Call me a stick-in-the-mud, but I’ve entirely lost my desire to be experimental in the realm of nail colour of late. I’m busy, tired and uninspired (rhyme unintentional, but pleasing, so in it stays), and just want something on my hands that I know I’ll like. Four dependable hues are on rotation: pillar box red, for when I feel vampy; deep, dark, gothic shades, for when I’d like to look edgier than I really am; mushrooms and greys, for when I want to de-pretty a girlish outfit/make-up job; and nudes, for the rest of the time.
I am fussy about the latter, for nudes must add the appearance of lustre, of nail health. They mustn’t be opaque, for opaque suggests Blu-tack, and were I to want that sort of graphic appearance, I’d simply opt for a white nail. No, a beautiful nude enhances, rather than hides, much like a good foundation.
Essie’s latest collection, Treat, Love & Colour, adheres to the above criterion, tinting slightly and adding shine to nails – and more: there’s the plum addition of nail care in the form of camellia extract, collagen and various other nail-loving ingredients. Another good thing about these if you’re time-poor/lazy: there’s no need for a base coat as not only will these not stain, but the health-infusing ingredients need to sit on the nail in order to work. Essie make the Treat, Love & Colour formula in three colours, but don’t bother with the other two and just get Sheers To You, which I’m sporting above and which offers the perfect ‘my nails – but super duper healthy’ finish.
The other part of my current nail thing is gloss, with a capital G. By this, I mean nails that look wet, as if I’ve dipped them in varnish and they’re still drying. The problem with this finish is that it rarely lasts and often takes impressions from hair/furniture/anything you touch during the two or three hours it takes to dry, and I never have the patience or opportunity to leave my nails to luxuriate unused for that long. Once again, Chanel have triumphed where others have failed – their Le Gel Longwear Top Coat doesn’t give up the ghost and peel/chip after a day, and it also remains dazzlingly glossy for a good few days (I can rely on it for five, but it has on occasion made it to just over a full week).