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Monday, 22 November 2010

a polished sister act

Just like the rise and fall of hemlines, nails are also dictated by fashion. In the 30’s polish was applied to the centre of the nail, leaving the half moon and nail tip bare. The 50’s witnessed nails long and pointed, filed low on the sides and lacquered with red or fuchsia. And in the 90’s it was the ubiquitous French Manicure that seduced fingertips.

Today, the most noticeable nails are those that are unpolished and unkempt. The trend for nail art, together with passionate colour has fast made bejewelled nails the ultimate accessory in beauty wear.

One duo that understands the intrinsic link between fingertips and fashion is Ange and Vernice Walker, sisters, nail technicians and co-founders of Rococo Nail Apparel – an ever changing range of on-message polishes with a celebrity cool following. Lizzy Jagger, Daisy Lowe and Alexa Chung are all devotees.

Here I caught up with the nail entrepreneurs to find out about colour, confidence and (sisterly) clashes.

Dolly Mixture (DM): How were you involved in the nail business prior to launching Rococo?
Vernice (V): We’ve had several salons in the past and we decided to launch a brand that encompassed elements of our favourite salon brands. We also added a fashion edge, originally to boost sales within our salon.
Ange (A): I was always into colour and art design, and thought nails should be the ultimate fashion accessory. I wanted to capture that vision and put it into a bottle.

DM: You’ve used the term ‘nail apparel’ instead of polish or varnish. Was this to give your band a runway edge?
V: Yes, we wanted to change the way nail polish was seen. We always talked to our clients about using it as an accessory when choosing colour, and felt there was room for experimenting with texture and pigment – just like clothing. Rococo was also a period in history that was known for luxury and adorning oneself.

DM: What inspires you when talking colour?
V: From catwalk shows to car paint…we often see things around us and think, “That would be an amazing nail colour.”
A: We have just based our latest gift set on the colours of seduction. Social influences and our travels around the world feed us with non-stop ideas.

DM: Do you believe nail colour can influence your mood?
V: I often think when your nails are polished, you feel complete and others notice enough to compliment you. A great confidence boost! Personally, I also like to wear brighter colours in winter to contrast with the more sombre fashion to lift my mood.
A: Very much. I wear pink because it makes me feel feminine and sexy against my mainly black wardrobe. If it’s a very special occasion, I’ll wear a deep cherry red with peep toed shoes to add glamour.

DM: What are your predictions for SS colour?
V: Without giving too much away we’re looking at pastels with a bit of heavy metal edge.
A: 70’s glam rock, more nude beige tones that help lengthen the fingers and retro style shades your granny wore. Think coral, peach and lilac.

DM: How do you work together as sisters?
V: We work well together. When it concerns work, we’re on the same page and find ourselves bringing different elements to the brand. Of course, there are times where we can find ourselves disagreeing, but we’ll either find a way around it, or just agree to disagree!

DM: Finally, any great tips for applying polish?
V: Start with the right foundations. A perfectly shaped nail and a smooth surface will give any nail apparel a head start.
A: I’m a strict topcoat girl. Use our Supergloss topcoat to speed up drying time, hide imperfections, extend wear and to refresh a manicure after a few days.

Rococo Nail Apparel is available exclusively at SPACE.NK.apothecary priced at £11.50

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