-the-bathtub chic could take us while mobile? Or at the very least, how I could learn to skin a stuffed animal, use its fur as Birkenstock lining et voila: look just like Daria? This season, though, I’m not as concerned with lugging heavy ceramic cleansing machinery nor am I with the breadth of oh-my-God-you-have-to-be-kidding-wait-you’re-not-kidding? footwear Philo continues to institute to challenge the format.

I am perfectly on board with those slick top knots. I am near certain that during our first case of physical contact, I will consider selling organs to pay for the graphic plaid, soft shouldered jackets pictured, and if you happen to be wondering about my stance on turtlenecks, I will just say this: chokers are the summer’s answer to them and you know how I feel about choking myself.

What’s really taking me a long time to digest are those Nine Inch red Nails (fine, I’m being dramatic but they are pretty damn long) festooning Werbowy’s fingers in an inconspicuous nod to The Nanny’s Fran Drescher or worse: Friends‘ Chandler’s conniving ex-girlfriend, Janis.

Oh. My. Gowd.

But what does this mean? Had you told me just a year ago that when Daria cut her hair it would only be a month before I tried to approximate the very same haircut, I probably would have rolled my eyes at you. Just two months ago, when she appeared in Vogue Spain wearing a frosted lip, I felt confounded. This isn’t 2001. I’m not ready for that genre of nostalgia and yet, there I was, moseying through Sephora, soliciting the trained help of the experts at Into the Gloss, trying my hand at what I can only assume are Werbowy-approved lips.

Is the nail care aisle next?

I want to say I think I feel adamant about maintaining my bare nails. In spite of my propensity for kale nails and rainbow stripes, and black and white geometric shapes, I’ve even forfeited pedicures in favor of single-tone feet. But I know myself, and if Philo and Werbowy are telling me I’ve got to get my ass to Duane Reade where I will find a plethora stick-on nails then I’ll probably do it. I’m not strong enough to resist the French influence. And if right now that means Janis red, then so be it.

I guess.

But what happens six months down the line, when we’re all struggling to type on our touch screens and hold our cups of coffee, using our nails as toothpicks and forks, et cetera, et cetera. We’re not going to get sick of the trend – that’s not what happens – we’re going to want to dig deeper. So does that mean we’ll take more aggressively to nail art, as well?


With that in mind, we took to Sally Hansen’s I Heart Nail Art  gallery to gauge our response. At the tail end of a search for their new Nail Art Sweatheart (full disclosure: I was at the finale and all the artists are unbelievably talented), they’ve garnered quite quite the repository of intriguing looks. The result: we fell down the rabbit hole. Again. Anytime someone brings that level of creativity to something potentially as mundane as excess keratin, it’s inspiring. Over the past few years donning a unique nail has been more a matter of playful style, and we can’t help but wonder if this trend is creeping into the fashion world. On the brink of FW, will any houses feature more than a simple bare or single-tone nail? We kind of hope so.

And as always, we absolutely HAVE TO KNOW: Do you like Daria’s nails or do they freak you out? Will you try the new length this fall, focus on color, or go for the full red shebang?

Part 3 of 3 in collaboration with Sally Hansen.

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  • Paco T.

    Celine, my all time favourite!!

  • All summer I have been desperately trying to achieve this look, I have been calling it the “Mad Men” look. After watching season 1-4 on Netflix I became obsessed with long, red, almond shaped daggers. FYI they are actually pretty pointy and dangerous, I have hacked my own face several times in my sleep… My advice is to try this look in Shellac, regular mani’s crack after one day when the nail is filed down so much at the tip. And they HAVE to be filed that way, the shape is the most important part, they have to resemble Cat Woman’s talons, or else don’t even bother 🙂

    • Kate Barnett

      pics, please! i am so intrigued by this nail shape.

      • Leandra Medine

        Co-sign–we need photos!

        • Gah, the pressure is on, I actually planned on DYI’ing it up tomorrow night…so stay tuned. I feel like my nails have finally grown to a reasonable length to be worthy of the look. Go long or go home with this trend.


      Yes! <3 Betty's nails!!!

    • CarlotaLMorais

      Just saw Funny Girl with Barbra and I know what you mean, you feel like you just need to get those nails, they’re so sharp and classy!

  • Elisa Taviti

    Oh Celine!!!!

    xx Elisa
    My Fantabulous World

  • Amelia Diamond

    those Despicable Me / minion nails are sooooooo good.

  • CarolinaG

    Love Celine!!!!!

    I’m posting looks from Los Angeles and accessories:

  • Shannah

    I love the long, red, almond-shaped nail trend. They’re just bordering on trashy but in the chicest way possible. I got gel nails a month and a half ago just like Daria’s and needless to say I’m obsessed; something about long pointy nails makes me feel so ladylike but also like I could claw your face off if you got too close.

  • tobyansen

    I don’t remember the last time I painted my nails, but I want to go to LA just to get CHRMD… Shit’s amazing.

  • Khensani

    I’ve always thought red nails, especially long red nails, were kind of trashy but they’ve risen in popularity and I’ve fallen prey to the if-everyone’s-doing-it-then-it-must-be-mine syndrome. I do like long, pointy nails a la Rihanna and Lana Del Rey because they make me feel like a screen siren but, seriously, how hard does that make the most simplest of tasks?

  • Hudson Berry

    The nails and the gaze and the strong face recall Diane Arbus’s portrait “A young man in curlers at home on West 20th street” circa 1966. The hands and portraiture are so similar to me. Call me crazy?

  • Sam

    To be real this is the manicure my 60 year old mother has had since I can remember. The only time I’ve ever seen her with bare nails is when I accompany her to her almost weekly manicures, and the only time I’ve seen any of her nails short is when *gasp* one of them breaks (and it’s very dramatic). It’s hard for me to see this as fresh or fashion or trendy because I’ve seen this manicure my whole life, on my mom. If nothing else maintaining perpetually-long, perpetually-red nails means you’ll perpetually be in the nail salon (even with the advent of the gel mani). I’m willing to bet Daria ditched the nails when the shoot was over.

  • Fash-un

    Let’s be real: love a long nail in a picture, don’t love it in person. Does no one else become terrified that they’ll get accidentally lanced by a keratin dagger when they see a long nailed person on the subway? Just me then?

  • Those nails have always freaked me out a little but i’ve been strangely wanting to try them out this year. I think seeing them look so groomed on Ashley (revenge?) and Nicole Richie is seriously tempting me! Now if only I can find some mini studs to put on my nails too…

  • I, too, prefer short and au-naturel when it comes to my nails… and ain’t no morbidly over-patterned woman gon’ convince me to change! It’s actually kind of a weird thing. I used to be an avid biter, but I’ve recently quit, so I like to keep them bare as a celebratory, look-they’re-not-ravaged-anymore measure. Those minion nails are really amazing.


    I adore those long nails. They remind me of Claire in The Breakfast Club and Claire can do no wrong. The only problem is that my nails don’t grow to be that long… so the only option are indeed the Duane Reade stick-ons.

  • I’m more than willing to wear red nail polish this winter as I try all colours and nail arts, but the length freaks me out, I find long nails awful (you’re right: Janice in Friends, or worse Rihanna), I like them short and square. And anyway, as soon as they start getting too long, it’s just impossible to use a keypad (that terrible clicking noise, right?). But I do find the idea of using my nails as barbecue skewers very funny!

  • Behind the Mirror

    I tried out what I considered to be some LDR nails last fall… long, sharp, and to the point. I had to give it up. I couldn’t type on the keyboard… and they were pretty annoying. Sticking to my barely there nails this fall.

  • Marie

    They are amazing because they are trashy, if one arrange’s one’s thoughts to the likes of Diane Vreeland, “A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste-it’s hearty, its healthy, its physical.” I would liken love for the length and shape to one’s ability to skewer and roast marshmallows. And then clean polish over the remaining white goo, something like bread balls in tomato soup.

  • GD

    can’t handle the long nails…not a fan at all. I like them painted tho but prefer them short! imagine what would get caught under there?

  • LNA

    I’ve been wearing long red nails for a while now, because even though I am not committed to it, I need a little ghetto style in my day to day life.

  • Nibblet Nibblet

    Personally, no. I think long nails look trashy, but it doesn’t matter what I think. If that’s what she likes, she should wear them that way. I’d put my eye out with those things in .02 seconds.

  • Although not red as I previously mentioned, but very much dagger-ish. I’m sure there’s bonus points somewhere for that . Ps only one of these babies is fake! So proud

    • liv