This History of Nail Art Is Positively Mesmerizing
That half moon mani is older than you think
The nail art craze may be at an all-time high with the help of social media, but long before the Internet existed, women were dedicated to keeping their talons perfectly polished. With a new video chronicling the past 100 years of nail trends, Mode is showing that long nails are nothing new, red polish is always a good idea, and that the half moon mani trend is nothing new.
While Mode shows polish transformations first-hand, Mashable has also chronicled a written history of nail polish to explain why trends changed the way they did in the 20th century and beyond. In the 1910s, short, buffed, and clean nails were a sign of luxury, as they showed a lack of manual labor, while the 1920s saw an increase in glamour with a coat of clear polish. Revlon launched in 1932 with its signature red nail polish, and shortly after, the half moon manicure became a major go-to style.
It wasn't long after that women abandoned short, trendy nails for long, red, almond-shapes in the '40s and '50s, popularized by actresses like Elizabeth Taylor—a trend that presented a stereotypically "feminine" style that can be seen in the first seasons of Mad Men. Long, baby pink nails achieved popularity in the 1960s with the help of stars like Twiggy and Barbra Streisand, as well as girl groups like The Supremes. But once disco came to prominence in the ‘70s it was all about the glitter (hippies, however, opted for natural nails). In the early ‘80s, OPI was a major player in the increasing popularity of square, acrylic nails—perfect for adding vibrant colors and rhinestones to. The ‘90s grunge movement saw the emergence of darker colors and the 2000s brought back the French manicure, originally created in the late ‘70s. But today it seems like nothing can quite beat a set of almond-shaped nails coated in the perfect nude (with a touch of sparkle).
Now, anyone down to go get a fresh manicure?