Saturday, December 26, 2009

Limbo Bimbo

What, dare I ask, IS a Limbo Bimbo? Francesca if she only went to first base with Paolo? The woman who takes the cheers of "How LOW can you GO?" at her local limbo competition a little too metaphorically?

If the latter, I think the creators of this shade have done an excellent job of capturing the spirit of tropical harlotry. Actually, this exact shade of pink is what I imagine on the toenails of the runner-up of MILF Island as she scrabbles desperately for a foothold during the Bikini Limbo-Off over the Pit of Snakes and Baby Oil.

I think the most pressing question, though, is what kind of woman wants to deliberately go out and associate herself with outdated misogynistic slang. I appreciate the rhyme, but in this context, it just feels like a set-up for a vaguely seedy limerick:

A lady out painting her nails
Hopes to lure in a new set of males:
"If my fresh coat of Bimbo
Doesn't catch trucker Jimbo
I'll look bad on Springer!" she wails.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Below the Belt

There are many things below my belt. However, I would be concerned if any of them were this color:

(spotting courtesy of Drisana)

Even if we are to take this name metaphorically rather than literally, I am still dubious. Below the belt: underhanded, dirty, not allowed. I can see traffic-light red, or corrupted-soul black, but all's-clear angelic white? I don't think so.

Then again, there are people out there who make an average of $1.79 an hour to determine the sex of baby chickens by squeezing out their feces to open their anal vents and look inside for tell-tale male bumps, while somebody got paid more than ten times that to come up with this name. Talk about below the belt.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm Not Really A Waitress

That's right, honey, you're a nail polish.

Oh, you mean the person wearing you? What is she? If this is her signature color, and her days are taken up by waitressing, I think I have a guess in mind. It starts with "p" and ends with (cover your eyes, young readers) "rostitute" or (OK, open your eyes now) "erson who doesn't have to stand on her feet all day to make a good living."

I assume this name is a nod to the stereotype of the would-be starlet who flies out to the Big City and, just until she gets her break, takes a job slinging burgers. (Do people in Los Angeles still eat burgers? She is probably slinging macrobiotic fiddlehead ferns. [Incidentally, Slingin' Fiddleheads is my new band name.]) Of course, when we check in on her in fifteen years, she's still there, calling the customers "sweetheart" and urging them to try a slice of the cherry pie (acai berry flan).

So, I guess my question here is: is that someone we really want to channel? I mean, maybe I'm just not fabulous enough, but rarely do I wake up in the morning and think, "Today I want to decrease my glamour quotient, you know, but I also want something that says 'I'm just not good enough for my dreams.' I wonder if any one product can fulfill both these needs. It can? And it also says 'I've abandoned my family and home for a shot at fame, but I'm stuck in a menial job while my rapidly fading looks make my chances of success ever more depressingly negligible'? Thanks, OPI!"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What's Dune?

What's Dune? What's DUNE?

By Liet-Kynes, OPI! You are going to find out in a hurry when a sandworm emerges to eat your melange trawler and you don't even have your riding hooks. Anyway, I better stop typing before the Butlerian Jihad finds me, but Shai-Hulud have mercy on your soul.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Don't Socra-Tease Me!

OPInterlocutor: Why have you left the Lyceum, Socrates? And what are you doing standing in front of the Sephora?

Socrates: Alcibiades got jealous when I was always hanging outside the gymnasium. But he doesn't seem to have a problem as long as I settle for teenage girls. What brings you here?

OPI: I am here to deliver a new nail polish shade.

Socrates: What is it called?

OPI: You will think me mad when I tell you.

Socrates: Is it a hideous color?

OPI: No...well, actually, yes. But that is not the reason. I have named it after you; it is called "Don't Socra-Tease Me!"

Socrates: ...Have you been sniffing hemlock?

OPI: Please, do you expect me to take advice on beauty products from someone whose idea of a well-put-together outfit includes gladiator sandals and a toga? Paris Hilton isn't hosting the Symposium tonight.

Socrates: When it comes to nail polish names, I know only that I know nothing. Will you enlighten me and tell me what makes a good nail polish name?

OPI: The best nail polish name, Socrates, is that which is beloved by the consumers.

Socrates: But is a nail polish name good because it is beloved by the consumers, OPI? Or is it beloved by the consumers because it is good?

OPI: You don't seem to understand how this industry works, Socrates. We have a few bowls of wine, toss an encyclopedia in the air, and throw a javelin at it. Whatever word it hits, we pay a slave boy to think of a word that sounds kind of like it and slap the name on the bottle. Give a few free samples to the disciples of Aphrodite, and bam! Suddenly they're lining up at the agora to tell you how witty your nail polish name is.

Socrates: Look, if you wanted to tell me you're a sophist, you could have just said so.

OPI: Anyway, I've got to run. I have a meeting scheduled with Sappho to work some product integration into her latest poem.

Socrates: I was wrong. I do know something. You guys suck.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Guys, I have made it big. My dream as a blogger has finally come true: today, I received my first kick-back! Our faithful midwestern nail polish correspondent Suzanna has sent me some nail polish that is the perfect combination of beautiful in color and hideous in name. (A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but I think we all know that tamely-named nail polish just doesn't have the same sparkle.) Thanks, Suzanna! However, I would like to assure you all that my devotion to strict journalistic integrity remains intact. I remain firmly committed to revealing and reviling the stupid names of the nail polish world (however, have I mentioned what a lovely name Suzanna is?)

Anyway, what is going on with Sexagon? I wish I could believe that this was just an unfortunate result of someone mixing up her Greek and Latin prefixes, but my time in nail polish academia has taught me cynicism. In fact, the reference is much more literary. I am pretty sure that this is actually the title of Edwin Abbott-Abbott's lesser-known and extremely pornographic sequel to Flatland.

An excerpt:

Their vertexes locked across the room. The sexagon slid boldly over the plane until he stood before the lithe young triangle. "Hey, baby," he said. "If I told you that you had a beautiful perimeter, would you hold it against me?"

The triangle blushed and looked shyly at her smallest angle.

"Come on, doll," the brazen sexagon continued, "Don't be obtuse. It doesn't suit acute one like you. You don't want to be a square, do you? I'm not going to stand here and complement you all night. Let me buy you a gin and conic."

"No, thanks," the triangle said. "What's your angle?"

"My angle? You could fill the null set with all the other guys in here who would give you the coordinates of the origin. Look, you know you're the right triangle for me. Let's go back to my place and we can give it an ol' whirl around the XXX-axis. Tangentially, it's cool if you're bisectoral, you can bring a friend."

I'd go on, but I have underage readers. Anyway, don't worry, moralists! I don't want to spoil the plot, but it all wraps up satisfactorily when the deviant sexagon does some hard time in high-security prism. The shy triangle realizes the error of hanging out in shady parts of the coordinate grid, joins the convex and becomes a nonagon.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Forgive, Forget, For Me I Will

Look, I know that the economy is rough right now. It can be hard for companies selling non-essentials like nail polish to make ends meet. But can I make a suggestion? If you must downsize your entire nail polish naming and marketing staff and replace it with one work of literature, make it a dictionary. DO NOT, under any circumstances, use the poetry journal of an eighth-grader whose nom de plume is Mistress Raventwilight Sorrowgoth.

(photo courtesy of Vampy Varnish)

"Forgive, Forget, For Me I Will"? What IS that? I want to call it a sentence fragment, but I think that is too generous. Sentence fragments make sense with additional words placed before or after them, but all that I can think might come after this is "The dark miasma of my tortured soul cries out. / Brandon didn't ask me to the Homecoming dance. / Life is an endless shadow."

Misa, it is no coincidence that when I tried to find a picture of this nail polish, the first page of Google search turns up this:

Forgive this naming travesty? I don't think so. Forget it? I'm trying as hard as I can. Do you think sacrificing a hamster to our Dark Wiccan Vampire Lords would hasten the sweet caress of blessed oblivion?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ

You know a nail polish name is destined for greatness when the least offensive interpretation of it combines all the charm of a national tragedy like Pearl Harbor with the crispy dead cow flesh "eww" factor of Meet Balls. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ:

(spotting courtesy of Krissy)

The more offensive interpretation, you ask? Well, let's just say that the "cow" part of the story is urban legend. But a lot of people died in that fire...

I mean, I'm not saying that OPI is trying to glamorize cannibalism. It's just that if you peeked into the lunchbox of the staffer who came up with this, I wouldn't be surprised if it contained the other white meat, you know what I'm saying? Or if during her last weight-loss craze, she learned how zombies kept their figures so lean (Atkins himself is Atkins-friendly, dieters!). And I bet she never had any problem figuring out what to serve her in-laws...and the question became academic after one night. And maybe she...uh...put her mouth...and digested them...wink wink nudge nudge.

Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is no matter how much this looks like a black cherry soda, please don't drink it.*

*Papua New Guinean readers, please disregard.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Basket Case

In honor of Independence Day, I have done my part to inculcate in today's youth one of our nation's most traditional moral values: condescension for poor nail polish naming. (Little known fact: John Hancock only signed his name so big because he didn't want to hold the quill tighter and risk smearing his manicure.) It is my privilege to introduce a guest entry written by Reuben, one of the proud vanguard of the next generation of nail polish mockery. Reuben is eight years old and enjoys marshmallow taffy, Rube Goldberg machines, and pyromania. Thanks for submitting this entry, Reuben!

Reuben's take on Orly's "Basket Case":

What a stupid name. You use it and a basket breaks. Oh, my God. A basket IS a case. Why do you need a case for a basket? And a nail polish bottle is also a case. It's only a little better than "Brunette on the Internet." Why the heck would a case be pink? It would not be a color that is bright and cheerful. It should be black. Or doorknob-yellow. Even though doorknobs aren't usually yellow.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Christian Court

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise...fear, surprise and cloaking our religious revolution in the guise of nail polish!

I mean, really, guys? Christian Court? (Let's just ignore the fact that this has no earthly [or heavenly] connection to any kind of color.) Do we miss those? Personally I was getting kind of attached to that whole "separation of church and state" thing we've been working for a while. Did you get sick of that? I mean, I guess it would be pretty cool to turn my loud neighbor in for being a heretic. But then again, someone would probably accuse me of witchcraft, I would have to go through trial by drowning, and it would totally ruin my dress. So that kind of breaks even.

Let's just call the whole thing off, all right? You keep your nail polish, I keep my First Amendment, and if I see you again, we're all going to have a nice chat with the Comfy Chair, mmkay?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Catherine the Grape


I didn't realize that Violet Beauregarde came with her own monarch.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Vould U Like a Lick-tenstein?

Vy, hello there. Velcome to my castle. Vould u like a Lick-tenstein?, I'm sorry. It's just not working for me. I'm trying to get into character, but what exactly is my character? I'm a Bela Lugosi-style vampire, I presume from the accent and the oral fixation. But the taxes were too high in Transylvania, so I moved to Lichtenstein? I mean, I'm not complaining or anything. Gorgeous stamps, the skiing in Malbun is lovely, I never have any trouble laundering money. But does it really have the right...atmosphere? It's very quaint, but as far as sinister gothicness goes, it could use some work. If I'm walking, I can make it from one end of the country to the other in a day, let alone if I'm flying on my raven wings of night. Where are my victims supposed to flee to? And speaking of victims, why am I asking permission? I'm not even asking if I can bite them, I'm asking permission to...lick? Am I a kinder, gentler, vampire? Am I a vegan? Am I a new-age vampire, sensitive and attuned to womens' needs, yet realizing that this makes me even more manly because I am not constrained by typical gender stereotypes? Or did I just have a run-in with the law and now I'm trying not to violate my vamp-parole? Also, what's with the "U"? Am I text-messaging my prospective lickee? If so, the question seems a little premature, as I would assume that if someone is in appropriate text-messaging range, she is not in the field of my questing tongue. And while I'm at it, what exactly is the pun supposed be here? Why am I offering her the country? I know you can rent it for a day, I guess I am demonstrating my immense wealth and largess? Yes?

OK, I think I have my character now, I'm ready.

Vill u plz sign this consent vaiver stating that I may gently graze ur neck with my fang while we sit in one of only two doubly-landlocked countries which by the way I own a significant part of because I am so rich...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mutt's New

Dear Mrs. Atkinson,

Here is my essay on "A Day in the Life of Your Pet" like you assigned. I am really sorry it is late but when I was looking for Tinkerbell to do my research I found her floating upside down in the hot tub and my mom said she was just sun tanning but then I heard her talking to the vet and he said she had "lost the will to live" or something.

P.S. Is it OK if I don't go to Six Flags for Physics Day this Friday? Rollercoasters and physics both kind of make me nauseous and I think if I combine them I might end up ruining my new outfit in front of everybody.

A Day in the Life of TINKERBELL, the BEST Chihuahua EVER!

YAWN. Just another morning waking up in my big pink bed! I love it because it is shaped like a castle and it makes me feel like a real princess. Now it's time to take a walk! My owner is too busy to go walk and also she is scared of maybe breaking a heel but that's OK because I get to see Manuelo, my extra-special friend, who was hired just to take care of me! Hi Manuelo! You smell extra good today. Did you know smell is my strongest sense and I can smell way better than a human? For instance, I can tell you are in a sad mood because you smell like cheap whiskey! Did my owner threaten to report you to ICE again because she thought you stole my diamond tiara? I really miss it, diamonds are a girl's best friend!

Time to go see what my owner is doing! Wow, she looks really happy to see me. She's running right over! What's that she has in her hand?

(spotting credit to Gustav Berg)

It looks like the little bottle I saw Manuelo taking from owner's daddy's Happy Cabinet but it doesn't smell the same. It smells really strong though, I wonder what's inside? No, it's too strong, don't put it so close to me!

What are you doing? You're putting it on me? Stop telling me how beautiful I'm going to look, these are fierce talons! Let me go, Manuelo, don't let her do this to me!

You keep saying that my nails are going to look so pretty, but are you are aware that dogs are basically friggin' colorblind? It is THEORETICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for me to appreciate this.

Why are you doing this to me? I'm sorry I peed on your couch! I'm sorry! Just let me go.

Life is agony.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Snow White

Well, that's nice.

It's good to see that even in this economy, the mastermind behind Raven Red still has a job.

On the downside, he may have let his medical insurance slip, because his delusion seems to have escalated. Whereas before I thought he might just have made a simple factual error about ravens, here he is not even pretending to get it right. Snow is white, he is saying to us, yes, I know that. However, I can turn it red through sheer force of will.

Or is he Jedi mind-tricking us? This nail polish is white. Yeah, like that's going to work. This nail polish is white. Some of us have more will-power than a generic cyberthug checking for illicit robots. This nail polish is white.

Anyway, I forgot what I was talking about. But nice nail polish. Lovely shade of white.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I've heard of streets paved with gold, but please tell me where the asphalt roads look like this:

(photo courtesy of Scrangie)

The Magic Sparkle Cupcake Kingdom? Did a bus full of fairy princesses get T-boned by a troll driving his Hummer (I know what you are thinking, environmentalists, but don't worry--it's powered by wishes) to the Bridge-Dwellers Tenement Union? They try frantically to swerve out of the way, but Peter Pan is hovering outside talking on his cell 'phone. In a tragic Icarian flip-flop, he is just too low for safety. He smashes against the windshield, his body desecrated by a last futile effort of the wipers before the blinded bus smashes into Timmy, the Talking Tree. Tinkerbell floats on in a solitary haze. Tears and fairy dust drift slowly to the ground and settle upon the asphalt.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Big Daddy

Wow, creepy.

(Spotting and photograph courtesy of Suzanna)

Is anybody surprised that "Big Daddy" comes from the same company that brought us "Under 18"?

Not only does this name really give me the heebie-jeebies, but it also seems like a blatant color mismatch. This hideous bright orange is neither particularly manly (as befitting a Big Daddy) nor is it stereotypically little-girly (as befitting his doting daughter).

In fact, I can think of only two reasons for "Big Daddy" to be this shade:

1) You are trying to get your Big Daddy to "discipline" you for choosing such a horrible nail polish.

2) You are hoping to use your nails as hazard signals to flag down the car behind you and beg them to release you from your plaited-kneesock manacles before your body turns up in a ditch clad in a plaid skirt and pigtail ribbons.

If the former, good luck! You have earned it.

If the latter, I recommend bringing along some nail polish remover along in a hollow tooth. You're going to need it to take off your nail polish when the cops pull Big Daddy over for yelling obscene propositions at that school bus. Otherwise they might just decide anyone with such bad taste in polish deserves what she gets.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Charlie Dickens

When I saw that Butter London had all kinds of fun colors without the "Big Three" nail polish carcinogens, I had great expectations. Now, I know these are hard times, and fourteen dollars is a lot to spend on a bottle of nail polish. But when I saw that they were giving away free nail polish for Earth Day, I was hooked. I've been stuck in my bleak house studying so much that I feel like Oliver Twist, and this was a chance for welcome escapism. I started browsing the list over and over, pondering which I would pick. Someone asked me if I was at least going to get a Stupid Nail Polish Names entry out of it, and I said that none of the names struck me as that bad. Luckily, our mutual friend responded, "Look, chuzzlewit, this isn't an old curiosity shop. This is a national American corporation! These names are pretentious and obnoxious."

Yes, ladies and gentleman, it's true. These names might seem full of quaint English charm. But this is a tall tale of two cities. They slap all their nail polish with insufferably British names, but do you know where this company is based? Seattle. And last time I checked, Seattlites weren't always going on about snogging chimney sweeps over crumpets. Sorry, Butter London, you're not David Copperfield; you can't wave your wand and magically change your nationality and time period. Not only are you not on a nickname basis with "Charlie Dickens," I would be very surprised if anyone who works at your company ever got past "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

Anyway, at least the colors are pretty. If you've been saving your nicklebys lately, you could go for one. Just polish your monocle first.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Frugalista; Look Rich, Be Cheap

I'm sorry? You want to name your EIGHTEEN DOLLAR nail polish "Frugalista"?

Who writes the names for this company--Bill Gates? If this counts as frugal for you, Bill, I've got some other great deals you might want to look into. For instance, I will let you finish my bag of jelly beans for a mere twenty dollars. And the shirt off my back can be yours for a mere C-note. Actually, I know you're a fan of this blog. And I'll tell you what. You can hire me as your personal columnist, to write about whatever you want, for the outrageous bargain of four million dollars a year. Let me know.

Honestly, I love this color, but this is just a ridiculous price for some glitter soaked in chemicals. If you feel like spending eighteen dollars today, here are some things you could get instead. You could purchase two and two thirds tuning keys for your autoharp (autoharp not included). You could send a child in India to school for a year. You could disguise yourself as a hipster and wreak havoc on unsuspecting boys in girls' pants. Or you could buy the album AND the buttons of the new supergroup involving some guys from Cheap Trick, Fountains of Wayne, the guitarist from Smashing Pumpkins/A Perfect Circle, and one of the Hansen Brothers. And you would still have enough money left over for a coathanger to puncture your eardrums!

And while we're at it, Rescue Beauty Lounge: spending eighteen bucks to put THIS on your nails will make you Look Rich and Be Cheap?

Sorry, honey. As the immortal Willy Wonka would say: strike that, reverse it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Meet Balls

I've tried about seventy different prescriptions of rose-colored glasses to look at this one. No matter how strong they are (and in this latest pair, Stalin looks like the pancake bunny), this name still grosses me out.

Meet Balls?

I mean, is the goal to look like you just dipped your fingers in squishy globules of ground up cow flesh? it a tantalizing promise of your social life to come?

Either way, let me reiterate: eww.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tennis Corset

Not only is this an awful name for a nail polish, but it is also one of the worst ideas for a piece of clothing I have ever heard (with the possible exception of foot-binding marathon shoes). Tennis is a game in which participants are expected to run around the court quickly. A corset is a device that inhibits you from breathing and will make you pass out if you try to run or bend over. It does not seem like a (game, set, or) match made in heaven. Maybe if you are so figure-conscious that you cannot leave the house without your corset even to exercise, public sports are not for you. It's OK; they invented Wii Tennis for a reason.

Also, the elitism of tennis combined with the Victorianism of corsets makes me suspicious of the kind of people who would wear this.

"Lady Thistlethorpe! What a pleasure to see you again! You are looking delightfully frail and delicate today."

Lady Thistlethorpe, with great effort, manages to breathe deeply enough through her tennis corset to raise her racket in greeting.

"Oh, Sir Caddington, you do know how to flatter a woman. Have you had any luck engaging a new upstairs parlor maid for Stuffybritches Manor?"

The tennis ball passes seven inches from Lady Thistlethorpe's gracefully outstretched arm and sails into Sir Caddington's monocle, cracking it in half.

"Alas, no. We thought we had found one at last, but she turned out to be a dirty papist. Caught her with those grubby little fingers on a rosary."

The ball speeds at Lady Thistlethorpe. She takes one step toward it on her tennis high heels, totters, and crashes to the ground. Sir Caddington nods his head approvingly.

"Damned fine woman, I've always said. Jeeves! Smelling salts!"

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Baby It's "Coal" Outside!

Really? This was the nail polish you were so excited about that you busted out the exclamation point?

(photo from Nail Polish Diva)

Here's an idea: if you only have enough currency at the Punctuation Store to pick out one present for yourself, how about investing in a comma? I know, it doesn't have the flash of an exclamation point, but the upside is that you will look a lot less like an idiot, with the pleasant side-effect of being grammatically correct.

Oh, and thanks for the quotation marks around "coal." I was in danger of believing that, in a bizarre and terrifying sequel to Cat's Cradle, the carbon in our atmosphere had literally transmuted into sedimentary rock and was in danger of crushing anyone who ventured outside. ("Yes," Steampunk Santa said, as he unleashed the particle of Coal-9, "you've all been very bad.") The thing is, I know what it would be like to have coal outside. I don't, however, know what it would be like to have to worry about "coal." What exactly are the scare quotes supposed to indicate? Something kind of like coal is outside? Watch out, it's sandstone! Oh, no, here comes whale blubber, another non-renewable source of energy!

I assure you, if you persist in saying things like this, you will soon have nobody left to call "baby."

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Paint My Moji-toes Red

This is it, guys. Stupid Nail Polish Names is officially in the big leagues.

Allow me to introduce Suzanna, our first embedded journalist and Midwestern Nail Polish Correspondent. You may recognize her fine spotting and photography skills from Sand in My Suit.

If you would like to join the ranks of our crack investigative team, I would love any submissions. There is nothing I want more than to turn each and every one of you into that creepy person at Walgreens who spends an inordinate amount of time lurking around the nail polish displays.

This week, Suzanna let me know about this little gem, Paint My Moji-toes Red:

(photo taken from Nail Polish Diva)

Now, I like a good pun as much as anyone. More than most people who are traditionally considered "sane." But here is the thing about puns: this isn't one.

A pun requires two words that sound similar, yes. But arbitrarily switching a word with another word that sounds like it: NOT A PUN.

Since I think we can pretty much agree that the person who named this nail polish deserves to be condemned by a jury of his peers and put behind bars, let's turn to my new imaginary legal nail polish line for examples.

Here are some of our leading shades: Starry Decisis (glitter), I Was Never Red My Rights (crimson), and Blue My Chance at Parole By Assaulting a Prison Guard With a Homemade Shiv (navy).

Now, here are some that did not make the cut: Insanity De-fence (purple), Trus-tease of the Estate (cerulean), Res Jew-dicata (chartreuse).

Can we see the difference, class? Hint: the colors in the second set have NO EARTHLY CONNECTION with the homophones. If a pun is a play on words, the words in the second set are not playing. They are not even acquaintances. They are the two kids who stand at opposite corners of the playground, solemnly glaring at each other. One is on the monkeybars and one of them is the kid who goes down the slide over and over again, trying to line up his flight path to hit the kids on the monkeybars and knock them into the gravel.

Now, which category would Paint My Moji-toes Red be in?

Unless Jesus is at your party, has gotten a little tipsy, and has decided it would be super funny to stagger around turning everyone's beverages into wine, there is no reason for a mojito to be red. This seems like an unlikely scenario. But then again, how could anyone to afford enough alcohol to make this name seem like a good idea, sans the J-man showing up and pulling a little trick a la loaves and fishes?

So you get a pass this time, OPI. But don't take this as your excuse to become a Re-peat Offender (dirty brown).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sand in My Suit

Hey, shoppers! Want to head to the shore, but can't find the time? No problem! OPI has got it covered, bringing you all your least favorite beach vacation moments in the form of nail polish!

(photo by Suzanna)

If you're like me, you love sitting in the baking hot sun, slowly turning more and more red, knowing that later, you will be not only exquisitely unattractive but also in intense pain. And you can't get enough of being surrounded on all sides by sorority girls wearing about six square inches of fabric and treating the area as their own private mating ground, not to mention the fifty-year-old matrons who think they're sorority girls and apparently shop at the same place.

But this doesn't quite capture the beach experience--you could do all of this at the local pool. That's why OPI has gone one step further and provided Sand in My Suit! Because your genitalia just wasn't chafed enough.

Coming soon: A Jellyfish Stung Me in the Eye, The Cute Lifeguard Snubbed Me, and My Baby Sister Crawled Into the Ocean and I Arrived Just Too Late to Save Her!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Brunette on the Internet

As a brunette on the internet myself, one would think that this nail polish is perfectly named to appeal to me. By "one would think" I mean it doesn't.

(photo taken from Blogdorf Goodman)

Now, you might interpret the name of this nail polish as indicating its potential clientele. And you would be correct.

However, I hope that none of you made the amateur mistake of assuming that our hypothetical nail polish-buyer is a brunette who wears this polish while she uses the internet. As we all know, brunettes are the most practical of the hair colors and would never coordinate their nails to an activity that begins and ends as frequently as internet-usage does. "Oh, shoot, I accidentally alt-tabbed to my Word document, I guess I have to change my nail polish again." I think not.

Here is who would wear this: someone who is a brunette only when she is on the internet. By "she" I mean "he" and by "on the internet" I mean "in his mother's basement, lurking in an AOL teen chat room under the name XoXCutieMuffin12XoX."

I imagine the logs read something like this--

Soccerfan2005: its about time is totaly the best jonas brothers album

XoXCutieMuffin12XoX: i agree, u want 2 cybar?

Soccerfan2005: um, ok, send a pic

[File transfer from XoXCutieMuffin12XoX initiated]

[File deliasbikini2.jpg received]

Soccerfan2005: omg that's u???

XoXCutieMuffin12XoX: u like what u see?

Soccerfan2005: wait, is that a photo from the delia's website

XoXCutieMuffin12XoX: no way, my name is delia

XoXCutieMuffin12XoX: and i model 4 them. if u saw it there that is why

Soccerfan2005: oh ok

Soccerfan2005: u r hott, i luv brunettes

[XoXCutieMuffin12XoX's bald head glows softly in the light of the computer monitor. He begins to slowly unbutton his shirt, his Brunette on the Internet-painted fingertips shimmering alluringly.]

XoXCutieMuffin12XoX: thx. now tell me more about that fantasy u had where the jonas brothers get miley cyrus alone at the vmas.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sphinx Purple

What is applied on four nails in the morning, two nails at noon, and three nails in the evening?

The answer, of course, is Sphinx Purple.

My first thought when I hear "Sphinx" is that big ol' fellow sitting out in Giza, which does such a good job of blending into the desert because it is sand-colored, not purple. But there are a wide variety of sphinxes in various cultural histories, and I am sure the nail polish namers have a very good reason for associating it with purple.

Now, the traditional portrayal of the Sphinx is a human head (some shade between peach and brown) on the body of a lion (golden). But in Egypt the head can sometimes also be a falcon's (brown, white, or gray), a hawk's (same), or a ram's (same plus black).

Hmm, no purple yet. Let's move onto other cultures. If we're going Greek, a sphinx can also have the wings of an eagle (black) and the tail of a serpent (green, yellow, red, brown, black, orange). And there's a Thai sphinx variant who might have the lower body of a deer (brown).

Still nothing? I could be looking at this too narrowly. Maybe we should consider the materials out of which a sphinx might be carved. They have been made out of all kinds of things, like limestone (sandy), granite (black, white, gray), and alabaster (uh...white).

That's it, I give up. There is a way to tie the concept of a sphinx to every conceivable color EXCEPT purple.

Wait! Wait, I've got it. The word sphinx comes from the Greek Σφίγξ, apparently from the verb σφίγγω (sphíngō), meaning "to strangle". (Thanks, Wikipedia!) So maybe this is the color that the Sphinx's victims turned after they failed at Elementary Riddles 101. Just what I always wanted to paint my nails.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Oh, god.

(photo taken from Vampy Varnish)

I have three questions:

1) WHAT?

2) WHY?

3) BLUE???

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Skinny Dip'n in Lake Michg'n

Let's start by getting this out of the way: even skinny dipping in Lake Michigan is a bad idea. It is filthy and freezing cold and shares a border with (shudder) Indiana. This is without even getting to the giant squid.

Luckily, I guess whoever wears this nail polish doesn't have to worry about any of that, because there is no possible combination of letters that can fill in these apostrophes to make them result in an intelligible phrase, let alone anything that bears a passing resemblance to "Skinny Dipping in Lake Michigan." I guess "Dip'n" could be short for "Diphenylhydantoin" (a white, slightly water-soluble powder, C15H11N2O2, used in the form of its sodium salt to prevent or arrest convulsions in epilepsy), "Dipnoan" (belonging or pertaining to the order Dipnoi, comprising the lungfishes), or "Dipthongization" (the act of changing into a diphthong). "Michg'n"? I've got nothing. Or should I say "nothin'"? Or "nothn'g"?

And while we're at it, why are there even apostrophes at all? It's not like brevity can be a big concern with this Tolstoy of a nail polish name. Are they trying to go for a rhyme here? Because I'm not a pro at pronouncing words that look like they come from an Elvish ballad, but I'm pretty sure that no matter how brutalized these words get, it does not work. I tried a few times and it started coming out "Skinny Dippin' with Prince Myshkin," an uninviting prospect but still one I would prefer to putting on this nail polish.

Let me just conclude by saying I hope whoever came up with this name dies torn into tiny shreds by a horde of rabid lexicographers.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Under 18

From the manufacturers of Pearl Harbor, I bring ode to statutory rape:

Really, guys? "Under 18"? This is kind of creepy. (Being the color of drying blood doesn't help. Was she beaten and left for dead before Chris Hansen got there?) Also, it doesn't seem designed to increase sales. People under eighteen are perpetually obsessed with being able to pass for over twenty-one, so they can sneak into bars and get drinks, and I don't think people over eighteen have a burning desire to be confused with jailbait.

But maybe I'm being uncharitable. Under 18 could refer to lots of other things:

--The amount of days this nail polish will remain on sale before they yank it from the shelves.

--How attractive this color is on a scale from 1 to 100.

--The number of satisfied purchasers.

--The IQ of the person who brainstormed this name.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lost Without My GPS; What's a Tire Jack?

Remember that feminist movement we had? OPI for Sephora doesn't.

These lovely shades are named Lost Without My GPS (top) and What's a Tire Jack? (bottom).

Let's just skip over another annoying instance of confusing "appropriate nail polish name" with "rhetorical question," although to be honest this still infuriates me and I would prefer a polish named "A Usually Portable Device For Raising Heavy Objects By Means of Force Applied With a Lever, Screw, or Hydraulic Press." (Actually, that would be awesome. I would kill for a set of Archimedean simple machine-themed nail polish and I think it would really sell well during this steampunk craze.)

And I think we can all recognize that these are phrases, not colors. I guess "What's a Tire Jack?" is kind of the color of a tire. This, incidentally, is the best thing that can be said about either of these names.

But most pressingly...what is going on here??? Here is how I think the sales pitch went:

"All right, let's discuss naming possibilities for our new line. I hope all of you have taken the research seriously and developed ideas that will appeal to a broad demographic of women. Smith?"

"I've been conducting focus tests and you'll never guess what broads like these days: sickening reminders of the most prevalent, offensive, and outdated stereotypes that have been used to degrade them for decades!"

"Interesting, Smith. While we discuss, Miss Johnson, could you fetch the coffee please?"

"Certainly, sir. Mr. Smith, would you help me carry it in?"

(Mr. Smith and Ms. Johnson leave the room. A dull thud is heard, followed by the sound of shattering china. A mixed stream of brown and red trickles sullenly under the door of the break room. Ms. Johnson reenters the room, adjusting her blouse.)

"Sorry, we're all out of coffee. How about some tea?"

Sunday, March 8, 2009

How Cute Is That?

I admit it, I kind of fell off the Stupid Nail Polish Names bandwagon. I used up all the stupidly-named nail polish that I have sitting on my dresser, the ones I have a personal sense of outrage about. I began to wonder--is my calling fulfilled?

But today my little sister dragged me to Sephora, and I realized: there are wrongs that must be righted. These outrages against humanity may not be allowed to stand, and it is my duty to fight them. With my last breath, I will decry these horrendous sins:

(photo taken from Lextard's Flickr)

You know, life can be rough. It's hard to keep your confidence up when confronted with picture after picture of airbrushed starlets, and I'm certainly not immune from insecurity. Sometimes I ask myself: Am I really smart enough? Funny enough? Pretty enough? And I'm willing to put up with a certain amount of this from my friends. "No, that dress just makes you look zaftig! Chubby at most." "I guess you do look a little like Bela Lugosi, but in a good way." "Of COURSE you'll find love! I saw a whole website where people pay every month to look at pictures of people just like you."

But here's who I'm not willing to buy the worms for on their little compliment fishing trip: my NAIL POLISH.

"How Cute Is That?" How insecure is the person who came up with this? I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the answer to my question is greater than the answer to theirs. You would think that after this shade got passed by the Nail Polish Color Committee it would have some resolution about how cute it feels. I doubt that the other nail polishes take kindly to it, either. "What an attention whore," they whisper. "She's just flashing her question mark at anybody who walks by." If I am going to get a cocky nail polish, I at least want one that's upfront about it. "Cute Carnation" or "I'm Awesome Now Purchase Me" or something.

If people buy you, you're cute enough, OK? Now go take off some of that shimmer. You look like a tramp.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Pearl Harbor

As my Valentine's Day present to you, here it is. The motherlode.

Remember when the Japanese navy sank virtually the entire American fleet without a declaration of war? Thousands were killed and more were wounded, before they even knew they had an enemy to face. Pain and death rained from the sky, unforeseen and undeserved. The nation was outraged; we swore the date would live in infamy. I just didn't think we would commemorate it like this.

What MONSTER would name a nail polish after this maelstrom of hate? The brand name is Sinful Colors? You're not kidding me! Who thinks that Pearl Harbor is a charming color to put on her nails? Eva Braun?

I just hope they come out with some other colors for this brand. Spring Fling is coming up and I think some sparkly September 11th would really set off my dress.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Frosted Ice Calypso

I'm not angry. I'm just...confused.

No, that's a lie. I'm angry. I only got this stupid nail polish because it was the closest thing I could find in color to my favorite toenail polish, Blue For My Baby, which suddenly vanished from all drug stores the same week and I have never been able to find again. The least they could do is replace it with something with an awesome name.

But no. Now it's just me, my toes, and Frosted Ice Calypso.

I would be less angry if any ONE of these words applied to this:

Frosted? Ice? Unless somebody tripped in your snowy yard with a barrel of hazardous waste, I am pretty sure that neither of these words should apply to what is, essentially, turquoise. Ice is clear, white, or MAYBE light blue. I am being generous here. Don't push me.

So that leaves us with...calypso. Is that the Afro-Caribbean style of music originating in Trinidad and Tobago? Because I really don't think that is a color. I am looking up the flag of Trinidad and Tobago to make extra-sure they didn't slip a clever reference in here. Nope. It's black, red, and white.

So it's not that kind of calypso. Please tell me they aren't talking about the nymph who imprisoned Odysseus on her island for seven years. I admit it, I only kind of skimmed the Odyssey, but I think I would have stopped and paid more attention if it mentioned that she was a vibrant blue-green. Also, I feel like that story didn't end so well for her. Maybe I should stop using this nail polish before Zeus steps in to make my baby daddy leave me for his wife.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Raven Red

You know, I totally see where they were going with the name here. Ravens are mysterious, elegant. They make me think of Poe. Xenu knows that with the vampire fad going on these days, anything with "raven" in the name should sell like gothcakes.

And I understand affirmative action. I think it's great that a well-respected cosmetics company like Revlon is willing to take a stand and provide much-needed jobs to those with disabilities.

Just one small problem:


Next time, assign the color-blind employees to something not requiring them to differentiate between this:

and this:

Huckle Buckle

Before you scroll down, try to imagine what color Huckle Buckle is.

It could be the color of a buckle, right? Perhaps a brassy gold, or even silver.

Or it could be the color of a huckleberry. I don't know what color huckleberries are, but in my head they are deep blue. Or purple. Or black. I guess they could be red. Berry tones, right?


This is Huckle Buckle:

Looks harmless, doesn't it? Almost genteel. How is it that this nail polish has a name that makes me want to drawl "Cletus! Is ol' Bessie ready for the milkin' yet? We need somethin' to feed them chillens besides the squirrel you shot on Old Man Rafferty's land while you were gettin' your Stars 'n' Bars ready for the Skynryd concert!"

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The genesis

I remember the very first stupid nail polish name that won my heart. I was a young lass in middle school with a nail polish collection bountiful enough to paint the Sistine Chapel. I collected hues of every color so I could paint my nails in ROY G BIV order. No matter what colors I chose they were inevitably topped off with enough sparkles to manufacture a disco ball.

But I had never really looked at the names. One day I idly flipped over one of my favorite bottles, a beautiful sparkly purple. My jaw dropped in awe.


Did someone stay up all night watching the Nutcracker when he was paid to be brainstorming names? Did I really want my nails to have all the allure of a small girl in a puffy tutu? At least it was accurate in that I could fully believe any male executive who sanctioned this name was a fairy indeed.

I wondered if I could ever enjoy this nail polish again knowing that its name was so horrifically stupid. Then I realized, it was EVEN BETTER.