Nail polish Monday: What are you wearing?

nail polish
Yay! It’s finally getting a little cooler and more fall-ish feeling in my neck of the woods! That, plus we’ve been in celebration mode for the past two weeks or so: wedding anniversary, my birthday last week and hubby’s yesterday (Sunday – happy birthday, honey!), and I’m a very happy camper. So I decided to do my nails up right, or as well as I could in my iffy DIY way. I wasn’t up for a full-on red nail polish, so I poked around trying to find a shade that was in step with autumn and would be attractive on my short, chubby fingers.

Looking through my bottle stash, my eyes lit up when I saw this oldie but goodie near the bottom: Merle Norman’s Sunset Red, a coppery, bronze-ish hue with some red to give it a little oomph. Now if only it was still usable. I crossed my fingers, opened the bottle, and yes! It still worked. My son really liked the shade and dubbed it Scarlet Bronze.

Although I get crazy-impatient with all the steps (base coat, two coats of nail polish, top coat, etc.) and all the waiting and doing nothing until it all dries, the results are worth it. It’s been going strong for well over a week now and last night I touched everything up and re-did some protective top coat. (Pardon the not-so-great photo and condition of my nails – I’m in dire need of a manicure!)

This will get me through the early part of the week and then I’m giving the digits a much-needed rest and a trim. My nails get a little weird if they get too long: one or two turn up at the end like trumpets and another curves downward drastically on one corner. (I think my hand got partially shut in a door when I was a kid, but I’m not certain – repressing painful memories, perhaps? 🙂 )

Anyhoo, I’m thinking I might use this nail polish again for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas as it is festive and cheery without being too in-your-face. Sunset Red is discontinued (does Merle Norman even make/sell nail polish anymore?), so if any of you have seen a similar shade, please do share.

What about you? What nail polish shades are you wearing on your fingers and toes these days? Or are you going au naturel? My toes are naked as a jaybird and probably going to stay that way until spring rolls around; my sandals are put up for good now.


  1. Hi Ann, I like the sunny yet autumnal color of your nails. I usually wear some kind of discreet nail art on my gel nails and last week I decided after a long while that I want my nails to be deep, dark red! I have absolutely no idea what the name of the color but it is absolutely perfect and it fits well with all possible colors.

    • Thanks, Neva! It’s a good shade for me as I always feel a bit self-conscious when I’m wearing a bright red (the same reasoning I could never wear red shoes, ha!). Your deep, dark red sounds just perfect for now and all the way through the holidays and winter. Enjoy!

  2. Hi Ann! I have taken a long nail polish break just for convenience but painted last week in Zoya Yuna, a dark gray with very subtle copper shimmer. Love the color you are wearing. Sally’s Beauty has a store brand nail polish thinner that’s cheap and works great at getting pigments in older polish to blend well again. Also, have you tried Seche Vite quick dry topcoat? It makes all those layers dry to the touch pretty quickly. I’ve been rubbing a little almond oil on my nails and cuticles before I paint them, seems to stop my nails from peeling as much. They get so dry especially as winter begins. I really like Zoya’s Naked Manicure too, it’s quick.

    • Hi, dear, and thanks! I just looked up the Yuna and it is lovely — I know it looks great on you. Thanks for the tip and recs. I definitely need to try them soon, esp. that Seche Vite quick-dry one.

  3. Hi Ann! I’m probably in the minority, but for me it’s always painted toenails and never fingernails. I’m wearing Essie Over the Edge, a beautiful gunmetal gray.

    • Ooh, that color sounds great — must be something “gray” in the air this fall (see Rosarita’s post above). I would paint my toenails more often, if only I could reach them, ha! Well, I could do one foot, but my left leg is wonky and not as accessible. Wonder if I could get a 1/2 price pedicure for only doing one foot? 🙂

  4. Hi Ann, I have only got back into wearing nail polish regularly in the past year. Up till I was 30 I loved wearing polish in varying gorgeous colours but gradually wore less and less until I had a bottle of an all-round suitable pinky/rose colour as my standby. Now I am wearing some Chanel polishes I splurged on – Rouge Essential (red), Provocation (eggplant colour) & Rouge Noir (Uma wore in Pulp Fiction). Love them all and I have really missed that simple pleasure of painting my nails.

    • Hiya, Gail! I hear you; it really is so nice to do your nails, such a feeling of beautiful accomplishment. Those are some gorgeous Chanel shades you’ve got there — enjoy!

  5. Pretty color. I recently went through my polish stash and weeded out those that I didn’t like, that had streaking or leveling problems, or had completely solidified beyond the scope of thinner. I then assessed the remainder and decided I had too few fun colors and ordered a few I had been eyeing.
    I am enjoying the beauty and ease of the ILNP Ultra Chrome Holos and Ultra Metallics. If you always wished glitter polish sat smoothly and came off relatively easily you need to try the Ultra Metallics. I’m currently wearing The Harpist as an accent nail color (because that seems to make glitter slightly more refined and suitable for an adult) with one of the bronze color shifting holographics on the rest of my fingers. I’ve been wearing the lovely blue-grey Clever Girl a lot lately too, for something a tiny bit more subdued. I’m already planning my next order and will be trying one of the fall neutrals, more Ultra Chrome Holos because they are absolutely amazing (seriously, they cover in 2-3 coats and will stop you in your tracks when the sun hits your nails), and the red glitter for the holidays.

    • Wow! All those wonderful holos and such sound great! I know your nails look stunning. I’ve not worn any, but I see people’s nail swatches of them and they’re so gorgeous. Maybe I will have to experiment with those you mentioned. I’m with you on not wearing out-and-out glitter, so these might be a good alternative. Thanks!

  6. I gave up nail polish years ago, but your hands look lovely! I also wanted to wish you a very happy birthday and anniversary – sounds like a festive month at your house.

    • Thank you, Tara — that is so sweet of you! Yep, I can hardly wait for October and November to roll around each year. Hope you are doing well!

  7. I work in food service and it’s no nail polish on my hands but nothing was said about my toes. I love OPI’s An Affair in Red Square, Skating on Thin Iceland and Russian Navy.

    • Wow, you have some gorgeous toes! Great shades all, but the only one I would be brave enough to wear would be Affair in Red Square! Really deep, dark shades scare me a little and might look a little weird on my pasty digits, ha!

  8. Like Tara I also gave up on polish years ago, except for the occasional fling with a bright red! However I did just discover Kiss press-on nails, the Impress ones with all the flashy finishes and designs, and they’re so good! Gone are the tacky overlong ones of old, these ones manage to look like an actual fingernail when they’re on. Never saw myself wearing stick on nails, but, there ya go.

    • Very cool! I’ve not seen those but they sound great. How long do they last after you’ve applied them? And how do you shape them to your fingernail (as some nail beds are slimmer/wider than others?) These might be just what I need on bad nail days. Thanks!

        • Hi! They have them at walmart, and they come 28 to a package, so there are different sizes so you can definitely find a fit for each nail, plus get two manicures out of each pack. Mine lasted about five days and then they start coming off on their own, tho I have a friend who uses nail glue to keep it going a lot longer. Other than that if you want them off sooner you can put a little oil around your nail bed and peel them up. Definitely good for bad nail days or quickie manicures!

          • Thanks for all the info, dear! I’m all for a quickie manicure. Now I’ve gotta get myself over to Wal-mart and check them out.

  9. My favorite color this fall (and big compliment-getter) has been OPI Stay Off the Lawn!!, which is from a collection they did with Kerry Washington with a D.C. theme. It’s a nice forest green color.
    The quick-dry topcoat I have the best luck with is the Sally Hansen one in the red bottle. Works great and is cheap!

    • Oh, that is a pretty green! Lucky you to be able to pull it off. And thanks for the tip on the SH topcoat — I’ll give it a try.

  10. I have crappy and weak nails, I cook a lot, and I tend to use my nails as tools (which may contribute to the crappy and weak nails), so I tend not to put nail polish on them because I don’t want to draw any more attention to them than necessary! If I’m going to a posh event, I’ll paint them with a clear or pretty nude shade just to look a bit more polished. But I love that color on you! Hope you find a happy replacement!

    • Thanks, Heidi! I know what you mean, though; I tend to use my fingers way too much and they get beat up. Need to start putting oil on them every night, etc. But it’s lovely that you’re a great cook — I envy you!

  11. lol! I’m pulling giant canna & Elephant Ears out of giant pots for their Winter nap. My nails look like I just clawed my way out of the grave!


    • But of course — didn’t you know that earth-toned nails are all the rage? You’re right in style 🙂

  12. Met up with a friend recently and we gave each other manicures. I was boring and just had clear put on mine.

    • Now THAT’S the way to do it! Love this idea — it would work well for pedicures, too. Thanks!

  13. I have 2 very big shoe boxes next to my desk (they are actually boxes for boots) overflowing with nailpolish. I bust them out when I need a little break from my work day. I usually put on a some Days of our Lives and paint my nails. Todays choice was watermelon, it matches a dress that I plan on wearing out tomorrow night so bonus points for thinking ahead!

    • Yum, watermelon! Good job on thinking ahead, Tonia. You’re right, it is kind of a nice break, isn’t it? Except while I’m waiting for mine to dry, I think of about 10 things I need to do with my hands right NOW, ha!

  14. I love that color! And yeah, bring on the fall tones! I had to wear boring muggle polish to work recently (board meetings), so last week was bright orange, of course. And this week is a green holo, it’s snazzy.

    • Thanks, darling! And you’ve been sporting orange and green, eh? You rock those brights, girl! BTW, what exactly is “boring muggle polish”? 🙂

      • Muggle polish = socially acceptable and conservative. I have some nice neutrals and mumsy pinks, lol.

        • OK, that’s what I thought. Although sometimes I’m in just the mood for a sweet, mumsy dusty pink on my fingers. But not often 🙂

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