Have Your Nail Polish And Name It, Too

I always buy my nail polish for the names, but what if there was a way to pick a color AND give it a name? Oh, wait! There is.
Publish date:
September 1, 2014
opi, nails, nail polish, Essie, custom nail polish, nail polish names, Pretty Please

I don’t know about you guys, but I’d say 50 percent of why I buy a nail lacquer is based on its color, and the other 50 percent is based on whether it has a cute name.

From outrageous and annoying to just plain depressing, nail polish names are a wild world of puns and double entendres--they’re one of the most fun parts of polish shopping or choosing a lacquer when getting a manicure.

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t dreamed of naming nail polishes myself, especially after reading about how different brands name their thousands of colors.

Nail polishes had no names, only numbers, right up until the late 1980s, when Essie started naming its colors to make them more memorable. (Fun fact: Essie Weingarten still names the "majority" of Essie's polishes herself.) Other brands followed suit, and it's been all about the name ever since.

Usually, polishes are named based on a theme, whether seasonally or pop-culturally inspired. Some niche brands even name every polish in their line after a specific identity, like Trust Fund Beauty (Snappy Socialite and What's A Budget?, for starters).

But the polish-naming award goes to OPI. First, a specific destination is chosen for each new release (Holland and France were strong collections). Once the city or country is agreed upon, OPI's creative team takes a trip to that destination to take it all in before returning to the boardroom and shutting themselves in for an entire day with food and other cultural inspiration to brainstorm names. Yeah, um, are they hiring?

While a career at OPI may not be in the cards, I did find something that comes close. Meet Pretty Please, a customizable nail polish line with 25 colors (and more shades in the works all the time) to choose from, AND you get to name your shade, too.

Based in New York City, Pretty Please was founded in 2011 by Sara Alter, who dreamed up the idea while planning a gift for her mom. From funny puns, hashtags, and inside jokes to important questions like “Will you marry me?” or “Have my babies?”, you can label your bottle with any name you like, as long as it’s under 25 characters. Go ahead, let your imagination run wild!

What polish shade would you choose, and more important, what would you name it?