Whatever the season, weather or occasion I pretty much always go one of two ways with my nail polish: classic red (formerly Rimmelâ€™s â€˜Hot Gossipâ€™* and nowadays more likely to be Leighton Dennyâ€™s â€˜Provocativeâ€™) or a very dark shade that is almost black.
I do dabble these days in a full-on black but am a relatively recent convert and still find it a bit much for always-wear. I have been in love with these â€˜almost-but-not-quite-shadesâ€™ for years – I find them less harsh than a proper black, slightly warmer and easier to wear, less â€˜fashionâ€™, definitely less teenager-ish, and within the almost-colours there lies a variety that means even though I am essentially wearing the same nail polish week-in, week-out, I actually am not and this provides interest, subtle matching to outfit/occasion/mood, and plenty of opportunities for new investments.
These dark beauties are grown-up: they are appropriate for wearing to even a very serious workplace, but stylish enough to work with jeans and leather jackets. Â Put simply, this is the palette of choice for both the solicitor and the rock star.
I know that each summer we are encouraged to try pastels and acid brights (though by the same people who annually instruct us to invest in wedges, so I think itâ€™s prudent to approach this advice with a similar amount of caution), and sometimes I am tempted and even do indulge (I was particularly fond of some tangerine I worked last summer). But I find I canâ€™t really wear that kind of colour all week (and thatâ€™s how long, to Rachelâ€™s incredulity, my polish usually lasts) and end up taking it off before thereâ€™s even a single chip because I get sick of looking at it, it doesnâ€™t look right with something Iâ€™m wearing, or I have a work event I just donâ€™t think itâ€™s appropriate for. Now, I do not enjoy painting my nails and so I want to wear that colour that I carefully applied in four coats (base, polish, polish, top coat) and sat still with for ages while it dried for as long as I can.
For all of the above reasons, though I might be tempted to stray into lighter colours now Â and then, I always return to these darker hues – and I think I always will. My favourite-ever Â version is OPIâ€™s Russian Navy (main picture). I encouraged Rachel to buy it and both my Â mother and my sister have it, too. I also love OPIâ€™s Lincoln Park at Midnight and Â Stylenomics by Essie. Now, when it comes to brands, I am pretty set in my OPI ways, Â though I know people go crazy for Butter London and Chanel polishes.
I would love to branch out and try new brands/shades – do you have any recommendations? Â Also, how long does your polish last if you do it yourself?
*now discontinued I just discovered