I’ve always been a dark polish kind of girl. I’ve tried to break with convention and step outside my moody color box in the past, only to end up right back where I started—with inky lacquer on my nails yet again. Each time, I’d alternate between navy blue (preferably Essie Nail Polish in Midnight Cami, $8) and an oxblood red (I’ve been in love with Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Color in Rouge Noir, $28, since I first painted it on my nails in Paris circa 2010). After a while, it just became a part of me. I’d breeze past the pastels, bright hues, and bold colors without a second thought. Until now.
I was invited to Jin Soon Choi’s West Village nail salon to preview her new spring polishes. Inspired by the Painted Ladies houses in San Francisco—think the candy-coated brownstones from the opening sequence of Full House—the new colors were bold and unconventionally vibrant.
Choi, a kind, hilarious, and well-respected veteran in the nail biz, described her vision thusly: “Upon first seeing the Painted Ladies many years ago, I immediately drew the parallel between adorning house details and nails with these types of shades.” She continued, “The polish names for this collection come directly from paint pigments, similar to those used on each historic house. I loved the idea of using traditional pigment names since the focus of this collection is the delicate yet vivid color palette that brings the Painted Ladies to life, much like polish brings life to the nail.”
Usually at these events, I’ll sneak a dark color to the manicurist and hope no one notices. But this time was different—I was so taken with the colors (a poppy red, sky blue, vivid lavender, and pastel green) that I grabbed Aero and watched nervously as the lovely manicurist painted the baby-blue hue onto my nails. Needless to say, it was a little “off brand” for me. But I loved the way it looked: fresh, hip, and perhaps even a little eccentric.
I get manicures often, but this was the first one in a long time that garnered a ton of compliments. Women, men, friends, and strangers alike commented on my bright nails for the entire two weeks that it stayed chip-free. I’m officially a convert. And who better to bring me over to the bright side than Jin Soon Choi herself?
Do you have a bright-colored fave? Let us know in the comments below, and I’ll give it a try!