Friday, March 8, 2013

Brightly-Colored Nails

Like with my hair, I've never been one to shy away from bright colors and wild combinations on my nails. And again, I've been fortunate to work at places that don't really care about the hues on my tips, so I've gotten to play around.

I joined Julep Maven* last year and have been loving it. You get 3 or so small bottles of polish (side note: has anyone ever finished a whole big bottle of polish before it dried up?) every month for $20, and you can skip any time without hassle. It's great for people like me who love to try lots of different colors.

But the point of this post isn't to advertise for Julep. It's to talk about nail polish colors that are more acceptable if you work in a conservative environment. I've compiled a few below, in a range of prices.


Though it's $15 a pop, Butter London has some great shades. For neutrals, I like Hen Party, Fash Pack, and Tea With the Queen.If you have a little more leeway to try a fun blue, Fish Wife is really pretty.

(Full disclosure: due to my own cheapness, I haven't personally tried these. I included them based on recommendations and feedback I've heard from friends.)


At $8 a bottle, Zoya isn't quite as expensive as Butter. Plus, they often do free bottle promos, and I can say honestly, I have 4 or 5 bottles of Zoya and I've never paid more than the shipping cost. To be honest, I was really unhappy with the way their social media/customer service team handled a problem last year, but the product is so stand-out that I forgave them.

I picked a couple of brighter colors here, but there are some softer choices in the middle if that's what you need. Left to right are Dita, Meadow, Pandora, and Gia.

This brand I can personally vouch for. In fact, I'm wearing Dita right now.

Cheap as You-Know-What**:

I'm certainly not going to tell you Mattese Elite is the best quality nail polish on Earth. It goes on smooth enough, but it chips off really fast. So don't use it if you need it to stay put for more than a day or two.

But the bottles are $5.99 at full price and frequently on sale, so if you need a new color to experiment or give you a pick-me-up, they're not bad. Naturally, I managed to pick nice professionally-acceptable adult colors with just about the least professional names ever. On the left you have Dead Punk Rocker, and in the middle you'll find Dirty Slut. The one on the left is Raspberry Star, which will be less awkward if someone asks you what color you're wearing.

For Funsies:

Not everything in the OPI Skyfall James Bond Collection will be work-appropriate, but by god they're pretty. You could probably get away with Moonraker, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and The World is Not Enough, and maybe even a few others. These are $8.50 a bottle, which isn't too bad for a little fun. Hey, they're cheaper than a ticket to see a Bond film in theaters.


I love the Flatte Matte Topcoat from KnockOut. It was actually given to me as a parting gift at the end of my internship at Bust a few years ago, but I hadn't used it much until lately. A matte topcoat is a nice way to tone down colors. Plus it's a cool look, and practically doubles your polish options. At $14 it's a little pricey, but there are cheaper brands out there. I just can't vouch for them myself.

*Yes that's a referral link. But no, they aren't paying me to gush about them.
** If you are looking for more cheap beauty ideas, a friend of mine writes her own blog about that very topic.

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