By Emma Grimes
Five years ago, the season six premiere of Man Men aired and, in it, Megan Draper wore perfectly manicured short white nails. I had always found white nails a little tacky and had never tried them myself but seeing the glamorous Mrs Draper drinking champagne on New Years Eve with white nails, I was suddenly inspired. The next day I went to Boots in search of an opaque white nail polish and so my love of white nails began. They will be forever synonymous with Mad Men for me as it seemed to be somewhat of a tradition for Megan Draper to wear white nails at the beginning of each season. The first episode of season five, she clutches the microphone during the infamous “Zou Bisou Bisou” scene with white nails. Then, again, in the season seven premiere in which she floats across the screen in the California sun wearing a pale blue mini dress with pleated sleeves, matching eyeshadow and – you’ve guessed it – those perfect white nails. So it has become my tradition that, every Spring/Summer, I take out my white nail polish and remember that the line between tacky and classy isn’t as big as I had once thought it to be.
About seven or eight years ago I started wearing white pencil liner on my lower lash line, inspired by Swedish blogger Elsa Billgren. I loved how it looked against black mascara and with red lips. More recently I’ve seen white liner used in a more graphic way and even white liquid liner. At a recent event in London to promote I, Tonya, Margot Robbie wore white gel liner paired with fresh skin and rosy cheeks and lips. Her makeup artist, Pati Dubroff, used a mixture of an Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Yeyo which is a pearly white and MAC Chromaline Gel Liner in Pure White.
I’m all for white nails and eyes but I, personally, draw the line at lips. Brands like Kat Von D and NYX Professional Makeup have bright white lipsticks in their collections so there must be a market for it. I commend anyone who can make snow white lips work for them. The thing that I find the most difficult about making white lips work is that it is going to do nothing for your teeth. Unless you’ve given your teeth the Ross from Friends treatment, white lipstick is going to make them look yellow, even if they don’t look usually look that bad. My advice is to go with something a bit more subtle like the Lipstick Queen Ice Queen lipstick, it’s a much more wearable pearly white lipstick that looks a lot more flattering on than in the tube. It works more like a topcoat to make any lipstick more shimmery, however it can also be worn alone.
If you want to try the white makeup trend, don’t spend too much money and ease yourself in with trying nails first. You’ll want to get a polish that’s an opaque white but doesn’t look like you’ve just gone mad from boredom in the classroom with a bottle of TippEx. Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint in Cotton, China Glaze White on White, and O.P.I. Alpine Snow are all great whites of varying price points.
For eyes you could try the aforementioned Urban Decay option, however, NYX Professional Makeup and Barry M have inexpensive white liners, both pencil and liquid if you want to try the ice queen look without breaking the bank. Try running a pencil along your lower lash line and into the inner corner and blending it out for a subtle look or if you fancy looking like Margot Robbie ditch your usual black liquid liner for white and give yourself a little wing.
As for lipstick, if you’re brave enough, or just want to try something different, Kat Von D Studded Kiss Crème lipstick in White Out is a pure white as is the more budget version, NYX Professional Makeup Macaron Lippies in Coconut. There you have it, three ways to try the white makeup trend the SS18, depending on how brave you are feeling…
If you’re looking for more beauty content, check out Emma’s picks of great Irish natural skincare brands and Elle’s guide to lenses…