What I’m Loving Now: Seeing Red

I appreciate beautifully groomed hands and feet, and it all started one summer day when I was seven years old.   Prior to that particular day I had a habit of biting my fingernails.  I would gnaw away at them and think absolutely nothing of it.  I remember being nervous a lot, so I’m sure an underlying anxiety was in play.  Until my mom pulled me aside one day and spelled it out for me.

She told me my seemingly harmless little vice was terribly unbecoming.  And it was making my hands ugly.  Okay, she wasn’t that blunt.  Everything that comes out of her mouth is kind and loving, delivered with a finesse that only a mother can have.  But I got her message loud and clear.  That day, at the ripe old age of seven, I went completely cold turkey.  I never bit my nails again.

Something interesting happened.  I found out my nails were naturally strong, and I had the ability to grow them to beautiful, feminine and tasteful lengths.  I have long fingers and nail beds, and before the age of ten I learned that with just a bit of effort and grooming, my expressive hands held a sort of power.  They had a way of taking the awkward child in me and turning her into a graceful and put together young lady.  All with a few swipes of a nail polish brush.

When it comes to most matters of the heart, I believe in monogamy.  Loyalty is the name of my game.   But when it comes to my nail color of choice, I may find one I love, but I can’t possibly forsake all others.  I am a serial adulteress all the way, with one torrid love affair after another.  I find what I think is the perfect color.  Oh sure, things are wonderful in the beginning.  But then boredom sets in and it just doesn’t make me feel as pretty.   I am left wanting more.

My nail polish collection, at last count, came to just under 120 bottles (Husband bought me a multi-level and multi-compartment fishing tackle box to contain it all).  And the contents of this vast collection make strange bedfellows.  Not only do they range from the super cheap  to the most expensive on the market, but my shades vary far and wide.  Nail polish is fun and easy.  For the most part it is an inexpensive, and definitely a non-committal, way to express your style and yourself.  In that way it really is the best accessory.

I have always played it a bit safe when it comes to my hands.  80% of the time I prefer a clean, low maintenance look.  I gravitate toward sheer polishes because they elongate my fingers even more, and chips and wear are not as obvious.  I will wear a beautiful dark shade when I’m in the mood, it is a special occasion or Husband specifically requests it.  My toes are a completely different story.  Anything goes.  Light, dark, bright, sparkly, or whatever.  I’m game.  But really, nothing states sexy perfection like a deep gorgeous red.

Red may be an unconventional choice in summer, but I really do believe there are no rules.  I need an occasional departure from my usual demure pastels and sheer ballerina pinks.  The allure of a ruby or scarlet nail is a powerful one.  It suggests a sleek, sultry sophistication, like that of a film noir femme fatale.  In my fantasies (in some of them at least) I am that woman.  Sexy, mysterious, even a little dangerous.

My challenge has always been finding that swoon worthy, second-to-none classic red that takes me from dull and ordinary to racy va-va-voom vixen.  Fifteen years ago, Chanel had a bright holiday-looking red called Ruby Slipper.  I had my love affair with it, and then quickly moved on to another Chanel shade called Irresistible, a deep red with flattering brown tones that was absolutely the ideal shade for fall and winter.  But alas, this love affair also fizzled.  I grew bored and the shades were discontinued anyway.  I ended my quest for several years, relying on pinks, understated purples and wines instead, until a few years ago when I discovered a beautiful deep blue red by OPI called Bastille My Heart.  This is still a favorite.  I actually have four bottles of this one shade and I will always love it.  But all along there was something missing.  I wanted something new.

The incomparable Bordeaux Lust

After months of looking, I am pleased to announce the search is over.

If you are hunting for the perfect blue based red, ladies, look no further.

Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Neiman Marcus, Saks or Bergdorf Goodman and pick up a bottle of Bordeaux Lust by Tom Ford ($30).  I am actually a 90 minute drive from Neiman Marcus and Saks, so I bought this shade online through Neiman Marcus.

I was actually expecting something different to arrive.  Described as “bordeaux”, I was anticipating a bit of red, with purple and a hint of brown, more of a wine than anything else.  The color swatch online suggested the shade would be a true bordeaux, too.  But I learned a long time ago these online swatches are almost always a little off, no matter what online establishment I’m dealing with, so I knew I was taking a chance here.

My coveted Bordeaux Lust arrived five days later and I was presented with a shade closer to a true blue based red than anything else, but I was far from disappointed.  This truly is the most gorgeous red polish I have ever seen and experienced.

I felt a brief twinge of reluctance dropping $30 on a nail polish.  But I promise you, this one is worth every penny.   Any nail enthusiast needs to have this formula in her collection.  Sure, the packaging is gorgeous.  But it really is the formula that seals the deal for me.  It’s perfection, just what I expect from Ford’s illustrious fashion house.  This thoughtfully created polish dries quickly, wears extremely well (it survived many days of housework and typing), went on evenly (the brush is easy to handle) and kept its beautiful shine.  Most important I felt pretty and sexy wearing it.  And it’s Husband approved.

I justify the cost of expensive nail polish in a few ways.  First, I have never paid for a professional manicure or pedicure in my life, and I don’t plan on doing so any time soon.  I have plenty of friends and acquaintances who drop over $2000 annually on manis and pedis combined.  More power to all of them.  I just choose not to.   Second, if an expensive polish is a color like nothing else I have ever seen-rich, deep, different or iconic (like Chanel’s Vamp, for example), then I go for it.  Third, if customer reviews suggest it is as wonderful as it seems, I am always up for taking a chance.  Lastly, life is too short to not feel special and beautiful.  The price is small in the grand scheme of things.

I am ready to try another Tom Ford shade or two.  I may go with African Violet or Plum Noir.  Or Pink Crush or Toasted Sugar for a more demure, low maintenance look.  Overall, the collection is classy, and those of us concerned with age appropriate shades will have no problem finding the right one.  No crazy, garish blacks or purples.

With this beyond glam, gorgeous red gracing my toes and fingertips, I feel that sassy bit of confidence I sometimes miss out on.  I feel so put together.  I can also say I’m wearing Tom Ford, and it isn’t a complete lie.  Well, maybe I’m grasping on that one.  But a girl can dream, right?

For an up close view of this amazing nail polish collection, visit: http://www.tomford.com/#/en/beauty/cosmetics/nails?displayAll=true

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