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Multi-Colored Nails – Trendy or Tacky?

By on May 22, 2009
in Celebrity, Trends
Being that I spend most of my living days leaving the house with random polishes on each of my fingertips, or worse only one hand painted, I’m the last person to really judge someone for rocking a funky nail style. Even though I can’t get on board with the over-the-top, bejeweled nail art thing that’s happening, I don’t begrudge someone who does.

Now, you’ve seen my “skittles” nails, my sports themed manis to support the Browns & the Cavs and my interpretation of the Dexter hand. And as I see more and more celebs working the multi-colored manicure look, I wonder if it’s a passing fad or just coming into style. Will I no longer get stares for having three obviously different shades of purple on my nails?

Is it fun, fugly or fabulous? Cast your vote and see if you can guess who’s been sporting the trend after the jump!

At the recent “Only the Brave” NYC Diesel Fragrance Launch Event, The City‘s Erin Lucas accented her bold turquoise mani with taxi cab yellow middle fingers that matched her toes. I’m not sure it’s apropos for the cocktail dress but I love it otherwise.

And for the Kai Kuhne Fall ’09 runway show, CND’s Roxanne Valinoti put her twist on the gradated manicure by painting each nail a different shade of gray working from pinkie to thumb (light-dark).

Though this look isn’t exactly new. A few years back, Lauren Koslow, who plays Days Of Our Lives‘ Kate Roberts, regularly appeared on screen rocking two black tips with a pale manicure.

Fun fact: An online pal of mine met Lauren at a fan event and asked for the story behind her offbeat manicure. Lauren said that it’s something fun she does with her daughter and that Days’ producers don’t mind her wearing it on the show.

Now I’m sure most of you guessed that nail trendsetter Rihanna was going to be mentioned, right? Per usual Rihanna was ahead of the times when she donned a pink and black combo back in the summer of 2007 at the Live Earth concert in Tokyo.

This is totally something my MUA pal Nikki would wear. She’s been known to do the mismatched mani in the past.

More recently, Australian supermodel Tallulah Morton was shot with nails that take multi-colored to the extreme wearing a different shade on each finger. Is it too much or edgy cool?

And just last summer former MTV VJ and singer, Christina Milian, paired her sunny yellow frock with a tonal yellow and tangerine look.

So are we feeling this? Who’s been wearing the multi-colored mani? What are your fave color combinations?

image credit: Wire Image and Mark Hunter

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There Are 30 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Stef says:

    I like it. I’ve worn the Skittles look before and it was fun. I also like seeing a different colored middle or ring finger. I don’t think I’d do it anymore, but you never know! Inspiration could strike during my next mani and I could end up with anything! That’s the fun of polish!

  2. styrch says:

    Some colors are just meant to be worn together. Why not?

  3. Anonymous says:

    i like changing one nail color on each hand.
    the tonal of different shades of grey sounds interesting, and could look good. this could also be done with other colors, I think.
    but extreme skittles, all five fingers a totally different color, is too much for me (ok for swatching but not for real life).

  4. Jessica says:

    I think I did the multicolored thing a few times when I was younger but nothing recently. I really like the idea of painting your middle fingers different then the rest of your nails to match your toes…thats a good way to wear a different color on your toes than whats on your nails since I don’t like doing two different colors.

  5. karen says:

    i’m really not digging it on any of them, it seems too annoying tween for me and i’m only 20 so i can’t imagine rocking this look as i get older.

  6. Luc says:

    trendy for everyday (espescialy if they’re rainbow colours or ones that suit each other) but I think it’s nice just to stick to one for like a movie premiere or somthing

  7. chawesome says:

    i dunno about each finger being a different color..maybe two colors together. or one main color and a secondary on one finger, just to mix it up.

  8. carakitty says:

    I don’t mind it if the different colors are somehow tied together, like with simple nail art or a funky french tip. When it’s just one random nail thrown into the mani to me it looks like a mistake or something and gets me all confused.

  9. George says:

    Hi Michelle:

    Whenever, I am looking for the next color polish I will paint a few fingers different colors (sometimes all ten! LOL)mostly just a few different shades, I like the look and when I see them painted it just makes me feel better about myself and makes me smile knowing that I can do this for myself and not fear public critizism…

    I must tell you about my last experience at Sally’s Beauty store, the girls convinced me to sign up for a Sally’s Beauty Club Member, now I have two beauty clubs, Sally’s and Sephora Insider…

    My newest fav polish is Finger Paints, “Lavender Highlight” (I got a little carried away and did all my fingers, ha ha ) and the toes are presently, “Artisitc Azure,” awaiting the Lavender Highlight polish…

  10. ashleydanielle4 says:

    I watch Days Of Our Lives and it kills me everytime I see Kate’s nails! I can’t stand it. I wish I could find a way to do a manicure with 2 different colors, for football games, and like it though.

  11. Polish Earthgirl says:

    I personally think that this is somewhat tacky, no offense. It seems like something you would wear for a costume party, not on a normal basis.

  12. Susanna says:

    I’ve done this. I always do red, white and blue nails for the 4th of July for example. I think it’s a bit trendy for every day wear (unless it were something very monochromatic, like different shades of grey, for example), but I do think it’s a fun look for celebrities.

  13. angie says:

    Tacky as nail art!!!
    Why in earth you want to paint your fingers with different colors..keep it simple, Rememeber less is more!

  14. Frankie says:

    I love painting all my nails with the skittle theme. I go out of my way sometimes to be plain, it’s nice to add a little personality to a black shirt and blue jeans. I’ll add a funky necklace and rock it. I think it’s fun.

  15. lindsey says:

    Am curreently sporting watermelon and lime colours on my nails (toes and fingers) just couldnt decide which new colour to wear, so chose both!!

  16. Ula says:

    2 colours that compliment one another looks good, but a rainbow of colours looks tacky.

  17. amanda says:

    i like to do bright orange nails with yellow thumbs or bright yellow nails with dark green thumbs. it’s fun to explain to the few people who notice it!

  18. izzy says:

    im 14 but i like to keep it kinda simple. right now my nails are a light shade of pink and my ring finger is a red color, and the design is a zebra pattern. but i dont really like the rainbow.

  19. Dana says:

    Personally I like it and I’ve worn it. Its different but I wouldn’t call it tacky its just not for mousy people, its definitely better for those that welcome being different.

  20. jasmine gray says:

    i think dif color nasils are so kwell and they create a new stile evryday and everywhere lol o yea right nw i have neon orange and neon yellow

  21. Andy says:

    I’m a guy and I do this myself. Gets a comical amount of attention, which is nice :)

  22. Julia says:

    I might wear more than one colour on my toes, but I never have so I’m not sure I ever will. I think it’s a fun trend but maybe not for me.

  23. Lauren says:

    I usually paint my ring finger’s nail with a contrasting color to the rest of the nails. Pinks with Greens, etc.

  24. Zo says:

    I am so sick of these fugly half-assed “trashy/edgy/whatever” idiots at my school doing this.
    ~~If it goes with your whole persona and look, then by all means, go for it.~~

  25. Tessa says:

    I’ve been painting my nails different colors for years. Ranging from ten different colors to only two or three. I used to alternate two colors. Like on my left hand from thumb to little finger, purple, yellow, purple, yellow, purple. And then on my right hand thumb to little finger, y, p, y, p, y. So that I ended up with 5 fingers with each colors. But recently I just want to keep it a little calmer. IDK, maybe because I’m getting older. But now I love painting my ringfinger a different color. Just to get that little pop, but not to much. I think people should do what they want.

  26. annonymousjan says:

    Personally it would drive me crazy to look at it all day long. I’m too OCD to enjoy it on anyone. What I do like is a plain pale pink manicure with a red tip, separated by a small band of silver on each nail. Oh and I love Shellac!

  27. 3emdash says:

    Why ever grow too old for a speck of fun? I’m 64, rarely wear any polish, and have a simple and neutral wardrobe. I enjoy carrying a bright striped purse though, and last week bought and applied the 3 primary colors (r,y,b) to match. I’m sure some people think it’s tacky, but others smile and a few (including an older man, teen girl, pharmacist, and clerk) even compliment me on it. It’s just a grin, a harmless whim. Love it!

  28. Tonya says:

    I normally would do a single color all the way around. There are times I do a nail on each hand a different color. But last night I did multi-colored and I LOVE IT! Adds a little fun, trendiness and takes the “boring” out of just regular painted nails. This won’t be an every week thing tho, just when I feel like being different. Remember, change is always good.

  29. IG: q8336B says:

    Ok so today is my first time trying it and I am like severly anxious about it. I am 36 but a kid at heart. My guy likes white nails but now that it is after LD I really don’t want to do that. My issue is that the dress I am wearing is GOLD tonight & I do not want GOLD nails all over to look like an academy award or something. I am thinking of combining 3 colors: a yellow with a gold clear glitter overlay so it turns the yellow to match my dress, lavender, and Butter london’s black knight polish. I even have a clear OPI overcoat that I put on this and gives it more purple undertone. I found this blog because I am so ANAL & OCD that I am researching which fingers are the best to paint differently. I see that the ring finger is popular and thumb too. The lavender in my opinion is too weak to stand alone and the black knight glitter is too overpowering. LOL, geez I go to the nail shop in a few hrs. I hope I get it figured out. oh also downloading an app on my phone for future reference, smh!

    • It sounds like you picked out some pretty colors to mix. I hope it turned out well. I think you can wear white nails year round but it’s good to switch things up. And yes, all gold would have been too much. Let me know how what you decided on.