Mushroomy colors, all the rage in the past season and one of my personal most favorite categories of nail polish...What is a mushroomy color? The definition is very much open for interpretation, as it is easier to intuit than to describe this elusive shade. An earthy, dirty, grayish brown, like You Don't Know Jacques is mushroomy. A dirty, dusty purple like Metro Chic is mushroomy. An odd, again, slightly dirty pink-taupe like Tickle My France-y is mushroomy. So I suppose "mushroomy" stands for a little bit dirty, a little bit odd and very hard-to-describe. Mushroomy in nail polish is what skanky is in perfume. The best joile laides in the nail polish world are mushroomy.
Below, from the darkest to the lightest, my favorite "mushrooms":
You Don't Know Jacques from OPI Fall/Winter 2008 France collection - the skankiest...pardon me, the mushroomiest and the dirtiest of them all. A color of mud, but in a chic way. Ugly-beautiful at its best. Application, for me, is a little bit troublesome, as the color has a surprising tendency to have bold spots, on my nails, and needs 4 coats, but it is worth it.
Metro Chic by OPI for Sephora, an immediate cult favorite in the debut collection, is described by Sephora as skyscraper gray. I would describe as dusty gray, mushroomy purple. Definitely urban, irressistibly weird and undeniably chic. Impeccable quality and application.
Zoya Pasha was flying the mushroomy flag way before the craze started. It is a slightly dirty light-brown with gray undertone. Great application and texture. I wish it did not have a pearlescent effect, but only because I am not in a mood for that kind of thing right now, gravitating towards creames and gels.
Country Club Khaki is from Orly's Spring 2009 Prepster collection, and it is surprising to find an off-kilter, kind of dirty color like that in a line of, as the name suggests, preppy shades. It was love at first sight for me, a thick, almost one-coater cream taupe with, yes, khaki and mushroomy undertones. And if you look at it long and hard, you might start to notice something light-purple there too.
Rescue Beauty Launge Grunge. I don't know if the name really fits, this calm and chic taupe is neither angst-filled nor unkempt. It's Park Ave Grunge. This was one of the first nail polishes to make me realize that taupe is not such a dirty (read- boring) word anymore. Or rather, that it IS dirty, in a very good way. Again, if you look hard, you can see slight purple-ness in Grunge along with slight grayness. Apart from fitting the desription of a mushroomy color, this shade makes me think of milky hot chocolate from school cafeteria. And I mean it as a compliment. Perfect quality and flawless application.
Misa Cool Mousse is the gray-est of my favorite mushroom nail polishes. Its grayness has a slight green quality alongside with some brown. It escapes definition. There is something mysterious and tranquil about this color, something elvish. It is a three-coater as it is fairly transparent at first, but the application is impeccable.
Brucci Taupe Matters. Yes, it does! This is a darker version of Tickle My France-y below, only with less pink and more brown in it. Brucci line is worth exploring as it has some surprises in it, and this is one of them. The quality is superb, the application non-problematic and it costs $2 or so. Look for it in stores like Duane Reade.
If there is such a thing as Holy Grail nail polish, then OPI's Tickle My France-y, from last year's France, collection is mine. I love it when I can't describe a color. I love it when a color appears straghtforward (beige-nude-taupe in this case) and demure, but isn't. There are so many nuances to this deceptively PC shade: it is pink, it is gray, it is slightly purple, it is taupe...it is my favorite mushroom. Complex, indescribable color at its best.
Any more ideas for mushroomy nail polishes? Do share!