Fancy Fingernails

Women with long fingernails are going a step beyond colorful nail polish and immaculate manicures to show off their cuticles. They're bedecking their talons with jewelry.

Sally Rocco, owner of Finger Fashions in Woodland Hills, said her clients bejewel their nails with 14-karat chains, diamond studs and tiny charms, such as gold roses.

What kind of customers want glitter at their fingertips?

"Usually the really flashy customers," says Rocco. "These are the customers who wear their nails extremely long and in bright colors--such as the reds and the very hot pinks."

Although it may sound tricky, Rocco said the procedure is simple.

"I use a little drill to drill a hole in the nail. Then it's like a pierced earring," she said. "There's a little tiny screw on one side of the nail and another tiny gadget that it screws onto on the back of the nail." And, what if one's nails are brittle? "Oh, these are done on acrylic overlay now," said Rocco.

Acrylic or not, a long, dangling chain on your fingernail can cause problems when you try to dial a telephone. But her clients are inventive. "They'll use a pencil, or use their knuckles. They get around it somehow," Rocco said. "I have customers say, 'It is more trouble than it's worth, but I love it!' "

She added, "For some people, nails are their whole lives. They'll refuse jobs that involve typing or take piano lessons. They'll adjust their lives around their love of the nail."

Terri Rogers of Tarzana wears a tiny gold rose in the long fingernail of the forefinger of her left hand. She also wears a tiny, dangling chain in the long pinky nail of her right hand. She's one fingernail jewelry wearer who definitely thinks the pros outweigh the cons.

"I've met a lot of men this way," she said, laughing. "They'll come up to me at parties and say, 'I really like your jewelry.' They seem to be attracted to it."

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