Long Red Nails. Discuss.

Fri, 13 April 2012 2:43PM

I don’t get shocked by many beauty looks anymore. These days, when trends happen at whiplash-fast speed, it’s really a case of anything goes. Which means that whatever you decide to do with your face or hair at any given moment, you can’t go too wrong. Nevertheless … there remains one look that never ceases to make me go, hmmm: long red nails.

I don’t have a problem with long nails per se (one of my friends has the most exquisite oval nails, which make her hands look sleek and make everything she does seem impossibly elegant, even if that’s just taking out the garbage). Nor do I take issue with red lacquer; it’s a beauty classic and if you don’t own a bottle of OPI’s Big Apple Red, well that’s just criminal.

But put the long nail and the red polish together, and I can’t help it: I just shudder.

That was my reaction upon seeing cute 14 year-old actress Bella Thorne on the red carpet for the premiere of Marvel’s the Avengers:

I mean, why?

I get it for the glamour girls, the likes of Dita Von Teese and Lana del Rey:

Long red nails do channel a 1950s kind of glamour, so if that’s your style, I see the logic.

But beyond this context, red talons seems to send out such a negative message. Too obvious. Too loud. Too retro. Too too much.

Scarlet-tipped snaps to Bella for trying something different, I guess. But – and call me a stick in the beauty mud – I just can’t help but think a bare nail would have been so much more chic.

For instance, Scarlett Johannson fronted up on the same red carpet with a shiny-buffed, short-and-sweet nail, letting her ring do all the talking.

By the way, how’s the fabulous rock …?

It reminds me of the so-chic SJP, who has always done the no-fuss nail look so well:

Of course, the key to looking like you’ve made some effort is to load up with jewellery. Oh, and not have gunk and grime under your nail tips. Stash Manicare’s nail white pencil, $5.95, and OPI’s Cuticle Oil to Go pen, $17.95, in your bag and you’ve always got a quick grooming kit at your disposal.

If the nude nail seems too undone for you, the other ever-elegant option is the short black. Sure, it’s not new but it’s still the perfect balance of edginess and chic. Witness actresses Maika Monroe and Kristen Wiig on recent outings:

Are you with me? Or am I just being plain old beauty-boring?

Tell me, Primpettes, is it time we rethink long red nails?

Kat x

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42 Comments

  • Posted by: Ellie101 Enthusiast // Fri, 13 April 2012 02:55pm

    I am with you Kat! As soon as my nails are starting to peek over my fingertips I whip out the nail file.

    I had gel french tips applied for my 21st a few years ago. I thought it was classy. I was wrong. I hated the look of them and they ravaged my poor nails! It took about 6 months to get the strength in my nails back and I have hated long nails ever since, even when they are natural. Is there such a thing as taste aversion in beauty?

    Each to their own, but I prefer my nails to be short, squoval and painted in whichever colour happens to have caught my fancy that week!

  • Posted by: Rebecca-1314689428 Enthusiast // Fri, 13 April 2012 03:01pm

    I love my nails short and squoval too. After years of playing netball and always having to keep my nails short, I’m so glad this style of nail is now on trend!

    It’s so much easier too – if I try to grow my nails I always seem to break one or two so the lengths don’t match and they look tatty.

    Yes, short and sweet is the way to go!

  • Posted by: Brittany // Fri, 13 April 2012 03:02pm

    I dont think its a big deal!!

  • Posted by: Evanescencessy Devotee // Fri, 13 April 2012 03:29pm

    I don’t mind red nails on occasions but I think it’s better if the nails aren’t so long and talon like. I love the ring that Scarlett is wearing!!!

  • Posted by: tiger Enthusiast // Fri, 13 April 2012 03:31pm

    Red nails are a classic! They’re the little black dress of the nail world. They’ll never be out of style.

  • Posted by: lovefashionangel Master Fan // Fri, 13 April 2012 03:40pm

    The ring is just magnificent.
    I dont mind bella nails, though they would probably look a little neater short, and it does make her seem a little older than she is (at least she isnt wearing tomato red lippie, then she would look way older …a touch less age appropriate).

  • Posted by: p3charmed Master Fan // Fri, 13 April 2012 03:43pm

    It’s way too cruella deville for me.I prefer scarlett’s look better, or my favourite, short and dark.

  • Posted by: swoopingbuzzards Master Fan // Fri, 13 April 2012 04:57pm

    god how boring can you get?

    short bare nails are chic now? nah I don’t think so.

    also Sarah Jessica Parkers nails look like mine when I BIT them like a little cannibal. pretty sure that isn’t chic..

  • Posted by: Ellie101 Enthusiast // Fri, 13 April 2012 05:32pm

    Just to clarify, I love the colour, just not the length.

  • Posted by: Coconal Master Fan // Fri, 13 April 2012 06:37pm

    I actually don’t think Bella’s nails look too bad, I was expecting worse! They are a bit mature for her but they still look pretty decent, I reckon.

    Love wearing red polish from time to time, but I rather wear a dark red/scarlet than a bright, tomato red, but that’s just because it suits my skin tone better!

  • Posted by: Morning Star Devotee // Fri, 13 April 2012 07:34pm

    Lana del Ray’s nails are way too long. I don’t mind nails that are a little over the end of your fingers, but they reach a point where they’re more talons than nails. Definitely not for me!

    Dita von Teese’s nails are cool though!

  • Posted by: Tina-1291133452 Master Fan // Sat, 14 April 2012 03:06am

    i think Bella’s nails are gorgeous! even though i like shorter nails more, i still think you can pull of stron nailpolish with that length.. but any longe, dont think so!

  • Posted by: beautybee1 Master Fan // Sat, 14 April 2012 09:03am

    I think that the red nails are a bit vampish for a 14 year old but that’s just my opinion. I don’t mind red nails generally though – they can look gorgeous with the right outfit.

  • Posted by: Jensta Master Fan // Sat, 14 April 2012 10:19am

    I dont mind a bit of length to my nails, but there is a limit. I am normally too lazy for coloured nails and go for a natural clean look.

  • Posted by: Ms Jelena Master Fan // Sat, 14 April 2012 02:53pm

    I think Bella’s nails look great. I agree that in general red polish looks better on shorter nails, but it also depends on the shade of red.

    I prefer longer nails (medium, really) and don’t mind shorter nails with polish on them, but if the nails are short and there’s no polish on them, it screams to me that the outfit is incomplete!

  • Posted by: Knyholm Master Fan // Sat, 14 April 2012 05:20pm

    I love the red colour, although I do perfer nails to be a bit shorter. Im not a fan of too long nails.

  • Posted by: Chloe // Sun, 15 April 2012 02:04pm

    Am I the only one who finds it depressing that Bella Thorne is only 14? She looks like a 30 year old woman. Teenage girls in Hollywood are just so overdone. It’s completely unnecessary and I wish they’d just let them look like the teenagers and children that they are.

  • Posted by: Sarah // Mon, 16 April 2012 07:34am

    That girl is 14?!

  • Posted by: VivaLaVicki Master Fan // Mon, 16 April 2012 08:08am

    I prefer nails short and neat. Always have – always will!

    And I swear it’s not just because I can’t grow mine long without breaking a few.

  • Posted by: nita01 Master Fan // Mon, 16 April 2012 02:37pm

    My nails are always long, they just grow really fast and are super strong, so I just let them go, when they break I file them and they grow back. I also love wearing a deep red polish on my nails, I like it. I’m pretty game to wear any colour actually, I’m always willing to try anything when it comes to my nails.

  • Posted by: louweeez Master Fan // Mon, 16 April 2012 06:24pm

    I’m not keen on long nails… i prefer my nails to be shortish longish nails, the kind when it just covers the tips of my fingers….

  • Posted by: Bantam Master Fan // Tue, 17 April 2012 01:52am

    Not too keen on talons. Am more of a no fuss nails type of gal but am loving the cute nail art that’s so in this season!

  • Posted by: ladybec Master Fan // Tue, 17 April 2012 08:06pm

    She’s 14?!?! Wow she looks soooo much older!

    I personally don’t think her nails are even that long. Loooooong red nails such as the ones worn by Lana Del Ray in that pic are hideous in my opinion, but I really don’t think any colour nails look good that length. I think Bella’s nails look really nice actually :)

  • Posted by: adifferentdee // Wed, 18 April 2012 10:07am

    I love the red colour of Bella’s nails, I wear that colour, or similar, fairly often.
    But I don’t like the length, shape or that her nails are built up quite abit. If they were shorter and not as raised I think they would be super cute, even for a 14 y.o.

  • Posted by: strawbsundae Master Fan // Wed, 18 April 2012 01:29pm

    I love long red nails! I would only wear red on my nails for certain occasions though.

  • Posted by: meedee Master Fan // Thu, 19 April 2012 09:48am

    Ive always had long nails.
    My nails have always been very strong.
    I dont spend great amounts of time filing and shaping my nails. I file them smooth if one breaks and thats about it.
    At the moment im really loving the nail colour i received from primped…the Mango Tango i think its called…its Orange and i have the perfect lipstick that matches it.
    Im loving Orange at the moment

  • Posted by: jazzy91 Enthusiast // Thu, 19 April 2012 12:39pm

    I think Bella’s nails look great, just a little old for her.

  • Posted by: Elle // Thu, 19 April 2012 03:43pm

    Long red nails look fabulous. Short red nails are shockers. Black nails look like a corpse.

  • Posted by: Sonja Weil // Thu, 19 April 2012 04:12pm

    I just adore red finger nails especially if you are wearing some red in your clothing, and the nails are a reasonable length – approx 3mm beyond the nail tip. Any longer is just plain tarty. And how boring are short, ‘natural’ nails – not very classy. I would recommend everyone try red nails – it’s like wearing unseen gorgeous lingerie but people can see them. They make you feel good and are more flattering than black. So make a statement girls – try red!

  • Posted by: Sara // Thu, 19 April 2012 04:49pm

    I have long rounded nails to lengthen my small hands and short fingers! I change the colour every week – hot pink, red, green, blue, black, orange, yellow, khaki, olive – no girly girly colours for me! I wear every colour under the sun – I also coordinate my clothing for the week to contrast or coordinate with my nail colour! Also, my toes and hands do not match!

  • Posted by: Rosemary Richardson // Thu, 19 April 2012 05:31pm

    Why don’t you people get a life – or some long red nails!!

  • Posted by: Seeing Red // Thu, 19 April 2012 05:32pm

    I see no problem with long red nails at all. I think that colour can instantly brighten up your nails and make them look less boring. Why not experiment a little and have some fun with nail polish, after all fashion is about making a statement, why not make a bold choice!

  • Posted by: Allegra // Thu, 19 April 2012 05:40pm

    Long nails are trashy, impractical and harbour all sorts of nasties.

    I prefer clear manicured nails.

    I think coloured nail polish is fine if you maintain your nails, there is almost nothing more tacky than chipped coloured nails.

  • Posted by: Jilly // Thu, 19 April 2012 05:53pm

    IMO long nails (of any colour) are only ugly when they are fake or uneven lengths.

    I have always had long nails (real not fake either) & I love painting them red! I’ve always done my own manicures & pedicures and always have my toenails matching my fingernails LOL

    Nobody can tell me red nails are ever out of style!
    **sticks fingers in ears and sings “la, la, la, la, la”**

    I keep them a uniform length, if one breaks they all get shortened to match… that’s the secret, perfectly matched length and well shaped to suit the shape of your hand.

    As for SJP… she has ugly “man hands!” **blerk** they make her look so old.

    I spy a little bit of the green eyed monster here, all those poor women with manly, unshapely hands hating those of us blessed with good, strong, long nails. Don’t hate us, remember we only have those great nails to compensate us for our bad complexions or large noses (as in my case LOL) or big bottoms or… you get the picture?

  • Posted by: Annie // Thu, 19 April 2012 05:55pm

    I just find it really weird that everywhere i look i see girls with long nails all sorts of colour it just seems that here people rather follow an opinion just couse they cant speak the truth or just dont want to disagree ,i personaly think it is apsolutely boring and ugly having uncoloured and short nails im all for making your nails as feminine as posible ,girly or even crazy its a lot more apealing and fun :)

  • Posted by: Miss Vani T // Thu, 19 April 2012 05:58pm

    Long red nail are a nod to Marilyn Monroe in Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend… iconic, tres chic, timeless, statement and definitely not boring or reserved

  • Posted by: Hon // Thu, 19 April 2012 09:44pm

    Mid-length-oval-shaped red nails are timeless. They look very classy and elegant when coordinated with the right makeup and outfit.
    You’d need to have reasonably good nail bases to go without varnish.
    It is the artificial talons that make me squirm. I don’t go for the blue, green and black either – these do make the fingers look short and stumpy.

  • Posted by: JellyBelly Enthusiast // Fri, 20 April 2012 08:08pm

    I like red nails, cos I kind of dig 50s fashion. However, I do prefer short and squoval – they just break anyway!

    I can’t believe she’s 14! She looks 24! Call me old fashioned, but I think 14 is too young to have long red nails.

  • Posted by: Audrey // Fri, 21 June 2013 02:28pm

    I don’t find anything wrong with red nail color OR long fake nails as long as they aren’t longer than a cm, they look great together on older women but I’m 14 myself and I wear long acryllics all the time and during the winter I wear dark red polish. You guys are just really butthurt. Don’t act like you weren’t 14.

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Sun, 14 July 2013 05:20pm

    I love long, red nails :)

  • Posted by: Mona // Mon, 23 September 2013 06:45am

    Yep. I definitely think you are being a “stick in the beauty mud”, and a little prudish. “Too obvious”, Too Loud”? For some people, and even some cultures, that is the entire point of fashion.
    But, to each their own; that’s what makes fashion great.

  • Posted by: Bobbi // Thu, 11 December 2014 09:55pm

    If the women here hate long nails and want to sport the ever popular Herman Munster man/boy little kid hands, painted or otherwise, so be it. Leave the elegant classy feminine look to those that are such.

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