From Rihanna’s bump-revealing leather dress to Angela Bassett’s purple Moschino gown, chances are you’ve already seen every incredible outfit to grace this year's Oscars red carpet. But if you’ve yet to zoom in on the manicures, you’re missing out — mostly because, unlike previous awards ceremonies, they’re actually wearable IRL. Elaborate nail art certainly has its place (there’s a reason why metallic swirls and watercolor designs are taking over Instagram) but if last night’s event is anything to go by, classic nudes, the glossy American manicure, and elegant French nails are set to reign supreme.
Betina R. Goldstein, Chanel nail artist and advocate for the minimalist glossy manicure, was behind the chicest nail looks of the evening, starting with Ozark actress Julia Garner’s set for the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. “I wanted to make Julia’s nails camouflage with her skin, elongating her fingers,” Goldstein told Refinery29. “To achieve this, I added one coat of CHANEL Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in 949 Dénudé and then finished it off with CHANEL Le Gel Coat Longwear Top Coat to protect the nails and to add glossy finish.”
In fact, the glossy peach Dénudé was something of a staple for Goldstein yesterday, with the nail artist using it on a handful of her celebrity clients, including Pam & Tommy actress Lily James. “I wanted to give Lily the old Hollywood feel and create an American manicure, keeping her nails clean and minimalistic,” Goldstein told R29.
The difference between an American manicure and the French manicure is simple: A French manicure pairs a clear or pink base with a bold, bright white tip, while an American manicure uses a glossy nude for the base with a translucent off-white tip that’s more subtle than chunky (often typical of its French counterpart). The American manicure is much closer to a natural nail look, which certainly explains its recent popularity.
The first step was defining James’ free edge (that’s the very tip of the nail) with CHANEL Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in 937 Harmonie and a very fine detailer brush, said Goldstein. After that, she got creative. “I then mixed three parts CHANEL Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in 167 Ballerina and one part CHANEL Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in 949 Dénudé, and applied CHANEL Le Gel Coat Longwear Top Coat over the entire nail to protect and add a glossy finish.”
Harmonie, a pink-tinged taupe, and Ballerina, a sheer pink, were also used on Babylon star Margot Robbie. “For Margot, we also went with a classic yet elegant American manicure,” said Goldstein. “I started off by defining her free edge with CHANEL Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in 937 Harmonie with a detailer brush. Then I went over the entire nail with CHANEL Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in 167 Ballerina, finishing off with CHANEL Le Gel Coat Longwear Top Coat.”
On the more statement-making side of the nude spectrum, the French manicure took a gothic turn with jet black tips on Laura Harrier, who's set to star in this year's hotly anticipated remake of White Men Can't Jump, courtesy of CHANEL BOY de CHANEL Nail Colour in Black offset by a sheer nude base. “For Laura, I took inspiration from her dress and jewelry to create the black French tip,” Goldstein told R29. The artist then mixed what she refers to as “diamond dust” with CHANEL Le Gel Coat Longwear Top Coat to line the base of the French tip. (A fine brush dipped into a silver glitter nail polish will impart a similar look.) Once everything dried completely, Goldstein topped each nail off with the same shine-enhancing top coat.
It’s all the understated nail inspiration you’ll ever need.