Let’s Get Fancy: Nail Polish for Sunny Days

There is literally no makeup or accessorizing object that I like more than nail polish. Sure, I can’t leave the house without earrings, but that’s at least halfway due to the paranoia that my ear-holes will close up and I’ll have to get my lobes stapled with studs again. The nail polish obsession is just because I love it so much.

Now, I’m not going to pretend that I’m some nail artist ““ I don’t have the patience for making intricate designs on my own. No, my main draw to nail polish is all the fun, exciting colors. These colors are one of the few things that make me love winter. (Jewel tones! Everywhere! It’s like I dipped my fingers into some pirate booty, heh heh) In the spring and summer, the dizzying array of pastels, bright colors, and exciting shimmers is enough to make anyone’s head spin. Let me share with you some of the colors that have me drooling, and hopefully you’ll return the favor. There’ll be so much drool, it’ll be like a bassett hound convention (sorry, that’s gross, I am getting carried away).

Kieko by Zoya – This berry purple just has me imaging long, hot summer days by the pool, preferably with a mojito or fruit smoothie firmly in hand. The color is bold, fun, and for some reason it makes me want to eat candy (?), which may or may not be a plus. I always adore a good purple, and this, is one good purple.

Clambake by Essie – Alright, so I would have called this red-orange something fancier, like “Crawdad Boil” or “Uncle Gene After Falling Asleep in the Sun While Reading About the Red Sox,” but whatever. I love reds in the summer, well, year-round to be honest, but it’s really only in the summer and spring that one can get away with a great red-orange color like this one. I’d pair it with a natural tan and a big pair of sunglasses.

Apple by Zoya – If hot colors aren’t your thing, if you’re more of a cool spectrum kind of person, then maybe check out some of the greens. The gold flecks warm it up, true, but they also sparkle so pretty in sunlight, you’ll be left stroking your nails and imitating Gollum. My preciousssss… One polish to rule them all. To be fair, I do think this polish would be more Sauron’s speed.

Sadly, not everyone digs loud, bright, borderline garish colors. Lucky for them, and anyone who wants a break from screaming greens and rowdy reds, there are a slew of lovely muted shades waiting on store shelves/the Internet.

Sand Tropez by Essie – Beige isn’t always bland. This “soft, sandy beige” (their words, not mine) could be just the understatement you’ve been looking for. While greys dominated earlier this year, the warm weather has coaxed this warm neutral to come out of hiding, like a hesitant gerbil cautiously approaching a new food bowl. Again, I’m getting a little carried away here. Hey, at least I didn’t bring up bodily fluids this time!

French Affair by Essie – Like all things French (fries, doors, kissing), this polish holds a certain… I don’t know what. This pinkish-lavenderish color would look appropriate anywhere from the cow barn to a nice tea with crumpets. Essie’s website calls it a “sophisticated” color, which I can see. I can also see how pairing this with Cap’n Crunch cereal, unwashed hair, and a pair of four-year-old sweatpants could also be a killer look.

Now, some might say that these muted shades drift awfully close into grandma-territory, and yes, OK, I don’t dig the grandma-chic look that’s so popular with “the kids these days.” At the same time, I love contrasts, and these muted shades allow for a a great contrast with some wonderfully loud outfits.

The world is your oyster (surprisingly, a quick Google search suggests that this hasn’t been used yet as a name for a nice milky cream) – seize it with fabulous nails.

So what are your favorite colors for spring and summer? Do you have any nail care/painting/etc tips you’d like to share? I am at least 80% ears.

17 replies on “Let’s Get Fancy: Nail Polish for Sunny Days”

oh man I LOVE nail polish, even though I’m bad at remembering to actually, you know, put it on.

I’d love a post on nail art techniques. I’m not super into elaborate nail art but I like to coordinate my nails with my life (sports team have an important game? going to a concert? appropriate nail color!) and besides I just love looking at pictures/talking about awesome manicures.

I just found the best thing for novice nail designs at Walgreens. They are nail polish pens, they look like markers and have fine enough tips to make little designs. All the brands are coming out with the polish with really skinny brushes to make designs, but those still require a really steady hand. My 4 year old niece used the markers to make designs on her toes the other day, so I figure if she can do it, I may have a chance at creating something presentable.

Love this! I have a nail polish addiction. I paint my nails at least 4 times a week, sometimes everyday. I am currently loving the new crackle polishes, but have found the OPI one sucks really bad (it gets really, really clumpy very quickly, making it almost impossible to use without constantly thinning with polish remover), and the China Glaze ones are far superior and come in a variety of colors besides black. My toes are currently an obnoxious hot pink from Sinful (seriously, the absolute best selection of colors for only $1.99 a pop) with the gray China Glaze crackle over the top. I don’t splurge on the pricier brands very often because I seriously buy polish almost every time I go to a store that carries it, but that Essie Clambake is calling my name…

I picked up three awesome, tiny bottles of nail polish at H&M two weeks ago. I love that they are tiny, because honestly, who uses up a bottle of nail polish?

One is a creamy, pretty pale yellow that I wanted to wear on Easter, one is a gorgeous blue, but the best is an orange/red like the one on top. I never thought I’d like an orange that much – it’s so sprightly!

My favorite summer color of all time was a hot pink/magenta by Revelon that they don’t make anymore :( But my new fav is a tie between a blue called Slushied by OPI and this gray one I got at Ulta and can’t remmeber the name of. My all time favorite everyday color is Essie Ballet Slipper.

I LOVE nail polish! I went through a 2 week phase lately where all I wore was clear polish, and when I snapped out of it, I was like, whoa, that was weird. I can’t afford professional manicures often, but I paint my own nails 2 or 3 times per week, and my toenails probably once per week. My favorite summer color is a bright coral. I have 3 or 4 different ones in my collection (in varying degrees of pinkish, orangish, and brightness), but my current fave is Mango Madness by elf (I’m wearing it today). I also like rocking a candy apple red or lilac-y colors like the first one you posted. Another color I like in the summer is shimmery (almost gold) yellow… I don’t have it in front of me, so I don’t know the name.
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I, on the other hand, won’t wear earrings on consecutive days because I’m utterly terrifed of stretched out piercings and torn lobes.

Seeing this on store shelves may have scared the crap out of me:

Seeing all of these delightful, non-OPI colors gives me a bit of a sad. As a professional-manicure devotee and as someone who is completely unable to polish her own nails, I feel stuck, sometimes, with the choices at the salon.

So I actually looked at a lot of the OPI colors, too, but unfortunately, their interface is less link-friendly. Here are some that are similar to the colors I mentioned above:

Instead of Zoya Keiko, try OPI Houston We Have A Purple.
Instead of Essie Clambake, try OPI Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It.
The Zoya Apple color is pretty unique, but OPI has some fun greens, like Gargantuan Green Grape – Matte, or Cuckoo For This Color.
Instead of Essie Sand Tropez, try OPI Samoan Sand.
Instead of Essie French Affair, try OPI Altar Ego.

I don’t know if your salon carries those colors, but it’s worth a try!

I see! I have considered this, but wasn’t sure. I’ve seen a few people in my salon come in with polishes, but they’ve usually been brides and I thought maybe the salon was just being nice to them, specifically.

Now I have a problem. Nail polish collecting is terribly addictive and, like many a good vice, expensive. AND I’d still pay for the manicure. is going to be very very unhappy with me.

I’ve had my ears pierced for 20 years, and I haven’t worn earrings for at least 11 years, but my holes are still there. Once a year or so I’ll make sure I can still wear earrings if I want to, but I don’t think they can close back up again. I could be wrong, I’ve been wrong at least three times already today.

I love this post. I wish I was better at doing my nails, because I would wear all of these. Maybe at the same time, on different fingers. I end up painting most everything past the first knuckle, I’d be better off just dipping my fingers right in the bottle.

I have to second Essie’s French Affair. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it on, because like you said, it looks a little grandmotherly in the bottle. But on my nails it is lovely. I am pretty pale, and it really compliments my skin tone, and making my hands look less pale in the process. I’m seriously loving it.

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