My obsession with taupe nails started – as these things often seem to do – with something I was watching on television. Coronation Street, in fact.
Generally speaking, Coronation Street is not a TV show which particularly inspires me beauty-wise – though I have been known to look up the fab SoapStyle website on occasion, when I spot a top or a coat which I fancy the look of. However, SoapStyle only tells you where the show’s clothes can be bought; for make-up, I have to go straight to the Street’s head of make-up, Elizabeth Armistead.
I last had to pick Elizabeth’s brain when I became a bit besotted with Tracy Barlow’s signature red nails; this time it’s a much more unlikely character whose nail varnish has captured my attention. Cathy (Melanie Hill), Roy’s new lady friend, is not somebody whose style I’d care to emulate, but I love her taupe nails, which look lovely teamed with her red hair and pale skin. Since I first noticed them, she hasn’t been seen without them – so I got on the case with Elizabeth, who told me that the shade is OPI’s Taupeless Beach, but it’s only available in salons.
The closest shade which can be bought in stores is OPI Nail Lacquer in Berlin Done That (£12.50). While I was on my quest to track down the actual shade that Melanie Hill wears in Coronation Street, I picked up a few possibilities to try out. First was Bourjois So Laque Glossy (£5.99) in Taupe Modele, a similarly greyish mushroom shade which I loved using though I found the thin, non-flat brush took a bit of getting used to. The colour is very chic and quite glossy and it lasts quite well.
L’Oreal Paris Color Rich Le Vernis a L’Huile (£4.99) in Greige Amoureux is also very chic and glossy and I like the thick, flat brush which provides a full coat of colour in just one swipe – though it took a while to be able to judge just how much varnish was required on the brush and I had a few mushroom-coloured mishaps on the road to nail perfection… Bare Hug, the greigey shade from the new Rimmel Super Gel (£5.99) range of nail polishes looked promising but turned out to be more of a dove grey than taupe when I applied it – and it requires the top coat (also £5.99) if you want it to be glossy.
The OPI one lived up to expectations and two, easily applied, coats provided lasting taupey-ness to my talons for several days. However, I was also very impressed by the L’Oreal one, especially its glossy finish and its price – so I’d have my money on it as my next taupe purchase, once my current crop of mushroom-coloured varnishes has run out!
Where do you stand on the greige/taupe/mushroom colour for nails? I didn’t care for it much when it first came into fashion – but my taste has clearly changed …