Boundary-pushing beauty trends: Yellow nail polish! Temporary face tattoos! And… polka-dotted lips?

Shenae Grimes St Bernard Project dinner

As it turns out, Lady Gaga does NOT have the market cornered on out-there beauty looks. Or perhaps her influence is just rubbing off on the rest of us.

Can you remember a time when wearing blue nail polish was considered, well, a bit freaky? Those days are LONG gone—obvs—but I think we’ve truly crossed a bridge with this summer’s de rigeur shade, yellow. And that’s the mildest of the three trends I spotted this weekend on various celebs. How do you feel about sporting a heart on your cheek? Or adorning your lips with polka-dots? Let’s find out…


Here’s a recently re-blondified Miss Hilary Duff at a dinner the other night, looking from the neck up not that trendy at all really…

Hillary Duff St Bernard Project dinner Boundary pushing beauty trends: Yellow nail polish! Temporary face tattoos! And... polka dotted lips?

…until you notice the nails. See?

Hillary Duff yellow nail polish Boundary pushing beauty trends: Yellow nail polish! Temporary face tattoos! And... polka dotted lips?

Now, yes, I know that we’ve seen hundreds of unusual nail polish shades over the past few years, as well as the rise of “nart”—that’s the best abbreviation evah for nail art—but I think the arrival of yellow as a trend is really saying something. It just might be the hardest shade in the rainbow to wear… and yet, when Chanel says we should own it, then we listen (yes?).

This is the colour of the moment, called Mimosa, and what I suspect is on Hilary’s fingers:

Chanel Mimosa Boundary pushing beauty trends: Yellow nail polish! Temporary face tattoos! And... polka dotted lips?I’ve tried it and if you subscribe to Essie Weingarten’s signature colour theory, then it’s a lot harder for some of us to wear than, say, even orange—but then again, I DID tell you that anything goes these days, didn’t I?

It’s also far less likely to raise eyebrows than this one…


Shenae Grimes is wearing her heart on her… cheek.

Shenae Grimes St Bernard Project dinner Boundary pushing beauty trends: Yellow nail polish! Temporary face tattoos! And... polka dotted lips?

Is this a real temporary tatt or just drawn on with eyeliner? I think it’s the latter—and for an actress on the rise, a VERY good strategy for getting yourself talked about.

But there’s a more serious reason for this. Shenae was in Japan when the earthquake struck, and has now started the “Spread the Heart” movement to raise money for relief efforts.

Clever AND cute, non?


And now we take you to the most extreme end of Beauty Trend-Land… polka dots on model/TV presenter Hope Dworaczyk’s lips:

Hope Dworaczyk Boundary pushing beauty trends: Yellow nail polish! Temporary face tattoos! And... polka dotted lips?

Apparently you achieve this look via a temporary lip tattoo from a company called Violent Lips:

Violent Lips Boundary pushing beauty trends: Yellow nail polish! Temporary face tattoos! And... polka dotted lips?

If polka dots aren’t your thing, then rest assured there are loads of other patterns to choose from: gold glitter, red fishnet, leopard print, cheetah print, rainbow… and coming soon, messages like “Kiss,” “XOXO” and “Muah!”

Um… right.

I was extremely pleased with the idea of nail “tattoos”—a.k.a the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips, which come in a variety of cool patterns and go on like stickers—but this, I think, goes a bit too far.

But then again, had anyone else heard of Hope Dworaczyk before today?

Tell me:

Will you try yellow nails this summer?
How about drawing a heart (or other shape) on your face?
Is a lip tatt—even a temporary one—fabulous or freaky?


Nomadic D
Monday, May 16/2011 at 12:06 pm

I think yellow nails look really great (though I like them a little more neon than she’s wearing here) but I will say that i think they’re more flattering on darker skinned folks. I feel like against my super pale skin it’d just bring out the cadaver tones in me. The heart is cute, I think because there’s a message behind it it seems more acceptable than just random face painting. As for the spotted lips… I think that’s where I draw the line. No pun intended.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 7:16 pm

Yellow totally brings out the cadaver tones on me – nails and everywhere else!


Monday, May 16/2011 at 1:35 pm

I wore yellow nail polish last summer (a Sally Hansen I think)…anyway…I play tennis and I have a skirt that matches it. got a lot of comments…mostly from older ladies saying how “fun” it was….often wondered where that fine line between “fun” and “tacky” was ….but I thought it was great for that purpose.

As for the polka dot lips…I have to say they are eye catching! For sure a “fun” look…could see wearing something like that to the beach or poolside …..but not for nighttime..the rainbow would be fun for Pride Day (always fun in Toronto!…gay or straight…!) I think for something very off the wall it could be cute…but obviously not work friendly or date friendly….can you imagine what a regular guy would think! !!!??? Guys usually find stuff like that very annoying.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 7:18 pm

Oh my God – I would love to do some field research with the polka-dot lips! I’m thinking most guys would start to see previously “man-repelling” trends like the top knot in a whole new light. But for Pride Day or Halloween… perfect!


Monday, May 16/2011 at 2:51 pm

I’ve seen Chanel Mimosa nail polish on a lot of beauty bloggers and it actually seems to flatter all skin tones. I’m not going to get it because it’s just not me…I like fun colors, even occasionally neon, but not yellow. I can understand the aesthetic.

What I don’t understand, though, is drawing weird shapes on your face or lip tattoo/prints. It is tacky. Never mind what a guy thinks–I just don’t think it looks good. I’m hoping these are fads that will fade away quickly. If someone wants to do this, it’s fine with me–but I just don’t get this concept.

I hope no one takes offense at what I’m saying–I am a big fan of natural beauty and the places I work at tend to be conservative settings. So take what I say with a grain of salt!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 7:20 pm

I have Mimosa and it’s a no-go for my skin tone… even if it is Chanel. (I tried!) I do think it looks good on others esp darker skin, as Nomadic D mentioned.

I’m 100% with you on the natural beauty thing – half because I’m lazy and half because it’s timeless and non tacky!


Monday, May 16/2011 at 10:59 pm

Maybe it’s because I’m a certified nail polish fanatic that yellow polish really doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. It’s not a shade I wear normally because of my skin tone but to me it doesn’t seem “out there” at all. I think it takes a lot to shock me when it comes to nails these days, certainly no color is taboo imo.
Shenae gets a pass because it’s for a cause however I tend to find temporary face tattoos or drawn on shapes a bit tacky. It screams 13 years old to me. Actually I wouldn’t be that impressed by a real tattoo there either. Well impressed maybe, that would have to hurt :P
As for the lips, no. Just no.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 7:22 pm

That’s true – anything goes these days in nails… I think I just need a “time out” after seeing so many colours and designs. Was just talking to a friend about this the other day – I don’t like the moon mani anymore either!


Tuesday, May 17/2011 at 4:32 am

I’m pleased to see Ms. Duff looking much healthier than I feel she had been recently… I am significantly less pleased to see the polka-dotted lips. How does one EAT? On the other hand, I am less ashamed of my beauty-faux-pas when I was thirteen and tried to emulate Michael Stipe’s “tears” with blue glitter and vaseline. It’s got to be better than polka-dotted lips.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 7:25 pm

Oh really? I missed her unhealthy stage… was it newlywed weight gain perhaps?

I’m trying to find a picture of these Michael Stipe tears and coming up short – help!


Jennifer from ChickAdvisor
Tuesday, May 17/2011 at 1:50 pm

not sure about the Polka dotted lips, or temporary face tattoos, but I’M IN WITH THE YELLOW NAIL POLISH!
We did a pose-off at our site (seen above) recently, and I was sporting this colour.
I agree with Meeka, in the sense that Yellow nails aren’t particularly “taboo”, but it’s definitely not something you see often!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 7:27 pm
Wednesday, May 18/2011 at 1:39 pm

I did the yellow nail polish last summer! I think its super adorbs! Although I’m waiting to have a little more of a tan to start wearing them again. I had more of a neon, but I’m really liking this shade from Chanel.

I agree with Meeka. The temporary face tattoo is cute because its for a cause. In any other occasion, however, it makes you look like you’re 10 and don’t have any taste.

Polka dot lips: not an everyday thing that’s for sure. Maybe if you’re going to a theme party?
Although I appreciate the effort, I mostly think that they make you look weird!


Wednesday, May 18/2011 at 1:40 pm

I’m with most of these commenter folks.

I’m down with the yellow nails. I tried out Mellow Yellow from Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear (see here) and I was pleasantly delighted by it. I always thought yellow polish was out of my comfort zone. Turns out that was a lie.

But the face tattoos? Seems a bit 90s for me. Pretty sure I would’ve thought that was cool in high school.

Samesies for the polka dot lips. Way too much effort.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, May 23/2011 at 7:29 pm

Do you have the most perfect nails evarrrr? Seriously – the shape is perfection. And ok – now all you yellow lovers are making me feel like I should go out of my comfort zone too. Maybe Mimosa is just the wrong shade for me…


Wednesday, May 18/2011 at 10:24 pm

I have been eying up yellow polishes for a while now! Definitely going to go for it this summer with a sun dress. And while polka dots on my lips doesn’t seem like an obvious choice, I am so obsessed with polka dots that I could maybe see that happening! My tumblr stream is so full of polka dots that it should maybe be renamed! We’ll have to see where that trend leads. Definite potential to be tacky, though.


Leave a Comment