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In Defense of Orange Nails

Elizabeth Brockway Orange and PInk Manicure
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Elizabeth Brockway Orange and PInk Manicure
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Elizabeth Brockway Orange and PInk Manicure
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Elizabeth Brockway Orange and PInk Manicure
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Elizabeth Brockway Orange and PInk Manicure
Elizabeth Brockway Orange and PInk Manicure
Elizabeth Brockway Orange and PInk Manicure
Elizabeth Brockway Orange and PInk Manicure
Elizabeth Brockway Orange and PInk Manicure
Elizabeth Brockway Orange and PInk Manicure
Elizabeth Brockway Orange and PInk Manicure
Elizabeth Brockway Orange and PInk Manicure
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It was not so long ago that a wise woman declared, “Whoever said orange was the new pink was seriously disturbed”:

Well, Elle Woods, I may not be as cool with pink as you are, but I can see where you’re coming from: pink is pretty. It’s cute. It’s easy. Everyone likes pink—if you say you don’t, you’re either lying, or you’re unhappy (believe whichever label you’d like). At the same time, pink can be a little too... too for some of us, even down here at the Gloffice, essentially a girly-girl’s dream space (well, I suppose that was the Malibu Barbie Beach House, but still). Nevertheless, Elle, I feel as though you may have undersold orange. Sure, it may not go with too many other colors—I’ve had an orange shirt I love for two years and haven’t worn it once because I can’t figure out what to wear it with; all pants/skirts/shorts/etc. look dumb. If we pair orange with black or green, it begins to look to Halloween-esque. Blue jeans always looks just slightly off. My mother insists that white pants are the way to go, but I always feel too country club-ready in that ensemble. But I digress. My point is that orange is hard, but not, I believe, impossible. What if—just hear me out—we do pink and orange together? It just might work. Well, I hope so because that’s what I tried on my fingers this week.

It’s been fairly well documented on this site that I have an affinity for mismatching manicures, some more pleasing to a traditionalist's eye than others. And while my current orange/pink collection may have five different shades on display, it is not as out there as it could be. Though I say “Go for it!” if you want your nails to look totally insane, a suggestion that may help tame your multicolored talons: Stick to one color family (e.g., warm tones, neutrals, blues/greens, etc). Plus, ombré is the word of the season (all seasons?), and you know what's easier than ombré-ing each individual nail? Ombré-ing your hand. And who knows, you may just find your new favorite color for a single-hue ‘cure in there.

Personally, I’m digging my thumb and middle fingers the most. I’ve found that Model Co’s Coral You Later makes for a snazzy something extra if you find yourself needing to flip the bird. As for my thumb, red polishes have always tended to make my fingers look a bit like little sausages, but the slight burnt orange of O.P.I.’s My Paprika Is Hotter Than Yours! keeps my digit strictly vegetarian. I think I may have found a red suited for all ten digits. Anywho, I’m thinking this color story makes my nails look pretty bitchin’; they look fresh and kind of beachy. So, I’ve decided to start dressing for spring regardless of the forecast. My nails are leading the way.

Any favorite oranges (or tangerines, or clementines, or kumquats) out there? I'm on a roll...

—Elizabeth Brockway

Photos by Elizabeth Brockway. Nail polishes (from thumb to pinkie): O.P.I.'s My Paprika Is Hotter Than Yours!, Dior's Délice (433), Model Co's Coral You Later, Dior's Spring Ball (343), Estée Lauder's Coral Cult.

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