The Rise and Fall of Nail Art

Remember when having a miniature Rauschenberg installed on your nail beds was cool?

You know how you look back at your old yearbook photos, and you're like, "Um, who is this grubby little person?" That's kind of how people seem to be feeling about nail art right now. 

But, as we shall demonstrate below, the practice of drawing designs onto the toughened keratin growing out of your fingers has been on a rollercoaster of coolness and un-coolness for thousands of years. 

Settle in—you're about to get a history lesson.

Finger, Skin, Organ, Nail, Thumb, Peach, Flesh, Egg, Gesture,

(Image credit: Archives)

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Assistant Editor

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at Marie Claire. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.