The Yellow Nail Polishes: An Emotionally Unstable Review Of 3 Shades

I descend into Charlotte Perkins Gilman-inspired madness while letting you guys know what yellow polishes you absolutely must have for spring.
Publish date:
February 3, 2014
butter london, nail polishes, books, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, China Glaze, literature, short stories, zoya

A note before we begin: This article probably won’t make much sense if you haven’t read The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. If you haven’t, you definitely should--it’s fantastic. Also, no Alles were harmed in the making of this story. This is nothing but a loving nod to a literary classic, as well as a review of some awesome nail colours.

It is, as they say, a work of fiction.

There’s no beauty advice column this week because... well, to be honest, I haven’t been feeling like myself lately. My editor is terribly practical--that’s her job--and assures me that all it is is a little burnout. A temporary nervous depression. Maybe with some hysteria thrown in for good measure. And if she says that there’s nothing really the matter with me, then maybe it’s true.


So I’m meant to be resting, getting lots of fresh air, meditating, maybe trying a juice cleanse; but I’m not meant to be working until I’m well again. No tutorials, no videos--I’m not even supposed to be writing this article, but I find that it’s a comfort to me.

Personally, I think that indulging the voluptuous passions of my life would probably help me get well faster. Anything other than sitting alone in this room... with this weird wallpaper... surrounded by all these yellow nail polishes. Honestly, there’s something eerie about them. I can’t quite put my finger on it, and my editor would laugh if I told her.

But I mustn’t dwell. Instead, I will write about an upcoming manicure trend! I must keep my mind fixed on happier things, rather than dwelling on the morbid.

It’s a while until spring hits the Northern Hemisphere, but when it does, one of the FIRST things that gets really popular is yellow nail polish. That’s hardly news; it happens every year. But yellow polish is really hard to get right, so I tried out a whole bunch of them, and I’m going to let you know which ones are the best.

And it’s a crowded field! There are so many options for yellow polishes! They look so bright in the daylight, like tiny golden jewels.

But just between us... in the moonlight, I could swear I see the bottles MOVING. But not the bottles themselves...almost like something INSIDE the bottles.

Oof, my nerves. I should really take a nap.


I’ve been hiding my laptop so that I can write undisturbed. I am supposed to rest, but how can I? Rest is the last thing that I need.

Let’s talk about the nail polish. I admit that it’s been weighing on my mind most heavily recently.

Out of all the colours of nail polish, it seems like yellow is the most difficult to get right. I’ve tried so many formulas that never build to an opaque finish, that are far too thick and gelatinous and never dry, that are so thin you need to apply six coats to get them looking half decent as you contemplate the silent screaming misery of your own existence.

That isn’t what I meant to say at all.

And then there’s the colour. Yellow is such a fickle shade! If it’s too pale, it looks like Easter eggs. Too orangey and it borders on sulfurous. Too green, and it looks somehow corrosive, like diluted stomach acid.

I can see the bottles moving in the daylight now... but no. I have to return to safer subjects.

Anyway, even though it’s hard to find them, awesome yellow polishes DO exist. My favourite yellow nail polishes are these three.

Cheeky Chops by Butter London is a perfect all-around sunshine yellow that surprised me by being far more intense on the nails than it is in the bottle. It applies really evenly with minimal streaking, and is totally opaque after two coats--I usually do three just to be sure.

The only problem with it is that it’s hard to find in stores, and I usually have the best luck buying it online. It’s my favourite all-around yellow for sure.

If you’d like something a brighter, Darcy by Zoya is awesome.

The formula is a little thicker and trickier to work with than other brands--somewhere between a jelly and a cream--but it makes up for that by being one of the longest-wearing formulas I’ve ever come across. A manicure in this colour can last up to ten days with only slight wearing at the tips.

It’s wonderful, and Darcy is such a unique egg-yolk colour.

I see something swirling inside the bottles even through the lens of my camera. I can almost make out what it is...

If you’re hellbent for neons, your only real option is China Glaze’s Celtic Sun. It’s a true hilighter yellow that seriously GLOWS in the sunlight.

Like all neons, the formula itself is quite thin, and you’ll need three to four coats, but it dries very quickly, so it isn’t as time consuming as you think. It dries to a matte finish, so you’ll definitely need a top coat to keep it looking wonderful and lasting for a week.

This is four coats plus a top coat, and this photo definitely doesn’t do it justice. It is bright.

Guys. You aren’t going to believe me, and don’t tell my editor, but...I think I know what I’m seeing in these bottles... It’s a woman. She’s inside! She’s shaking the bottle and trying to get out!


They want me to send back the nail polishes. They say it’s messing with my head. But I know what’s going on... They want them for themselves! But I want to be the one to figure this out! I will... but I can’t say it. Not even to you guys.

The movement in the corner of my eye...I can see it more clearly now. I see HER more clearly now. There are so many women, they come out from the bottles and they creep so fast! I wonder which of the polishes they came from, and if they got out the same way that I did. It is so wonderful to be out of that bottle and free to creep about this room as I like.

I know what I have to do now.


I’ve got out at last! In SPITE of my editor! And I’ve emptied most of the bottles, so you can’t put me back! You’ll never put me back!