Though its exact origins are debatable, the manicure isn't by any means a recent development--it actually dates to ancient Babylonia and Egypt. Natural substances such as sheep fat, flower petals, jewels, egg whites, beeswax and vegetable dyes all went into those age-old nail customs of the East. It's true, however, the Western world was slow to pick up the practice--until the mid-20th century, clean, bare, well-trimmed nails were the preferred look.
Today, on the other hand, the totally natural nail is arguably boring. Colorful polishes, adhesive embellishments, acrylic nails and tips, extensions, stenciling, airbrushing, sculpting and even piercing transform fingertips into tiny works of eye-catching art, celebrating both manicurists' creativity and clients' personalities.
Among more complex nail treatments on the market are Minx's nail decals, a sort of all-in-one solution for those looking for sometimes elaborate nail art in a manageable amount of time. Previously available only to salon professionals or via a salon carrying the brand, Minx decals, thanks to Sephora and OPI, are now available to anyone wanting to test out the trend.
Chic Prints for Nails come in eight designs; each set contains 16 pre-cut adhesive nail patches for fingers or toes.
On the whole, Minx, based in California since 2006 and gaining popularity steadily in the last couple of years, produces films in solid colors, metallics and dozens of prints. Chief executive Janice Jordan was inspired by her work at a vehicle graphics company that produced colorful decals--really not that unlike the nail films.
"I'm hard on my nails so I had to come up with something that would work better," Jordan told the L.A. Times. "I'm not an engineer, but I have an engineer's mind and I'm a problem solver."
The idea behind Minx is pretty simple: The solid films have heat-activated backing material that adheres to bare nails, whether natural or acrylic or otherwise enhanced. It reportedly lasts about as long as a traditional manicure--about a week or two. Once the seal is broken, further heat application (i.e. from a blow dryer or warm water) allows the film to be removed from the nail.
Header photos from Minx Nails.