When I was younger, nail polish was just for special occasions. I was a chronic nail-biter and even the most chip-proof formula lasted less than a day on my nervous little fingers, so decorating my nails was reserved for things like holidays or school shows. Even in adulthood, I’ve held jobs that have required me to keep my nails clean and trimmed short. I’d paint them on weekends or holidays, quickly removing it all on my way into work. While no longer a social taboo, the polish-deprived child in me usually gravitated towards forbidden, blackened shades of purple, blue, or greens–shades so dark they appeared black indoors. But as I began to paint my nails more and more, I’ve found I have an almost magnetic attraction towards pastels.
I love a good gold in the summer or a seductive plum for fall, but in the late winter and into the spring, nothing strikes me quite like a creamy pastel. I’m hopelessly addicted to seafoams and minty greens, and over the years I’ve amassed an arsenal of sky blues and lavenders, but my collection is sprinkled with milky pinks and petal yellows as well. Little Me might have thought that a dark vampy nail was the ultimate eye-catcher, but I’ve come to realize that pastel nails can make a subtler, but still equally effective statement.
(1) MAC Mischievous Mint is a soft blue-green mint cream, originally released with 2011’s Spring collection, Quite Cute–it’s been discontinued, but you can still find a bottle here and there online. (2) Julep Renee is the exactly blued-lavender of spring lilacs, while (3) Zoya Marley is slightly more pink-toned and boasts a subtle silver shimmer. (4) Julep Jessica is one of the palest sky blues I’ve ever seen, without a single trace of grey in the formula. (5) Zoya Dove is a true, neutral grey soft enough to feel pastel. (6) Polishes like Julep Emmanuelle are few and far between in my collection–while it appears to be a nude in the bottle, it wears as a pastel peach-pink jelly that’s surprisingly fun. (7) Orly Lemonade is the perfect lemon-sorbet yellow, nearly as much of a statement as (8) Rainbow Honey Pinky Promise, and ice-cream pink filled with confetti-coloured glitter.
In the midst of winter storms and barren landscapes and sub-zero temperatures, I used Julep Renee to brighten my mood. There’s something simultaneously soothing and invigorating about the perfect lavender cream, conjuring up images of relaxing herbal bouquets and exotic gourmet pastries. Each time I look down, I can’t help but smile at the delicate lilac shade of my nails–in a season of SAD and cabin fever, what more could you ask of an accessory?