Friday, May 4, 2012

Trends We'll Never Stop Loving: Black Nail Polish


At heart, I'm a rock and roll kind of chick. (The Rock 'n Roller lives next to the Earth Mother. Go figure.) The older I get, the more I sartorially exhibit these tendencies, but it started way back in junior high with one thing - black nail polish.

My memory doesn't serve me as well as it should, but I believe I discovered the joys of a black nail when grunge became a thing. Since then, black has been my go-to nail color when I get tired of, well, color.

To tell you the truth, I have no idea if black nails are in style right now. I'm a couple seasons behind on my Vogue magazines and when I look at fashion blogs I'm normally too busy ogling the clothes to check out the nails. But what I can tell you is that right now, I own three different bottles of black nail polish. Yep, three. Currently, I have a matte black polish, a standard black, and a shimmery black. And that's just the regular black.

I also have a bluish black, a reddish black, and a greenish black. Then there is the nail pen that I use to create black tips. What I'm trying to say is, I've come a long way from the watery bottle of Wet N Wild black polish that required four coats to get an even color. I've worn black nail polish for so long that I have actually have some memories attached to it. Way back when my husband and I first met, when the black nail was more goth and punk than glamorous, I was doing my nails while talking to him over AIM chat (remember that? Good times.). Since he has an art degree, I asked his input on my nails - plain black or black with silver glitter. His response to my question was another question - goth or glam? I decided that I was feeling a bit glam that night, so black with silver glitter it was. It's a silly memory to have rattling around in my brain, but it makes me smile and think of those Good Old Days (TM).

Several years later, in 2006, I was selling copiers for a...shall we say...not completely ethical company, when Chanel released their Black Satin nail polish and marketed it as the Next Big Thing in fashion, as if an entire subculture hadn't been doing it for 30 years. One afternoon, a sweet, preppy, very Southern co-worker came up to me and proudly showed me her black pedicure. You wouldn't think that something as simple as black nail polish could be the impetus for an actual bonding moment, but in a highly competitive industry and in an office with rampant misogyny, a pedicure opened the door for me and her to become office buddies and stick it out for a few more months.

Besides the nostalgia I have for it, the thing that I love most about black nail polish is that it's so versatile. Yes, black is the new black and black goes with everything, but it's true. Just like my wardrobe contains so much black because it's easy to pair with anything, and because I don't really know how to wear brown or navy, I keep coming back around to a black manicure or pedicure because it doesn't clash with my outfits. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a nice pop of yellow or purple on my nails, but it doesn't fit in with every outfit, especially on those weeks where I'm running low on clean clothes. You know how that goes. Black nail polish provides a great building block for so many nail styles. Tired of the plain old French manicure? Use a color base and put a black tip on it. Has the glam of your glitter worn off? Paint it over a coat of black. Been in a bad mood lately and want that middle finger to the world to really make a statement? Do it with a black manicured nail. (Okay, so that's not really a style. But it's very satisfying.)

Black nail polish will go in and out of style, but it will always be my favorite color of nail polish. When the Fashion Police come knocking at my door, with a warrant for my arrest on Crimes Against Fashion, they can pry my bottles of black nail polish and all of it's variations from my cold, dead, black manicured hands.

Black polish not your thing? We've got reviews of other nail colors! Milani Nail Lacquer ,Zoya Polish in Indigo, OPI Blasted in Rumba Romance, SpaRitual.

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