Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Office-Appropriate Nail Polish

An obsession with pretty nails has plagued me the past month or so. The string of jobhunting activities required a little more put-together look, and a quick rifle through my cabinet revealed only a couple of work-appropriate shades. That is how, in the span of a month, I have managed to amass these:

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Ok so the last one is a bit of a cheat in terms of work-appropriateness, but it was still fun to try! Let me explain that after the jump, mm?

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It all started with the Supersale Bazaar. Days of looking up the O.P.I. Pirates of the Caribbean collection online culminated in my purchase of Steady As She Rose from The Hyphen Store's stall. It's a beautiful pale lilac, almost gray--and it does look more gray under the right lighting. I love how demure and subtle this color is, like a dainty lady who blushes ever so slightly with a compliment. It did take me three coats to achieve the opacity I wanted, though with shades like these one really needs to take a little more time and care in terms of application.

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Stranger Tides wasn't as fussy, despite the lightness. It looked blah in the bottle, but it's one of those shades that looks surprisingly nice on--a dark horse in the collection, if you will. Like Steady As She Rose there is a healthy dose of gray in there, but the green peeks out more often than it hides. The green is a bit murky and reminds me of what the sea really looks like in person: more a murky green than a crystal clear blue. It translates so prettily, though! I think the color will be more forgiving on medium-to-dark skintones compared to Steady As She Rose as well.

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China Glaze Pelican Grey was a shade I didn't expect to like so much, but it's my favorite at the moment! With just one coat, it applied so well. I use a couple of coats just to be sure. The gray leans blue at times which is still so lovely, and it has really fine shimmer strewn throughout. The shimmer gives depth to the color and doesn't make it look "dead". I see myself using this shade a lot because it's so easy to apply and it instantly makes me look polished. Pardon the pun. :)

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The matte nail polish trend is something I wasn't sure about trying, so a bottle from Etude House was a no-brainer (Php98!). The shade is 03 Milkyway Purple, a dusty neutral purple housed in a frosted bottle. Thanks to the finish, I still managed to get away with it during one of those interviews.

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EH Milkyway Purple went on shiny at first and dried quickly to a matte finish. Two coats were enough; three if I messed it up (haha). After a day I noticed a bit of shine, as though I've buffed my nails. (Is this normal?) With no base coat and top coat, tip wear was also already evident. I also learned that matte polishes in general emphasize uneven nail surfaces, having no means of reflecting back any light. I have slight unevenness and pockmarking on my nails from psoriasis, so this was a sad revelation. It didn't stop me from wearing the polish, though, because the finish was really that fascinating for me. Best to have buffed and prepped nails prior to application, and a matte top coat on hand so the color lasts longer. :) I do own a couple of shiny EH polishes and I like this just as much.

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No nail polish post is complete without a swatch, yes? I apologize for the messy application!
From L-R: EH Milkyway Purple (day-long wear, already looking buffed), OPI Steady As She Rose, EH MP again, OPI Stranger Tides, and CG Pelican Grey (see the blue?)

I have no issues with longevity since I use a base (Elianto) and top coat (TFS). The sad thing is that of this batch, only the Etude House one is permanent and locally available. I got the OPI and CG ones from Hyphen (they still have some shades, wink wink!), and other online stores like Carefreeshopper also carry the brands. I'm happy about my investment, in any case, and these will keep me ready for work in the months to come.

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Do you like nail polish? What shades have you wearing lately? Tell me in the comments! :)

P.S. Ten days left to join the Bella Belara giveaway! Click here to check it out!


  1. ooooh the opi ones look really pretty! i can never pull off pastel shades, buti ka pa :D

  2. Supersale Bazaar is gorg on you!!

  3. Anonymous10:31 AM

    I'm partial towards Orly Country Club Khaki for work. China Glaze Pelican Grey looks good. Sadly, I'm on a nail polish shopping ban for now.

  4. That Pelican Grey looks so pretty nga with the slight blue tinge. Im currently wearing First Crush by Chic, a pretty purple shade (looks like ube on my nails, swear). So far, my face has to be this and ORLY Coming up Roses. Love your nail polish collection :)

    I'm afraid, my nail polish collection is slowly taking over my pink lipstick collection. Yikes!

  5. Kookie, for some reason I NEVER apply pastel shades of locally available polishes well :( kaya OPI na talaga ginagamit ko pag ganun haha

    Makee, wait for Tagaytay! :D

    Vintage, I think you mean Steady As She Rose--thank you! :)

    Hi salmoncat, thanks for stopping by! Been meaning to check out Orly, I'll look for that shade :) I am banning myself for the rest of the month too!

    Kira, hala! If it's taking over your pink lippies it's saying something :))

  6. i love all the colors. :)

    followed you! :)

  7. you have a point - the pastel ones that are locally made (at least the ones i've tried) you need multiple coats to make it look decent. call me a snob but i don't like the local ones because of the quality and they make my nails yellow. only works for people with the patience to change polish daily and i'm so tamad! hehehe!

  8. Love the colors of your nails!! Pretty pastel hues!! And I love Opi nail polish too!!

  9. wow, love the colors, i really do like some light colors because it makes you simple and gorgeous without being too loud on the color :)) btw, im just a newbie, please do check out my site thank you! hope to hear from you soon ;)


Always glad to get feedback. Thanks for your comments. :)