Instant Femme Magic
As with the wider business of cosmetics, decorating your fingernails is a paradoxical domain that has a lot more to it than its glossy appearance. This feature for Condé Nast’s them. explores a new generation of pop-on manicures that are nothing like the aggressively acrylic fake nails of old. “Pop-on nails are a way for an individual to define herself / himself / themselves one day, pop ’em off, and start anew the next,” Suzanne E. Shapiro, a historian and former researcher at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, tells me. Fusing personal and cultural history, this reported essay dives into themes of gender fluidity, chosen families and the recent history of nail fashion.