In some circles, breaking with protocol can be as innocent as the shade you choose for a manicure. When Meghan Markle, a.k.a. the Duchess of Sussex, appeared at the British Fashion Awards in December with short, dark fingernails, she elicited a public outcry. The provocative hue was a radical departure from the Queen’s posh polish preference: a pale pink rumoured to be Essie’s classic Ballet Slippers.
“I think it was a bold choice. Even red wouldn’t have been as scandalous,” says Elyse Connery, owner of Toronto’s Angora Nails, who’s currently hosting a pop-up nail bar at Arcana Salon. To emulate the Duchess’s chic royal rule breaking, Connery recommends looking for a polish in a deep jewel tone, such as a very dark purple or navy. “Any colour that looks black but has a vibrancy to it,” she says. Noir-like colours give longer nails a vampy look. But, Connery adds, just like the welcome slimming effect of a little black dress, dark polish has the power to make short nails appear even longer. “Putting a light colour on a short nail is blasphemy in my mind. I love a dark nail no matter what.”
Essie Enamel in Wicked, $9.99 at salons.