Like countless gals the world over (and for decades now), I adore nail polish. As a teenager my collection of bottles nearly hit triple digits and I'd usually give myself a manicure every couple of nights (often opting for intricate designs, French manicures in both traditional and off-the-wall colour combos, and sometimes I'd even sport a different hue on each nail), but as I grew older (and had less free time in the evenings), my nail polish collection gradually dwindled in size.
That's ok though, like so many things that come with age, I find my tastes in nail varnish hues have streamlined over the years and were I to have 100 bottles of polish today, I fear many of them would only get used every once in a blue moon. Instead, corralled neatly into a clear little see-through shoe box style plastic tote under the bathroom sink, one will now find, on average, about twenty bottles of nail polish, each of which I try to wear (either on my fingers or toes) at least a few times a year.
For all the many, many times I've painted my nails throughout my life, I do not profess to be a guru of nail polishes, manicure techniques, or impeccably perfect sets of lacquered nails, like those on the hands of the many, many bloggers who dedicate their whole sites (and Youtube channels) to this fun topic.
I'm just your average cosmetics loving lass who enjoys painting her nails (often in vintage appropriate hues) whenever possible, and who thought you might enjoy taking a peak at the top five shades I've been wearing most often over the past couple of years.
While there are some bold, moody, and far out colours in my box of polishes, for some time now I've been gravitating more and more towards shades that I can get a lot of mileage out of and which (often) compliment (not clash with) my vintage outfits. To that end, it's likely not surprising that two of my favourite polishes are reds and another in pale pink.
MAC Cream Rougemarie
Bar none, (manicured) hands down my most favourite nail polish colour of all-time. Perhaps it's because my middle name (Marie) appears in the moniker of this nail polish, or maybe it's the fact that two coats tend to last for a week on my fingers or two on my toes. Maybe it's because the colour instantly evokes thoughts of wistfully sweet summertime cherry juice or that I've yet to wear any outfit that it didn't work with. Whatever the reason, this deep, elegant, not-too-shiny shade of deep red is a beloved nail polish favourite that I keep buying time and time again.
Essie Red Nouveau
With a name that any vintage lover is bound to appreciate, this warm, cheerful shade of red is my go-to colour for nails that sing with classic, fabulous vintage spirit and charm. To boot, this teeny bottle (which was part of a wonderful four shade pack of mini polishes I received from my sister) has lasted me for nearly two years now (which is rather amazing considering I've probably used it thirty or more times).
Revlon Sheer Blossom OO7
These days, I rarely go for hues on my fingers that shock and amaze, instead I lean more towards sweet, girly shades like this ultra soft, almost cotton candy-like shade of sheer pink. One coat delivers a barely there whisper of colour; two start veering into ballerina tutu territory, and three deliver a coquettish level of petal pretty pink that goes with, I do believe, just about any colour in your wardrobe you could ever imagine pairing it with.
OPI Curry Up Don't Be Late
At first glance, gold nail polish might not seem like a subtle or easy to wear shade, but I assure you that this one from OPI manages to be both. More burnished than gleaming, completely free of sparkles, and fabulously long lasting, this is by far the best and most beautiful shade of gold polish I've ever worn. If you're worried it will knock your look into 70s disco glam territory fear not, I've had great success in pairing it with everything from leopard print circle skirts to elegant 1950s LBDs without the slightest hint of Studio 54 creeping into the picture.
Joe Fresh Mint
The term quasi-neutral gets brandished around a lot these days - often far too easily, but there are cases when it's more than warranted and this bottle of milky, serenely beautiful mint green nail polish from Canadian brand Joe Fresh is one of them.
Sweet, youthful, and just plain pretty to look at, I've found that this confectionary hued polish works wonders with outfits that feature browns, pinks, blues, white, navy, grey, red, dark green, caramel, black, and cream in particular, but really, have yet to have it truly clash with anything (last fall it even went surprisingly well with a rust hued top). Worn equally often on my fingers and toes, this is the currently the one and only green shade of polish I want or need.
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As time goes on, I'm sure other nail polish shades will make it into my top five, though I suspect they'll have a trickier time making the cut, as these particular hues have been in heavy rotation now for 1 to 3 years a piece and show no signs of losing momentum anytime soon.
If you've been looking for a new polish or two (or five) this season, I can't recommend these shades highly enough, and suspect you'll see them popping up from time-to-time in my summertime manis and pedis this year.