February 22, 2002 09:02 AM

Oscar nominees may fight tooth and nail to win an award, but just don’t expect any of those nails to get broken — especially after the ritual of manicures and pedicures that the stars will undertake prior to the big night on March 24. The New York-based Ted Kruckel of Ted Inc., whose marketing firm puts together swanky “Oscar suites” at luxury hotels for arriving celebrities (something he did during the Golden Globes and for the recent Fashion Week in New York), tells PEOPLE that he expects the stars to make two different types of requests from manicurists before hitting the party circuit. “This year will be special,” says Kruckel. “My take on the trends for beauty is one of two things. It will be super-natural, or a very, very, very one hot-color, which I predict will be red.” Just don’t expect any rhinestones, appliquéd stripes or hand-painted flowers on the fingers or toes of the likes of Nicole Kidman or Halle Berry. But do look for fire-truck colors. “We’re going to be doing a lot of red nails,” says Kruckel, “but also most are going to ask for French manicures with shades of pale pink and white or peach and ivory, or maybe even tangerine and peach. We’ll do tons of very subtle French manicures.” Reflecting for a moment, he adds, “Still, I think we’re going to do a lot of business in red.”

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