what came first: chanel or sally?

by ali hoffman

Rewind two weeks back and you'll find us anxiously awaiting in front of our computer screens for images of Chanel's spring '13 collection to arrive.

Sure, we were more than curious to see what Mr. Lagerfeld had in store for us. But if we're being 100-percent honest, the cause for all of our excitement had little to do with the clothing... In truth, it was all about the nails.

Then the unexpected happened: Rather than presenting the fashion world with a waxen blue hue or frothy purple pigment that would dictate several months of manicures,  the French fashion house sent their models down the runway with a simple French manicure (sans any bells and whistles).  

As to be expected, this brought about a mix of reactions amongst beauty and style blogs a like; some believing the look outrageously dated, others seeing it as a sign the end of nail art was near.  

As for us, well we've found ourselves somewhere in the middle of craving something clean, yet nowhere near ready to give up all of our manicure stickers/wraps/glitter/effects. But ironically, the one thing we haven't seen discussed is the range of at-home french manicure kits popping up on shelves for fall. 

First up, we tried Sally Hansen's new Diamond Strength French Manicure Kit in "Ballet Bare," which includes a nifty Sharpie-like white pen to help you get those crisp, white tips. Aside from being budget-friendly, the kit was easy to use and resulted in a almost-professional looking manicure.  On our other hand, we tested out Red Carpet Manicure's French Manicure Kit, which was completely amazing (it comes with pretty embellishments in case you need a little flair...) but you have to buy the LED light separately, which is definitely more of a commitment. Overall we ended up with perfectly polished tips and wondering if the beauty biz might've been one step ahead of the runway this year? That, or the French manicure has never truly gone out of style...