The Accent Nail: Let’s Discuss

If you know me or my family, you know that award shows are a BIG DEAL to us. Ever since I can remember, award nights (i.e. the Oscars, the Emmys, the Golden Globes, etc.) have been staples in our annual family get-togethers. Right up there next to Thanksgiving and Chanukah (and our annual Chanukah ham…hilarious), award show evenings are a time when my grandparents, aunt and uncle, parents, and I convene to feast and watch our favorite celebrities…well…win awards! But equally as importantly as the awards to my family is the red carpet. Yes, the Emmys ceremony this past weekend began at 8pm. But for my crew, the main event started at 6:00 sharp with the E! red carpet team. Now that I live in Columbus, I have to gawk at the amazing and…not-so-amazing gowns and tuxedos with my family via telephone. And so, At 6:45, I called my mother’s cell phone to discuss Nina Dobrev’s amazing red Donna Karen gown, Julianna Margulies’s horrendous white futuristic/ugly dress, and Alan Cumming’s red clown pants. After speaking with my grandmother about Christina Hendrix’s ridiculous ‘boobage,’ I knew the night was in full swing.

This year’s Emmys red carpet was not a disappointment, and I thought that the majority of my favorite TV stars knocked it out of the park. What does this have to do with this blog, you ask? Well, dear readers, as she was talking to Ryan Seacrest, I spotted one of this year’s hottest nail trends, the accent nail,  gracing the fingers of The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco. Take a look:

Kaley Cuoco's Emmy Nails

First of all, Kaley’s dress, hair, and makeup are perfection. Way to go, girl! But most importantly, her nails are awesome! When interviewed on the carpet, she told Ryan that she hoped her mismatched red and gray nails would bring her nominated castmates good luck (as if Jim Parsons needed any luck at all). She sported OPI’s Over the Taupe and Big Red Apple, and she definitely killed two nail-trend birds with one manicure: greige and the accent nail. The grey-beige trend has been hot for a while, and the accent nail trend has been on the scene for quite some time with celebrities such as Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Vanessa Hudgens  spotted with mismatching nails on various red carpets. Kaley’s Emmy manicure got me thinking about the accent nail trend and the various ways I’ve seen this worn.


The accent nail trend is something that I have worn a few times, and I’m always torn about how to do it. Should the colors be contrasting? Should they be similar? Is it better to accent the one nail with something subtle like a matte or glitter top coat? And so, readers, I ask you what YOUR thoughts are. I’ve provided two accent nail manis – both using OPI’s You Don’t Know Jacques for the ‘non-accented’ fingers. I figure I’ll use this greige (one of my favorites) as a controlled variable in this situation and paint one hand with a contrasting accent nail and the other with a subtle accent nail. Which works better? I’ll let you decide.

You Don’t Know Jacques definitely airs on the side of brown in terms of greige polishes (my camera also makes it look more cocoa-ish than it looks in person), so I channeled the classic Tiffany’s box for this accent nail mani. Using Essie’s Turquoise and Caicos for my ring finger, this mani features a contrasting accent nail. I like how these colors compliment each other, but I am always a little uneasy about how much the accent nail sticks out. What do YOU think?

(On a separate note, the first coat You Don’t Know Jacques applies a little streaky, but it covers completely and finishes smooth with one more coat. Turquoise and Caicos takes three coats, and it is my absolute favorite aqua polish I own…and I own a lot of them.)


On my right hand (yes, my hands currently have two different accent nails…maybe I’m starting a mismatching mismatched nails trend?), I used China Glaze’s Westside Warrior for my ring finger. I chose this color because the military green polish is another popular nail trend and because I think it is a subtle accent to You Don’t Know Jacques. Part of me loves that the colors are close enough that at first glance you don’t really catch the accent nail. However, the other part of me thinks that if you’re going to rock an accent nail, why make it almost unnoticeable? What do YOU think?

(Westside Warrior (as seen before in the Antique Rose tutorial) applies flawlessly in two coats. I LOVE IT.)


So, readers, what do you think? Which take on this popular polish trend tickles your fancy? Is it better to make a statement with a bold accent nail or to don a more inconspicuous accent nail? Is it better to avoid the accent nail trend all together?

Essie - Cinchilly & Milani - Ruby Jewels

Lastly, if Kaley Cuoco’s red and grey mismatching nails did bring some good luck and helped Jim Parsons take home his second consecutive Emmy award, I thought I might as well sport a scarlet and grey accent nail mani to try and bring some much needed luck to our beloved (and struggling) Buckeyes. If we win this weekend…you’re VERY welcome, Buckeye Nation.

(For the record, my nails are ridiculously short because I’ve been playing guitar for my music classes. Also, my cuticles look uber-janky because I’ve been knuckle deep in Elmers Glue at school this week and peeling it off takes its toll. Oh well.)


2 thoughts on “The Accent Nail: Let’s Discuss

  1. I never re-polish without an accent nail these days. I like when the colors are the same tone but different shades (hopefully that’s not too art teacher-y or anything). I’m also a big fan of the glitter top coat accent nail. I think that too much of a contrast looks very Jerseylicuous.

  2. In my opinion the contrasting accent nail is def eye catching, which is what we want as women right??? I currently am typing this w my very own “eye catching” color duo. Black for my non-accent nails w white dots, and white for my accent nail w black dots. I believe that the accent nail must be worn w confidence or else you wont rock it. I have only had compliments on mine (and yes i compliment myself as well lol).

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