Designer Jason Wu pays attention to details, right down to a woman’s nail beds. After all, nothing is elegant about chipped, dulled nails—and Wu is all about elegance (just ask First Lady Michelle Obama!). For his Fall 2011 show, he showed CND lead tech Roxanne Valinoti a photo he had snapped of a girl on the street. “It was of her manicure, which was this cool airbrushed fade. It looked really effortless, really organic,” Valinoti says.
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Wu also desired something opulent and baroque. Though effortless and opulent seemingly clash, Valinoti came up with the perfect nail: a gold-tipped nail with a chocolate-red nail bed. “But gold is a notoriously hard polish color to work with; it can streak easily and we wanted it very opaque,” Valinoti explains. “So we worked backward, coating the nail in Gold Chrome first, then layering Air Dry to seal the gold.” From there, she layered Dark Ruby on the nail, leaving the free edge gold, and added a layer of Bloodline next to richen up the red bed. “It’s completely Jason Wu!” she thrills. —Karie L. Frost