Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Dita Von Teese And Some Nail Inspiration

Dita Von Teese has always had statement nails. While the rest of the world rocked squarish manicures in teal, khaki or jade green, Dita sported (and still does) long and pointy nails.Her signature style is the half-moon manicure (I was never a fan), which she also commercialized in the form of fake nails last fall. But the point is... the point, I guess. This retro style has been around for decades. My mother tends to shape her nails similarly, though she keeps them much shorter for practical reasons (and paints them very pale and delicate colors).

I looked through my archive of images and found  the long red talons in photos and ads from 1947 to 1980--

Ad for Chen Yu polish, 1947:

Vogue, September 1955:

Model Lucinda Hollingsworth photographed by Karen Radkai for Vogue, May 1955:

Dior, 1966:

Joan Collins, date unknown:

Vogue UK, November 1971:

Vogue UK, April 1977, Cutex ad:

Vogue UK, photo by John Swannell, March 1980:

How about you? Do you miss the days of red and dangerous?

Photos: Dita Von Teese, Zimbio, My Vintage Vogue.


  1. I love this!
    I don't have long nails because of genetics and practical reasons, but I love red. I've been wearing shades of red for about 10 months now! I never fall in love with something for that long. I feel it works with my pale complexion and makes a statement without being glittery or crackles :)

  2. I still sport long, red nails occasionally, though the tips are squarish, thus a little less dangerous!

  3. I will never for the life of me understand square nails. Mine never get as long as these pictures (maybe close to the last one) but the retro shape looks so much more pleasing to me. Plus getting rid of the square corners keeps them from breaking as much, and makes it easier to use an iphone. Win.

  4. Actually Dita's half-moon mani is from the 20s-30s. They still had it in the late 30s to early 40s, but they painted the half-moon either white of silver and the edge silver. I was researching the style out of curiosity. I wasn't a fan of it either till I tried it over Christmas and I have to say it felt oddly feminine. I couldn't stop looking at my hands. My nails weren't so long of course; I can only grow my nails that much before they become annoying and I end up so agitated I use my scissors to cut them instead of my nail file to shape them properly.

    As for the red, I still use it occasionally though not as much as I used to. I also tend to prefer red when I'm feeling down. It flatters my skin tone so much, it's like a little pick-me-up trick. In fact one of my favourite reds is Essie's Fishnet Stockings which despite its garish name is one of Dita's favourites and an amazing shade of garnet red.

  5. I keep red polishes in a variety of shades and finishes as a wardrobe staple. I file my nails short, though, I just think that looks better.

  6. If I file my nails more oval/pointy, they break almost immediatly. More of a squoval shape is stronger. And they don't go over the tip of my finger. I think if they are going to be long, then a more oval shape is prettier.

    That Cutex bottle makes me nostalgic! Love them...

  7. I do love a red nail polish but the more pointy nails no. I can't grow them that long and they look better with a slightly squared oval shape. Too square and it looks like you have little shovels on your fingers. When I see it, I just want to file the lady's nails. lol weird, I know.

  8. I love retro styles, but the nails are something I just can't learn to love. Long pointy nails look like talons to me. I can imagine a witch having such nails..I love red nails, but on more naturally shaped, or square nails. I can't imagine how pointy these are, ouch!

  9. I personally love my long, oval-shaped nails and rock various reds as my signature color. My nails do not naturally grow in a square shape, so why would I want to change them into something so unnatural and, to my eyes, masculine? They do not "get in my way", I very seldom have any breakage (and yes, I do my own housework!), AND, in my opinion, long, oval, well-kept, red nails are the epitome of classic femininity. It's mostly a matter of realizing that your nails are not "tools" and using your hands properly. So there!

  10. I'm with Evelyn!
    I really don't like pointy nails, and love a squared ovale shaped fiery red nail.
    My favorite red is the retina burning Trafalgar, by Dior. So pigmented and shiny, and the brush does the manicure for you!
    p.s. I like the pointed retro look of Dita's nails. They look god just on her, I suspect.

  11. Sherry brings a key point: the way our nails naturally grow. I prefer the long oval shape, because it's the only one where my nails do not break! It' s practical - particularly when I apply makeup on my eyes with fingers. However, I do not dare red when they are very long. Maybe twice a year :)


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