What's Your Desert Island Manicure?

If you were stuck on a desert island, what's the only bottle of nail polish you'd want to have with you? I know what mine would be.

May 21, 2012 at 1:30pm | Leave a comment

You might be familiar -- you are probably familiar because you are on the Internet and these things sometimes happen on the Internet (or, like, the radio )-- with the concept of the desert island list.

It’s your personal top ten list -- or even your one single favorite thing is the asker is feeling particularly cruel. It’s the CDs or beauty products or whatever that you wouldn’t want to be stranded on a desert island without.

Never mind that if you were truly stuck on a desert island with 10 CDs of your favorite music, it would actually be horrible. Because you are probably not anywhere near a decent sound system on which to play those CDs.

Yes, sometimes I am perhaps too literal.

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RBL's IKB:2012 and Essie's Set In Stones

If I were (un)lucky enough to get stranded "Lost"-style, I could (probably) live without my MAC face wipes and my Depeche Mode albums, really I could. But I’m not actually sure how long I’d last without my desert island nail polish.

Rescue Beauty Lounge is a boutique nail polish brand. At $20 a bottle -- plus shipping -- this stuff isn’t really in the same league as my 99 cent Wet ‘n Wild polishes. And I love my Wet ‘n Wild polishes but I’m not going to pretend they’re the same.

I really hate paying $20 for a bottle of nail polish. (Much less $25 for that Chanel color I own.) But there are reasons to shell out for it if you can afford it. For one, you wind up with actually unique colors. The formulation of the polish tends to be of a higher quality, too. And the brushes are easier to work with.

The Fan Collection from RBL is a four-color collection. Fans of the brand got to submit ideas and then everyone voted. When the winners were decided, it took about 13 months before the polishes were available for purchase.

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This blue is almost impossible to photograph.

Yeah, yeah, all the colors were lovely. The photos by bloggers with review copies were everything I expected this collection to be based on descriptions and word of mouth.

Halycon is a lovely greyed-out sage green with fine pink glitter. Cuprum is a metallic blue with sparse copper glitter. Aqua Lily -- which seems to be the rock star of this collection (it’s sold out but will make a new appearance for the holidays this year) -- is a shimmering turquoise that is super lovely.

But I kept drooling over swatches of IKB:2012 and I knew it had to be mine.

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This is two coats of IKB:2012 - the first coat is always streaky.

Living in the future is pretty awesome, even if we don’t have flying cars. Which I wouldn’t want anyway because, frankly, I have a hard enough time navigating on the one plane. Adding another axis of space to that would be a disaster. What we do have is smartphones. Email and Internet access right there in my hand -- so when I got the email that the Fan Collection was on sale, I was able to put down my fork (I was at lunch with a co-worker) and order the two colors I wanted (I splurged and bought Aqua Lily a well) without leaving my seat.

IKB:2012 is an electric bright blue jelly polish. I mean, it’s intense and saturated and it’s pretty much everything I want out of a color. To get a bit synesthetic on you, IKB:2012 is the color of how hypomania feels to me. The formula is a little fiddly, but that isn’t actually a big deal to me. It’s all about the color.

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This is the color inside my brain.

That’s why IKB:2012 is my desert island nail polish. Listen, I know all the words to Adam Ant’s music; I can hear that in my head. Bobbi Brown’s Face Base is my favorite moisturizer ever -- but I’ll be more concerned with survival than I will be with preventing wrinkles (which is still a pretty hit or miss concern for me) if I’m stuck on a desert island anyway. I won’t have a DVD player to watch the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings movies. But I can polish my nails anywhere.

There’s another Fan Collection in the works -- and there’s already drama because some people take nail polish and nail polish politics very seriously. I’m not sure how I feel about any of it -- I think any time a woman is in charge, with a singular vision and no one between her and a passionate fan base, there is likely to be trouble. Our society doesn’t quite know what to do with women who are very blunt, who don’t apologize, who aren’t actually asking for everyone else’s opinion. I value companies that are responsive to their clients, but you can’t be consumed by your customers either.

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The glitter gradient just emphasizes how awesome this blue is. Well, I think.

I can see it now. I’m allergic to shellfish, so I’ll have to fish or hope for edible plants. It’ll be terrifying and miserable -- and when I need something the way Tom Hanks needed that volleyball named Wilson, I’ll pull out my IKB:2012 and paint my nails and remember that my cell phone has GPS in it; hopefully Google will be able to find me no matter where my desert island is.

And, hey, if you’ve got a bottle you’re willing to part with, let’s talk. Because I think I need a backup.

What’s YOUR desert island nail polish?