Furry Nails is a nail trend that was popularized in 2016 by Jan Arnold, style director and co-founder of CND nail polish. The trend involves adhering faux fur to each nail with a high-gloss top coat. While it is not a practical trend, it gained popularity on social media and was sold on Etsy.
As with any Fashion Month, there’s always a mix of wearable trends and crazy, daring ones that the average person probably isn’t going to be adding to their repertoire. At the Fall 2016 Libertine show during New York Fashion Week, models walked the runway with some statement manicures, to put it lightly. There was a literal eye-catching mani featuring oversized eyeball decals stuck onto the ends of the nails. However, the one that everyone was talking about was the furry nails.
Yes, you heard me right. Models in the show had tufts of brown or white faux fur attached to their nails. The beastly look was created by Jan Arnold, the style director and co-founder of CND nail polish. Cosmopolitan reported that the CND team painted the models’ nails with Vinylux Weekly Polish in “Rubble” or “Cream Puff” before adhering to the brown or white faux fur with the CND Super Shiney High-Gloss Top Coat.
We have seen a lot of different forms of nail embellishment, including beads, rhinestones, and even pom-poms, but we haven’t seen anything quite like this. You can add it to the list of unique ways to wear faux fur. There were those fuzzy nail fibers that came out a few years back that was sometimes referred to as furry nails, but they weren’t anywhere near as furry as the nails at the Libertine show.
Unlike the negative space nails at Fashion Month, the furry manicure isn’t the most practical look. The nails are wild and not the sort of thing you can get wet without ending up ruining them or smelling like a wet dog. But I was still intrigued enough to try them for the day. They made more sense than bubble nails. Plus, how often do you have a manicure that is so soft you will want to stroke it all day long?
I figured the manicure couldn’t be too hard to recreate. You just get some faux fur, trim it to size, and attach it with a top coat. I already had some faux fur, and I had a top coat, so I was already halfway there.
What is essential is choosing the right fur. I had a choice between a long, shaggy black one and a shorter, golden one that was both in my stash. I went with the shorter golden one because it covered a tiny area. However, I quickly discovered that even if it looked a lot shorter than the black when it was on your nails, it still looked very long. I had a case of grinch or werewolf hands before I trimmed it down.
When you’re creating your nails, things will also get very messy. Anyone who has ever cut faux fur will know that you get fur everywhere. With the nails, it’s a lot harder to get them to look neat because you’re working on a small and very noticeable area. I played around with gluing tufts of hair to my nails with a topcoat and attaching the fur with its backing to fake nails. I found the best method was using a glue gun and attaching the fur to fausses. From all my experimenting, I had a definite respect for the nails they came up with at the Libertine show.
After playing around, these were my final nails:
They weren’t nearly as fluffy as the Libertine ones, and the fur had a mind of its own, but they would do. Take a look at the thumb:
Here’s a shot of the nail before it was attached. Note the excess hair everywhere:
As you can probably guess, one of the big issues with the nails was shedding. Although I had made sure to put glue on the cut edges of the fur, they still managed to shed. It was like I had 10 mini cats on my nails. Needless to say, this made eating a challenge, so I avoided anything that I had to eat or prepare with my hands.
Apart from the shedding, the furry nails aren’t as restrictive as bubble nails or any heavily jeweled manicures. There really wasn’t that much to them. However, another issue was washing my hands. I didn’t want to get my nails wet for fear they would look like individual drowned rats, so I developed a technique when I cupped my hands to wash them and relied on hand sanitizer for my fingers.
There was one point when my manicure was shedding that I actually did decide to add a bit of water to the fur in an attempt to tame it. The water did tame the flyaways a bit, but it was only temporary, so I then added a bit of hair gel to each nail (which is something I’d never thought I’d say).
You’re probably also wondering about other people’s reactions. I was distracted by the shedding and the occasional petting of my nails. Other people were also intrigued. When people saw my nails, the questions I kept getting were, “Can I touch your nails?” “Where did you get a manicure like that?” and, not surprisingly, “Can you do anything with those nails?” The nails surprisingly seemed to bring a smile to people’s faces rather than a look of horror.
The furry nails were a fun look for a day, but they aren’t a manicure you could easily wear on a regular basis. That being said, there is still something about them that I find intriguing. I’m tempted to recreate them and see if I can get a closer faux fur to the one they used at the Libertine show. I think one faux fur accent nail could actually be a fun look. It would also cut down on the shedding, and you could probably wash your hands easier, but you would still have something to stroke.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.