I’ve Got The Blues


Sometimes you’re just feeling blue and there’s nothing you—or anyone else, for that matter—can say or do to make you feel any different. No, I’m not talking about being depressed or feeling down, but rather the world-famous primary color. I love blue. If it were possible, everything I own would be blue (most everything is, actually, besides the white, black, and grey theme I have going on in my closet). My bedroom at home is periwinkle. If renter laws didn't forbid me, my bedroom in New York would be painted a beautiful sky blue (instead, it's a bland, albeit inoffensive, shade of cream). My senior prom dress was blue (cobalt). Blue is just the best, any way you spin it. Why is the sky blue? Because it’s effing beautiful. Why is the ocean blue? Because I like it that way.

However, my favorite color provides a bit of a challenge when it comes to makeup. While I love the '80s and very much wish I could have been part of the LA or NYC party scene during that decade, I feel like blue eyeshadow is difficult to pull off. There is the option of blue mascara (Dior makes a great one, which earned me one a very good friend freshman year of college), but that’s not so much an everyday look as it is a special-occasion addition. I admit I've tried the Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tar in the cyan RX, but I ended up looking like I had an intimate moment with a Smurf, or a member of Blue Man Group. But there is one cosmetic option that allows me to let my love of blue shine, and it just so happens to be my favorite type of makeup: nail polish!

First, a story: I remember being in a Limited Too at the mall with my mom when I was about seven years old. I was a big fan of Limited Too—I always wore an entire Limited Too outfit to the store whenever visiting in the hopes that a salesperson would ask me to be a campaign model (it never happened)—and their tacky, dubiously made clothes (I recall an electric-blue pleather jacket I received as a birthday gift, which my mom was not too pleased about). I was standing in the makeup section and picked out a pearlescent blueish-green nail polish and immediately heard the words, “That is the ugliest color ever,” coming from my mother’s mouth. She may have been correct. But she bought it for me anyway, and I rocked that heinous hue up and down the lower school hallways.

But now, in my twenty-third year of life, I would prefer to avoid the ugly on my nails. Of course there are moments when tacky is mandatory, and I embrace those in full force, but there are ways to do blue without the “Eww." A few seasons ago, I became infatuated with Chanel’s Coco Blue (middle, right finger) and YSL’s Bleu Majorelle (middle, left finger) and wore them non-stop. But then came the navys, the robin’s-eggs, turquoises, the sky blues, the baby blues, the electric blues, the shinys vs. mattes, the sparkles vs. no sparkles, it’s never ending! Essie Weingarten (yes, that Essie) once told us that she “can never do enough blues… Why? It makes us happy: it’s the sea and the sky…” I, and apparently hundreds of thousands of others, agree. Blue is in.

But why just choose one shade? Perhaps ten different colors is a bit much—it could be scaled down to a more manageable five (or maybe two… or one). Continuing with the ombré theme I've grown to love, I've outfitted my digits with all of my favorite hues. Oh, blue, you just get me.

—Elizabeth Brockway

Right hand (from pinky to thumb): MAC Blue Gaze, OPI Eurso Euro, Sally Hansen Blue My Mind, YSL Bleu Majorelle, Essie Butler Please. Left hand (from thumb to pinky): Essie Avenue Maintain, MAC Bleu Velvet, Chanel Coco Blue, Estee Lauder Dilettante, MAC Pistachio Crème.

Photos by Emily Weiss.

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  • Kara

    Ah, my Limited Too days... I used to try and do the exact same thing. My best friend and I would dress up in outfits head to toe and take photos of ourselves "modeling." I remember I even called the company and asked how to apply to be a model for Limited Too. Needless to say, that career never happened. haha. Great post!

  • gemma

    deborah lippmann - i know what boys like?!

  • http://www.adventuresofbarbarella.com/ Diana

    OH God I can see myself reaching for the blue polish tomorrow

  • http://stylewild.org/ Amber Callanan

    I've actually never been a fan of blue nails, but this post may have converted me. I think I actually have a aqua shade hiding in the depths of the shoebox I call my nail polish collection, I may have to bring it out tonight!


  • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.monforton.79 Jennifer Monforton

    I've been loving the look of blue polishes lately- that rich blue from O.P.I. is stunning as is that cheery aqua from YSL. Need to check these out! :)

  • http://www.pemberleyjones.com/ Pemberley Jones

    Love blue polish!

  • J.

    Baker Street by Nails Inc is AMAZING and deserves a mention!

    • Guest

      Sinful Colors "Endless Blue" is a dead-on dupe for that. Costs $1.99! Rescue Beauty's IKB:2012 is another great blue. Not for the budget-minded, but it's gorgeous nonetheless.

  • Shara

    Not a big blue nail person, but I think Nails inc - Baker Street is arguably the most famous cobalt blue nail polish in the market, no?

  • http://twitter.com/acme_c0 Chelsea

    I love blue nail polish! I have so many! I'm even wearing Bleu Majorelle on my toes right now :)

    • ITGElizabeth

      me too!

  • Bonnie Clyde

    Love them!!


  • Jess

    Ok so I always thought blue eyeshadow etc was, like you said, a little too 90s-era 12-year old me experimenting with my mom's make up, but lately I've been rocking this periwinkle blue eyeliner from Korres, called Sky Blue, on my lower lashline. It's super pretty and I keep getting compliments. It makes me feel very edgy indeed haha so Elizabeth if you want to incorporate more than just blue nails/mascara check it out! Here's a link: http://www.fragrancex.com/products/_cid_make--up-am-lid_W-am-pid_68040W__products.html

  • renaphuah

    Chanel needs to make a new Coco Blue :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/shannon.kalsow.9 Shannon Kalsow

    I was so sad to hear about the hard time you had with Lip Tar in RX! It's such a beautiful color, I wish there were more ways to wear it


Essie Nail Polish
Dior Diorshow Mascara
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in RX
MAC Taste Temptation Nail Lacquer
OPI Nail Lacquer in Eurso Euro
MAC Nail Lacquer in Bleu Velvet
Estee Lauder Nail Lacquer in Dilettante
MAC Nail Lacquer in Pistachio Creme