Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bitches Brew

SCENE I. A cavern. In the middle, a boiling nail polish bottle.

Thunder. Enter the three Bitches.

First Bitch
Thrice I've backstabbed my best friend.
Second Bitch
Thrice and once today I've whined.
Third Bitch
I am SO bored--'Tis time, 'tis time.
First Bitch
Round about the bottle go;
Add like, whatever, I don't know.
Eye of newt; some blood of ducks;
That should be good for sixteen bucks.
Looks kind of dirty, but don't panic;
Charge extra--call the brand organic.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
Second Bitch
The bottle's full of our creation,
No more room for punctuation;
Forget the tired, trite, possessive,
"Bitches Brew"'s much more expressive.
We brew a lot besides just potions:
Moisturizers, perfumes, lotions.
You know it takes more than a wand
To get Three's tacky cauldron-blonde.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Third Bitch
So anyway, that lame Macbeth,
Let's bring him to an early death.
He's so not hunky, and that wife!
Your hands are clean--please get a life!
After we've got him in our thrall
We'll head out to the nearest mall.
My jeans have been untimely ripp'd,
And for Bitch One, I've got a reason:
Your black cat is SO last season.
Bitch Two, you'll never catch a thane
Til Birnam wood reach Dunsinane.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cool As

Do you American folks ever wonder if it is just our overheated advertising industry that is responsible for nail polish monstrosities? Finally, I have evidence of a foreign crime worth extraditing (graciously submitted by fabulous Aussie reader Jade).

(photo by Jade)

Cool As? Cool As What? I don't know if I can handle the suspense! A refreshing mountain spring? The von Trapp child Maria forgot about and left in the Alps? That gum I keep seeing commercials for where everything suddenly becomes an ice cavern and for some reason you can then talk to women with ease? Damn it, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a thermometer!*

What we really need here is some scientific rigor. (Or with this polish, rigour?)

Dear John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation: I am willing to devote my career to placing this nail polish at its appropriate point on the Coolness Scale. Send grant money and research assistants, stat.

*Not actually a doctor.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Princesses Rule!

I'm pretty sure that, by definition, they don't.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Give Me Moor!

Wow, really? Really? How did nobody's offensiveness radar go off when you named a nail polish after a race of people, colored it to approximate their skin tone, and then asked to possess them? Follow-up question: if you have a white nail polish, do you need to keep this one next to it at all times so that you don't wake up one day to find your white polish bottle lying mysteriously broken underneath a tiny little pillow? In this case, I think OPI named neither wisely nor too well.

Granted, it is conceivably possible that OPI was going with another definition of "moor" (although not likely, seeing as this comes from the "Espana" collection). If we are talking about land forms, though, a moor is about as unpleasant and useless as you can get. Does whoever named this really want a desolate, infertile, and somewhat soggy piece of English countryside? Nor does swapping from "Moor" to "moor" really improve the romantic connotations in either healthiness or happy endingness.

Let's just agree to cut our losses and stick with the verb, then, shall we? I'll moor you to whatever you want. Just promise to stay there.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Deer Valley Spice

Here is a list of things that should be named "Deer Valley Spice":

1) A scented candle used in a hunting lodge
2) The mildly scandalous gossip column on the back page of a Massachusetts preparatory school newspaper
3) The cologne dabbed behind the ear of an ever-so-smooth 46-year-old gentleman as he prepares to head out to the local bar with all the temptingly tipsy co-eds
4) An exotic blend of seven different kinds of pepper that you buy at Williams Sonoma because it's only $8.95 and you just know it will give your arugula salad that little extra something, but no matter how hard you strain your taste buds, it just tastes like regular pepper, and then you realize that you don't even like arugula
5) The racy series of novels that results when the Sweet Valley twins grow up to find that the Unicorn Club has developed into a prostitution ring...but can Elizabeth's journalistic skills save the day?

(suggested by Gillian)

This nail polish, however, is none of these things. Nor is it remotely near the color of a deer, a valley, or any spice found in nature. In fact, the only image that comes into my head when I try to associate this shade with deer-filled valleys is of a woman with avaricious pink claws stroking the pelt of Bambi's mother, trying to decide whether she will have it made into a coat or a stole. I guess this is, after all, somewhat fitting. When it comes to both Bambi and names like this, the real enemy is Man.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lemonade Stand By Your Man

Honey, let me give you a little advice. If you are having issues with your man, you might want to consider whether they spring from the fact that you appear to be the owner and operator of a lemonade stand, a time-honored profession practiced primarily by eight-year-olds. Statistically speaking, this means that your man is probably either a pre-teen or a pedophile. Either way, we're not really talking about a class of men noted for their deep emotional constancy, am I right? While I don't want to impugn your true and enduring love, I'm just saying that the next time your man reaches into his wallet to leave a quarter on your nightstand, you might want to take a peek at his driver's license and see if his name is Humbert Humbert.

Furthermore, while "Before and After" may be my favorite category on Wheel of Fortune, this does not make it an appropriate nail polish naming mechanism. (To any OPI namers who insist that before-and-after with Every Word Capitalized is a viable human method of communication, let me riposte by saying that Your Momma Is So Fat That The Probability She Occupies A Randomly-Selected Point Within A Room Is One Day I Am Going To Learn How To Send My Fist Through The Internet And Punch You In The Face.)

Actually, I greatly prefer this name when taken literally, i.e., Lemonade Stand in Close Geographical Proximity to Your Man. This take on it raises all sorts of interesting questions. I mean, there are not a lot of lemonade stands, so it's pretty unlikely that your man just happens to be near one. Did you seduce your man based solely on his convenient distance from the nearest lemonade-serving establishment? The fact that you named your nail polish after the lemonade stand rather than your fellow leads me to believe this may be your general order of priorities. It's OK to be honest, I love lemonade too. Also, what if your man doesn't remain stationary all day? If your lemonade stand stays put while he moves around, your nail polish would be unacceptably out of vogue. I think the only solution is a lemonade version of that Japanese vending-machine skirt. Manufacturers, call me. We can split the profits fifty-fifty.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Iris I Was Thinner

Well, this is charming on every level. By "every level" I mean the 1.4 levels of meaning I am willing to grudgingly grant OPI because they are probably feeling extremely proud of their clever non-pun and I don't want to make them cry, and by "charming" I mean "incredibly off-putting and really messed up."

Hey, guess what, OPI? Nails are the one part of everyone's body that they pretty much feel OK about. Nobody's nails are too fat!

The nail polish industry has a special place in the world of make-up because nail polish is the only product that cannot be used to make you look like the more attractive person you're not. Nobody (I hope) is using nail polish to even out their blotchy skin tone, to make their tiny eyes look bigger, to make their cheekbones more prominent. Nail polish is something a woman (or man) does to please her-(or him)-self--what color do I want my nails to be, just because I like that color?

So, you know, thanks for ignoring that whole ability you had to make nail polish the only "beauty" industry segment free from the need to make women feel bad about themselves in order to sell more products. You didn't have to make this about disguising flaws; it could have been about celebrating choices.

Instead, you're a nail polish bottle calling itself fat.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Red Thong In Divorce Court

Here's a real winner from the Poor Life Choices collection by Naughty Nailz.

(photo by Lacquer Laine)

I hear they wanted to call it "Lost Any Chance at Alimony and Served Thirty Days for Contempt of Court," but it wouldn't fit on the bottle.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Miso Happy With This Color

It's nail polish names like these that really make me nostalgic for the good ol' days. You know, the ones where women were in the kitchen, African-Americans were at the back of the bus, and Asians were in internment camps.

(suggested by Avii)

This name is pretty subtle, so let me break it down for you. You see, "miso" sounds like "me so," which is what all Asian people say instead of the grammatically correct "I'm so." Man, sometimes people who grow up speaking a different language don't have a perfect grasp of English. Ha ha, I sure love to laugh at them for trying!

Google backs up my intuition that the primary association with "me so" anything is the immortal "Me so horny" scene from "Full Metal Jacket." Get it? One of Japan's primary cultural exports, which OPI is taking care to celebrate in its Japan collection, is prostitution! Of course, the character in "Full Metal Jacket" was Vietnamese, not Japanese, but that's cool. They all look the same to me, too.

Also, I love how in classic OPI style, randomly inserting the name of a soup (a soup that is not even remotely the same color as this nail polish, I feel obliged to pedantically point out) makes this a brilliant pun. Wow, that's vichyssoise hilarious, you New England clam chowder morons.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dick Weed; Jizz

Whoa, now, let's just simmer down a moment, shall we? There's no need to get all hostile.

(suggested by Blanche and Trina)

I've seen a lot of nail polish that seems to be going through personal problems, including the insecure, the misogynistic, and the...vampiric, but none that is this out-of-the-blue insulting.

Also, "Dick Weed," really? When is the last time anybody used that one? You might as well bust out the big guns and start calling people "squares" and "dweebs." According to the only semi-scholarly article I can find, "dickweed" pretty much peaked as an insult in 1986, thanks to the immortal line "You killed Ted, you Medieval dickweed!" So let me take a page from the book of Bill S. Preston, Esq. and proclaim this name most heinous.

Incidentally, BleachBlack:

Before you named this little number "Jizz"...

(suggested by Hannah) probably should have considered how wearers are going to have to respond when someone asks them "What's on your nails?"

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Great, just what we all needed: dadaist nail polish. What is "up's" with this?

Actually, I'm kind of impressed. Who would have thought so much confusion could be packed into just three letters and one punctuation mark? In terms of nonsense per character this little number is compressed like [normals] Kim Kardashian's posterior in this dress [nerds] a ZIP file stored on the world's tiniest USB drive and thrown into Garbage Compactor 3263827 on the Death Star.

What exactly happened to cause this name? Was the author trying to go to the United Parcel Service's website to see when they would deliver her new keyboard without an erratically triggering caps lock and apostrophe key? Was she hoping to launch her career as a film critic by naming a nail polish after the first word of her thesis, titled "Up's Balloons: Intelligent Falling: a Metatextual Metaphorical Metaphysical Metallurgical Critique of Gravity"?

Whatever is going on here, this name is not exactly at the top's of my list. Not exactly one of Essie's high'slights.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Buy Me a Cameo

You know those days when you want to be obnoxiously demanding, but you ALSO really want your fashion to be at least ninety years out of date? Apparently Essie's got it covered! What's that you say? You also want to reinforce sexist stereotypes, like that the main goal in women's lives is to extract jewelry from men? No problem; this little number has it all.

In fact, I hear that so many women are clamoring for antique cliches on their nails that Essie is launching a whole line. This spring, check your local drugstore for sure-fire hits like Pull Over Your Ford Model T Right Now and Ask For Directions, Don't You Dare Take My Backstreet Boys Record Off the Victrola, No You Can't Go Out Fox Hunting With the Boys On Our Anniversary Weekend, and What Happens In Paris Only Stays In Paris If It Does Not Include the French Disease, Ben, Now Go Sleep On the Couch.

Monday, February 15, 2010

12 Inch Gang Bang

(Photo by Lacquer Laine)

Interestingly, Lifetime is using this color as an inspiration for their first-ever movie based on a nail polish name. Keep an eye on your TV Guide so you don't miss the debut of "Rape in Lilliput: What Happens When 12-Inch Pianists Go Bad."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Skin Tight Denim; Polyester Pink

I'm pretty sure there is a good reason the creator of this little number was kicked off of Project Runway last week:

(screenshot courtesy of Project Rungay)

For those not up on their fashion, I think the most glaring flaw was its over-resemblance to another designer's oeuvre, the designer in question being a truckstop hooker from Oklahoma who hit her head falling off a mechanical bull during July of 1996 and can now never move past that moment in her life or in her clothing choices.

So, the obvious question here is: why did anyone think it would be a good idea to name a nail polish after the two traits of this dress that combine to make it totally and irredeemably hideous?

Let's do a little stream-of-conscious word association for "skin tight denim." I'll start. Skanky, uncomfortable, rent-a-strippers dressed as participants of the California Gold Rush, desperate, doesn't make your butt look as good as you think it does, yeast infection, how fun would it be if you could order 49ers for your bachelorette party and tip them with gold nuggets, good luck fitting your keys and chapstick into your pocket, not going to be able to sew yourself into that in six months so enjoy it while you can, ooh if we expanded to include Yukon Gold Rush strippers we could call the company Robert W. At-Your-Service.

Aside from my genius new business plan, that did not seem to generate many positive connotations. It's like N.Y.C. came up with a really pretty shade of blue and then decided it would be really hip to create "ironic" contrast by naming it after the tackiest fabric possible.

Wait, what's that? You're telling me they decided to name this delicate color...

...Polyester Pink?

Fine. Just fine. I'm going to sleep this off. Somebody wake me up in 2010 or whenever we've decided it is OK to wear clothes that don't desecrate the human body again, whichever comes first.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Friar, Friar, Pants on Fire!

Blasphemy! Accusing a man of God of deception? I had no idea that OPI was so iconoclastic. Maybe this is the color that Richard Dawkins wears on dates?

I admit that I kind of like the idea of an extremely bitter atheist in a room somewhere in OPI headquarters taking her revenge, one nail polish name at a time. And I look forward to the rest of OPI's anti-Christianity-themed line, which I hear will include Fertility Goddess Fuschia, Ubermensch Ultramarine, and Go Screw Yourself Billy Graham You Deranged Nutjob Blue.

However, I have to question the accuracy of this particular polish name. Do friars even wear pants? I mean, I'm sure they do now, but the traditional image is a cassock or something, isn't it? I admit that "Friar, Friar, Vestments on Fire!" doesn't quite have the same ring to it. However, it seems pretty clear that OPI already gets their nail polish names by ripping off playground rhymes and then substituting words with whatever nouns their darts happened to hit in a rhyming dictionary, so eloquence is pretty much out the window at this point. We might as well strive for whatever semblance of coherence we can still scrape together, OK guys?

I'm also not sure why this name is part of OPI's "English Collection" ("shades designed to capture the vibrancy of London, while simultaneously offering the softness of a heathered English countryside!"). What about friars (or flaming pants) is uniquely English? Let's just take a quick rundown of where the major mendicant orders were founded: Dominicans? France. Carmelites? Israel. Franciscans, Servites, and Augustinians? Probably all Italy. Even the word "friar" itself comes from the French "frère" (meaning brother). Basically, OPI has picked one of the few major medieval powers that did NOT originate any large sect of friars.

Here's what I'm guessing: OPI got all it knows about friars from the same place I did--Robin Hood. This would explain the alleged Englishness of the name. However, let me point out that 1) though Tuck wasn't the meekest of friars, I don't think he ever actually lied to anyone, making this name STILL nonsensical, 2) this totally clashes with Sherwood green, 3) this shade would be much better suited to Will Scarlet, and 4) I don't remember any part of the Robin Hood stories where Friar Tuck goes through Maid Marian's makeup bag.

Whatever way I slice it with my longsword, this name does NOT make me merry.