x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Trend: Recycling reptilian cast-offs

Snakes need no longer feel guilty about discarding their used skins - the beautiful people have found a great cosmetic use for them.

There's no escaping it: animal print has taken the fashion world by storm, dominating everything from shoes and bags to dresses, leggings, blouses and denim. Whether it's in a leopard-print phone cover, a zebra-print lampshade, a giraffe-print headband or a cheetah-print pashmina, the animal world reigns supreme.

Just a few months ago, the trend extended to nails and toes, providing women with a feline edge to their talons. It's no longer about painting nails yellow and then adding strategically placed black dots, however; no, this fashion craze has taken on a bizarre, reptilian edge worldwide. Fashionistas have found a way to use the skin left behind when a snake sheds its outer layer of epidermis (as they do, regularly).

Created by the US-based gel nail company Bio Sculpture, snakeskin manicures and pedicures have not lost their scaly lustre with the advent of the autumn season. Thin sheets of ethically sourced (and sanitised) skin are fitted to individual nails, which have been coated with the no-chip, flexible gel. A clear UV formula then seals the scales into place for a look that, as the promotional material would have us believe, is "radically reptilian".

The Nail Spa in Mercato Mall, Dubai, is one stockist, and while it boasts that it has lots of different kinds and colours of discarded snakeskin - there are 170 possible hue-and-accent colour combinations - it has no anaconda skins, which we don't particularly mind. Pythons, however, are in high demand.

The meticulous treatment takes roughly two hours to mature fully, and a manicure supposedly lasts up to three weeks and costs Dh900. A pedicure can last up to 12 weeks, but will set you back Dh990.

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