What’s In a Name, More Than Nail Polish

DEALS & DISCOUNTS--If you visit the beauty supply store or a local nail salon, you will quickly see that there are thousands of nail polish colors. Choosing a single bottle among the many competitors in this $6 billion business is hard. The name of the color maybe just the tipper to buying the one particular bottle costing anywhere from $5 - $20. After all, I cannot express myself better than nail polish brands OPI, Essie, Revlon, or Deborah Lippmann already have in the names of the different shades. When I am excited about a vacation, “The Thrill of Brazil” or “Live. Love. Carnaval.” says I am greatly looking forward to getting away. If I am getting ready for an evening out, “I’m Gown for Anything”, or “Orange you Glad” better. If I plan to spend some time with my fun-loving Zumba buddies “Backseat Besties” says it all.  When wearing bright red on my fingertips, who wouldn’t love to shout out that they are wearing “Kimona Over”. 

How about names of colors that describe your feelings. Here are a few from Revlon’s New Shades line: Untamed, Electric, Uninhibited, Magnetic, Bubbly, Adventurous, Provocative, Vixen, Coy and Impulsive. I guess there are times when I feel a little of each one of these. 

When I was at the new Ulta store in Santa Monica that opened a few days ago, I can came across polish names that caught my eye and kept me thinking. Some are really entertaining, punny, exude fun and energy. Warning, there are some XXX names (Oh, which just happens to be an OPI color, “XXX SPF”): 

These names are to empower women to be stronger, braver, more powerful and optimistic. As you can imagine the colors are bolder.

Who Needs a Prince? - OPI

I Pink I Can - Sally Hansen

Shifting Power - Essie

No Shrinking Violet - Revlon

Brave - POP Beauty

Ivy League - Ginger + Liz

Aristotle in a Bottle - Glamorous

Rosy Future - OPI

I Am Strong - Essie 

This line is called the Washington DC from OPI. It came out last fall before the November 2016 Presidential Election. Perhaps they were certain that Hillary would win.

We the Female

Freedom of Peach

Stay Off the Lawn

Pale to the Chief

CIA” Color is Awesome

Never a Dulles Moment

Squeaker of the House

Yank My Doodle

Shh…It’s Top Secret

OPI By Popular Vote 

Everyone must get their nails done before the holidays, the more sparkles, the better.

I’m Gown for Anything - OPI

Party at Holly’s (OPI Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holiday 2016)

Ring the Buzzer Again (OPI Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holiday 2016)

Snow Globe – China Glaze

Twinkle Lights – China Glaze

Champagne Bubbles – China Glaze

Poinsettia – China Glaze

Velvet Bow – China Glaze 

There is no other time to show off your pedicure than when you are wearing sandals at the beach. Here are a few names that will make you wiggle your toes in the sand.

Taupe-less Beach - OPI

Lost My Bikini in Molokini – OPI (BTW, the color is a bright purple)

No Tan Lines - OPI 2017 Spring Collection

Do you Sea What I Sea? - OPI 2017 Spring Collection

100 Degrees in the Shade – China Glaze 

What better way to celebrate life events like anniversaries, birthdays, wedding or a birth than to get your nails done in one of these colors. To my delight, I would love to show off and say, I’m wearing OPI’s “It’s a Boy” blue. “Incidentally I just delivered a baby.”

It’s a Boy - OPI

Happy Anniversary - OPI

Happy Birthday - Deborah Lippmann

I Do! I Do! – OPI, Perfect for your wedding night

Catch the Garter – OPI

Mimosas for Mr. and Mrs. - OPI 

Names of nail polish color can be inspired from foods and beverages, especially when we associate them with a particular color.

Coney Island Cotton Candy - OPI

Gelato on My Mind - OPI

Tiramisu for Two - OPI

Cajun Shrimp - OPI

Got myself into a Jam-balaya - OPI

Orange You Fantastic (OPI Coco-Cola Anniversary Summer Collection 2015)

Malaga Wine - OPI

Life’s a Cabernet  - OPI

Is Mai Tai Crooked - OPI 

There are companies that dedicate lines to cities as Revlon does with a bright jewel tones for Las Vegas or OPI’s New England, New Orleans, New Zealand, Far East and Chicago and Far East lines.

Big Win – Revlon

All or Nothing - Revlon

Stays in Vegas – Revlon

Amore at the Grand Central - OPI

Danke-Shiny Red - OPI

The Thrill of Brazil - OPI

An Affair at Red Square - OPI

Bogota Blackberry - OPI

La Paz-itively Hot - OPI

Vampsterdam - OPI

Tickle My France-y - OPI

Berlin Done That - OPI 

Sex sells. Here are some of the more tame ones.

Gondolar Fondolar – Essie

Pussy Galore – OPI, Don’t think this is referring to the Women’s March

Pounded on the Kitchen Table – Naughty Nailz

Berry Hard - Essie

Dark Side of the Mood - OPI Fifty Shades of Grey 2015 Collection

Porn-a-thon - Smith and Cult

Size Matters – Essie

Between the Sheets - Deborah Lippmann

Makin’ Whopee - Deborah Lippman

Orgasm - Nars

Shag - Butter

Royal Mattrimoany - ManGlaz 

OPI carries colors designated for little girls from the Hello Kitty and Muppets lines carrying more subtle colors such as light pinks, purples and blues.

Kitty White - OPI Hello Kitty

Look at My Bow - OPI Hello Kitty

Meep Meep Meep - OPI Muppets

Gone Gonzo - OPI Muppets

Pepe’s Purple Passion - OPI Muppets

Rainbow Connection - OPI Muppets

UnFROGetable - OPI Muppets 

OPI makes a smaller bottle costing slightly less at $6.99. It is geared at youngsters and empowering them to do great things:

Do Good, Feel Good

My Claim to Fame

Please Red-cycle

Believe It, Do It

Profoundly Purple

Make a Compliment

Miss Independent

Sometimes colors can reflect a woman’s poor self-image. Based on the name, I could not bring myself to buying self-deprivation even if the color was amazing.

Cougar Attack – Wet N Wild

My Silicon Popped - Wet N Wild

Plenty of Fish in the Sea – Wet N Wild

I Only Eat Salads – Wet N Wild

Dirty Slut – Matresse

Iris I Was Thinner - OPI 

Tomorrow, Detox! - Sephora Collection 

Marry a Millionaire - China Glaze

Sugar Daddy - Essie

Trophy Wife - Essie 

I'm Not Really A Whore - Naughty Nailz

I'm Not Really A Waitress – OPI 

At the forefront, OPI, one of the most prominent nail polish brands (coincidentally located in North Hollywood) is the executive vice president and artistic director, Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, known as “the first lady of nails”. She is the creative force behind the shades of colors as well as the names. Describing the inspiration of the names from just about anything: everyday people on the street, notable people and celebrities, geographic locations, places to travel, looking at runway trends, food, music, movies, and more. As we can all witness from the sampling of names mentioned, the names creatively and whimsically and tell a lot about how a person is feeling, an experience, and what they are anticipating. There’s a name to perfectly fit any occasion. 

There are a few colors that are named in her honor:

Suzi had a Swede Tooth

Suzi Shops & Island Hops

Suzi Without a Paddle (OPI Fiji Spring/Summer 2017)

Suzi Nails New Orleans 

Some may think of polish as merely slapping on a color on our nails, but others look at it as an experience. Going to your favorite beauty store or nail salon, spending time choosing a color to match a mood or an occasion, and carefully applying it to last as long as possible. No matter if I pay $5 or $20 for a bottle or $15-35 for a manicure, this is one spurge that makes me feel like a million bucks. Long after the polish wears off, I get bragging rights on the polish color name for a long time.

(Sue Helmy has plenty of tricks up her sleeve. She is currently providing superb administrative services at a financial management firm in Century City. She is active in countless church and civic organizations and spends every minute she can spare dancing to the Zumba beat.)