Not a Fan


I am not sure that I like these tuxedo nails from Zooey Deschanel at last night’s Golden Globes. In fact, I know I don’t. She looks like she has Pingu on her fingers. And the black line on the bottom makes her nails look shorter than they are. Pfft.

I have a piece in this month’s Red magazine, the Christmassy issue with Lorraine Pascale on the cover.

It’s about why I love nail polish and what colours I wear for special occasions.

My feature in this month's Red

Here is a picture of the then-unborn baby that I mention in the piece, with the piece. He is my nephew Louis and I think we can all tell that he likes Chanel Peridot as much as I do.


This is amazing


Even though I can only see one toenail  here, I am desperate to know everything about the nail polish that Marilyn has on her toenails. What brand? Did she do it herself? Was it chipped on the other toes? Smudged? But mostly, I just want to know what the colour was.

It goes without saying that I yearn to know what each of those books behind her is, as well as what she is writing

It is a very specific kind of movie star coral that I have yet to find in real life. It turned up a lot in the late 50s and early 60s, and is similar to the lipstick that Julie Andrew wears in The Sound of Music. But it is also in a lot of 30s dramas. The best recent example of this was earlier in the year when it cropped up in Upstairs Downstairs. My sympathies were with Lady Agnes, what with the whole having her baby so unexpectedly thing, but really I was just looking at her nails.

Childbirth: it makes you all hot, but very elegant

That colour is just such a lovely semi-matte, not-too-pink, not-yet-orange,  piece of perfection.


And the manicure is always nice and short when you see this colour. Practical. It’s a colour that looks deliciously polished but doesn’t radiate ‘STAND BACK EVERYONE I’VE JUST HAD MY NAILS DONE’. It just looks, well, rich.

A gorgeous colour, but I wish I could push those rings back a bit. It makes me nervous.

All of this is lovely. But I can’t find a modern equivalent anywhere. So far, I have tried Jessica: Enchantress, Models Own: Clementine, Chanel: Ming (!), Chanel: Orange Fizz, and Deborah Lipman: Girls Just Want to Have Fun. No dice.

Chanel's Spring/Summer colours. Do I dare to dream?

I have some small hope for next year’s Chanel: June. But I’m still not sure. I wish I just knew what Marilyn had.

There is an occasion when long and bright need not mean Nail Horror Spatula Manicure of Doom and Distress.

When Long Red Nails Go Right

But you need an awful lot to back it up: you need to be a world class singer, songwriter and dancer, with an ability to sing pitch perfect while being led through a crowd by a burly security guard, to make people cry with your interpretation of The Beautiful Ones; you need to have a backing band of super-cool women who can all play their instruments and dance at the same time as you; you need to be unerringly professional and unfailingly polite; you need to work hard, helping your government and inspiring children with the clear respect you have for your body.

Then, and only then, will I find your long red nails acceptable. Just thinking about it has made my hands go a bit like this.

Oh, and also, does anyone know where I can get this t-shirt?

If you're wearing this then you can do whatever the hell you want with your nails

Because I just loved Beyoncé at Glastonbury.

Firstly, hello new people! Welcome! I trust that you are here because you are either obsessed by nails and nail polish too, you read Sali’s piece in the Guardian or you wandered over via Twitter.

As a special welcome treat I bring you the MAJESTY of what can happen when nail polish and Twitter collide – brought together by no finer alchemist than Joan Collins.

A Young Joan Collins sporting a Pointy Nail

Clearly Joan is a nail icon. From her early Hollywood days, via her iconic Alexis Colby-Carrington days, to her current swooning at the Academy Awards because of a tight but kick-ass dress days. Hell, even my Joanie as Alexis doll – a birthday gift from my friend Julia – has an immaculate manicure and pedicure.

Joan at this year’s Academy Awards - complete with perfect nails and swoon-inducing dress

It turns out that she’s also an avid Tweeter – complete with fabulous nails in her Twitter profile.  She offers everything from hair advice for Katie Price to reports on the weather while she’s in the South of France. It’s a source of huge joy, apart from one tiny snag – she has developed a habit of retweeting a lot of the compliments sent to her. It’s a tiny bit uncool. Just, well … it’s not very her. I’m actually worried that she has an automated retweet set up and she doesn’t realise what she’s doing. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

My Joan as Alexis doll, nesting among all of my other favourite things

But not everyone keeps their opinions to themselves. A tweeter called @mydadisloaded pulled her up on it, and thought that Joan had taken heed. But Joan had not taken heed. She had taken offense. Instead of obeying, she blocked. But DEAR LORD she did it in magnificent style. I salute you Joan, with an impeccably manicured hand.

Probably the classiest thing that has ever happened on Twitter

(But please bear in mind the retweeting thing. It’s not cool. I say this with love.)

Truly, I love this site.

It consumes me. I am desperate to contribute, but I have stage fright. What could possibly be good enough to compete?

Well, I have definitely decided that I will be modelling with a spuntino from Spuntino. But what colour nails?

A spuntino from Spuntino

At first I wanted to show off my new Chanel Morning Rose, which I adore. But would something so pink look a bit gross among the meat?

Then I decided I’d go with my new Deborah Lippman. It’s called I Know What Boys Like, and it’s something that I like too. When I saw it in the bottle I was worried that it might look a little ‘teenager with an infected piercing talking loudly on the tube’, but actually once it’s on it looks rather grown up. The blue is a lovely deep colour, neither teen-rebel nor something you might like to paint your front door with. But with a burger it might look a little too ‘catering plaster chic’.

I should probably get better at photographing my nails

So it’s down to two Leighton Denny shades, Do Me a Flavour and Prim and Proper. What do you think?

I continue to wage my fiery yet futile war against the spatula nail. Katie Price/Jordan has long been an offender, but I tend to try and ignore her wherever possible. However, this image from the Daily Mail online suggests that a) she is, like, so totally into her new man Leandro and one hundred percent over all other men she has known before, and b) she is perhaps edging closer to accepting that where manicures are concerned bright = short, and pale = long.

Things are looking brighter, and shorter.

I don’t understand why more women, especially ones with gel nails, don’t understand that if their nails are long and bright, the overall effect just ends up being Edward Spatula-hands. It is repulsive. It is impractical. And it’s really, really weird.

A selection of Katie Price's previous manicure inspirations

I will continue to monitor the situation, so you don’t have to.

Oh dear. Oh dear me. I didn’t mean to do it, but the otherwise lovely author Sophie Hannah suggested I did. I should have known better. People eat bloody GRAVEL in her books. But I went and watched Orphan. On a Sunday night.

As if the film wasn’t terrifying enough, it has now turned me off nail polish. Possibly for life. Because just as I leaned into the TV to turn it off, I was confronted with the most horrific closing credits sequence of all time.


How could something that brings me so much pleasure now fill me with such morbid fear? Please help me. Help me to love nail polish again. Why do you love it? Please tell me you do. Or I might burn down your house…

Cheryl’s red nails still really bother me. This pic, from the Daily Mail website, will send me to bed with a terrible sense of Sunday night dread.

oh god no

I can deal with the hair, I can deal with the ruffles, I can even deal with the foot stealing trousers. But NO MORE RED SPATULA NAILS. Please Cole, please. We need something else from American Cheryl.