I bought some more nail polish.
I know, I know, it’s literally only been two weeks since my big beauty confession, but I couldn’t help myself. Truth be told, I actually bought two other bottles of polish a couple days ago—one, a cross between Chanel Jade and Nouvelle Vague, the other a too-bright lavender (more about that one in a minute). I’ve been seeing those minty green Jade nails everywhere, and I love them. But when I painted my own nails that color, I felt…well…12. On my fingertips, it felt too close to a light blue I coveted in the days before I even had a license to drive. And the lavender? Close, but too purple. No, that’s not it; I’ll wear a purple polish. It was too intense for a color with no opalescence, and I didn’t want sparkly either. It felt cartoonish. So here is another confession: I now know I that blue nails (and anything in the blue or green family) is definitely not me. Oh, and yellow. Seriously, yellow nails? The polishes are out there. But I can’t think of a more unflattering nail color. Unless you’re 12.
So back to Ulta I went. Not for a return, but a polish exchange. I’ve already been on a big nude kick, and ever since I saw the photo below in Marie Claire’s June 2010 issue, I’ve been obsessed with the juxtaposition of neutrals and color—nude and lavender, specifically.
Since this juxtaposition is definitely not going to happen in my hair, extensions or otherwise, I thought, why not bring it in on the nails? Since I’ve officially struck Nouvelle Vague from my repertoire (boo), and I’ve already done the delicious olivey-khaki that is OPI’s oh-so-hot You Don’t Know Jacques, I decided to try some other colors I’ve never sported in the past. And I must say that I quite like them.
On my fingernails is OPI Dulce de Leche, a warmer neutral than the camel coat in the photo above, but nice with my skin tone (and it’s an exact match to a favorite lippie, MAC Blankety). The polish in the second photo, and on my toes below is Essie Neo Whimsical, a lovely lilac shade that is just dreamy on. Not too purple, not too pink, not too bright or too pale. Almost a non-color color, like a cool, neutral grey.
So what do you think? I’m loving Neo Whimsical even with olive green and dark brown. I think it’s going to look stunning with black, and my nude peep-toes. When it’s time for a mani, I’m going to try it on my fingers as well. I think it has the same muted brightness of pale pink, but it’s an edgier choice. A nice diversion.
PS: As captioned, the second bottle in the Essie photo is CND Stickey Base Coat. Why have I included it? Because it is my secret manicure weapon. I’ve finally(!) found the key to long-lasting, natural nail manicures. Here is my formula:
- If you have problem nails (peeling, splitting, easily broken nails), start with a coat of Nailtiques Nail Protein Formula 2. This stuff is a miracle worker. If you’re going from gels or acrylics back to natural nails, Nailtiques will help strengthen them so you get your healthy, real nails back stronger and faster. Trust me, I know. I’ve been using it off and on for years. It is the real deal.
- Use one coat of CND Stickey Base Coat on top of the Nailtiques. Make sure it dries completely before moving to the next step.
- Add two coats of your favorite polish, letting each coat dry thoroughly. My preferred brands are OPI, Essie, and China Glaze.
- Finish with OPI Top Coat.
When I use these products in this order, my manicure lasts at least five full days with hardly a chip. To extend the life of your manicure, touch up edges or chips, then seal with another layer of your top coat about three days in. Most of the time, I re-do my nails more because I get tired of looking at the same color than because they’re chipped or looking bad.