I have found that watching Snog, Marry, Avoid has an unexpected side effect. Exposure to the show causes an uncontrollable urge to go and stick things on myself.
“Natural beauty” is all well and good, but the show sidesteps a simple fact: fakery is fun. I may be in a minority, but I like my eyelashes to be so long that they can knock over a martini glass at 15 paces. I like nails that prompt curious looks and nervous questions along the lines of “do they hurt?”
During a routine reconnaissance of my favourite Boots aisle: Beauty Accessories A.K.A plastic bits to glue on your head/face/fingers/toes, I discovered Painted Lady by Umberto Giannini. The sleek black and silver packaging was what first caught my eye, followed by the beautiful shiny things inside.
There were matte black artificial nails with a distinctive Gaga-inspired bobble finish, sparkly studded nail wraps and lace finish decals. The whole collection had a distinctly gothic edge. It was impossible to resist!
Whilst Nail Rock and Wah! for Models Own have been upping the stakes with their colourful patterned wraps, Painted Lady has taken cheat’s nail art into a third dimension. These nails are as much about texture as they are colour.
Take the cameo falsies (£8.50, Boots). The shape and finish is utterly modern, whilst the addition of the raised cameo decorations is a sure fire way to get folk cooing over your fingertips.
Applying the aptly named “talons” is straightforward and stress-free: file down your nails, push back cuticles and glue the talons on. My nails are quite tiny, so I found it a bit tricky to find the right size nails. Once I’d figured that out, I was on the easy street to fabulousness.
They also last really well – standing up to hair washing, washing up, lime juggling, typing and touch screen tweeting.
The move into nails from hair products is a bold step for Umberto Giannini to make. Thankfully, they’ve done it with confidence and some distinctive and attention grabbing products. They are planning to launch a line of hair decorations in October – I shall have my perfectly adorned fingers crossed that they are equally exciting!
Painted Lady is available at Boots.com or in larger Boots stores. Nails wraps are £7.00 and artificial nails are £8.50.
Product image from Umberto Giannini, Cameo nail images by Jen Evans for BitchBuzz.com.