My New Beauty Club Member: Alice du Parcq

17 Jan

Having looked at self tans and body products, my next Beauty Club meeting is focused on nail varnishes – the new season colours to perk us up while it’s still miserable outside. And the only editor I could ask to take part in this discussion was of course Features and Beauty Editor of Brides Magazine, Alice du Parcq – nail OBSESSIVE! I wanted to introduce you to her, her nail fancies and her wedding nail tips before uploading the new BEAUTY CLUB post tomorrow.

GT: Welcome, Alice. So, what makes the perfect polish for you?

ADP: The thinner the better! Anything gloopy or too thick is going to take forever to dry and I absolutely can’t stand that gunky look

GT: Sheer is better than dense, then?

ADP: If the colour’s worth it, I don’t really mind something sheer that needs two or even three coats. But I don’t like anything watery that goes on un-evenly.

GT: I get it! Which colours do you tend to go for?

ADP: Ok, so I ‘cleaned’ my top desk drawer at work a couple of months ago (read: got it all out and promptly put it all back in again). I had 64 nail polishes. 28 were the exact same shade of pale ballerina pink. The perfect shade has to be fresh, clean, light and luminous. The colour I’m thinking is almost cream, but with a slight hint of ballet pink. Not sugary, not bubble-gum. Another constant is pale dove grey – the shades on the walls in suite 101 in Claridges. I called them up to get the Dulux paint codes so if any manicurist out there can whip me up a polish in Mercury Shower #6 or Soft Montelimar #5 I’d be most grateful.

GT: What about nails that make a statement?

ADP: I tend to gravitate towards classic reds but on the darker side like crimson and claret, and berry shades (but punchy ones, nothing too blue or dull). I’m also really in love with gold, Smarties shades like pale yellow, turquoise and lilac, and also weird metallics like scarab-beetle green, but I’ll literally only wears these for a day because they only look good when they’re fresh, immaculate and glossy.

GT: Are they always block colours or do you go in for pearl and glitter finishes?

ADP: I’m worried about pearl finishes, but I’ll happily embrace them this season. ‘Worried’ because it reminds me of a press trip to Florida where we all had manis and ALL the polishes had a frosty finish so we looked like a 1984 cheerleading troupe. I’ll embrace it because probably no one else will and I prefer doing something different. Seriously, all my mates are only *just* discovering cement grey and black. I also think the French white-tip manicure is going to make a comeback. These will not be gracing my nails. Shudder! Nail art is so massive too – nail tattoos, cracked topcoat, marbling… all these effects are very cool and look amazing when done well. It’s brilliant that it’s available to anyone, like Andrea Fulerton’s range – although this is miniature art so you need to practice and do it perfectly!

GT: Yes, I love Barry M’s Instant Nail Effects at the moment – I’m not good with fiddly ‘procedures’, so the paint-on crackle paint is amazing. What about nail-care products? How do you look after your nails [which, readers, are also pristine by the way]?

ADP: Can I be honest? I’ll use anything. At home in my huge manicure bag I have about three bottles of Sally Hansen Diamond Shine, and at work (because I spend A LOT of time painting my nails at work!) I use Seche Vite and OPI’s topcoat. Essentially, they’re all superglue so whatever looks glossy and slick ticks my box. I have a bottle of Jessica Phenomen Oil next to my computer and I do use it religiously. It smells of Bakewell Tart. I’ve also tried the new Imedeen Hair and Nails supplements and blimey they really did work – they made my nails less flopsy and bendy, and they created a smoother, less ridged surface.

GT: Which nail polishes have you come to judge as the absolute best of all those hundreds in your desk drawer?

ADP: As I said, I do love the simplicity of a pale pink. Dior Coconut is a great shade, and I also love Nails Inc Percy Street. It’s got to be super pale, but sheer enough to paint two coats without looking too thick or dense. Revlon Sheer Pink is also gorgeous. 

(c) InStyle

GT: What did you have for your own wedding day, Alice?

ADP: I spent the week testing out my favourite pale pink shades and edited them down over the days. The one I eventually went for was Dior Coconut – simple, classic, not too pink, and it made my hands look healthy.

Alice du Parcq’s top tips for a wedding day manicure:

  1. If you’re doing your own manicure, paint one coat the previous morning, then the second coat in the afternoon so that it’s 100% dry. Then, on the wedding day, paint your topcoat in the morning so that it looks fresh.
  2. If you’re going to a salon or having it done at home, bring with you your absolute favourite nail polish colour and ask them to use it. They may get the hump, but it’s your wedding day so don’t settle for their mediocre colour selection
  3. File your nails to 2mm long about 2 weeks before the wedding so that when you have your wedding-day manicure they will all be the same length and will only need touching up.
  4. Have your manicure the day before – often your cuticles will look red for a few hours post-mani.

3 Responses to “My New Beauty Club Member: Alice du Parcq”

  1. carrie January 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    ALICE SOUNDS LIKE MY KINDA GAL ….thanks Grace for bringing her to us x

  2. Farrah Gray January 17, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Welcome Alice,

    Great interview, it’s nice to get to know what the beauty editors of magazines are really like and Alice seems so lovely.


  3. Nikki January 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    Great interview, she seems so lovely. I LOVE that she does her nails at her desk a lot 🙂

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