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Muted Pink and Beige Nails Take Over New York Fashion Week Fall 2014 — And I Wanna Weep!

Typically, I emerge from New York Fashion Week feeling exhausted (the rest of schlepping from one show to the next for countless hours, in 20-degree weather, trying to look chic while avoiding patches of ice and piles of snow, then commuting back home to writer about what transpired and tend to everyday duties), frustrated (all the peacocking outside of Lincoln Center and all the nose-in-the-air attitudes at each show will grate on anyone’s nerves), and oddly inspired (despite all the headaches, there are usually at least a handful of shows that will elicit a positively emotional reaction and some beauty looks that will awaken your own inner artist). Maybe I’m getting old and jaded or maybe I’m overcome with nostalgia for the Bryant Park days, when there was this electricity in the air, this almost tangible collective excitement, when the artistry element of fashion design was prioritized over its commercial viability and it didn’t all feel so corporate, so cold and austere but, whatever the cause, I find myself becoming less and less enamored with Fashion Week. Nowadays, we go through all the hassle and aggravation, all the waiting in line (and then at your assigned seat, since no show ever starts on time!), and for what? To see a parade of “practical” and “wearable” clothes that could be hanging from any rack at any department store as we speak? Nevertheless, some flicker of hope always remains and so, every six months or so, I prepare for the circus to begin once again, yearning to see some creativity manifested.

Sadly, New York Fashion Week Fall 2014 has been a major disappointment — particularly in regards to the beauty looks seen on runways. Apparently, come September, lipstick will disappear from the face of the Earth and women will walk around with bare lips and just a hint of eyeliner. What is that? I barely ever leave the house without lipstick — even if I’m just taking out the trash! Similarly, minimalism (the antithesis of my personal style) seems to be the predominant look when it comes to nails this fall. After so many seasons of creative nail art, fun textural details and bold colors, Fall 2014 will apparently be awash with timid ballerina pinks and buff beiges. Needless to say, these aren’t beauty trends I’ll be experimenting with but, nevertheless, here’s the scoop in the natural nail looks seen during NYFW:




For Diane von Furstenberg’s FW14, nail artist Michelle Saunders, representing Essie, created a ballerina pink nail based on each models’ skin tone, hoping to make nails appear bare, as if they had just been buffed and still had that glossy sheen to them. To create the look, she applied the Essie First Base base coat to nails, then applied two coats of the Mademoiselle lacquer to the nails of those models with fair skin or, alternatively, two coats of the Sugar Daddy lacquer to the nails of those with deeper skin tones. She finished with the Essie Good To Go top coat to add the coveted shine.




Since the designer’s collection had a ballerina vibe to it, with plenty of light pink hues, Essie nail artist Julie Kandalec created a sheer, pastel pink nail look that she hoped would be reminiscent of cherry blossoms. To create the look, she applied Essie’s Ridge Filling Base Coat, followed by a single coat of the Essie Muchi, Muchi nail lacquer, and finished with a coat of Essie’s Good To Go top coat.




Jill Stuart imagined a reformed rock ‘n’ roll wild child from Paris when designing the Fall/Winter 2014 collection and so nail artist Rita Remark thought it appropriate to create a manicure that felt effortless but had a hint of edge via a matte finish. To create the look, Remark  brushed the Essie Ridge Filling Base Coat atop nails, followed by two coats of Essie’s Allure nail polish, and finished with a single coat of Essie’s Matte About You top coat.




Described as a “subtle French manicure,” the look created by Michelle Saunders for the Altuzarra FW14 show was beyond understated. To prepare nails, Saunders applied the Essie First Base base coat to filed nails and, atop it, brushed the Ridge Filling base coat which, while still sheer, has a creamier nude tint to it. The only real color used, then, was the Essie Allure polish, a sheer off-white hue, which was applied in an arch shape  along the nail tips. Saunders then finished the look by applying a single coat of Essie’s Good To Go top coat.




The inspiration behind Alexander Wang‘s Fall/Winter 2014 collection was the notion of surviving in extreme conditions (hello, polar vortex!) and so the nail look created needed to feel a bit lifeless, stark, and almost frost bitten. Michelle Saunders, working for Essie, created a chalky beige manicure by layering one coat of Essie’s Mademoiselle polish over a coat of Essie’s Sand Tropez polish and then topping these off with a coat of Essie’s Matte About You top coat.



Believe it or not, the model shown here is, in fact, wearing nail polish. Couldn’t tell? Well, that’s the understated effect that Jin Soon Choi hoped to create for the Derem Lam Fall/Winter 2014 show. Since Lam’s sportswear collection includes such bold patterns and colors, Choi wanted to balance these out via a barely-there nail look. She started by applying the JINsoon Power Coat as a base coat and then brushing the JINsoon Nostalgia, a pink beige hue, atop nails to give them a flicker of warmth. She then layered one coat of JINsoon Muse, a sheer pink shade, atop the Nostalgia shade. Last, she applied a single coat of the JINsoon Top Gloss.



Beige nails with matte finishes were spotted at the Nellie Partow Fall/Winter 2014 show. Created by Rita Remark for Essie, the look was attained by applying one coat of Essie’s Ridge Filling Base Coat to nails, then brushing on a coat of Sand Tropez, a soft sandy beige, and layering a coat of Allure, a sheer almost bridal pink-y beige, atop it, then finishing the manicure with a single coat of Essie’s Good To Go top coat.




Spotted at the Herve Leger Fall/Winter 2014 show: muted mauve nails with a matte finish. Created by Julie Kandalec for Essie, this look involved applying a coat of Essie’s Ladylike polish to nails and then simply topping it off with one coat of the Essie Good To Go top coat and one coat of the Matte About You top coat to eradicate any shine.


Bottom line: if you want to be “on trend” come Fall 2014, break out the Essie Allure, Mademoiselle, and Sand Tropez polishes!

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