Test the Trend: Are Nail Extensions Really That Practical?

13/07/2012 16:48 BST | Updated 12/09/2012 10:12 BST

The Claw sounds like a horror movie, doesn't it? Maybe it was. I better look that up. Well if it isn't a movie, I am giving this name to a new celebrity trend. Who do we have to blame for this one? The two biggest culprits are Rihanna and Lana del Rey. I should mention I have a severe style crush on these two ladies but as of late I have started to worry about them both and I am blaming their respective manicurists. The problem? The claw-slash-talon-like nails decorating their digits. Seriously, is this not or is this not the most impractical beauty trend in the galaxy?

There is no cliché, no earthly comparison to this crime against practicality. I'm sure Rihanna has terrible problems loading the dishwasher, opening sellotape or more realistically, tweeting/typing on her phone. Do they make touch screen phones that are reactive to fake nail? I'm no techy but I really don't think so.

My dilemma is as follows: the trend is catching on and I'm afraid. These babies are weapons and may need some form of licence to wear. To get to the bottom of this, I undertook an experiment to carry on one day of my life with The Claws. Aligning with the routine of my fellow journalists, I spend my life on a laptop, and even with short nails I can barely type so how can I possibly work with talons? I was willing to test my issue and I cannot be a critic without experience.

Without splashing on expensive gel or acrylic extensions, I decided on the DIY approach. Asking your local chemist if they stock 5cm nail extensions is not your average question, I can conclude. I found the "tips" (the professional term) in Boots after quite the search. They are not that attractive to look at in their raw form. In fact, they look like some form of medical device. My confidence in this experiment had started to wane already.

I can understand why Rihanna may employ a professional for the application of the tips. Seriously it is a messy business and requires covering the kitchen table in something non-stick to prevent gluing yourself to it with industrial strength nail adhesive. At one point, my sleeve succumbed to the power of glue and had to be removed with a scissors. So that's bye-bye to that blouse.

Once applied and painted a lovely shade of deep purple, they don't look too bad, if but a little intimidating. Normal routine activities, like brushing teeth and hair, and make up application all went without a hitch. But I am not mentioning the elephant in the room - my laptop which I could hear shouting "not a chance" at me. Not ready to tackle typing, I deferred the day's blogging, (maybe chickening out is the correct word) to go to some meetings. Trying to get money out of my wallet was probably the most difficult task. I managed to pick up coins one by one between two nails, a time consuming exercise which tested the patience of the bus driver. I could see this day turning into quite the ordeal especially when disembarking the bus; I lost one nail to the mechanics of a moving railing. I don't exactly have a manicurist on speed dial so 9/10 nails was going to have to make do.

My meetings were the biggest disaster because I had to take notes. Holding a pen in a similar fashion to a knife about stab something is not an attractive look, but that was the only way I could record anything on paper. So writing was not happening either. Not so good for a journalist. Having chatted to a friend about the experiment, her views were not too far off mine, if anything, maybe more extreme. "I don't think I'd bother getting out of bed if I had to face the prospect of showering, dressing and eating breakfast while wearing talons. What about going to the loo? Now that I think of it, does that mean Rihanna has all those fine things done for her in order to maintain her nails? Maybe these things aren't a bad idea after all".

The fact of the matter is I cannot envisage wearing these on any occasion, especially those which require me to write or type, which is ultimately my job. The sheer nuisance of these makes me wonder why on earth this trend has caught on. I counted five ladies during my experiment rocking various shades of highlighter pink and yellow nails tips and I was almost tempted to compare notes with them. I will live in wonder at how celebrities create these extreme trends. There are crimes against fashion and this trend cannot be defined a crime. No, it's more like a challenge that should have been on the Krypton Factor. Rihanna, Lana, we need to have a word.