Nailed…The Truth About Beauty

Today we are going to be talking about nails.

Not the hammering kind but the ones attached to the ends of your fingers and toes.

I suspect you fellas are wondering whether this is a post you are going to be remotely interested in. Well I’ll leave that for you to discuss with your machismo.

In these recessionary times, it appears that we will still pay silly money for anything from a lipstick (£20) to potions and lotions that hide the effects of treating our bodies/skin/hair in such a cavalier fashion for so long.

Note: A 30ml pot of Creme de la Mer will set you back £95 – that’s over £300 per 100ml – and if you are really looking for a bargain, buying it in the 500ml bulk size will set you back £1,150 but is ‘super’ value at just £230/100ml.

But I read in yesterday’s Times newspaper supplement, The Beauty Economy, that the new boom in the world of cosmetics is nail polish. According to Mintel, sales have increased 123% since 2005 and nail varnish now represents 14% of all colour cosmetics sales.

While first appearing around 3000BC in China, the birth of modern nail polish occurred in the 1920s under the auspices of two seemingly unrelated innovations.

The invention of high gloss car paint led makeup artist Michelle Maynard to wonder whether it could be applied elsewhere and with the invention of technicolour, bringing colour and fashion-forwardness to the movies, at about the same time, Maynard had a hit on her hands (pardon the pun!)

From its invention by the Chinese – of the ‘lacquer’ that is as opposed to henna staining which had been in evidence in India a little earlier – right through to today’s crackle, glitter and pop, the stuff is everywhere.

Even the blokes are getting in on the act

Nail bars dot the high streets, cosmetics counters offer a kaleidescope of colour and nail art is emerging as a must-have in one’s primping toolkit with this week’s LOOK magazine offering a how-to in Tribal-Print Nails.

The industry today is worth £152million to the likes of Revlon, Nails Inc, Chanel and Barry M (just to name a few).

And as a marketer/woman of means/vainglorious beast, here’s my contribution from Gidday HQ…

I know – it looks a bit lacklustre after all of that fancy stuff. But this effort takes a good couple of hours of my Sunday afternoon. In addition, I need to save myself from boredom so I snaffle the weekend paper/a few of the latest mags from the ever-growing pile near the comfy couch and faff about with those, waiting for everything to dry so that life can go on. 

To be honest all that tribal stuff just looks like hard work and quite frankly is beyond the limits of my unsteady hands – those who’ve seen me carry a full cup and saucer (or a mug in each hand) will know what I’m talking about.

So the truth about beauty here at Gidday HQ – the real story if you will – is a delicate balance between vanity and pragmatism….and a little faith that it’s all worth the effort.

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