Would You Wear Really Long Fingernails?

long nails

Of all the influence Sex and the City had on my young mind, nothing stands out quite as much as a scene where Miranda, hiding under a bed, catches a glimpse of her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s shoes and fingernails.

“How were they?” Carrie asks.

“Both acrylic!” Then they both laugh at the woman’s terrible style.

That scene made a big impression on me because it really drove home how judgy people can be about fingernails. People who wouldn’t think of making fun of a person’s teeth or even their clothes will zoom in on fingernails as cultural signifiers. I had to make sure never to wear acrylic nails lest someone laugh at me that way.

But new beauty site Byrdie points out that long, pointy, surely man-made fingernails are having a moment. Rhianna and Adele have been wearing long, almond-shaped nails for some time now. One of Lady Gaga’s fell off and sold for $12,000. Daria Werbowy even sports a magnificent pair of red talons in the Winter 2013 Celine campaign, and that’s a pretty clear “thumbs up” from fashion.

But can this look work in real life? Everyone for sure loved Hailee Steinfeld’s awesome Comic-Con manicure, but wearing nails like that in real life raises questions of practicality. Could you deal with them while typing, riding the subway, or putting in contact lenses? I’ve kept mine short since Uma Thurman wore hers that way in Pulp Fiction, and whenever they happen to grow past the tip of my finger, the sound of them clicking on the screen of my iPad fills me with an incalculable rage.

What do you think of really long fingernails?

Via Byrdie/Photo: Shutterstock

Share This Post:
    • Cee

      Ugh. I caan’t! I’m a big germ freak and the thought of anything getting trapped under them would drive me insane. Not to mention I work with kids and technology so my hands are either getting marked up with pen and markers or dusty from wires. Dust under long fingernails? *frown*

    • Fabel

      I always thought they looked cool (Poe’s album art for Haunted, anyone? Although I guess the nails are shorter than I recall http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_6T0e0MNpBho/SmKdfB8DZxI/AAAAAAAAAIA/Vyz65PIGIc8/s320/poe.jpg)

      but anyway, I’d never be able to do it. I’m very practical with my nails.

    • Bedford Falls

      Uma Thurman does have the best manicure of all time in Pulp Fiction.

    • http://toyboxkiller.tumblr.com/ Cate

      I keep mine relatively long and I’m fortunate to have strong nails that grow quickly, but this is just absurd. I have to wonder how one would put in a tampon with such nails.

    • http://helloalle.com/ Alle

      My nails are about the length of Poe’s in the picture Fabel posted, and I don’t have any problem doing anything with them. Well, I lie. I have a bit of a hard time applying fake eyelashes, but I have a hard time with that anyway, and it isn’t like it’s something I have to do every day.

      The thing is, it’s easy to do stuff with nails you’re used to. If you grow your nails long, as I do, then you get used to them being long so slowly that you don’t even realise it’s happening. I type for a million hours a day, play with my dog, cook, clean, play a stringed instrument. Never a problem. But if you have really long nails just stuck on, then yeah, you aren’t used to it and it’s super hard to get anything done.

    • Pixie

      Mine are about the same length as in the photo Fabel posted. And fake, because my nails are horrendously weak. and a bit pointier than that photo. Some things are a little more difficult, but generally I’m used to it. I love them long, but it takes some getting used to.