Having a beauty signature is something to me that always sounded nice but fell by the wayside in favor of stashes of trendy lipstick and buzzy new fragrances. Then one day I painted my nails the most classic shade of red and never looked back. Since making it my signature nail color, I’ve collected a few bottles of red nail polish that are all pretty much the same color but I love them each any way.
OPI Big Apple Red was the shade that started it all. It’s ultra shiny, opaque and easy to apply. However, I find OPI nail polish needs a little extra drying time so it isn’t the one I use most. My go-to is probably Essie Rock the Runway. This shade is ever-so-slightly more orange but I can really only tell when I hold the bottles next to one another. Tied for first is tenoverten Ludlow, another utterly classic red nail polish but this one is non-toxic, free of eight harmful ingredients. I get the most compliments and inquiries when I wear this shade.
I start my at-home manicures with my best attempt at filing and a swipe of nail polish remover. No matter what nail polish I’m using, I apply the Seche base coat followed by two layers of nail color and top it off with Essie gel couture top coat for the glossiest finish. I use thin coats and wait a few minutes between layers to avoid air bubbles and smudges.
No top coat is magic enough to fend off polish chips for more than a week, so I always get a gel manicure before traveling. This is my favorite nail salon in NYC – they have the perfect shade of red that is super glossy and typically stays looking perfect for two to three weeks.
Photo, Violet Grey