You Say Tomato, Nail Polish Manufacturers Say Cha-Ching Cherry

They say nothing in life is black and white. Now let me translate that into nail polish speak:  Nothing in life is Queen of the Road and Funny Bunny.  Huh? Makes absolutely no sense to us common folk, but apparently if you market nail polish, it makes perfect sense.  I think the brass at OPI are just yanking our chain and we’re playing right into their hands…and nails.

Recently, a friend commented on my nail color. I looked down at my hands as if seeing them for the first time, “Oh, this? Yeah, I guess I like it. It’s one of those gel colors; I think it's called Tomorrow Never Ends or something nonsensical like that.” Tomorrow Never Ends.  Why are my orchid colored nails not Orchid?  There is nothing on my nails that screams Tomorrow Never Ends.  I don’t even know what that means. What if I wanted tomorrow to end? What if I had a terrible dental procedure tomorrow? I certainly would want that day to end.  Do they make a polish called Tomorrow’s Root Canal Will Be Over Soon? What shade would the people at OPI think that was? Probably black. Root canal nail colors must be black.

And who thinks up these ridiculous descriptions and why didn’t I major in that in college?  I can just imagine my course load:

Polish 101: How to tell a neon from a neutral (3 credit hours)

Sparkle Series:  How to design a polish that is impossible to remove (lab included)

Pick a Color: How to randomly choose a name and convince the public to buy into it (senior standing only)

Why is Every Month is Oktoberfest purple? Why is Suzi Sells Sushi by the Seashore a dusty rose? These questions and more keep me up at night.  Questions like: How many years have to pass before it’s no longer gauche to name a nail polish after a tragedy? At OPI, it must be at least 100 because they have a polish called Did You ‘ear About Van Gogh. Yuck. Who walks into a salon and says, “Yes, I’m looking for a hue that exemplifies dead painters and lopped off body parts. Can you point me to the missing lobe colors?”

Some tragedies will never be color-ready. I doubt we’ll ever see a Son of Sam Cerulean or a Charles Manson Mauve.  Likewise, OPI has a Muppets Most Wanted series, but I doubt they’ll ever try to market Schindler’s List to the masses.

Even Crayola has succumbed to the absurdity.  When I was little, my 64-crayon set (with built-in sharpener, thank you very much) had colors like brick-red, burnt-sienna, apricot.  And green. Gasp! Green. Fast forward to today:  what kid picks the green crayon from the box when they could choose Inch Worm or Jazzberry Jam?  You might be thought simple-minded for liking blue. “You mean you don’t like Caribbean Current?” The pressure on the playground is just too much.

Crayola has just announced plans to build a family attraction in Central Florida. 70,000 square feet of multi-hued fun. One of the activities will feature a place for kids to design their own crayon complete with its own wrapping. I shudder to think about all the proud 6-year-olds holding up their creations and declaring, “Look, Mommy, I made a red crayon. I’m gonna call it Miley Cyrus meets One Direction!” Looks like there will be a whole new generation of people applying to work at OPI.


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