For as long as we’ve had minds to dream and bodies to adorn we’ve found ways to decorate them.
Manicures and nail design in general are a bit of a cross cultural phenomenon; ancient Egyptians gilded their claws and Indian women began dying the tips of their fingers with henna as early as 5,000 BC.
A “full set” style of nail decoration dates to Babylon circa 3,2000 BC, the solid gold nails are though to have been issued as a type of combat accessory.
Look good, fight to win, can dig.
The first recorded use of nail polish can be traced to China around 3,000 BC when noblewomen tinted their nails with a combination of egg whites, beeswax, gelatin and the crushed colors of flower petals, a practice that took hours to complete and was thus reserved for those that had time on their hands and money in their purses.
In the 15th Century, the Incas of Mesoamerica put nail art on the map, or hand as it were, by applying intricate image of eagles to their nails.
Over the following centuries, manicures fluctuated in popularity.
During the Dark Ages the practice all but vanished before varnish made its triumphant return in the age of the Renaissance, staying subtle through the Victorian era and rising in popularity and gaining ground in creativity thereafter.
The first US nail salon opened in New York City in 1878.
Helmed by enterprising Taurus manicurist Mary E. Cobb, the salon catered to both socialites and sex workers.
In the 20th century, flappers brought out the bold finding nail inspiration in blood red hues and the phases of the moon. Revlon released its first nail polish in 1932 in colors hitherto unknown to man and hand, and making glamour accessible and affordable in the shadow of America’s crippling economic downturn.
Tending to paws and claws has been a bankable business ever since and self-expression through nail art an ever expanding landscape.
Read on for our recommendation of the summer nail art trends to try based on your zodiac sign.
As a cardinal fire sign, Aries would do well to outfit their claws in chrome flames.
This high shine, all in style calls to mind American muscle cars, Spencer’s gifts and the juggalo aesthetic; all elements that fall under the burnt umbrella of the Aries archetype.
Lovers of nature and cold hard currency, green is the power color for Taurus.
This nail trend was inspired by slime, a viscous Mattel toy that came packaged in a trash can.
While the OG substance is non-toxic, it, like leisure loving Taurus folks, proves extremely difficult to remove from soft furnishings.
Mutable air, Geminis are fun loving, fast talking and fickle in love.
One never really knows where they stand with these people as they oscillate wildly between affection and aloofness, heavy petting and all out ghosting.
Apropos of this, the daisy and its manic ‘he loves me, he loves not’ method of decision making is Gemini’s power flower and preferred nail art trend.
Taylor Swift ‘Eras’ manicure
Cancer is the sign of looking back and holding on to the past.
Taylor Swift with her mightily obvious Cancer moon made popular the sentiment, and celebrated the wild success of her ‘Eras’ tour by painting each of her fingernails in a color specific homage to her discography.
Negative space hearts mani
Warm blooded gluttons for affection, Leos are natural rulers of the heart and the fifth house of pleasure and play.
In terms of the zodiac Leos, with their apex predator symbolism, are commonly associated with royalty, real and imagined.
This summer nail trend integrates both; a set of ten designed for the kings and queens of hearts.
Rainbow French manicure
As a mutable earth sign ruled by Mercury, Virgos will resonate with the muted tones and precise angles of this minimalist rainbow manicure, a French tip design that serves as a slide into summertime.
Into communion and subtle power, these paws say without speaking, ‘I am professional, I am adaptable, I am responsible enough to keep a succulent alive and I am open enough to experiment with technicolor tips and all manner of kink you would never expect’
Astrology 101: Your guide to the stars
Libra is ruled by Venus, named for the goddess of love.
In kind, strawberries, with their heart shape and red hue have long been associated with the decadent deity.
Add to the mix, or manicure as it were, that this nail art reads as a sweet homage to “Strawberry Fields,” a ballad penned by none other than dearly departed power Libra, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. John Lennon.
Astrology 101: Your guide to the stars
Evil Eye manicure
Rulers of the eighth house of sex and death Scorpio is a sign associated with intensity, revenge and other people’s money.
Powerful as they are, scorpions collect many a detractor, naysayer, obsessed ex and general hater.
Blessedly, this evil eye nail art provides pretty protection for any and all ire. Demons be gone!
Cotton candy clouds
Sagittarius folk are blue sky thinkers, always looking up and shining on with the earnest belief that the best lies ahead.
A rich mix of philosopher and psychedelic proponent, the archer archetype will resonate with this manicure that calls to mind carnival snacks, happy hallucinations and pareidolia afternoons.
Ruled by Saturn and hell bent on ascent, Capricorn is the great builder and master planner of the zodiac. All business, no bluster baby.
In kind, “Vogue Magazine,” calls this nail trend “strategically subdued.”
Add to the acrylic that the look was popularized by sea goat bride Nicola Peltz.
Aquarius is a fixed air sign and the word “aura,” derives exactly from the Greek for breath, or air in motion.
In kind, this nail trend is inspired by aura photography, an attempt to capture the metaphysical or psychic energy that surrounds a person or form.
As fate and polish would have it, the OG pioneer of the medium chemist/occultist/top hat entusiast Carl Ludwig von Reichenbach was an Aquarius .
Ruled by dreamy, escapist mer-centric planet Neptune, under the sea (or under the influence) is the place to be for Pisces.
The perfect nail trend for the people of the fish is the high shine ode to irridiscent scales ladies and gentlemen, mermaid chrome.
Read more about the influence of Neptune on the birth chart of “Little Mermaid” star Halle Bailey here.
Check out more of The Post’s food astrology content:
Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.
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