Wild Side: Python Nails

Trendy nail art has become just as much of a fashion statement as the most of-the-moment accessory, changing with the seasons and reflecting sartorial styles de rigueur. The python trend seems to be everywhere this spring, fluidly following suit into the fall collections (Lanvin python-printed dresses or Balenciaga multicolored snakeskin totes, anyone?).

Lanvin Python Print Satin Sheath Dress, Resort 2011

Take a dip into the outrageous and the free spirit of summer with a daring python pedicure. When I say “python” for your nails, monochromatic shades of iridescent gold or desert brown may come to mind. However, I mean the word as literally as it looks.

YSL python platform wedges. Pedicure by Terri Silacci. Courtesy of Vogue.com

Inspired after one of her children brought a piece of snakeskin home from science class, Monterey-based manicurist, Terri Silacci devised the “Pedicure With Snakeskin,” or, simply put, the python pedicure that has taken the beauty world’s fashion elite by storm. Delicate, almost transparent python skin is taken from shedding pythons, a natural process for snakes as they grow. Each piece is meticulously hand-cut to fit the shape and size of each nail.

Instead of using regular polish, Silacci employs Bio Sculpture, a formula that the company describes as the “original no-chip” gel nail lacquers that can be applied directly to the natural nail, skipping the toxic primers and bonders that can leave nails damaged and dehydrated. After one coat, Silacci places a custom-cut piece of snakeskin on top and then adheres it by layering on another coat. The results dry instantly and last up to eight weeks, miraculously resisting all signs of wear-and-tear.

If python scales on your toes isn’t for you, here are some safe on-trend choices that will keep your digits slick and shining from the blazing days of summer into the sultry fall months.

Nefertiti, Deborah Lippmann, $8.50


Thames, Butter London, $14

King Kong, Nars, $17


What do you think: Would you ever have snakeskin applied to your nails to be trend-forward?

“Pedicure With Snakeskin,” $300; for salons performing the Bio Sculpture Gel snakeskin pedicure, visit biosculpturegel.com.

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