OPI Samoan Sand

“Mannequin Hands”, the age-old, tried-and-tested nude mani, are not so much “trending” (as masses of beauty bloggers/gurus will emphatically tell you) as rekindling an interest in the global community of thrifty beauty enthusiasts. In 2011, nail polish purchases exceeded lipstick sales (particularly in the US) with many economically conscious women opting for a manicure and a new bottle over a bold red lip as their bargain luxuries, possibly overturning the “lipstick index” as an economic indicator. For someone who barely spends money and time on make-up and jewellery, I know I don’t speak for myself when I say nail polish is the most affordable and interchangeable, low-maintenance accessory that can tie together a fashion-savvy ensemble for any occasion, and so it makes perfect sense that nail polish sales have increased as nothing says sophistication like a poised pair of polished tips for a job interview, a date, or a simple pick-me-up, especially when painted nude for everyday wear.

Without further ado, I present my most recent manicure for your aesthetically cost-resourceful viewing pleasure: three coats of OPI‘s Samoan Sand and one coat of China Glaze‘s Cleopatra on my ring finger with one coat each of Orly Bonder Base Coat and Dare To Wear Top Coat.

The idea of “mannequin hands” is akin to the concept of nude heels – where flesh-coloured pumps are worn to give the appearance of elongated legs, neutral nails serve to extend the phalanges. This look works best if the nude polish chosen is one shade lighter or darker than your skin colour, and is optimal for those of us with busy schedules seeking long-lasting wear as chips are less noticeable and a messy application more forgiving. I love nude nails for beachy summers and clinic rotations where tidy, short and manageable nails won’t clash with professional attire, so look out for more posts like this over the course of the year!

Samoan Sand is a permanent colour in OPI’s line, and is a peachy-nude creme with a touch of beige that will flatter most. It looks like foundation and applies anything but smoothly. Due to the semi-sheerness of this polish (most nude polishes are not one coat wonders), it does take three coats for maximum coverage and while this usually doesn’t bother me, it was the streaky application and bubbling that made me grimace. Two coats are not enough to cover the streaks, and so a third was layered to blend out the unevenness, but in doing so, the polish created a few bubbles which you can see on my pinkie and thumb. The polish became gloopy towards the end and I had to shake it up to continue painting, which is very surprising for a new bottle that was purchased only a week ago, never mind that it’s by OPI. Maybe my bottle is a dud. Grouches aside, I do like the healthy, clean glow it lends to my poor nails which are constantly under chemical warfare in the form of unrelenting exposure to nail polish and acetone (suffice to say, I am all for 3-Free), but I might reach for other nudes in my collection that don’t require such scrupulous care in polishing. I purchased this from Oz Nail Supply in Braybrook for $12 AUD.

Cleopatra burst into our conscience when China Glaze churned out 50 amazing glitters as part of their 2009 Glitter Collection, much to the twittering excitement of leagues upon legions of lacquerheads who were woefully bereft of a good ol’ glitter. I don’t believe this is limited edition as you can still find many of the glitters from that collection in-store and online. Cleopatra is a warm yellow-gold glitter with a sprinkling of rainbow glitter in a clear base. The small, multi-coloured glitter flashes mostly blue, green and purple which you can hopefully make out in the bottle picture. This is gorgeous for layering and depending on coat thickness, you can even get away with two to three coats for full, blingtastic coverage. I love the density and smoothness of the glitters and the way it complements my pale-but-decidedly-yellow skin-tone without toeing the “AS GARISH AS GOLD GRILLZ” line. Cleopatra is gorgeous over nude nails for that extra weekend kick – you can always rely on China Glaze to make stunning glitters!

On a hilarious note, I have found what must surely be Strap-ya World’s answer to “mannequin hands”:

Oh, the handful of puns to be had (“hand me the iphone!”; “can you lend me a hand?”; “you’ve got to hand it to the Japanese”; “how’s the merchandising?”)! xd