A trip to New York isn’t complete without a stop at Dashing Diva. It’s the perfect destination for a little pampering and a girly good time. So when I was in the city for Fashion Week back in February, I had to pencil in a manicure with some of my beauty blogging pals.
This time we visited the Upper West Side location and I had a chance to replace my broke down four day old mani with a fab cobalt blue; Stellar Ella (see left). Pictured with me is Julia from All About the Pretty and Erika from Makeup Bag. We were joined by our fearless Beauty Blog Network leader Elke and the fabulous and charming Sam from Dark PR who made the excursion possible.
Of course in the sea of conservative french manicures and pale pinks my tips stood out but I’m sure they would have been right at home with the funkier clientele at the downtown locale. But you know me, I’ll flash my bold nail personality anywhere. And the staff couldn’t have been more welcoming and professional. As expected the service was top notch and extremely hygienic which just makes my desire for a Cleveland Dashing Diva even stronger. Are you listening TPTB?
I took my time perusing the massive polish display and fell in love with a few shades that I just had to make my own. They’re not necessarily Spring season appropriate but they’re must haves for my collection.
Black Diamonds – I first wore this shade back in November and I regretted not bringing a bottle home. And while the gunmetal gray trend may not be as strong this coming fall, I still think this color is relevant. It’s got a bluish, slightly lavender base that softens the dark gray pigment. Super shiny and a relatively brush stroke-less metallic, Black Diamonds is mesmerizing.
Merlot Luscious Molly caught my attention with its subtle gold shimmer that weaves throughout this deep wine inspired shade. It’s even richer in person and in warm, incandescent lighting takes on a pretty rust colored cast.
Northern Lights is a no brainer “me” hue. A blue based green with gold shimmer that is peppered with bronze, blue and green glitter, this polish is truly unique. Depending on the lighting it can lean towards either blue or green. And while it may not appeal to the mainstream, I’m in love. Though if it were up to me, this color would be called Under The Sea. It’s the color you’d see while scuba diving, looking up at the sun sparkling on the surface.
Dashing Diva polishes retail for $7.99 and can be purchased online or in the salon. For more information go to their website, http://www.dashingdiva.com/.
The ribbon cutting to signify the official start of New York Fashion Week is less than 24 hours away. The backstage madness is about to begin for all the models, makeup artists, hair stylists and nail techs. And this season yours truly will be joining them to report the upcoming nail trends straight from the tents, as theyâ€™re happening. Thatâ€™s right, Iâ€™ll be at Fashion Week!
So to get an idea of the kind of preparation and backstage frenzy that surrounds Fashion Week, I had a nice little chat with Roxanne Valinoti, CNDâ€™s Backstage Nail Team Manager. An accomplished nail artist who has worked with countless celebrities, Roxanne is an International Educator for CND who has been part of the Fashion Week team from the very beginning. During our talk, we not only discussed Fashion Week but also CNDâ€™s Spring trend forecast and manicure techniques.
Last September, CND ascended on New York Fashion Week with a team of 20 artists to tend to more than 37,000 fingers and toes at 62 shows in only 10 days. Now thatâ€™s a lot of polish!
So what goes into the planning and preparation for taking on such a venture? Two months prior to show time the CND team starts working with the fashion designers to plan the right nail look to showcase their collection. And at the two week mark, a team of three artists get to work in CNDâ€™s production suite creating pre-made tips.
The creative process is a collaborative one between the designers and CND Co-founder and Style Director Jan Arnold. Even though each designer has a specific look they want to convey, Jan is always at the ready with ideas for different nail styles, designs and colors. When needed, colors will be custom blended to match a pantone or fabric swatch. Last season there were custom blended shades making their way down the runways at 3.1 Phillip Lim, Akiko Ogawa, Benjamin Cho, Costello Tagliapietra, Karen Walker, Malandrino, Ports 1961, Three as Four and Twinkle.
Then there are the designers that really take it to another level with custom designed nail tips. For example, when Kimora Lee Simmons announced the Russian theme for her Fall 2007 Baby Phat show, Jan showed her handmade badges she brought back from Russia. Kimora wanted them on every nail of the models hands but production for that would have taken months. In all 40 badges were made from a mix of liquid and powder that were then painted and embellished before being attached to each modelâ€™s thumbnail. Last season, L.A.M.B. had reverse french tips, Renee Larc requested a pink and white moon manicure and the Snoopy For Fashion charity show featured Peanuts characters. They were all created in advance and applied with a nail shield that peels off to prevent damaging the nailbed.
When it comes to nail trends, CND doesnâ€™t follow them, they set them. And this is what they see for Spring 2008.
Healthy, clear pastel tints, like lip gloss for the nails
CNDâ€™s spring collection, Plexi Pop is filled with sheer, glossy shades, resembling lucite. They were shown on the models at BCBG, Behnaz Sarafpour, Chaiken, Chris Han, Douglas Hannant, Luca Luca, Peter Som and Rachel Roy just to name a few.
Bright pops of hot pink
Brights including pink popped on the runways at DKNY (Hot Pop Pink and Hot Pop Orange), Lyn Devon (Passsionfruit Poppy) and Pegah Anvarian (Studio 54, Burn and Orange-a-Peel).
Dark nails are the new classic for dressed up events
Chic dark tips and toes graced the scene at Badgley Mischka (Fedora topped with Decadence), Marchesa (Nail Noir), Max Azria (Limited Edition) and Proenza Schouler (Moroccan Ruby).
Working in such a fast paced environment takes poise, patience, skill and the right products. Roxanne shared with me some of her favorite products and techniques for surviving the backstage insanity.
- 5-6 designers requested a matte finish. To achieve the look wait for you top coat to dry and hit it with the gray side of the girlfriend buffer.
- When it comes to mixing polishes, be careful. Roxanne suggests you stay within the same brand to avoid any dangerous chemical reactions.
- CND Air Dry is the preferred top coat for its shine and drying time even though Speedy is faster.
- CND Serenity is the backstage basic nude and all around go to color for a clean polished look.
So now that we’ve seen what Spring has to offer, I look foward to bringing you with me as I go backstage to see what Fall 2008 will be all about. Stay tuned!