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Sunglasses And Manicures

SSENSE
SSENSE
Oct 26 2019

Exploring the Potential of Aesthetic Armor


It’s a cliché to call clothes “armor,” when really it is sunglasses and nails that protect some of our most vulnerable bits. Nail beds, fingertips, corneas, retinas: these are the places dust and debris can blind us, or render us incapable of texting.Nails back up where our fingerprints live, and strengthen our evolutionary advantage. Sunglasses keep voyeurs from peering through the windows to our souls.But glasses and nails have even more in common than sheer protection. They distance us from other people and call them closer at the same time. They make everything sharper, but also slightly harder to touch. Both glasses and nails are somewhere on the spectrum between accessories and body modifications.We matched 10 pairs of shades with 10 manicures—their familiars. These are 10 duos that can make you a whole lot stronger.



This slightly maleficent Belgian update on classic SoCal Locs takes the original gangster glasses and makes them even more like an impenetrable visor or screen. Sharp black nails round out the intimidation. When you want people to be a tiny bit afraid of you, nothing is more effective than the extension of a pointy, all-black talon.



These glasses and this manicure both look like scaffolding. Their negative space is like the dot dot dot in a conversation. It is the things left unsaid that really make you pay attention. They are a precise relief from showboating and density.



Seed pearls are caviar that never go bad! Clustered together, they’re less crazy than rhinestones and less corny than precious metals. On your fingertips and around your eyes, the old-school femininity of a string of pearls becomes sexier, weirder, and more opaque.



These Gucci glasses are an excellent contradiction. They cover your face, but instead of hiding it, they light it up in the sheerest, rhinestone-encrusted, optimistic way possible. It’s like having vanity lights around your eyes. Transparency keeps the bling from getting too obvious or heavy.



These are iconic Kurt Cobain, to the max. They have the moody vibe of a day that makes you want to keep your shades on, even as the sky turns grey and rainy. On the nails, droplets have a surface tension that keeps them from drying up or running away…a slightly psychedelic effect.



Nothing says control freak like matching your glasses to your nails. Own it. The world is in chaos, and somebody needs to keep it together.



Can’t you already hear the scratchy voices of the ladies who have nails like this? A classic square red nail gets freaky when taken to extremes. Tortoise-shell aviators carry their own historical sleaze. Together, they’re iconic Americana with zero sentimentality.



Synthetic sunrises for your fingertips, and your field of vision. Sporty polarized gradients this perfect will never be found in nature. Plus, they’re reflective, so whoever’s looking at you (or your nails) gets to take a long look in the mirror.



When stealth is not enough! Sometimes you need to go completely under wraps. We live in “VUCA” times — an acronym coined by the U.S. military in the 1990s for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous situations. These glasses and nails are precisely for those moments.



The nerdy intellectual is nowhere to be seen. Someone has stolen his wire-frame glasses, thrown out his coding manuals, and left an icy elegance in their place. Pure silver nails compound the coolness.


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