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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Weekend Beauty - Nail Polish: Picking Mushrooms

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 is my favorite mushroom. Complex, indescribable color at its best.

Any more ideas for mushroomy nail polishes? Do share!

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Blogger Michelle said...

I love this post! I'd never seen all of the good taupe nail polishes grouped together, and you've done an excellent job showing the nuances between them!

12:54 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

write on anything my dear, and I'll read avidly. Mushroomy nail polish was not on my agenda - now it is. Adorable post.

6:52 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, I am glad you liked the selection!

8:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am delighted that you liked!

8:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

I like the lighter ones as I am a fan of pinky-taupe. I am too old to wear the dark polishes (and lippies) now, I don't want to look like Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. ;-)

3:10 PM EDT  
Blogger violetnoir said...

Marina, you are a woman after my heart! I love those mushroomy colors, especially YDKJ and TMF.

In fact, the weirder and 'skankier' the color, the better for my tips!


6:14 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

And I mean it

9:34 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first two OPIs are the best.

9:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I have to disagree :-) On short nails, dark colors look trendy and youthful, imho.

9:43 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

maybe we are nail polish twins :-)

9:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

:-D right back at you :-)

9:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I especially adore Metro Chic. :-)

9:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Gail S said...

I love the mushroomy colors in the bottle and in theory. Unfortunately, they look horrid with my skin tone....although I might have to check out that Misa, haven't tried that one. I'm extremely pale with pink undertones and the ones I've tried somehow make my skin look gray too :(
Lucky you!!!

10:12 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

perhaps that Misa really would suit you better than others, as it is a cooler color

10:14 AM EDT  
Anonymous March said...

Oooh! I really need that Orly. I have several of the others, I love those colors too. btw maybe it's too light for you, but the Sephora OPI in Run With It! looks duller than crap in the bottle but is gorgeous on. A light mushroom-y color with only a hint of shimmer (I like my creme finishes too)

9:41 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Damn. I've spent my life painting and gardening - both fatal to nail polish - so have managed to avoid this addiction. But now I'm not only totally craving lavender polishes, I'm also absolutely determined to get that OPI You Don't Know Jacques ASAP. Love it! And the Brucci and OPI Tickle My France-y are calling my name as well. Loudly.

10:14 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I have Run With It. :-) It is kind of a little too much on metallic side on my skin, but I do see what you mean, that it is leaning in the mushroomy direction.

10:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

HAHA. And thus the new hobby begins :-) Well, at least it is that much cheaper than perfume. :-)

10:41 PM EDT  
Anonymous Trish/Pikake said...

I love Zoya, and the Pasha looks awesome! I might have to go find me some of that :-)

3:28 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...


8:08 AM EDT  
Anonymous March said...

M, I had to root around in my polish this morning -- also China Glaze Chocodisiac. It's a light, peculiar warm beige, like the froth on the top of a cup of hot cocoa (lighter than actual chocolate.) It's very odd, but I get compliments on it. It's also a creme. Run is just about all the shimmer I want, I love those cremes! Either that or something ridiculously glittery, no half measures :)

8:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I will need to get that one then :-)

8:45 AM EDT  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

Fun!! Love how 'Tickle my France-y' looks!

2:03 AM EDT  
Blogger Trincess said...

I love China Glaze - Channelesque =)

8:24 PM EDT  

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