It’s my totally unscientific opinion that women are now buying nail polishes they way they used to buy lipsticks: as affordable luxuries, easy ways to follow a trend, and little pick-me-ups for days that didn’t go quite right. I probably own a few more than I really need to own, but my collection is still much smaller than you might guess. In fact, I’d be able to pare it down to five, if I really tried.
Essie A Room with a View: Everyone needs to own a pale, ladylike pink shade, right?—and Essie makes the best ones. Mademoiselle and Ballet Slippers always seem to top the “readers’ choice” polls in magazines, but this is my favorite. It has a soft shimmer that keeps it from looking chalky.
OPI Light My Sapphire: Remember the 90s, when dark, vampy nail polishes were still new to the mainstream? Now they’re almost classics. I still love this shade, which doesn’t photograph well at all: it’s a deep blue-black, like India ink, with very subtle dark-gray shimmer.
Sally Hansen Commander in Chic: The more recent taste for taupe/greige/putty/mushroom polishes brought us a range of new neutrals. I always get compliments on this sophisticated drugstore shade. It has a tiny hint of lilac that keeps it from looking dull against my pale skin.
Lancôme Rose Plumeti: Sometimes you just want a pretty, traditionally feminine manicure. This is a cool, medium rosy-pink with a delicate shimmery-creme finish. It’s more of a splurge, but it has excellent endurance on busy hands.
OPI Give Me the Moon: I’ve already written about this shade (see this post), but I’ll repeat myself: Give Me the Moon is the ideal iridescent lavender-gray shade that I’d been trying to find for a long time. It’s probably the most “me” nail polish that I own.
Do you have any essential nail polishes that you’d like to recommend? Feel free to comment!