Just about a year ago, the product-sampling club Birchbox invited me to take part in a competition. Twelve bloggers were submitting their ideas for a new nail polish color, with a name, a description and a “mood board.” Three winners would see their concepts made into actual products by the nail-polish brand Zoya.
How could I refuse?
I really did have a shade in mind—something I wanted just for myself.
I wrote up a brief description, which was posted on the Birchbox site (see here). And I gathered a handful of images to illustrate the idea of a dreamy, pale violet nail polish. My “inspirations” included the flower itself, as well as violet colors in cosmetics and art, violet scents in some of my favorite perfumes, and violet flavorings in cocktails and macarons.
Long story short, I didn’t win. My internet following is small compared to that of other bloggers and YouTube “gurus,” and—more crucially, perhaps—I wasn’t following the trend-dictate that had already been issued by Pantone in conjunction with the beauty and fashion industries. All three winners had submitted variations on orange/melon/tangerine.
But the possibility of a pale, shimmery violet polish still haunted me, and I searched the drugstores whenever I thought of it. Some lavender/lilac/mauve shades were too opaque and whitish, some were too glittery, and some were nearly invisible when they were applied.
Then I found this.
OPI Give Me The Moon has been on the market for a few years; I just hadn’t seen it before in any of my local stores. I came across it serendipitously, while killing a few extra minutes in a beauty boutique during a trip to Philadelphia. It even happened to match the dress I was wearing to a wedding that weekend.
I love its name, its smooth finish, its semi-transparent (but still well-pigmented) consistency, and its mysterious pearly-shimmery finish and misty-violet color. It wears well and it flatters my pale, cool-neutral skintone.
I’m not going to take a picture of my own fingers, because I find those disembodied “nail shots” slightly creepy. If you do a Google Images search for “OPI Give Me The Moon,” you’ll get plenty of results like the ones above.
Zoya did end up releasing a “full-coverage, soft wisteria purple metallic” shade called Julie slightly later in 2012, as part of a collaboration with the designer Zang Toi. Julie is now part of the regular Zoya collection. It sounds a bit too purplish and opaque for my exact taste, but I’m glad to see the brand offering something besides bright! punchy! colors! that look great with a summer mani-pedi!!
And Deborah Lippmann’s new “Girls” collection, a tie-in with the HBO series (haven’t seen it, not interested) includes a “virtuous vivid violet” called Shoshanna. So, I guess violet polishes are turning out to be “on trend” after all.
Not that I’m resentful, or anything like that. I mean, it’s been a whole year. And now you know.
Images: Screenshot of Birchbox blog; Violet Veil “mood board” is my very own property, with thanks to the lovely friend who helped me put it together; Give Me The Moon, via OPI; Google Image search; Zang Toi collection, via Zoya.