Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Nail Files - Navy Nails

Well, it's springtime, so what does that mean to me, nail wise? Some pretty pales, a few brights, and yes, navy nails. My love of dark vampy colors started about 4 years ago when E accidentally (that time) stomped on my big toe with one of those plastic dress-up heels right below the nail, you know, where the nail forms and can get really messed up? I'll spare you the goriest details, but the bruise grew out under the nail and it was ick, so I said, hmmmm, I need a nail polish that can cover this up. At the time, there weren't that many dark polishes (this was before Chanel's Black Satin). So I headed to Target and came home with a Cover Girl that seemed the best purple-ish/burgudy-ish shade. And I just loved it! It reminded me of back in the Pulp Fiction days of Uma and the original Vamp polish. I had Revlon's knockoff, Vixen, but I totally worked it.

And let me tell you, dark polish matches everything! So a love affair was born. It's so bad that last summer when I went with a pale on my toes a couple of times, I didn't even recognize my feet. It was like looking at someone else's feet where mine should be. My dark shade of choice changes with the season, but Summer 2007, OPI released their NightBrights colleciton, which included Light My Sapphire, and that was it. Navy blue polish? I loved it. Navy is so preppy and dark polish is so goth, it was the perfect marriage for me - which is actually why I love dark polish - because I tend to dress so preppy/conservative anyway, it gives me a little edge.

And then Chanel came out with Blue Satin in Spring 2008. Also loved that. And that's what I have on my toes to welcome spring! This and the OPI one will probably alternate on my toes for many months to come. Which one do I like best? Hard to say. I'll have to test that out. Important note - the darks really do look best on short nails (or at least that's my personal preference).

The 2 pics below illustrate my example of doing your nails before bed. Top pic is right after they were done - total mess, seriously tacky, right?


And here we have, next morning, after a quick excess polish clean up in the shower. Not too shabby, huh?


Now, I flat out admit that I have a nail polish issue. But clearly I have way too many colors (personal stash below). I think it's time to narrow down.
But I will give you my quick primer on my own personal opinion of these polish brands:

  • OPI - love the formula, love the new wide brush-makes polish application easier. You Don't Know Jacques from Fall/Winter 2008 was a particular favorite this fall. In general, I find OPI polishes look as good or better on me than in the bottle.
  • Sephora by OPI - like the formula, wish they had the same wide brush. Great color selection. Liked Metro Chic a lot this year - but only worked on my pale skin; did not look good on my tanned skin (but I wear SPF 45-70 all summer long, so no lectures please - I am a total sunscreen Nazi, you should see me at the pool with my hat, shades, spray sunscreen bottles)
  • Essie - I have so many issues with this brand. Many of their colors look different and worse on my skin than in the bottle. And many colors, especially their cremes need 3 coats to be opaque. I find most of the lights, especially the cremes, to be streaky. That being said, my 2 faves are Nude Beach and Risky Business (my dupe for J Crew's Essie shade - Mini Shorts)
  • Chanel - These colors are so gorgeous. They always look sparklier in the bottle than they do on. But that sparkle is what gives them such amazing depth. Delice is a summer fave, but looks awful on my skin right now. Still would love Rouge Noir (the original Vamp shade)
  • NARS - ok. not the best lasting. not sure why I still have these.
  • China Glaze - have 2 colors - Wagon Trail (dark olive-y with gold, total fall and St Patrick's favorite) and Princess Grace. Really like these.
The others are assorted odds and ends. One pile is my daughter's mini-stash. She's only allowed to use my top coat if she uses good polish (BTW, I am the one doing the nails; she picks the color). Some of the glittery junk she got from somewhere once messed up a whole bottle of my Seche Vite top coat.

Speaking of cutting down on colors... I used Chanel's Antilope on my tips last night. Have to say, it's very close to OPI's Sand in My Suit and I think I really like OPI's version better. If any of the DC JCA's want this bottle, let me know and I'll bring it to the event this Sunday to pass off.

And by the way, this post (as well as counting out 50 polishes) has made me realize that much as I want to order the Chanel Rouge Noir polish, especially today when I got the email from them with the free shipping code (0309TIPS), I really, really, really don't need it.

I will probably change out and go with the navy for my fingers for the weekend. I think they would really work with the JC cerise Lili. Hmmmm...

19 comments:

dinagideon said...

I never wear nail polish, so I live vicariously through you. Love the dark polish with the spattered paint still on your toes. Very bratz of you!!! ;)

Love the rest of the post...the light color on your nails is so pretty.

BTW, you have nice feet. I need to take better care of my feet!

HeidiG said...

Dina - Yeah, I know the pic of the polish spattered toes is pretty icky (and oh-so-Bratz-sh), but it does prove the point that you don't have to be expert to do it. And honestly, my feet are, in my opinion, really yucky - but it's amazing what a coat or two of polish - any polish - can do to make your feet look about a million times better.

GingerSnap said...

Feet always look best with a little coat of polish on them (whatever color you are into!). I tend to like either really dark colors or pinks. I have to learn to stay away from the super-nude shades on my toes because they tend to look "undone."

Joyce said...

I'd be willing to try the Chanel polish you mentioned. I still have that tangerine color on (no chips) and plan on getting them redone next week. Is it a frost (do they still label polish as frost?)?

HeidiG said...

GingerSnap - it is amazing what even a cruddy coat of polish can do to make feet look better.

Joyce - I'm happy to bring you the polish. If you no likey (channeling Gigi here), maybe someone else will. I would call it a metallic, but yeah, kinda close to a frost. Antilope and Flamingo were the 2 spring colors last year.

sparrowsandsparkles said...

OK when you said Navy Nails I thought whaaat? But I really like it! I have worn super dark (like Vamp) on really short nails before so I may try this! Thanks for the nail inspiration... I used to be so good at keeping up but I haven't been for a mani for about a month and my last pedicure was before Christmas... I appreciate your reviews of the shades & like your picks!

HeidiG said...

S&S - let me know if you try navy. I love them, but they're definitely not to everyone's taste, lol.

Christina said...

I have the same nail polish problem. I decided that next month I need to do a clean out.

HeidiG said...

Christina - I definitely need to do a cleanout, too. Not sure whether to do a toss-out-half or weed-out-as-I-go.

Alexandra said...

Love the color in your toes, I might have to try that next time since I usually go for the nude colors!
By the way,love your blog!

Anonymous said...

I don't think you have a nailpolish problem...you need more! I own 5 good size totes (with handles) about 8 x 8 each full of polish and I have more on a bathroom shelf. I know what you mean about not having to be perfect...a shower takes off any mistakes and/or water! Also use a q-tip dipped in remover:)

Anonymous said...

PS. Orly makes a deep plum that is my favorite:)

The Outfit of the day said...

Heidi,
I LOVE THE CHANEL DARK POLISH!!! In a few weeks I will be flying and I am going to take the opportunity to stop at the Duty Free and purchase it. Must have item!

Oh, by the way, the JCrew dress you asked about call;
Chambray Oxford Dress

HeidiG said...

Alexandra - Thank you! and thanks for stopping by!! I always say toes are the best place to try out a new funky color if you're just not sure - because then you can cover with shoes/socks until you either change it or get used to it. Your fingers are always there.

anon@5:41 - hey, don't enable me! :) We all collect different things, for me this is more of an attempt to (1) be able to maintain my collection, not have it spread out too much - I keep it in the top of a flip-top desk in the eating area because I tend to do my nails downstairs, and (2) be more mindful of new polish purchases - if it's something I need or really want and is actually different than what I have - which includes being better about returning colors that just aren't great - because there are too many fantastic colors out there, you know? What's your Orly plum? I looooove plum.

OutfitoftheDay - Hope you get some goodies when you travel! Thanks for the info on the dress - really loved it on you. So cute and looked comfy, too.

snaphappy said...

I know exactly what you mean about "not recognizing" your feet! Remember when I had that pink on my nails last spring -- and went back to Passion Nails 2 days later for a polish change?

HeidiG said...

SnapHappy - was that your toes or your fingers? I thought it was your fingers - yes that was hilarious because you were so annoyed with the color!!

snaphappy said...

It was my fingers. When my nails are long, I only like very light colors (like Essie Marshmallow). When they are short, like they are now, I prefer darker colors. So that pink was really a shock to me!

Gel-Nails said...

Interesting content.

Just wanted to share some information that may help busy professionals caught up with work and who have less time to maintain their nails. You can try out gel nails which are now becoming a hot favorite as they are natural looking even without nail tips and the best way for nail enhancement. Also, if you are allergic to those strong smelling chemicals which you can experience with acrylic nails, then you should use gel nails as these are odorless.

However, when you are planning on gel nail application, make sure you approach a nail salon or a nail artist who is well versed with gel nails and is properly trained and mastered in gel applications. This will save you from problems that can arise with improper gel nail applications.

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