Ultramarine: the blue's backstory

An intense colour steeped in history, ultramarine (now called Klein Blue) makes a striking impression on our nails. Time to deep-dive into Ultramarine, a Manucurist must-have

While some opinion polls now rank blue as France's favourite colour, it hasn't always been this way. Neglected by Latin civilization for many years, blue only started becoming popular at the beginning of the 20th century

Since about 1890 when opinion polls first started, blue has been ranked first everywhere in the West, from France to Sicily and from the United States to New Zealand, by both men and women from all social and professional backgrounds. The entire Western world is in love with blue," confirms historian Michel Pastoureau.

Artists like Geneviève Asse and David Hockney have even made blue the cornerstone of their work. But we can't talk about blue without bringing up the artist Yves Klein. Also nicknamed "Yves the Monochrome" for his all-blue works, Yves Klein was convinced that artists would only paint in one colour in the future. To him, the essence of art was the purity of its colour, which should penetrate its viewers. So he decided to concentrate on one colour, which is what led to his success. "I will dedicate my life to blue, blue, nothing but blue!"


Yves Klein

For several months, the ultramarine pigment was the focus of his research. It was thanks to a new solvent—a synthetic resin—that Klein finally managed to develop his famous International Klein Blue (IKB), a powdery and magnetic hue. Obsessed with his discovery, Klein registered the formula for his blue with the French National Institute of Industrial Property. The exact formula for his IKB has never been revealed or sold, although it has been imitated. Only Klein was able to use it.


Ultramarine blue poster, “Proposition monochromes”, 1957

Putting it to work

Our Ultramarine electric blue polish is hypnotic and can be worn in a myriad of ways, in both summer and winter. If you want a more subtle look, you can pair it with a neutral colour like white, beige or sand, which will soften its intensity and depth.


Source : @monaj sur Instagram

You can also try more daring combinations, teaming it with bold shades like terracotta, lemon yellow or coral, which work well together. More experienced colour wearers can even opt for a colourblock look by combining Ultramarine with orange, pink or green.

 

If you choose it for your interior, bear in mind that it works brilliantly with wood, straw and wicker—raw materials that temper the sassy, wildly arty side of this absolute blue. You can decorate a hallway, stairwell, bedroom or even an office in Klein Blue. This powdery monochrome shade adds depth when applied to a wall, making the space look bigger.


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