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Cynthia Erivo
courtesy of Instagram/@ohriginails

The secret meaning behind Cynthia Erivo's starry Oscars manicure


TextAlex Peters

Hint: it’s a nod to her nominated film

Last night’s Oscars were pretty much business as usual apart from a very welcome win for Parasite which scoped up the big award of the night Best Picture – the first time a foreign language film has won the award – among its four wins

As always, it was a night of glamour, with most celebs sticking to the (slightly dull) classic Hollywood aesthetic when it came to hair and make-up. 

Nails, on the other hand, presented an opportunity for guests to express themselves a bit more adventurously, from Billie Eilish’s supersized rectangular talons which completed her baggy take on the classic Chanel tweed suit to Blac Chyna (why was she there?) and her bejewelled nails. 

The stand out nails of the night, however, go to Cynthia Erivo who was there as a nominee for Best Actress for her titular role in Harriet (the only actor of colour nominated in a performance category), which follows the journey of abolitionist Harriet Tubman, and to perform her nominated song from the film. 

Dressed in a fabulous white custom Versace gown, Erivo’s look was inspired by old-school Hollywood, with make-up artist Terrell Mullin creating the perfect smokey eye nude lip combo, while hairstylist Coree Moreno mixed glitter in with her mousse so she shimmered under the spotlights. 

But it was her nails that really stole the show for Erivo. Long and perfectly pointed, Erivo’s manicure was a swirling, glittering, gem-studded tribute both to Vincent van Gogh's ”Starry Night” as well as a nod to the film she was promoting. Erivo and her manicurist Gina Oh wanted to create a design that symbolised Harriet Tubman following the North Star to freedom as she and other escaped slaves fled north on the Underground Railroad.

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