Beauty and Style

Why dark polishes are my first choice for nails

October 6, 2014

nailsWhatever the season, weather or occasion I pretty much always go one of two ways with my nail polish: classic red (formerly Rimmel’s ‘Hot Gossip’* and nowadays more likely to be Leighton Denny’s ‘Provocative’) 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 ‘almost-but-not-quite-shades’ for years – I find them less harsh than a proper black, slightly warmer and easier to wear, less ‘fashion’, 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.  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 it’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 can’t really wear that kind of colour all week (and that’s how long, to Rachel’s incredulity, my polish usually lasts) and end up taking it off before there’s even a single chip because I get sick of looking at it, it doesn’t look right with something I’m wearing, or I have a work event I just don’t think it’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  and then, I always return to these darker hues – and I think I always will. My favourite-ever  version is OPI’s Russian Navy (main picture). I encouraged Rachel to buy it and both my  mother and my sister have it, too. I also love OPI’s Lincoln Park at Midnight and  Stylenomics by Essie. Now, when it comes to brands, I am pretty set in my OPI ways,  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?  Also, how long does your polish last if you do it yourself?

*now discontinued I just discovered 🙁

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    Reply Lisa October 7, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Looooove Russian Navy, and all of OPI’s dark burgundyish colours. I’ve got a lovely chocolate colour from Essie as well but can’t remember what it is called.

    Reply Laura August 2, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    I agree to the versatility but not practicability :). For somebody who travels 3 out of 5 workdays, having a nail polish which needs reapplying (even if Essie or Opi) is not a practical choice. I will go for the transparent/light shades as Sugar Daddy from Essie. Good compromise :)!

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