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YES or NO: chipped nail polish.

7 years ago by

YES or NO: chipped nail polish.

I’m writing to you live from the beach, where my nail polish is slowly chipping away, and I’m quite pleased with it.

Coming from me, it sounds strange: I haven’t liked chipped nail polish since my Grunge years, and ever since, I’ll tell anyone who will listen that polish should only stay on for one or two days, max. After that, it loses its shine and turns your nails yellow.

But suddenly, I feel like revisiting that idea.

First of all, for a while now, I’ve been noticing lots of friends proudly keeping on their slightly chipped red nail polish. Chipped nail polish is very Parisian, in my opinion. We’re not as crazy about perfect nails in Paris – and we have far fewer nail salons on every corner. And plus, if you’re clean and well-dressed, it can make your outfit a little bit rock n’ roll. And besides, sometimes you just don’t have any nail polish remover, and I think it’s good to not care a little.

What do you think? Chipped nail polish, yes or no?

Translated by Andrea Perdue.

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Add yours
  • I kind of like chipped nail polish on me and I love the idea of it making my outfits a little rock and roll! Much better than I’m too lame to fix it! Looking French isn’t bad either…

  • I’m in both sides…yes to chipped nail polish, and yes to gel french with a perfect finish…I switch from one to another, and I like it!
    XOX, Gap.

  • oh je suis bien d’accord, un peu écaillé après tout ça n’a jamais tué personne et surtout pas à Paris et surtout pas à la PLAGE!!! Perso je trouve ça un cool mais jusqu’à un certain point… après ça peut vite faire négligé quand ça dépasse 10-20% de la surface… mais avant ça donne un petit côté “je m’en fous” que je trouve cool… et particulièrement à la plage!!!

  • Great choice in topic!
    Many of my friends have chipped nail polish but personally I can’t understand why. It gives a grunge look , yes, but in a way that suggests that you don’t wash etc. If you take care of your appearance in other ways, like your hair and makeup, then surely nail polish should not be forgotten.

  • Zineb lameti April, 8 2015, 12:20 / Reply

    Perso, je trouve que ça dépend de la tenue mais aussi de l’endroit ou l’on va, à la plage par exemple ça ne me choquerait pas vraiment tandis que si je suis invitée en resto ou si je sors dans un endroit plutôt chic je fais attention à ce que mes ongles soient parfaitement bien faits. Mais c’est vrai que des fois ça devient tellement pénible de devoir les refaire chaque deux jours que je préfère les laisser au naturel.. Grosse bise

  • Personal opinion: for me chipped nail polish is a NO GO.

    No nail polish at all (with super clean nils of course) is perfectly fine, even great sometimes, but very chipped nail polish just looks messy. Not to mention that when nail polish chips it also takes off the top layer of the nail with it. For me it is a lot like greasy hair or smudged mascara- never a good look.

    I do have to admit that I am a complete nail freak. I love a glossy, fresh manicure with some new funky colour.


  • aw man, I hope yes. Simply because I’m in the lazy camp. At 22 years old, I still haven’t grasped that people look at other people’s nails much more than I do. I’m just rock n roll ;]

  • déjà moi le vernis, j’ai du mal…. Alors écaillé, au secours c’est NIET définitif!!!!

  • Murielle April, 8 2015, 12:37 / Reply

    Je n’aime pas sortir avec du vernis écaillé, et pourtant c’est déjà arrivé, genre pas eu le temps de l’enlever avant de partir et pas de dissolvant dans mon sac… Avec des tons très clairs ca peut encore passer mais avec des vernis très coloré, c’est moche. C’est pour ca, que je ne mets pas souvent du vernis….

  • Anceeta Martis April, 8 2015, 12:53 / Reply

    I would say no because it looks as if you don’t care about your appearance and it also affects how I feel as well. I feel conscious when I am pointing at something or gesturing. It’s a little awkward for me.


  • My nails look like I crawled out of a grave after a weekend of play and housecleaning…and I love the throwback grunge look then! During my Corporate America work week they are perfectly polished though!

  • I can’t stand seeing chips on my own nails, but also can’t manage the upkeep that comes with manicures every other day. Rock climbing (my preferred workout) also has a tendency to destroy nails, so I keep them clean and polish-free instead!

    xx Nichole @ WhoGoesWear.com

  • Ca ne me choque pas tant que ça reste léger mais si ça devient vraiment beaucoup écaillé je trouve que ça fait pas très propre autant l’enlever!


  • It drives me crazy, so now I only get my nails done every few months then take it off and do nail stickers if I really need to have something fun on my nails. I used to get gels all the time but it’s expensive and time consuming. I don’t mind it on other people though!

    xx Sabrina

  • I only paint my toenails and ever in winter, inside my boots, they are always perfect. I keep my fingernails short and clean. I definitely consider chipped polish to be a sign of poor grooming, and RED chipped nail polish looks terribly cheap IMO.

  • I agree with you. Classic red nail looks awful if it’s chipped, it would be like having smudged lipstick!

  • Jennifer April, 8 2015, 1:27 / Reply

    I don’t love the look, it seems Un polished to me and I like to be polished or put together in that French unfussy yet classic sense.

  • I don’t think chipped nails are Parisian, I always think being Parisian is a way passing through naturality and simplicity but being stylish at the same time. Chipped nail polish could give someone a complete look, whose style is a bit rock’n roll, or wild, or bohem. But for me, it never works, it makes me seem sloppy. So my answer is no. Of course for me! :)

  • MerCarrie April, 8 2015, 1:56 / Reply

    No, no, no and NO!
    If you don’t have a time to take care of your nails use some transparent conditioner or nothing. Chipped dark nail polish looks soooo sloppy. You brush your hair, iron clothes, put some make up – so you really can find three (!) minutes to remove a polish. Besides how odd you would look wearing stylish clothes, great shoes and chipped red polish…?
    Bisous :)

  • Chipped nail could be a new trend if you can make nice geometric shapes out of it. I even saw someone do it on purpose for their wedding day.



  • Chipped nail polish is one of my pet peeves- I love gel nail polish, it lasts for weeks!

    Warm Regards,

  • Flooch April, 8 2015, 3:05 / Reply

    Jamais. L’horreur. Le comble de la négligence. Ignoble.

  • Personally, I can’t help but walking around with chipped nail polish because it simply doesn’t last longer than 5 hours. My right index finger is always the first one to chip and from there the damage is done quickly.

    So, unless I get them done at a salon (which I only do with gel every now and again), my options are: chipped nails or bare nails. I don’t know what looks more barbaric. Surely there are critics against both options. I just really can’t be bothered giving my nails a fresh coat every single (or second) day… who has time for that?!

    I like your view – adding a little grunge – I think I’ll take that approach from now on. Perfectly imperfect!

  • Pour moi : non.
    Ceci me fait penser a la mode des collants dechires ou files !

  • I haven’t done color on my nails in so long — I’ve just been doing clear


  • No. There are so many ways to look undone or rock and roll… find nail polish remover :)

  • Jane with the noisy terrier April, 8 2015, 4:38 / Reply

    I’ve been taking a pottery class for the past six weeks so other than a super quick Sally Hansen instant dry color that only lasts a day at best (for a wedding I was attending) so my nails have been naked and very short. My hands are also very soft and smooth from the combination of the clay and the friction of the wheel – unexpected beauty bonus! But I’m oh so ready for a manicure and a pedicure – I keep buying bottles of polish the colors of Jordan almonds!

  • Here in London it’s pretty normal – my nails are so rarely un-chipped! Generally too manicured nails can look a bit ‘Kardashian’, chipped nails suggest you’ve got better things to do than visit a salon – you’re too busy being cool! :)

    Anoushka Probyn – A London Fashion Blog

  • Benedicte April, 8 2015, 4:59 / Reply

    Jusqu’à 30 ans, ça va ; sur la plage, ça va, en week-end, ça va. Sinon, ça peut être gênant (même à Paris)

  • Camille April, 8 2015, 5:21 / Reply

    Sur les autres, ça va, ça ne me dérange pas voire je trouve ça rock mais sur moi je ne supporte pas ! Dès que ça commence à s’ecailler, je refais même si ça me gêne moins avec les couleurs claires, par contre, des couleurs foncées, hop ! J’enleve tout !! Et je ne suis pas new-yorkaise…

  • I’ve read a few comments considering bare nails inappropiate. How come? Where are this people from? Just curious!
    I like to pint mine, but just from time to time as they are fragile and not always in the best conditions. I can’t stand peeling nailpolish, it does not take that long to remove.

  • no…..chipped polish is not grunge. It’s methy.

  • Theresa April, 8 2015, 9:33 / Reply

    I think it comes down to how the rest of your look is. As you said, if you are crisp and put together, chances are chipped nail polish would give your look some needed edge. In my case, I rock the bedhead and faded jeans look all too often, so when my nails are done, I like them to be pristine or else I think I start to look a little messy.

  • Katherine April, 8 2015, 10:09 / Reply

    NO to chipped nail polish. There’s a fine line between being laid back and being slovenly, and I think this falls on the wrong side. If you have time to make sure your nails are super-clean, what’s the excuse for not taking 2 cotton balls and an extra 60 seconds to get the old polish off? I’m stand squarely with Team Better Naked Than Chipped. As long as they’re clean shaped, no polish is perfectly fine.

    But this is my second biggest pet peeve when it comes to nail care; ask me what I think of people whose nails aren’t all the same length. **shudder**

  • Personnellement, je ne suis pas fan du vernis écaillé. Pour moi, ça passe si c’est peu visible. J’aime quand c’est impeccable.

  • Ouh moi j’ai un peu du mal avec le vernis écaillé! J’aimerais bien ne pas être en stress avec ça mais non! Ca ne me dérange pas trop sur les autres par contre!

  • marjane April, 9 2015, 12:24 / Reply

    Oui!! ca m’évoque immanquablement le clip de Wicked Game avec Helena Christensen, du coup j’ai toujours trouvé ça sexy…et plus facile à la plage!

  • C’est marrant ça, moi au contraire je trouve que les parisiennes ont toujours un vernis nickel… J’ai la phobie de l’écaillé, mais bon, si tu le dis, je te fais confiance, je vais peut-être aussi m’y mettre (par flemme mais si c’est tendance, tant mieux !)


  • Caroline April, 9 2015, 5:04 / Reply

    I’m amazed by the strong reactions… It’s only nails! It doesn’t really matter! This is a free world!
    Anyhow, it just goes to prove, one more time, that women judge each other all the time and set super high standards for themselves and for other women. Do you think men have these kind of debates?

  • karacocoa April, 11 2015, 7:08


  • I usually don’t like chipped nail polish, I can “tolerate” only if the nail polish is very dark, like black, blue or very dark red. It may look a bit rock ‘n’ roll, but I find it awful if the nail polish is pink or pastel, it would only look shabby.
    But what I really can’t stand (recently saw) is when a woman has a nail with perfectly applied nail polish and another one with very chipped nail polish. It’s nonsense for me.

  • No, no! I really like my nails to look polished and shiny, I don’t even stand the cuticles to be too visible…So chipped nails may be something forgettable for teens, but not if you want to look decent.
    Better to wear no polish at all than chipped polish…


  • Hello Garance , I would say preferably no to chipped nail polish ! But the real thing is that sometimes I just go with a little chipping for a few days… Not because I think is cool or like it , but just because I don’t have time to remove it ( i’m a mother of three)!
    However I liked your thoughts about the subject , I really don’t mind a little nail imperfection as long as my outfit and skin look good.
    Best wishes

    Diana P (www.fashionafter30s.com)

  • Chipped nails – no way!

  • N.O.N Garance ! Je pense plutôt le contraire : on peut avoir une tenue négligée mais avoir de jolies mains (jolies = propres et soignées, pas forcément avec du vernis) est pour moi plus classe que le contraire. C’est comme porter une robe très chère et sentir mauvais, avoir les ongles rongées, du caca d’yeux… lol. Autant ne rien mettre sur les ongles.

  • Why not? :)

  • If I paint my nails it barely stays perfect for a day anyway, but I don’t mind, I personally like it when it’s a little chipped – or, I’ve grown to like it to avoid having to touch it up all the time

  • I’m 22 and I simply cannot go out with a ruined manicure. If it’s simply a scratch, or something little, I can handle it, but I can’t go on for several days like that. It drives me crazy ahah! So i say NO!

    Vittoria from 5 IN THE MORNING

  • I am in the perfectly polished camp. When I notice a little chip, probably only noticeable to me, I remove the polish as soon as I can get around to it. Especially during the workweek.

  • Chipped nail polish looks super cool on teenagers who couldn’t care less, but I think it’s a no-no when you’re older, especially at work.
    Oh, and it only ever looks good on short nails.

  • En général j’essaie d’éviter… mais parfois au milieu d’une réunion je montre du doigt un détail sur un plan (je suis architecte) et c’est à ce moment là que je m’aperçois que mon vernis est écaillé… Pour ma défense je l’enlèverais bien au boulot si les dissolvants sentaient moins fort ! C’est pas du tout discret !

  • Rouille April, 9 2015, 1:46 / Reply

    Ah non et non! De toute manière dès qu’il s’écaille un peu je le gratte nerveusement, c’est plus fort que moi. Alors je me retrouve les ongles totalement à nus, et c’est beaucoup plus joli que du vernis mal mis.
    Gros non pour moi. Meme à Paris.

  • Avant 17 ans, c’est très cool, après, ça fait juste souillon. Il y a plein d’autres façons de montrer qu’on s’en fout et qu’on est carrément rock&roll.

  • Je trouve qu’un vernis écaillé ça peut être presque aussi chouette qu’un vernis parfait, y’a un côté cool que j’adore. En revanche il doit pas être “écaillé” n’importe comment en réalité c’est beau quand il est “passé”. Quand mon vernis n’est plus nickel je tamponne un peu de dissolvant ça enlève le côté cassé de la couleur et il est juste vieilli. Sur ongles super courts et clean et avec la dégaine qui va bien… (j’ai l’impression d’avoir révélé un truc super perso c’est drôle)

  • Non et non…

  • pas possible Garance ! je suis parisienne et pour rien au monde je ne veux etre vue avec du vernis écaillé ! j’ai toujours on vernis avec moi pour me faire une retouche. Sur les autres, je trouve ça dégueu : c’est si compliqué de l’enlever quand il vieilli ?

  • As long as it doesn’t looking you’re trying

  • non, ça m’arrive tout le temps, mais j’en ai horreuuuuuuuuur !!! du coup j’ai un dissolvant au bureau pouré viter ça. je trouve que ça fait vraiment négligé, limite crado … absolument pas rock !!!

  • I find it impossible NOT to have chipped nails after day one of painting them, and simply don’t have the time to redo them every other day. In the UK it can be considered a ‘thing’, especially with jeans, a bit rock ‘n’ roll. Obviously, if I was going out or had an important meeting I would make sure my nails were perfect!

  • je garde toujours mon vernis un peu plus qu’il ne faudrait.. pas vraiment parce que je trouve ça joli ni rien, plus parce que je me dis pendant trois jours “il faut que je l’enlève” et ne prends pas le temps de le faire…
    En tout cas, cette illustration me donne bien envie de sortir mon vernis kaki :)

    xo CarolineJ

  • je trouve que ça fait clocharde mais après tout chacun ses goûts

  • I hate chipped nails, I feel so sloppy when mine chip ????

    But I found that Rimmel 60 Second Dry (tiny bottle; Rita Ora has a few colours with them) Anyway they’re like $3 and if I use 2 coats no clear they don’t chip for 1-2 weeks expect minor around the top. If I use a clear coat (Essie) I get a week or so without chip and i waitress so that says something!

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