Sunday, March 3, 2013

Stiletto Nails

( Lana Del Rey by Mario Testino for Vogue UK, March 2012)

You've seen them on everyone from Beyonce to Lana Del Rey, but stiletto nails are hardly a new trend.  We have Rita Hayworth to thank for that.  She started sporting cherry red, narrow tipped nails in 1940 and it caught.  In fact, most famous 1940's pinups have some variation of the stiletto nail.  Granted, celebrities today have taken this look to extremes, but at it's most basic it's really a classic look.

So, can real women have stiletto nails?  Absolutely. There are so many trends that just don't translate well to real life, but luckily this isn't one of them.

Before you run to the salon, here are a few tips:

1. Be practical.  If you have babies or a job that requires you to type then getting 2 inch talons won't work.
2. Look sharp. Try a rounded tip first and if you like it then go for pointed. 

3. Start short.  Even if you have acrylic nails, start short.  I jumped straight into long points and jammed my finger doing the dishes.  When I went back to the salon for a fill and she took my polish off we discovered that my nail had lifted when I jammed it and it was completely black.  As a result I'm going to have to get them taken off so that nail can fall off. (No Model Lady: Killing appetites since 2009.)

4. Tell your nail tech what you want right away.  The first time I got rounded nails a few years ago the tech had no idea what I was talking about.  Square nails were the bread and butter of the acrylic nail industry in the Midwest at that time.  What was this "rounded" I spoke of?  Your best bet is to bring a photo of what you want,  just in case.  (If you're shaping your own nails try a slightly rounded tip and then go from there!)


  1. I think they are such a classy look!

  2. Love them! They make your fingers look so long. My chubby fingers need them! Ha ha.

  3. i haven't seen this look yet...looks fun!

  4. I have them and absolutely love them!

  5. I have them and I my job requires daily typing. You just have to get used to it and teach yourself how to " touch" the keys. As for babies...... well they ruin everything fun

  6. Why is the classic oval, almond silhouette being called "stiletto" now? It never was before, even in the 1950's when stiletto heels were first introduced by Roger Vivier for House of (Christian) Dior.

    Whether worn luxuriantly long or practical-for-the-office short, the oval shape makes the fingers appear longer, slimmer, more graceful and elegant. Both a classy and a classic look! :)

    To me, at least, the sharp pointy nails that Sarah Ferguson, Lana Del Rey, and other celebs are rocking are about raw, animal, sexual aggression, not about grace and elegance. Named for the shoes that were in turn named for the Italian "little dagger," sharply pointed stiletto nails definitely convey that aura of danger that is the hallmark of fetish-inspired fashions.

    I am not saying this is a good thing, nor a bad thing. I'm saying it is a *different* thing from the classic look. Rita Hayworth may have worn her nails long and tapered, but I doubt she would have been caught dead with them filed to sharp little points. That's just not what her generation was all about.