So here's a new beauty manifesto that you'll probably snort-laugh at harder than you do when somebody on the site suggests simply slapping a bright red lip on an otherwise bare face before skipping out the door. (Garance…) Now we're going to tell you that all you need to do is simply slap on a bright red nail before skipping out the door. (Or jaunting, strolling, throwing your hips forward and stomping one foot slightly in front of the other the same way you do every year following the airing of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show...) Just make sure you’re not wearing any other makeup–that part’s important.
Take a minute to un-purse your skeptically pruned lips. Two things:
1) Red nails have been around forever—ancient Egyptians used to dye their fingers with things like BLOOD to get the look. But, you know, after a couple thousand years a trend can become a little dated.
2) Only joking about not wearing any other makeup; we’re not all Russian models whose greatest annoyance is constantly being compared to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (we’re postulating about newcomer Sonya, above)—hence the clear, bag-less eyes, perfect skin, and overall pleasant disposition. But! The barefaced look is what’s keeping the red nails (OPI’s Big Apple Red... Welcome to New York, Sonya) from vibing less toward Olympia Dukakis's hands on the VHS cover of Steel Magnolias and more Daria Werbowy’s talons in the latest Céline ads. Just use the age-old trick for looking like you’re not wearing makeup: judiciously applied concealer, a bit of foundation, powder, bronzer, highlighter, and whatever else you need short of eye makeup, but refrain from brushing your hair. In fact, mess it up a bit. Excellent.
Now devote a good 20 minutes (or less) to the paint job. A good rule of thumb for choosing a red polish is to go not by the brand or slight differences in shade, but the name–cheesiest FTW. (Essie's Tiny Winey is a good option, as is Maybelline's Paint The Town.) And since we've been in the habit of being so utterly low-maintenance, delight in the fact that a red nail will last much longer and require far less touching-up than the laughably temporary fix that is an out-the-door red lip.
Sonya Gorelova (The Society) photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on December 4, 2013. Manicure by Margaret Fisher.