I’m not sure if I subconsciously picked up this Southern fashion rule from my grandmother or just created it by osmosis of my family’s conservative style. Regardless, I primarily pick my nail polish colors by one motto; “If you wouldn’t wear the color on your lips, don’t wear it on your fingertips.” Granted, many modern Southern gals are much more adventurous but, after witnessing the look on my aunt’s face when my cousin’s wife wore a shimmering bronze polish, I learned at nine years old that there were limitations.
Having been friends with Francesca for some time now, she’s often attempted to push me outside of my palette comfort zone. Only over the past few years I’ve been known to don an OPI Lincoln Park After Dark or even Essie’s Nice is Nice. One day I was bold enough to wear Essie’s Lapis of Luxury with one finger sporting shimmering gold flecks, which naturally garnered the attention of my polish pusher pal. After a mere 20 years away from Texas, I had finally broken through my Southern style barrier.
Editor’s Note: Charlotte’s idea of a wild time, from left; gold glitter, Essie Lapis of Luxury, OPI Lincoln Park After Dark, Essie Nice is Nice.
Francesca is of course delighted at my sudden turn, frequently remarking on my more daring choices, but still there is a soft spot for those vibrant reds and flirtatious pinks, so I wanted to share some of my go-to shades.
OPI’s “The Thrill of Brazil”
This is a classic red, not so brazen as to shock your co-workers, but still spicy enough for a night out.
OPI’s “Red My Fortune Cookie”
This red is a bit brighter than The Thrill of Brazil, which I’m interpreting as being a bit more playful.
Essie’s “Rose Bowl”
A very fun and rich pink, I feel like any eight-year-old girl would automatically select this shade.
Orly’s “Passion Fruit”
Ah, a neon. I can’t help loving neon pink and Orly’s Passion Fruit does not disappoint. I’m so drawn to this color in fact that I accidentally purchased a duplicate bottle. Gorg.
Essie’s “One of a Kind”
This is a great one to break up my standard pinks and reds because it offers up some hints of orange. It’s like a blood orange-flavored candy.
And for the finale, the perfect red that now eludes me… As part of a promotional offer for TNT’s “The Closer,” Essie released a “Closer” red polish that rocked my socks off. Brighter than my other reds, and oh-so-stunning. I’ve made it through 2 bottles of this perfect polish (I may have stolen an extra from a coworker once I discovered its magic) and now I’m scraping the bottom of my last Essie bottle. Help me!
Despite my occasional betrayal, I still come running back to my pinks and reds like a schoolgirl who’s dramatically run away from home. When in doubt, “If you wouldn’t wear the color on your lips, don’t wear it on your fingertips.”
**Side note, when I first moved to Los Angeles, I used to tell strangers in bars that I wrote the names for nail polish colors. Is this a job? Can I have it?!?