Pro Logic, NYFW Edition: Pattie Yankee Shares Tricks to Perfect White Nails Wednesday 14 March, 2012
Pattie Yankee shares her tricks for creating a stark-white manicure—without having it look like a childish White Out job.
I fondly remember the days when I doodled hearts on my Trapper Keepers. At the time, the initials surrounding my love beats were KLF (me, duh) and MPG (Mark-Paul Gossaler, duh). (Little known fact: MPG went to my high school—not when I was there, but during my brother’s tenure. Unfortunately, they were not friends, otherwise, I would seriously have stalked him.) On my other canvas, my paper-bag-covered textbooks, I fondly scribbled bubble lettering, and later, Japanamation and Manga, which I was to become quite good at later in my schooling career. (Was I actually learning anything in school? By the looks of my textbook covers, no. But, trust me: I was tops in my class. Just check William S. Hart High’s 1996 yearbook…of which I was also the editor-in-chief. Shameless pride, I have.)
When textbooks and Trapper Keepers weren’t enough, I painted my nails in White Out. Didn’t you too? What a silly phenomenon. I wonder what drove this. Was it lack of nail polish? (I really didn’t seem to own my own, so I’d have to pilfer my mom’s supply, and I do recall pulling reconnaissance from time to time to do so—sorry, Mom!) Did nail polish seem too expensive for me to buy? Or was it just the simple idea of proximity: White Out was within reach, so, you know, it wins.
Whatever the reason, I used it, and I used it often. As anyone knows who’s tried to pull off a White Out mani: It looks like shit. Plain and simple. It dries unevenly. It’s matte, but not so matte that it’s cool. The way that it dries makes it crust unattractively along the cuticle area. In conclusion: It is not passable as something a grown up should wear. And thankfully, most don’t. (Well…I am positive pulling late nights at the office having drank 12-too-many-coffees with a deadline looming may lead to one or two fingernails finding themselves coated in White Out…but this is an exception I’m not copping to, rather than the rule.)
So when I come across one of my fave nail techs, Dashing Diva’s Pattie Yankee, backstage at the Fall 2012 Tibi show, and I notice her polishing the models’ digits in a brightest, full-coverage white, I am instantly transported back to middle school. “It’s Dashing Diva NYC Fleet Week, a stark white,” she tells me. “Amy (Smilovic, Tibi’s designer) wanted a clean look, a color that takes real confidence to wear.” She’s right: A high-contrast, fully white nail is pretty in-your-face, considering it’s simplicity. It’s definitely a look for women with plenty of pluck. But, I tell her, pulling off white nail polish is so very hard; the application can go all wrong, bringing us full-circle to our White Out days.
She pulls out an acrylic paint brush, and smiles. “This is my secret weapon,” she says. “Dip it in acetone and clean around the cuticle. It gives you great control; you have to use it for a white mani.”
But what about how stark-white polish tends to apply streaky—again, twirling us around to White Out city?
“I find that one coat of NailTek Foundation II will do the trick,” Pattie says. “Polish the nail in that first. It dries matte and tacky, and like the name says, gives a great foundation. I swear, the white polish will adhere with no streaks.”
And that, my friends, is how you wear a stark-white manicure—minus the ugly bits associated with White Out (but the nostalgia still lingers!).