Yes, that’s a portmanteau of men and manicure, but despite its cringey name, it’s something we’ve been searching, according to data acquired from Google. The menicure, it seems, is the new big thing in men’s grooming, the circuit breaker having given us the time to not just paint our nails, but intricately adopt interesting colour palettes and artistic embellishments.
This trend is nothing new, of course. The boundary-pushing aesthetic of 1970s-era David Bowie was often made complete with painted fingernails – sometimes with one in a different colour, a nod to his famous heterochromia iridum – while during the grunge movement of the 1990s, rockers like Kurt Cobain of Nirvana added painted nails to the flannel and denim that made up the outsider aesthetic. More recently, Marc Jacobs popularised the hashtag #MalePolish as early as 2016.
Today, everyone from Harry Style and Troye Sivan to ASAP Rocky and Bad Bunny have been known to add colour and texture to their fingertips with the menicure – whether self-applied or professionally executed – and it’s made beauty brands and nail salons open their eyes to the possibilities of this enormous new clientele. Earlier this month, Chanel added two shades of nail varnish – black and neutral – to its Boy de Chanel line. Zoya, meanwhile, has launched a men’s starter manicure kit, adding an at-home entrypoint for the menicure-curious. What’s more is that Zoya’s recipe comprises vitamin B5 and vitamin E, to help with cellular renewal and flexibility, adding holistic wellbeing the aesthetic outcome.
Though some of the most famous men in the world have been embracing the menicure, it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily easy to pull off. But as American Esquire’s grooming editor Garrett Munce says: “Own the fact that by painting your nails, you’re automatically putting yourself in a higher echelon of style that’s open to anyone who takes the leap.”