The Perfect Polish

Sometimes I try to expand my nail polish repertoire, but my preferences when it comes to le vernis are so boring classic that more outlandish or exciting or surprising shades never get much use at all and I find myself back to appreciating my trusty little wardrobe of basics even more.

 

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The Oxblood:
Revlon Vixen (570)
I love vampy nails.  Having great nails always seems a bit femme fatale to me- there’s something so manicured ( 😛 ) and knowledgeable about it.  And I like playing that up a bit with color choice.  How would you describe this kind of color?: dark plum, oxblood, wine (and the more nuanced bordeaux, merlot, and burgundy). I’m a big fan of it, count myself super lucky to have found the last dusty bottle on a low shelf at CVS, and love how smoothly it goes on (and how you only need one coat!). It’s also super durable and looks great on toes, especially if you want a lighter color on your hands.
Apparently similar colors that I haven’t tried include Essie Wicked and Chanel Rouge Noir (very Stendhal).  But I’m so happy with Vixen I don’t think I would switch unless it disappeared off the face of the earth and I were forced as an act of desperation.

 

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The Ruby Red:
Essie Fishnet Stockings
A word of caution: just looking at swatches online it seems that people get pretty varied results when it comes to the tone- so I picked the swatch that’s most similar to the color I ultimately get. If you haven’t picked up on it by now, my hands look most happy in blue tones. I’d love to be able to pull off a real Chinese Red like Chanel’s discontinued Shanghai Red, but this whole ruby thing is more my speed.
And Essie is so reliable and consistent, I trust them implicitly. Honestly more than I trust America’s president, these days (not saying much).  I used to use Essie’s Limited Addiction to fulfill this color need, but honestly I like both this color and the name better. And I know it’s shallow, but I’m influenced by nail polish names. They’re so evocative and reading them makes me so happy (little pleasures)! So when I have a choice and all else is equal, I’ll opt for the more appealing name.

 

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The Sheer Ballet Pink:
Essie Sugar Daddy
Honestly there are so many sheer Essie pinks, I can’t imagine they’re not interchangeable. I had some one about High Maintenance or other before this and it was pretty much the same (from what I remember of middle school).  I know some people layer these sheers until they get something kind of opaque. I can’t imagine having the patience to do that!
Instead I’ll opt for these as a sheer gloss. For those days when you want to look put together but don’t want to think too much about your nail polish or living up to your *vampy* presentation. I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m the least vampy person ever hahaha.
BUT instead of repurchasing this one I might go for Ballet Slippers, just because it’s the classic and has a slightly more frosted look.

 

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The Mushroom Taupe:
Essie Merino Cool
Wow just look at my Essie obsession! But it’s okay because I love this color and I’ve bookended the Essies by my other two.  Back in the day I was looking for a good taupe but I didn’t like the ‘greige’ kind- I liked it better when they turned a bit more slate-y/purple/mushroom-y.  So I found this one and I have no regrets.  Like Fishnet Stockings it goes on perfectly and opaque in one coat.
I have to admit, if the name is a pun I don’t get it, but I love merino wool and other cozy things (and sheep!).

The Summer Watermelon:
OPI Wanted… Red or Alive
Well… I’m at a bit of an impasse here because not only is this my odd color out but I can’t find any swatches online that are accurate to the way it looks on me (and I’m not about to change my nail polish for the sake of taking a picture). So just take my word for it as a summer pink-red watermelon color. I’m honestly not sure I’m going to hold onto it. It’s my only decidedly ~summery~ nail polish, so less classic, less formal. I don’t know, I don’t want to get experimental with my nails. I want them to be sober and elegant.
What do you think? Are there any sober and elegant summer colors, or am I fooling myself?

If I could have any nail polish color right now, to fill the biggest hole in my collection, it would be an opaque nude. I really thought I had found the one when I bought Maybelline’s Neutral Statement, but the formula is quite bad. Even though I loved the color it always went on so streaky and clumpy! I eventually ended up passing it on. So where do I go from here- at this point I miss the color so much I’m essentially looking for a more expensive/higher quality dupe- exactly the opposite of what is usually the case! I know it seems silly because the color is so… I don’t want to say blah or bland but it’s so perfectly streamlined and discrete. I do miss it. 😛

And then I have guilty pleasure nail polishes that I imagine getting, mostly sparkly ones, like this and this and this.

And of course if you love nail polish names a much as I do there’s this now defunct blog, but the old posts are always fun reading if you have a few spare minutes!

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