I remember exactly where I was when I first heard “Icy Girl” by Saweetie. It was 2017, and I had just moved to New York City without knowing anyone and felt very unsure of myself. But as I walked down the bitterly cold New York streets to work, my confidence began to rise as “Manicures and pedicures, I’m always tip-top/ When they say I’m not hot, all these lies need to stop,” blasted in my ears.
Like many other Black women, I’ve spent countless days listening (read: shouting alongside) to Bay Area rapper Diamonté Quiava Valentin Harper, more commonly known by her stage name Saweetie. Nearly five years after that first debut single, and watching her land deal after deal (hi, McDonalds), Saweetie continues to make girls like me feel confident, like we can achieve anything — all without compromising good style. And one of her most exciting and recent collaborations, serving as a brand ambassador to nail brand SinfulColors, sits at the top for me.
“With every brand I collaborate with, I make sure I really love them and that I actually use the products,” Saweetie tells me of her relationship with SinfulColors over Zoom. Known for wearing one hand of hot pink nails and the other hand full turquoise (or other eye-catching color combos), the mega rapper has been using SinfulColors since high school — loving the brand’s rich colors, affordability, and functionality. “I used to paint my hands myself,” she shares, reflecting on high school and the one college semester she did nails in her dorm room. “It didn’t last long because it was too time consuming. [With SinfulColors,] you don’t need a base [coat] and they dry hella quick — it’s very convenient.”
Since starting her partnership with the brand earlier this year, the megastar created Claws (press-ons), shades in the Essenchills Collection, and now the brand’s new Halloween collection, Made on Mars, sold exclusively at Walmart. The collection features an assortment of galaxy-inspired textured metallic nail polish shades, resembling the rocky terrain of the solar system.
“Nails are really important to me,” she shares as she glances down at her embellished manicure, featuring all four colors in the Made on Mars collection. “You know when you get your hair done and if the stylist doesn’t do it right, you feel a way? My nails are like that. They are a reflection of my mood and if they look fly it makes me happy.”
Like many beauty lovers, Saweetie is constantly searching for new manicure inspiration. “Instagram, Pinterest, and billboards on the street,” says Saweetie of where she looks for manicure ideas. “I might even ask to take a picture of a girl on the street if her nails are fly.” (*noted)
Her go-to nail shape is the dramatic coffin style, or long nails with curved edges — similar to oval or almond shape — but with a squared-off tip. “I prefer coffin-shaped nails or pointed stiletto nails if I’m feeling a little risky,” she says. “My hands are very athletic so I like long nails because it makes them look a little bit more soft and sleek.”
The rapper prefers press-on nails on shoot days because they are easy to pop off, and acrylics for everything in between. “I’m very clumsy and my acrylics usually take five plus hours to put on, so press-ons are less of a hassle when I’m on set.” When asked what nail trend she would never test out, she reveals that you’ll never find her wearing dangling embellishments — crediting her clumsiness and laughing that she’d never want it to get caught on something.
Between the “Best Friend” video or major events like MET Gala and The Video Music Awards, Saweetie’s nail stylist Tameka Jackson is responsible for a lot of her jaw-dropping nail moments. And after many head-turning, elaborate nail looks, the rapper still favors the embellished red hue design she wore as a presenter for the 2021 BET Awards. “I love marble and bling — those are my go-to’s,” she shares. “When I was presenting at the BET Awards, my custom made red [rhinestone embellished] Dolce & Gabbana dress perfectly matched my red polish, red bling, and monochromatic nails.”
To channel some of Saweetie’s most iconic nail looks, try out the new Made On Mars collection, just in time for Halloween. And according to Saweetie, mixing and matching is encouraged.
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