Raise your hand if you miss your childhood pen pal with whom you’ve long since lost contact. It’s been at least 15 years since the Belarusian girl my grandparents taught English to sent me a cream-colored linen suit her mother had made for me. Opening that package was the most exciting event of my life that summer. I’m smiling just thinking about it. Maybe the heat got to us, but in the spirit of nostalgia and long distance friendship, my pal Samantha Wilson (you might recognize her) and I had a great idea. You should try it: We each picked out some nail colors for the other person and sent them off through the postman. This is kind of the adult, beauty-product version of a friendship bracelet. Below are the sweet love notes we included about these particular shades of polish. Friendship is a gift.
Dear my sweet, angelic Anna,
I’m writing you from many miles away but can still visualize our first days of friendship (two young, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed interns at Glossier) many moons ago. When I think of you, I think of iced lattes, a mischievous smirk and calm, effortless sophistication. Your new nail wardrobe as a collection reflects the juxtaposition of your delicate, Bambi-like softness mixed with your fiery, untamed Scorpio soul.
I’ll start with the most obvious of my choices for you: the Chanel red—Rouge Puissant. It’s that juicy, cool-toned cherry hue that cannot be tied down to a specific season. It’s timeless! Universal! If this red is your LBD, then my second choice, this YSL baby pink, is your new favorite cozy t-shirt. I like to envision this polish on your nails while you eat a sweet afternoon treat (chocolate croissant), flipping through a magazine with sparkly barrettes clipping back your bangs.
Anyone who knows you has the pleasure of discovering at some point that there’s a little dancing queen inside you who finds her way out after dark. I KNOW you are soooo not a neon girl but plz just trust me here that I had to throw in a wildcard. This Louboutin polish in *Dragonflash is literalllllllyyyy you in your most peacock form to me. When you’re feeling like you need a pick-me-up, use this and dust off your lil dancin’ shoes. That always cheers you up.* _^
I searched far and wide for the most mysterious 2 cool 4 skewl smoky grey-blue I could find. Deborah Lipmann Sea of Love perfectly captures you in the park on a cloudy Sunday… it’s about to rain, you’re reading a small, slightly crunchy book written in French, in your own world. Possibly wearing… patent leather shoes(?)—humming and drinking a sparkling water… with lemon… Passersby wondering, “who is she?????”.
Saving the best for last obvi, I wanted something to highlight the side of you I might love the most. The ambitious, powerful leader who doesn’t follow. The side of you that doesn’t have to speak to get a point across! Gucci Dark Romance is like an incredible pair of sunglasses—when you apply it, attitude and persona is immediately triggered to “on”. Hell hath no fury like a fearless & focused Scorpio!
Luv 2 luv u always, Samantha
I’m writing you from the place I saw you last—the La Colombe on Vandam where I think you’ll be happy to know I’m drinking an iced latte. When I think of you, I think of the story you told me about your Italian great grandmother who pulled a shotgun on the man who tried to rob her. That’s what Dior’s Pow Nail Glow stands for: the you that won’t take shit from anybody and probably has a concealed carry license. Dior’s Sulphurous Nail Glow looks like a glimmering sunrise and makes sense because you are definitely a morning person. This is what you’d be wearing on your fingers on the days you got up early enough (5:00AM) to take the ferry to work just because. Now I imagine you’re using that time to walk your son (puppy) around the block; just not before you’ve washed your face and applied at least one of your favorite serums.
To match the sunrise, I threw in Nails Inc. Birds Before Boys because it kind of reminds me of the time Colleen Flaherty made you a redhead. Plus nobody radiates like you do—anyone who’s met you knows it’s impossible to be in a bad mood when you’re around. That radiance is one of your greatest strengths! So are your nails! Next up is Essie Mercury In Retrograde. This one’s your most mellow mood because Mercury has no effect on you whatsoever—you’re just lounging at home, sipping your wine, waiting for your man to finish cooking your dinner.
But if there is a single nail polish that encompasses you it’s Christian Louboutin Neoprene. As Emily Ferber says of you, “You’re actually the funniest person I know and it makes me angry.” That’s kind of how I feel about this hot pink color, so it checks all the Sam boxes in my book. A wild neon glamour shade with a three inch pointed silver cap—that’s you in a bottle.
Photos via the authors.