A spiritual guide to nail varnish

Desperately seeking a boost to your creative energy? Then you obviously need to change your nail polish. Jane Lovatt on the cosmic colours New Yorkers adore

EDINA Monsoon would go bananas over Tony & Tina's alluring range of nail polishes. Not only do they look very appealing - shiny futuristic bottles full of spicy, spangly colours - but apparently they also enhance your emotional well-being...

Colour as "vibrational remedy" is what's on offer here. "Correct attention to colour will heal and rejuvenate the human energy system. Our colours have been created not only for their aesthetic beauty, but also for their therapeutic value." This is the word according to New York artists-turned- cosmeticians Anthony Gill and Tina Bornstein - Tony & Tina. You may scoff, but it is certainly working for them.

"A year ago, we wanted to change our lives, but didn't know how," explains Tony. "We started reading about creative visualisation and began to think about our ideal way to live. We put all our ideas into an imaginary rocket and sent it into infinity. Straight away, things started to happen."

Within days, the couple were offered an art exhibition at the Gershwin Gallery in New York. One of the pieces was a range of nail polishes in the seven colours that activate the Chakras, the body's psychic energy system. "It was intended as a cynical look at the cosmetic industry," says Tony. "In fact, we were approached by investors wanting to help us launch the nail polishes on the market."

The result is a collection of 19 nail varnishes, currently whirling off the shelves of Bloomingdales and Fred Segal in the US and now available in London at Liberty. Each is designed to give a certain effect. For example, Consciousness (electric olive) is mentally and physically calming. Meditation (blueberry) awakens artistic expression. Ambition (red) strengthens the physical energy and will of the individual.

"Even if you take just a moment to reflect on the colours," Tina explains, "you're aiding your emotional well-being with just that moment."

Tony and Tina claim the vibrational colours theory has recognised scientific back-up, but if you're too sceptical to get on the Chakras trip, these polishes still have their charm.

"I don't know whether customers are paying attention to the idea of colour as vibrational remedy," says Eleni Takkides, account manager for new trends at Liberty. "But I have noticed that if they're feeling a bit low and need a boost, then the fact that the names have a meaning gives them a lift. "

"The nail polishes are just the beginning for us," enthuses Tony, who wears varnish most of the time. "Next, you'll see colour hair wands to stimulate the crown Chakra, anti-depressant lipsticks containing St John's Wort - some people believe it's the new Prozac - and colour aroma baths for intense colour absorption. Our aim is to make the Chakras into a household name."

Nail varnishes cost pounds 7.95 each. Meet Tony & Tina at Liberty, Regent Street, London W1 on Saturday 14 February between 1pm and 5pm for a complimentary manicure. Pre-booking essential; call Eleni Takkides on 0171 734 1234

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