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Nailed It Backstage: The Look of Ruffian

Nailed It Backstage: The Look of Ruffian


By Elma

When it comes to nails, the designers behind Ruffian are no strangers to the maxim that nails complete the outfit. (After all, Ruffian recently partnered with MAC Cosmetics on a line of press-on nails featuring nail art designs culled from past runway shows.) So, the excitement of what Ruffian will bring to nails this season is high. 

Backstage MAC lead manicurist Keri Blair has a whole conveyor line set up to create from scratch the “Victorian Gothic veiled nail” the models will be wearing for the show. “This is a ‘bride-in-mourning’ design. But, the length and shape are inspired by Barbara Streisand,” she says of the lengthy almond shape.

The shape supports nails that feature a “snakeskin texture that mimics the watersnake trim found in the clothing,” she says. Speaking of the collection, the clothes find their anchor in both Scottish Moors and the old Bowery of NYC in the 19th century, where opulence, opium dens and theaters abounded. Because of this, “we wanted to bring a Gothic element into the nail design, so we added the cameo on the accent nail,” Keri explains.

The underside is painted with MAC Nail Lacquer in Nightfall, a pearlized grey, while the top side is painted blackest-black Nocturnelle. To create her snakeskin texture, Keri top coats the nail and gingerly places a rough-cut thin veil of black tulle on top. Once the top coat dries, she trims the veil to size, allowing the edges to show. For the accent nail, she adheres a mini flat-back cameo, and veils it with another layer of tulle for that “bride-in-mourning” idea.

As for that cameo? “Google is your best friend when trying to find these types of details,” Keri says. “These cameos came from an eggery company (which makes Faberge eggs) in Arizona. I spoke to the woman on the phone, but I don’t think she knows what they were being used for!” —Karie L. Frost



[Images: MAC Cosmetics]