>Backstage Beauty: butter London and Manicurist/Nail Trend Spotter Nonie Crème at Yigal Azrouel s/s2010

21 Sep


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One of my favorite beauty finds this fall was butter LONDON. My friend, Mark Behnke of Fashion Tribes, has been a long-time fan of Brit’s nail queen, Nonie Crème, who’s butter London’s Creative Director and was slated to do a bunch of shows, including Betsey Johnson and Yigal Azrouel. Mark’s one of a handful of American straight guys who’s secure enough to wear color, whether it’s a purple shirt or
OPI’S ‘Linkin Park After Dark’ or more recently, ‘British Racing Green’.

That makes for a refreshing change from yuppie guys who think it’s a radical step to wear a pink shirt [gasp] in lieu of a starched white navy one to work. Mark turned onto butter London nearly two years ago, when he met her at the Vena Cava when she debuted British Racing Green. Over dinner a few nights earlier, Mark told us that he’d permanently quit his OPI habit for his newer one – butter London. He explained, “Butter doesn’t chip, Nonie’s got cool colors unlike any I’ve seen elsewhere [true, why do we need OPI’s seemingly endless riffs on red that are practically indistinguishable from one another?] He knew she’d be backstage at Yigal; so we made a point of seeking her out there, pre-show.

A few days later, after speaking with YIGAL backstage about FASHION v. CLOTHES, we spotted the diminutive NONIE CRÈME, off to the right, custom pouring and blending nail color for the upcoming show.
Nonie is London’s leading manicurist and nail trend spotter. She joined butter LONDON as its Founding Creative Director to help founder Sasha Muir develop a new brand of hand and nail care products that combined high fashion and health and set about building what is today, a premier British fashion brand of hand and nail care products without chemical nasties. Their motto, “3 Free is what we do and it means No Formaldehyde, No toluene, and No DBP (Phthales). Ever.”
At Yigal, Nonie took the time to chat for a few minutes, and sent me off with two bottles to try – “Minger” –
which is THE perfect color to wear to Halloween parties, after I oohed and ahed over it. “Minger” by the way, according to the UK Dictionary of slang means, “a physically undesirable, smelly, or ugly person.” So perverse, so tongue in cheek – I was in love with this woman I’d just met and her cooler than cool polishes.

She also suggested I try her newest, “ALL HAIL MCQUEEN”
which falls neatly into the gray nail polish trend, which I didn’t think I’d be trying anytime soon, because it seemed every fashion editor in Lincoln Center was wearing some variation of gray, and I was already tired of gray. In rebellion, I opted to wear nothing at all until if and when something irresistible came down the pike. Luckily for me, along came butter London, to shake me out of my beauty slump.
I went from indifference to longing for “ British Racing Green” Mark and Nonie spoke excitedly of – just to do something different and to match my new “classic green” SWANKINI swimsuit
I’m planning to inaugurate later this week at a friend’s pool. I say “in a few days”, because I just hit the “send” button and have to give the UPS guys a few days to drop it at my gate. That got me thinking of my dream car, a vintage MG in British Racing Green

with a camel leather interior – yum.
As I waited for my order to arrive, after rereading the February 11, 2010 article in www.vogue.com, on the late great Alexander [McQueen], I decided to try “All Hail McQueen”. It took three coats and I eat my words about “boring gray”. I love my sparkly gray-beige nails that are on trend but do NOT look like everyone else’s nails. Nonie and butter London – you have a new fan.

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