Deborah Lippmann Gives Us a Primer on Nude Nails at Kate Spade

It's a lot like finding the perfect shade of red lipstick.
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Eliza Brooke
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It's a lot like finding the perfect shade of red lipstick.
Photo: ImaxTree

Photo: ImaxTree

Backstage at Kate Spade, the beauty look was clean, polished and decidedly uptown -- a nice way to complement the collection's bright looks and kitschy bags. Even with the girls' hair pulled into tight, high ponytails and secured with a vaguely bondage-y leather strap, it didn't seem earth-shattering at first. But, as with everything, there's always beauty to be found in subtlety, and this show ended up making a very good case for working nude tones into your beauty routine.

To begin with: the nails. Long, almond-shaped and perfectly nude, these babies gave the models' hands a longer, more elegant look. They were made to hold a clutch. There was even something of Jennifer Lawrence's nail polish-obsessed character in American Hustle there, in the indulgent length and gloss.

Modeling the look on herself, nail artist Deborah Lippmann says that it was two coats of "Naked," a sheer beige, followed by one coat of Gel Lab topcoat to add extra shine. When it comes to creating this look at home, the important thing to remember is that there's a different nude color for every woman, and what works on your best friend may not look so hot on you.

"It's like saying, 'How do you wear red lipstick?' We can all wear red lipstick, it's just about finding the right red. Same thing with nudes," Lippmann says. "Your cuticle will literally tell you if you're wearing the right nude or not. If it looks ruddy or starts to look gray, you have to take that nude off and put another on."

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As with red lipsticks that vary in their warmth and coolness, certain nude nail polishes will be more yellow and others more pink. So if your skin has pinker undertones, you're not going to want to go for the yellow-toned polish.

The parallels between nude tones and reds didn't end there. MAC's Lyne Desnoyers says she told her team to create the nude lip the girls were wearing in the same way they would a red lip.

"I wanted them to bring the same precision and care as if we were working with extremely bold colors. For example, the lip — which is a lipstick called "Half n' Half" — I'm asking them to apply it like it's a very rich red. Very precise and well blended," Desnoyers says.

If there's a takeaway about nude makeup here, Desnoyers puts it best: "It doesn't have to be harsh and bold all the time to be powerful."