The History of Nail Polish – 1960’s
Recently we have been sharing the history of nail polish and have come to the mid-20th century. Now we are focusing specifically on trends from each decade and beyond for fresh ideas. Today we want to go retro with some fashion advice from the 60’s.
From what we can tell nail polish originated in India during the Bronze Age. The trend quickly spread and soon the Babylonians made the idea their own using kohl to colour their nails. About the same time the Chinese took it a step further crushing flower petals to create new colours. Later, the fashionable Egyptian women made red nails famous.
The 60’s are known for a slightly more subdued glamour. Bright red gave way to softer, more pastel shades on nails.
Although men & women alike continued to stain, lacquer and manicure their nails, there were few notable advancements until the early 20th century. In the early 1920’s glossy car paint was created which gave one bright lady the brilliant idea of applying it to nails. Not too long afterwards the world was watching movies in glorious technicolor and the cosmetic industry was changed forever.
The Glamourous 60’s
In the 50’s red was all the rage for nails, but the 60’s was a time when women started to break out of prescribed social roles. Opting for softer or more natural colours seemed to come with the territory. Youth trends were growing and softer colours were generally found more acceptable by “old fashioned” parents.
Fashion trends of the 1960’s were inspired by the many social movements of the decade. Some of them changed women’s clothing forever – like the miniskirt.
Highly Fashion Conscious
This decade was highly fashion conscious, and the trend in women’s clothing took on a slightly more practical edge. In stark contrast to the harsh womanly reality of corsets in the 50’s, the 60’s made popular softer more decorative fabrics, the use of bolder colours and higher hemlines. This is a decade of empowerment for women and that is definitely reflected in the fashion of the time.
To get the strong and sexy look of the 60’s isn’t hard – all you need is to keep it simple and subdued on your nails – it’s the eyes that make your 60’s look. For nails we recommend soft, subtle shades like Iseult, Reckless, Vanilla, Yellow Primrose or French Pink. Be sure to check out nail looks from the 50’s and stay tuned for some disco 70’s.