Snakeskin Pedicures - All the Rage

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Charmed, we're sure: Real snakeskin pedicures are all the rage.

A few years ago, it was individually painted designs and embellishments; then it was Minx and gel manicures. More recently,  Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects have been making quite a splash. Nail polish obsessives certainly have a lot to keep up with as far as ever-changing trends, but the latest—as highlighted by Vogue—will really raise eyebrows: snakeskin—real snakeskin.

In the magazine’s June issue, beauty director Sarah Brown documents her trip to a California-based pedicurist for the look of the season. Terri Silacci, the artist in question, layers actual snakeskin over a coat of colored polish and tops it with a clear sealing coat for the finishing touch: toes that would go perfectly with any of the Fall 2011 offerings from Missoni, Chloé or Prada.

Before PETA types get outraged: “The delicate, almost transparent skin, which looks like very finely embossed parchment, was kindly donated by a 4-foot-long female python who shimmied out of it one day, the natural shedding process for snakes as they grow,” Brown writes of the snakeskin, with Silacci adding that it’s a “renewable resource.” (Silacci’s neighbor in Monterey, Calif., runs a reptile shop, providing her with all the snakeskin she could ever want.)

For manicurists who aren’t so lucky with their neighbors, a synthetic, embossed version of the snakeskin pattern is also available. Good thing: The real deal can run as much as $300 for a single pedicure, and more if customers opt for Silacci’s gold- and silver-leaf or peacock-feather add-ons.

Worth it, though, when comparing toes with a Minx-clad pal, no?

In related reptile news, get the lowdown on our snake serum road test.