August 27 2010
A queue in Selfridges in August, well after the sales had finished, seemed worth investigating. The cause, I found, was one of the few nail polish brands whose new colour arrivals each season create a stir almost on a par with Chanel, whose jade green last winter and this summer’s minky Particulière were almost instant sell-outs.
OPI has a less exalted lineage – it’s a huge-selling brand in the States which is only now beginning to take off here – but its excellent coverage and long-lasting quality make it a hit with manicurists, who first introduced me to it several years ago when I fell for its distinctive version of a deep, near-black, berry juice-dipped shade. It went by the odd name of Lincoln Park After Dark, and is now one of their classics. OPI’s shade names – once heard, never forgotten, with a punning spark and a seasonal theme – are a smile-inducing bonus.
This autumn, for who knows what reason, they have a Swiss twist, and though Selfridges’ manicurists are tipping the space-age pewter metallic Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous and the 1970s blue Ski Teal We Drop, my own favourite is the stunning flame-red Color So Hot it Berns. With more than a hint of 1960s Mad Men-style elegance, it’s the perfect way to pep up all those neutral camels and greys we’re about to plunge into, for a tiny £9.95 outlay.