Sometimes you just need to switch over to something mellow and subdued, and one of my favorites is Sephora by OPI’s Under My Trench Coat.  It’s a nice light sophisticated neutral with the tiniest bit of shimmer to keep it just a little bit more interesting and unique.  While I like the idea of splashing some bright colors against taupe for a chic contrast, I am finding that sometimes it’s okay to immerse yourself in a neutral palette for a while.  It’s sort of like a nice sorbet palete cleanser for the world of color and there’s nothing wrong with that.



precocious purple.

I was searching for something really bright to pair with a nice layer of Nubar 2010 flakies, and decided I was pretty freshly intrigued with Essie’s perky purple. The idea of a neon purple itself is sort of perplexing since to get that buzzy neon saturation it seems like a purple is going to end up leaning pink in hue, and this was no exception.  In fact these images ended up looking quite a bit more pink than I felt they did in real life, but that is because the sun really brought out the pink brightness of the color.  Still, it’s a lot more interesting and a bit of a chameleon than a standard pink neon would be.

As neons tend to do, this color ends up quite matte on the nail, but with a layer of Nubar 2010 and Poshe topcoat, it obviously ended up quite glossy.  On the other hand, the wear on this was deplorable.  This is actually the second attempt at this manicure merely for the purpose of taking pictures of it.  Both times I had giant chips in the polish that began hours after application.  I used my trusty basecoat and everything and have never had a problem to this extent with any of my other polishes.  I don’t know if it’s the fact that it’s matte or Essie or both or a bad combo with everything, but the wear was really awful which is a shame since it’s such a nice combination and I’m rather fond of the uniqueness of the color.

The combination of the firey flakies which shift from deep orange to yellowish green on the bright neon background made me think of the playfulness of graffiti and the flaking layers of paint, so that became my setting for this polish.  You can see how the flakies come alive even more in the shade as they catch and bend the subtle moments of light revealing their full rainbow capabilities.  If you can catch it all the way at an angle, the green really shines through.  It’s quite a fun manicure to stare at.  Too bad it doesn’t stick around for very long!


oxidized cantaloupe.

I spent a lot of time searching for what I felt was the perfect creamy pastel orange.  It felt difficult to find the shade I pictured in my head since most of the colors I found in this range were a lot more saturated or ended up looking a lot pinker than I wanted.  I settled in on Essie’s Cantaloupe to fill that niche in my collection.  It feels more true to what I imagine a peachy pastel orange should be.  It’s a nice, chic shade that has just a little bit of something extra to keep it interesting while still being a subtle manicure color.  This is three thin coats, and application was pretty much on par with any other pastel polish out there.

I came across a creamy pale yellow dumpster with some nice oxidation that made a similar, yet subtle background to the nice tangy brightness of the Cantaloupe color.  They are colors that I wouldn’t have necessarily thought to pair, but i like the combination especially with the skintone.


something blue.

Inspired by the wedding venue and the fresh bridal bouquet that I was playing with a few days this week, I found myself reaching for the one polish that really got me back into nail polish.  I guess it was all due to a craving that I had in high school for the difficult-t0-acquire pastel nail polishes that only seemed to come in the then out-of-my-high-school-budget Hard Candy brand.  I sated that craving by choosing OPI’s What’s With the Cattitude? from their Shrek collection last year despite typically sticking to really traditional pearlized or pale pink hues for my nails on the off chance I got a manicure.  I felt the need to own it after taking the plunge and trying it.  Somehow that experience really opened the floodgates for owning numerous bottles of nail polish starting with a range of pastels.

There’s a bit of a bright punchiness to this pastel blue, and I always figured that it would be a great “something blue” for a wedding color so I pulled it out of its hibernation for the occasion. I had managed to forget what a pain pastels were to apply since last spring and summer, and this was no exception.  I spent some time leering at two coats wondering if the third would even it out, so I ended up thickening the third coat to some satisfaction.  I accented a nail on each hand with the grey-tinged vibrant peacocky cobalt Suzi Says Feng Shui.  For some reason, I feel like I ended up with a strangely gloopy bottle, however, and it shows.  I haven’t been as liberal with the thinner as I probably should have with this bottle, but it really needs it.

I enjoy these colors together especially against crisp wedding whites and springy greens.  Cattitude blue is reminiscent of an idealized vibrant blue sky which I feel I’ve been experiencing lately as spring unfurls itself, and I like the extra punch of Feng Shui to liven the palette up a bit more.