Crazy But True: We Can Predict an Oscar Winner Based on Their Nail Polish

Updated 03/02/18

Every awards season, we, the beauty-obsessed, are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed waiting for celebs to grace the red carpet so we can catch a glimpse of their hair and makeup. Of course, we also gawk at their incredible ensembles and bask in the sheer delight of their otherworldly presence, practically blinded by every sequin and sparkle. Admittedly, though, one element of their look that takes a bit of a back seat in our minds is their nails. Trust us—we love a good nail polish and an even better manicure, but it just doesn't immediately grab our attention like the other standout elements.

However, we recently learned that we should have been paying way more attention to their digits all along.

Backstage at NYFW, a top celebrity manicurist and nail mogul revealed to us that when she's getting a client ready for the Oscars (or any award show), if she has a feeling that they're going to win, she'll paint their nails either a nude or pale neutral color. The reasoning? When they hold the award for photographs, she doesn't want anyone to be distracted by a bright nail color or intricate design. "The focus should be on the statue," she explains. Deeply fascinated by this, I decided to take a look through Oscar winners past and their nail colors.

The results were shocking. Take a look for yourself below.

Exhibit A

Julianne Moor Oscars
C Flanigan/Getty Images

Julianne Moore at the 2015 Oscars. The Nail color? Nude.

Exhibit B

Alicia Vikander Oscars
Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/Getty Images

Alicia Vikander was glowing after winning Best Supporting Actress in The Danish Girl. What's that color on her nails? A barely-there sheer champagne (Deborah Lippmann Bring on the Bling—which is no longer available—to be exact).

Exhibit C

Halle Berry Oscars
Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images

Even back in 2002, neutral/pale nails were victorious, like Halle Berry's here, where she won for Best Actress for her role in Monster's Ball.

Exhibit D

Brie Larson Ocsars
Ted Soqui/Getty Images

Brie Larson's big win in 2016 for her role in Room was greeted with—what else— nude digits. Her polish was a combination of Chanel Nail Polish in Ballerina ($28) and Chanel La Base ($28).

Exhibit E

Lupita Nyong'o Oscars
Frank Trapper/Getty Images

Lupita Nyong'o was a vision at the 2014 Oscars while holding her new hardware and showing off a pale pink mani (Deborah Lippmann La Vie En Rose, $18).

Exhibit F

Patricia Arquette Oscars
C Flanigan/Getty Images

Patricia Arquette actually didn't have time for a manicure at the 2015 Oscars, but her look still fits the theory that nude/neutral nails=victory.

Exhibit G

Viola Davis Oscars
Frazer Harrison /Getty Images

Viola Davis delivered a powerful and captivating speech while accepting her award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Fences. She proudly held her first Academy Award with nails clad in Mink Muffs by Essie, a taupe-tinged nude.

Exhibit H

Emma Stone Oscars
Steve Granitz/Getty Images

La La Land might not have won Best Picture last year (we'll never forget that mix-up), but Emma Stone took home her first Oscar for Best Actress for the film. Her nail polish? A barely there translucent shimmer.

Another interesting tidbit: Jennifer Lawrence wore a pale pink/nude nail at the 2013 Oscars when she won, but at the 2016 Oscars, she wore black nail lacquer and lost to Brie Larson, who wore—you guessed it—a pale pink nail. Coincidence? We think not. Sure, there have been several nominees who also wore a nude/pale nail and lost, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a winner with a strong contrasting, bright, primary, jewel-toned, or detailed nail.

We're placing bets that Allison Janney and Frances McDormand will be wearing a pale/nude nail this weekend—follow our Oscars coverage Sunday night to find out.

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