Beauty Break: get nailed. Statement-making manicures for Soho, Sin City, Egypt, and the Playboy Mansion!

CND manicures were the only accessory at Wes Gordon's spring presentation; Poppyfield tips have Soho spirit.

We’ve all heard the expression, “Let your fingers do the talking,” and according to the pros backstage at Fashion Week, your digits have a lot to say! In today’s Beauty Break, we’re showcasing the hottest hands from the Spring/Summer 2012 shows—our favorite manicures and nail inspirations direct from the experts.

With his youthful approach to uptown sophistication, 25-year-old Wes Gordon is one to watch at New York Fashion Week—as were the classy-gone-sassy nails at his spring presentation. According to CND Nails guru Jan Arnold, Gordon’s gal has gone south for spring—South of Houston Street, that is. “She’s got a Soho sophisticated side,” Arnold tells Videofashion. This season, long, lean, almond-shaped nails were coated in a “nearly neon, yellow-based red” called Poppyfield. The vivid poppy is known for its, shall we say, euphoric capabilities, and this aptly named lacquer shade had us similarly entranced. The cheerful hue was the perfect complement to Gordon’s optimistic spring collection—so much so that the vibrant tips were the models’ only accessory! “What other fashion accessory do you need?!” says Arnold.

Fortunately, what happens backstage doesn't stay backstage. Deborah Lippmann's manicure for Narciso Rodriguez--no hangover required.

If you prefer more toned-down digits, you’re still in luck—understated shades were also trending on the Spring/Summer 2012 runways. To offset the technicolor tresses created by Eugene Souleiman at Narciso Rodriguez, nail expert Deborah Lippmann gave models a matching mani-pedi in a cool, gray color from her eponymous lacquer line. Cheekily dubbed “Waking Up in Vegas,”the soft cement hue hints at an alternatively bad-girl back-story told the murky morning after a wild night in Sin City. “You know, when everything’s just a little bit not right, a little bit off?” Lippmann describes the color story, with a wink. All hangover notions aside, subtly subversive shades of gray are a mysterious, chicly understated nail statement for spring.

Nail board backstage at The Blonds--digits worthy of the centerfold.

As a record-breaking pop-star, Katy Perry may be known for “Waking Up in Vegas,” but she’s also known for breaking rules on the red carpet, where she’s donned The Blonds’s extravagant creations more than once. We’re pretty sure Mrs. Russell Brand will likewise sink her claws into the nail trend showcased at The Blonds’s spring show. Famous for their over-the-top themed collections, the design duo’s latest mood board was covered in … bunnies. We’re not talking Peter Cottontail—we’re talking Playboy! With super-sexy cuts, glittering textiles, and in-your-face glamour on the catwalk, naughty nails were a must. “This season is about texture,” CND’s Kristina Estabrooks told Videofashion backstage in New York. While S/S 2012 makeup artists were giving lips the 3D treatment, manicurists nailed down texture by flattening their visual inspirations. “One of my favorites is this sheer black nail that looks like stockings with a French seam,” says Estabrooks. Other dazzling digits displayed on The Blonds’s bombshells included slippery oil-slick nails and our personal favorite: tips embellished with pave crystals. If you’re headed to the Playboy Mansion for spring break—or just want to channel your inner Girl Next Door—nail the pinup look with fun textures and ultra-glam accents.

Ancient accents made for a modern-day Liz Taylor tribute at Topshop Unique.

Finally, a manicure for the ultimate glamour girl: Elizabeth Taylor! For the latest Topshop Unique runway, creative director Karen Bonser looked to Liz’s Cleopatra for inspiration, and the Egyptian influence was seen backstage from the models’ gold leaf crowns to their hieroglyphic nails. Fortunately for us, the Egyptians’ simplified symbols are easy to replicate on your tips: start with bold basecoat colors—at Topshop, manicurists alternated teal, red, and metallic gold polish. Once dry, carefully adorn each nail with a white or gold shape. Let the second layer dry, then outline each shape in black lacquer with a polish pen. Topshop model Nimue Smit gives the look a thumbs-up. “It’s something different that people don’t expect,” says Nimue.  Also unanticipated: sporting a cryptic message—with a little research, you can really let your fingers talk!

What do you think of this season’s nail trends? Will you try any of these manicures? Let us know, and check back for more Beauty Breaks!

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