Time for a Polish Change

May 17, 2012 | By | Comments (5)

PolishYou may have heard the buzz (or seen it on friends’ or colleagues’ nails); Nail polish is the new lipstick. No, I don’t mean you should start painting your lips with polish. Please don’t. I mean it’s a reasonably affordable splurge that’s taking the place of lipstick as an easy beauty pick-me-up. For less than $20 a bottle (often way less), I can add a fun pop of color that lasts for about three days.

Crazy colors like blue, bright purple, green, or even neon yellow are no longer relegated to rebellious teenagers or special occasions like Halloween. And once you start collecting bottles, it quickly becomes addictive (just ask my husband, who grumbles every time my polish collection expands… "You really need six different shades of purple??” He asks. Yes, yes I do.)

So what are some other good shade options to fit current nail trends (without getting too crazy)? For the answer, I turned to Cooking Light’s resident nail polish expert—I am simply the Luke Skywalker to her Yoda—Assistant Editor Phoebe Wu.

Red: Try a slightly browned red, not candy apple, like Zoya’s Diana or OPI’s Got the Blues for Red.

Neutral: Sheer, ballet slipper pinks are fine, but a newer twist on neutrals are more in the taupe family. Phoebe likes Essie’s Chinchilly. I also like China Glaze Romantique.

Pop of color: If I had to pick one “fun” direction to go in, bright blue is great for summer. My favorite is Essie’s Turquoise and Caicos or Butter London’s Blagger.

What else do you need?

  1. A good base coat: These help you obtain a smoother surface, so polish goes on streak-free. They also prevent polishes from discoloring your nails and give your nail a smooth surface, making color application easier. Phoebe likes Essie Fill the Gap ridge filler. My favorite: Orly’s Primetime Chip Preventing Primer.
  2. An even better top coat: Unless you have time to really sit still after painting, a fast-drying top coat is your friend. We both agree on Seche Vite, though Phoebe throws a nod toward INM’s Out the Door Topcoat.
  3. A good polish remover. “I think it's worth it to get one of those twist off (the kind where you stick your nail in a sponge and twist) nail polish removers like the Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover,” Phoebe says. “I recommend this for beginners because if you just mess up one or two nails (and the rest are fine), this is an easy way to do that nail over without messing up your other nails.”
  4. Q-tips Precision Tips: Dual, cotton-y pointy ends are ideal for cleaning up post-polish. I dip one end into polish remover and use it to carefully wipe around my nail beds to banish stray polish strokes.

What’s your favorite shade?



  1. Quick hits: Three great beauty products I’m loving these days – Simmer & Boil | – Cooking Light

    […] a bit of a nail polish junkie, as I’ve mentioned before, but the removal process takes a lot of the fun out of it—and it can also be really damaging to […]

    May 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm
  2. Cindy

    Alison, that’s a great one! Phoebe turned me on to it recently. I wish it lasted a bit longer, though.

    May 27, 2012 at 8:53 am
  3. Alison

    Zoya’s Chrasima is one of my faves. It’s a gorgeous neon purple that always gets complemented. ORLY’s La Vida Loca is another great color – very hot pink with a purple flash – great for toes.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm
  4. Connie L Veilleux

    I do agree! There’s nothing like a great lipstick and fun nail polish to make me feel pretty. And if you use a good binder under your polish and a great top coat, it’s possible to get the polish to last up to a week!

    May 19, 2012 at 11:19 am
  5. Mallory

    Second the Seche Vite for a quick-drying top coat! Can’t wait to try some of the others you suggested.

    May 18, 2012 at 11:30 am

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s