The Men's Manicure, For Women


Here is a Friday morning truth that may shock you. If you're drinking a mimosa, please put it down. OK, are you ready? Here it is: Men love to get their nails done. When you're done shaking uncontrollably, please continue reading.

Ask a group of men if they get their nails done. Eighty percent of them will say no, and 100% of those dudes are cold, unfeeling sociopaths. Hello—"Grooming" is a subcategory on's homepage navigation! Nail care is the basis of grooming, and grooming is the essence of 21st century manliness.

I am one such man—ever since I have walked God's green earth, doing His will by writing about beauty products on the internet, I have been mercilessly made fun of for the state of my nails. So I cooked up a recipe for the perfect MANicure—do you get the joke?—that looks just like my nails, but brighter, healthier, and more groomed. GQ, take note. And you too, ITG readers, male and female. This honestly looks good on everyone:

1) No base coat! I'm a rugged man, and there are no base coats in the wilderness.
2) One coat of Chanel Le Vernis in Ballerina. It's a pretty good match for the shade of pink that's just underneath my nails. What do you call that part of your finger?
3) One very evenly-applied coat of Smith and Cult Flatte Matte Top Coat. This stuff will make your nail color survive a nuclear apocalypse. And they won't chip while you're fixing a car, or whatever guys do in their free time.
4) They're called nailbeds!! I just remembered.

The resulting manicure looks subtle and totally masculine—especially on toes. Although, masculinity is a construct. But that's another post in itself!

—Brennan Kilbane

Photographed by Tom Newton.

Next up in nails: Emily Ferber's got a great holiday red for you, and 'tis (almost) the season.