The first nail-focused beauty blog

Exploring New Nail Territories

By on April 5, 2007
in Trends

I consider the Makeup Alley nail board to be the most creative nail geeks I know. From layering polish, to custom mixing colors to applying nail gems, decals and stamps, I thought I’d seen it all. Silly us, we didn’t even think about the underside of the nail.

Inspired by the famous Christian Louboutin red sole, Zoe Pocock, of London’s Charles Worthington salon has come up with the “Louboutin Manicure”. Polishing the top of the nail with the clients’ color of choice, she then applies a bright red creme to the underside. It certainly is a heck of a lot cheaper than splurging on a pair Louboutin heels.

Meanwhile, over at the Baby Phat fashion show, the manicurists from Creative Nail Design adorned the models with bold, bedazzled talons. Not only did they apply gems to the upper nail bed but also to the bottom.

So ladies, what do you think of these fashion foward manis? Is it something you’d try? Think it’s great for fashion but not for everyday? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

photos: Grazia magazine scan by Fifitrix at, Baby Phat photo from

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  1. Louboutin Manicure « StyleTao | June 7, 2010
  1. corinneyb says:

    Those both look so fun! I think the idea of including the underside of the nail is pretty cool, but I would say keep it to fashion – it might look to fussy for everyday. I think one of the big drawbacks for me especially would be that I can’t keep my nails that long!

  2. ETOD says:

    If my nails are long when I paint them, I always consider doing the underside because it just seems undone to me. But most often, I cut my nails short a day before I’m going to paint them just for that reason (not liking how it looks under my nails).

  3. Anjali says:

    These would be such a pain to apply (and remove!) for natural nails. For artificial nails, perhaps. In general though, both are incredibly cool looking, even though I think they’d get covered up pretty fast as long nails seem to attract dirt like anything!

  4. CincyFan says:

    corinneyb – I’m with you. I keep my nails short so they’d never really be long enough to try this style.

    etod – you should try painting the underside next time instead of cutting and report back. I wonder how difficult it would be to paint under there and not make a mess. I’d imagine you’d have to do the underside first and then paint the top.

    anjali – I was thinking about the dirt factor myself. Especially if you had nail gems underneath.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Whenever applying a topcoat to prolong the life of my manicure, I always include the underside. If I kept my nails extra long, this would be a fabulous form of art! I can imagine contrast as an eye catcher like a french top and bottom with gems underneath. Showing the outer in general, and revealing the under when flirtatious would increase my enjoyment of a professional manicure. This idea opens the mind to many creative possibilities by adding another canvas. I am inspired to grow out my nails and be in the trend stream.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It’s sad and pathetic to see that people even care. Surely you can find something better to do than worry about what other people are doing to their fingernails.

  7. Phoebe says:

    I hate seeing long nails like this. I hate it more when people poke me and touch me with nails this long! They’re like claws, they’re horrible. I think short nails are much classier and cleaner looking.

  8. CincyFan says:

    To the anonymous poster that thinks my blog is pathetic,

    You obviously care about style, fashion or beauty or you never would have found my blog. So, chastising me for my passion is extremely hypocritical. I don’t expect everyone to like or even understand why I do what I do, I just hope they’d respect it.

    • Kiki says:

      Good for you! It’s really baffling to me that people come on to a subject specific site/blog just to speak negatively about it. I think it would be simpler to just not join the blog. IJS!

  9. Carleenp says:

    Interesting! It looks pretty cool. I could never do it simply because I seem to break a nail daily and therefore keep mine fairly short. If I had long nails I would give it a try for a night out.

  10. Amy says:

    I have to agree with everyone who said this is great except that you need long nails – I don’t think I’ve ever had my nails that long. But I love it on the model and I can’t wait until I spot someone in real life sporting this look!

  11. Zoe pocock says:

    I can honestly say that I have only ever performed the Louboutin inspired manicure on long nails once and that was for the famous picture itself. I am a firm believer of short, chic natural looking nails and in my salon thats what most of my clients have. I have cut the brush of my red enamel just leaving three hairs which makes it much easier to achieve. If you run the red around the free edge of the nail it leaves a slight glow on the skin under the nail which I think makes the look. Hope that all helps. x

  12. Anonymous says:

    I love the idea of painting the underside of my nail in a neon colour. Can’t wait to see what my nail technancian says when I ask him to do that the next time I go in for refills!x

  13. chloe says:

    i’ve been getting a lil’ bored of my usual black nail polish and so i tried the louboutin effect, on my short squoval nails.

    the flash of bright colour is just too cute! =D

  14. phlegmfatale says:

    The gems on the underside of the nail would make me paranoid about soil lodging among the stones. I would be more likely to do the Louboutin, which I think is really pretty.

  15. Jamie says:

    Sorry to comment so late on an older post, but I just recently found your blog, and I just love it. This particular idea is inspiring – I wear my natural nails longer (there’s really no stopping them, they just grow super-fast), so I’m going to try this with my next manicure this weekend. Thanks for the great idea!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I used to keep my natural nails really long, and sometimes I would paint the underside. Either with clear/topcoat to help keep the manicure from chipping and strengthen my nail, or else with white (easiest way for me to do the French manicure myself). I’d paint the underside white, few coats, and then a pale pink topcoat. Then, you don’t have to worry about making a straight line with the white, or smearing the white when you paint the pink topcoat.

    Now, I am too busy (work) and I swim 3x a week, and I developed a sensitivity to nail polish and remover. These three things have conspired against me and now I never paint my nails. My manicure just doesn’t last with the swimming, so it isn’t worth it, and the sensitivity to polish/remover and lack of time compound the problem.

    But, I’m tempted to break out the polish just to give this effect a shot. It would have to be for a long weekend or similar, since I work in a conservative, male dominated engineering environment. Unconventional fashion forward ideas tend to negatively influence people’s perception, and this tends to spill over into how they view you on technical merit as well.

    But I think it looks cool for a photo shoot at least!


  17. Anonymous says:

    I think everyone should try Broadway Nails French Flip Nail Kit. These nails are traditional classic French manicure on the front, and on the flip side they get creative with a splash of a bright color! These nails are brand new to hit the market and are perfect for fashionistas! They are following the trends of Christian Louboutin shoes. I absolutely love them!!

  18. emmao414 says:

    hiya, and sorry for a late comment, over a year! but I did this!! I have naturally long nails, and the results can be seen here

    not the best photo in the world, sorry!

    my nails are not doing too badly at the moment, i fancy doing different colours and just had a delivery of fab opi colours today, so i’ll let you know if i do it again.

  19. kuwaitness says:

    Love it! im actually getting that Louboutin manicure tomorrow.. ill let you know if it was worth it anddd if my manicurist gets it right ;)

  20. frenchy45 says:

    Love the idea of the Louboutin manicure. How about two coats of clear nail polish, then paint the top tips in red, followed with final coat of clear to seal. Am going to try!

  21. aqua[blu]marine. says:

    I thought of that like 2 years ago.

  22. CincyFan says:

    Aqua[blu]marine – This post is from two years ago.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I sometimes paint the underside white, and leave the top bare. Kind of looks like a ‘natural’ french manicure.

  24. ReeStyleD says:

    I love it love it…I would wear it and I would definitely put it on my clients.

  25. Manicure Table says:

    Very informative article…Just to bring out that I’ve had gel nails for about 8 months now and I don’t think I’d ever get anything else. I just have mine done with clear polish because they looks so natural, not thick like acrylics…thanks!

  26. @parmie says:

    Such a great idea, why I haven’t had this done already I do not know!! Thanks for the pic!

  27. Smackie says:

    So I’m a little late on this. Recently I’ve become absolutely addicted to painting the underside of the free edge. I wear artificial nails on a regular basis (easier than a regular mani and lasts a LOT longer), and I paint them before I apply them. Lately I’ve been doing the topside black, with glitter on the underside (currently pale pink glitter with matching half moon). It’s definitely catching on among my friends, and I just love the look!