When I first saw the large colorful letters spelling out "Libertine" paired with an array of skeletal-inspired nail art, I didn't see how these two things would go together. After seeing Libertine's fabulous runway show where colors, textures, and gems danced before my eyes, I completely understood. CND co-founder Jan Arnold explained that Johnson Hartig has an affinity for skulls (skull clutches actually walked the runway). So when NAILS Next Top Nail Artist first runner-up Lauren Wireman presented Arnold with an idea for her nails using skeletal elements, Arnold immediately took the design to Hartig (the designer behind Libertine).
The nail sets feature both pre-made letters and letters hand-crafted by the CND team. Swarovski crystals with Shellac were used to fashion the embellishments to letters. The sugar skulls contain different colored gems and are comprised of Vinylux. Skulls were hand-painted and embossed with Shellac. Wireman's version of a skull has a wire inside so that the jaw opens, revealing a gold tooth. Retention Plus liquid and powder made these jaw-dropping skulls come to life. Some sparkly skeletal designs were added to matte white nails with denim geode and matte glitter. Tiny rib cages were also fastened by Wireman. They open and shut to reveal a heart complete with valves.
Although Libertine initially wanted a matching hair, nail, and makeup look, Hartig eventually encouraged CND to "go crazy" with the design. We love that like his clothes, the team at CND didn't hold back. Skeletal elements and letters were spread out among the models, who all wore white matte tips. Skulls with moving jaws were placed at the end of nails. The beaded nail art was created using hand-strung beads for each and every tip and were left free to dangle while models walked.
For Wireman, this trip to New York Fashion Week was the result of her prize package for winning CND's challenge in NAILS Next Top Nail Artist competition. Wireman will be working on more nails for the remaining CND collaboration at NYFW Spring/Summer as their Artist in Residence.
For more NYFW nail coverage, click here.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.