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NYFW SS11 – Backstage at Ruffian with CND & MAC

By on September 10, 2010
in CND, MAC, NY Fashion Week S/S 11
ruffian-ss10-nyfw-mbfw-cnd Ruffian is not just a clothing line, it’s now part of the lacquer lexicon.  Last season’s ridiculously popular moon manicure from the Ruffian FW runway with its matte blue base and chrome gold moon set the nail world a flutter.  Dubbed the Ruffian Manicure, numerous blogs have shared their take of CND’s creation.  I especially loved Lacquerized’s matte & glossy version (she posted a fab step-by-step).

Fast forward to Spring/Summer ’11Ruffian and CND have done it again.  This season they go for a very French full moon manicure that includes colored tips as well.  I remember spying a similar look using pastels on the Christian Dior couture runway in 2007 which I believe CND created as well.


The Look

I spoke with CND’s Amanda Fontanarrosa who told me that Ruffian, who have made the moon manicure their signature nail style, wanted a very sleek, elegant, 40′s vintage-inspired nail.  The base is a custom blend that you can recreate using one coat of CND Putty with one coat of CND Washed Down White on top.  The moon and tip are polished with CND Blackjack but Amanda suggested using a coffee or bronze shade to switch up the look.  To make the look completely signature a Ruffian logo was screened on the ring finger nails.

Designers Brian Wolk and Claude Morais pay amazing attention to the small details and were very specific about how deep they wanted the smile line on the nails.  In a typical French manicure the line is pretty straight across which flattens and widens the nail.  These smiles go right into the corners to create the illusion of a more sleek, elegant nail.


Creating A Moon Manicure

Moons are extremely intimidating to me and something I have yet to master.  The key to a moon manicure is good brush control, something I clearly lack.  Every time I’ve tried a moon, shaky is the best way to describe my lines.  Amanda recommends doing a little tiny swipe from one side to the other.  Don’t go for full coverage, just make a clean line and then fill in.  A nail art brush/polish will make it easier to work on the smaller nails.

I asked Amanda if it’s possible to create a moon without the polish hitting the skin and it seems that no matter how skilled you are, mistakes like that will still happen.  She recommends massaging cuticle oil, like Solar Oil, into the skin prior to polishing to make it easier to remove any errors.  It’s actually a great tip that should be added to any manicure routine.  Let’s face it, unless you are an extremely precise polisher, we all get lacquer on our skin from time to time.  Applying oil prior to polishing makes cleanup effortless.  It’s actually something I’ve incorporated into my own routine ever since I tried the water marble technique.


Makeup by James Kaliardos for MAC

One thing I love about interviewing James Kaliardos is that he always has such great references for his looks. It’s not just descriptors like fresh, beachy, gothic, etc. Those are fine and all James really drives his style of beauty home with specific imagery. For Ruffian he described the look as being, “like Marlene Dietrich in the Sahara, Lauren Hutton traveling to Africa. It’s very World War II fighting for America as an ex-patriot. So it’s kind of this idea of this woman leaving her own country and adapting the culture of a new country. Sort of nomadic, a voyager. Taking her glamour wherever she goes. Sandy, dune-y, gold-y.” I mean, can you even? James says he sees gold being a big trend in makeup for spring.
As we watched him place a set of lashes to his model someone asked for tips about applying false eyelashes. James laughed and said, “good luck” and then suggested using individual lashes. He marveled at the fact that women used to do a full face of makeup including lashes on the regular.  Honestly, I do too.  I have a hard enough time doing my makeup daily for Fashion Week.

For a full breakdown of the MAC products used for this look, check back.  I will update as soon as I get the list.

What do you think of this season’s Ruffian manicure? Is it something you’ll want to recreate? Do you like the moon manicure look? Who has some great tips for painting moons?

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There Are 8 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Zemlet says:

    I’ve actually had better luck brushing a dark color all over the tip or base and then removing the excess with a flat brush dipped in remover. I have more control over a larger brush surface I can put pressure on… less shaky. I then paint over the whole nail with a semi-sheer. This helps blur my screwy lines a bit but you still get that trendy Ruffian moon look. It is a bit more subtle, which I found more wearable during the day.

  2. swatchgirl says:

    Oh man, that nail design is gorgeous. The monogram in the middle of the nail just elevates the entire look into something extra special.

    Lately I’ve been wearing a moon manicure in the form of a black nail with a gold metallic tip, so I guess I’m combining both upcoming trends into one neat package! I use a very, /very/ fine tipped brush for the moon itself and if I make a mistake, a tiny dab of black is the quickest and least heartbreaking way for me to fix the moon. Practice makes perfect!

  3. Diane says:

    I love the ruffian, but I’m not sure I’m feeling this combo. I’m very fair and my skin can get sort of grey-looking due to cardiac and circulation issues, so I worry that this will just look like dirty cuticles on me XD

    My current favourite Ruffian is any foily/chromy silver with a vampy red on top, it reminds me of a classic car. Last one I had was Sally Hansen XTreme Wear Celeb City with ChG Heart of Africa on top, and I’m totally going to redo it when I go on vacation in a few weeks.

  4. This is a really cute manicure! I may try to recreate it one day. I use the binder stickers to create my moon look. I actually did one sunset manicure tutorial on my site. Its really easy to do:-)

  5. Paz says:

    That’s the one nail art that I mastered -the moon manicure. It’s still my favorite manicure and I’ve done it in numerous colours. I’m hoping to try the reverse moon. I finally used an angled eye makeup brush to help make a smoother line and that’s made a world of difference.

  6. Katy M says:

    Loving the makeup. Am interested in seeing how this color combo of black and nude will translate this season. Seems to be a big trend in fashion, makeup, etc…

    SO JEALOUS of your life today! :)

  7. greenCerulean says:

    I love two tone looks, especially with matte and a top coat combo, like in the link to lacquerized’s post. But this new ruffian look is just weird. Maybe its the color combo. I dunno. It looks way ugly.

    I bet a three tone look, maybe something with a gradient color scheme would look cool.

  8. Bleek says:

    I always use the hole-reinforcer stickers when I do a moon manicure, and they turn out really well. It’s a really cool look and the stickers make it practical to do