Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Choosing Colors for the Nail Polish Minimalist

Above: Top L-R-OPI Tickle My Francey, Finger Paints Peaceful Pink (pale neutral cremes), OPI I'm Not Really a Waitress and Bottom L-R- OPI Little Red Wagon (reds), Cosmo-Not Tonight Honey, OPI Princesses Rule! (neutral metallics, shimmers).
Above: My suggestions, a pale neutral creme, a shimmer or metallic lighter color, a red.
Below: But why stop there, add some colors like this to enhance the seasons and start your collection growing!
Last week, an acquaintance of mine commented on my nail polish (Misa Dirty Sexy Money always draws attention) and we began a lengthy discussion on the topic. She noted that she seldom wears polish (I hope she didn't see me cringe!) but would like to start. After indicating that she had no idea what 'starter' colors to buy, I suggested she choose a pale neutral creme, a red and perhaps a lighter shimmer in a fairly neutral color. And of course, a topcoat and base coat. She looked a bit perplexed, but promised she'd report back with what she bought when I see her later this week. I didn't have time to really formulate an answer for her, I just spoke off the top of my head. In the days following however, it got me thinking...'what are the basic recommendations for such a question, and why?' My answers were based on the fact that I thought she should start out with colors that would cover a)the season b)the occasion and c)her skin tone. A neutral creme would be versatile for a, b and c. As far as a red, well everyone needs a red with no explanation needed! That would fall more into the 'occasion' category, as well as getting her used to a brighter color on her nails. The lighter neutral color with a bit of shimmer or metallic look would not only get her interested in various nail color finishes, but give her something a little less conservative than the neutral cremes. Did I advise her wisely? I don't know, but I didn't want to lead her down the path that I'm on...yet. Most of you are very familiar with that path, the one filled with what to some, may look like 30 polishes of the same color (but we know and love their differences!), and so on. But I do think it would be nice for the 'newbie' to expand with a bright coral or fuchsia for Summer, a strong purple, burgundy or brown for Fall, and maybe a couple of polishes to do a classic French manicure. And that's how it starts, expanding on the basics. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on recommendations to someone new to this polish love of ours.


  1. I think you advised her correctly. I would have said the same thing, but maybe a 'pop' color as well ;)

  2. I think you did good job with advice you gave. The only thing that I might not have mentioned right off the bat would be the base coat and top coat. That can be confusing or put some people off. But then again it would depend on the person who was asking. How new they are to nail polish. How excited they are to explore the nail polish world. But every one needs at least one of each of the so called "safe" colors. Which I for one continue to love and buy.

  3. Nessa~you're right, even just one 'fun' polish may have been a good idea.

    Velvet~I know I was starting to confuse her! But I was afraid if it didn't apply right or look 'finished' she might be discouraged. So we'll see :)

  4. That is a great selection of polishes to start with. I would add a light blue and green in there.

  5. I'm w/Lucy. I would definitely add a very subtle blue and green in there. I'm addicted to bright colors! :) You gave great advice. I'm going to send a link to this post to a friend who's contemplating color as well.

  6. Lucy & Pretty Brown Girl~I'll see how she did with the basics and then I'll head her into the world of color!