A Nail Polish By Any Other Name
I've never claimed to be a particularly deep person. I care about things deeply, but I think that is different than having depth. I'm not a vast ocean, but I'm also not a kiddie pool. I'll settle for a lake in this analogy I need to stop using immediately.
The number one reason I know that I am not that deep is very simple: I spend far too much time thinking about the names of nail polish colors. Every single time I go to get my nails done, I stare for an obscene amount of time at the wall of colors, and when I pick one up to look at it, I immediately look at the name, and either get a chuckle out of it, am annoyed by it or grow irrationally angry when it is not labeled. Because what's the point of wearing a color if it doesn't have a sassy, possibly-pun-filled name?
Don't you ever wonder what it's like to have the job of naming nail polishes? Does that team of people do anything else? How many names have been scrubbed away with nail polish remover? Is therea list of potential names? These are all things I actually think about, so I guess the nail polish companies should be thanking me in a way. You're welcome, Essie, OPI and...others?
In all seriousness, I've put colors I'd otherwise happily have painted on my nails before solely because of the name. "Something Borrowed" for a light blue? OK, but I'm not a bride. No thanks! A lovely red wine-hued color named "Skirting the Issue"? Wine not make a wine pun there? (See, it's not that hard!)
Why do I care though? Do I think the name of the nail polish somehow reflects something about me? Why do I love Essie's "Wicked" but hate OPI's "Lost on Lombard," when they are essentially the same color?
And don't get me started on the new theme collections, which almost just seem like excuses to come up with names in the same family. Essie's "Wild Nudes" line-up includes "Clothing Optional" and "Without a Stitch." I dare you to try and guess what colors they are. And sure, I bet Marvel fans are just lining up to get their hands on OPI's "That's What Friends Are Thor" just in time for a midnight screening of Thor: Ragnarok. (It's a dark brown, which....OK?)
But back to the original question: Why do I care about the name of a nail polish color? I think what it boils down to is that, in this age of social media and documenting everything we do, eat, see, make, and think, we apply meaning to the mundane, the ordinary, the things that ultimately don't matter, because it somehow is a reflection of us. Or at least of who we want people to perceive we are. We have to make something feel worthy of sharing when we feel compelled to share everything.
So pass me the "On Your Mistletoes," please. And keep the "Fondant of You" far away, because fondant doesn't belong on my nails, my social media feeds or on any respectable baked good.