Sparkle Polish


We all do things we know we shouldn’t. We all have bad habits. And we do them while our mother’s disapproving voice echoes in our heads telling us to stop. But that’s the glory of being an adult, right? Making these decisions on our own and not letting Mom make us stop? Even if she is right. Even if you regret your choice five minutes later? Maybe I should have listened to that voice in my head…

My bad habit—or at least one of my bad habits—is fussing with my nails. I’m not a nail biter, per se, but I was not fortunate enough to be gifted with long, strong, beautiful talon-like nails. No, I have short nails that peel, crack, and break so easily that a gust of wind could leave me incapable of opening a can of soda (speaking of bad habits, but that’s a different story). But more than gale-force city breezes, the main cause of my short nails is my poking and picking—it’s gross, I know, I’m sorry—that occurs any time they begin to look somewhat acceptable and anytime I’m stressed, which is pretty much always. The silver lining to all of this is that I love doing my nails and nothing calls for a DIY manicure like a broken nail. And I think I’ve perfected the art of at-home nail care—file, soak, massage, tools, and all! My stubby, grubby little nails may not be the long luxurious ones of a model, but that doesn’t stop me from making them look presentable, at the very least.

It can, however, be hard to keep my nails looking good when they are so short—especially when the black, or otherwise very dark, polish I typically wear creates a harsh contrast to my alabaster skin. What to do? The typical answer would be either to stick to just a topcoat or a swipe of nude. But that’s not my thing. I don’t mean to strike you down if you’re into that, but to me, that always seems a little boring when you have the option of literally any color, or finish, or sparkle, ever. So, when Emily walked into the Gloffice after the Thakoon Fall 2013 show with what she exclaimed to be the coolest nail polish of the season—a clear, semi-matte liquid with clear glitter—I certainly took notice.

“Just one coat,” Emily explained, reciting the instructions the manicurist gave her backstage. “It looks like your nails are still wet.” And just like that I found the perfect solution to my nails-too-short-and-it’s-no-fun polish problem. With just a bit of shimmer (no heavy pieces of glitter dominating the bottle) the Thakoon polish, Priti’s Bristol Fairy, was like the clear topcoat’s much cooler, ‘funkier,’ older cousin. Once applied, it’s almost unnoticeable—which means clean nails are a must—but the wash of iridescence keeps your nails looking freshly painted long after they’ve dried. And because I have a hard time sticking to just one polish and always feel the need to spice things up a bit, I decided some extra glitter on an accent nail was just what my fingers needed. A little extra pizzazz, if you will.

So, while my mom may have had a point when she insisted I stop fussing with my nails, the joke’s on her. I’ve made my habit a fashion statement.

—Elizabeth Brockway

Photos by Elizabeth Brockway. Elizabeth wears Essie Pure Pearlfection and OPI Which is Witch?.

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  • Katie6373

    One word for your nails - NIACIN. My nails turned to STEEL in 2 weeks. the colour was perfect too, white crescent bottom light pink nail white hard tips. They were so amazing I didn't want to polish them. plus I could break into a car (not that I would of course) with nary a chip. Bring on the coke! (cans. coca cola cans.)

  • pamb

    Um, any glossy nail color will make your nails look like they're still wet. That's not really a new thing. Shimmery polishes aren't new either. I guess this post is 'reaching' a little for me.

  • Nomadic D.

    I love the little bit of glitter on the tip of the nail, so unexpected and fun. Have to say though, the base polish you're wearing is less than thrilling to me. I feel like you could get pretty much the same effect from any clear polish. Maybe it's just not reading in the photos? I have been blessed with horribly weak, splitty, peely nails myself, and the only thing that keeps them in check (and does so pretty amazingly) is Nailtiques, Formula #2. The stuff is literally magic to me. And in the process it gives you a nice clean gloss finish as well. So now I'm thinking, maybe I do my usual nailtiques routine, and throw some glitter on the tip of a few nails for fun!

  • Jane S

    Sorry, I'm not really noticing anything new here. Just looks like clean, buffed nails, with a wee bit of glitter on the tip of one. Nice, but nothing I'm rushing to the salon to duplicate.

  • Alise

    Similar effect can be reached with essie's "Vanity fairest", it's a gorgeous rosy nude with a little sparkle inside. It's my go-to nude when my nails are super short. And it makes my hands look instantly chic and groomed.

  • Cat

    OPI's Happy Anniversary. One of my favorite summer nail polishes. It glistens and shimmers in the sun, and looks awesome alone or over another polish. OPI's Up Front & Personal is similar, but golden. I have and love them both!

  • Kattttt

    I love it - I am of the short nails as well, and I adore glitter polishes. I mostly wear only a top coat, or a chunky glitter in a sheer base - the favorite is a nude/rainbow glitter -, but this looks like a nice middle ground. The polished look of sheer and shiny, with a bit of pizazz!

  • amelia

    that Cartier Love Bracelet!!! ahh

  • Local & Opulent

    I have nail art on my mind... love all of these playful trends right now. Sparkles are something I can actually do at home! excellent.

    A new post is up on Local & Opulent and I have shoes on the brain! Seriously, who doesn't love shoes. This collection would have Carrie Bradshaw drooling!

  • Deb Johnson

    Cute. Going to give it a go myself.
    On a non beauty related note; what's the book in the background?