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The only nail polish you’ll ever need.


I’m not usually one to use ‘need’ and ‘nail polish’ in the same sentence. In fact, my entire nail kit consists of four items:

  1. An emery board
  2. Nail clippers
  3. A bottle of fingernail polish*
  4. Polish remover

It hasn’t always been this way. I once stocked an impressive polish inventory in a somewhat frightening rainbow of shades. (Groovy Green? Marine Blue?) I even tried the fake fingernail thing.


The first attempt was in 7th grade when my mom tried to help me with one of those drugstore nail kits that practically required a degree in chemistry. But even after getting just the right mix of powder to liquid – and nearly asphyxiating ourselves in the process – we discovered it simply wouldn’t work on my bitten-to-the-quick nails . Mission aborted.

Fast forward 20 years. I had some sort of big event so I braved a local salon for fancy acrylic nails. For the entire 10-day period they remained on my hands, I hated them. They were too thick. They were too long. They hurt. I couldn’t type, play the piano, scratch anything that itched, or even open a letter. One by one, I broke them off. It took about a year for my nail beds to recover from the experience.

And thus my fingernail apathy was born.

While I love a well-executed French manicure on someone else, I tend to forget my own nails until one breaks or they get so long they click on the keyboard.

But I admit there are times — client meetings, weddings, reunions, etc. — when I need to look a bit more, um, polished. And for these occasions, I’ve finally discovered the perfect color:

It’s in the Bag

Made by my fave brand, Essie, it’s an ideal neutral shade — not too opaque, not too sheer, not too pink (and certainly much less pink than it appears in the photo above). It’s also a great summer look for toes.

Two thin coats work best for me (one will do in a pinch) and will last up to 10 days — or until I use Soft Scrub. Even if it chips, the color is neutral enough to sneak in an extra day or two.

Two hastily applied coats of 'It's in the Bag.' Also an 'A' in American Sign Language. And photographic evidence that I would probably benefit from a professional manicure at some point.

I’ve tried several other neutral colors in the Essie lineup – Mademoiselle, Ballet Slippers, Waltz. They’re good, but they’re no “It’s in the Bag.”

Hot shopping tip: Essie polish is $8 at Ulta which is already way cheaper than a manicure. But if you buy it during their ‘buy one, get one 50% off’ sale and use the ‘$3.50 off $10’ coupon, you can get ‘em for only $4.25 each. Great gift – and such a barganza!

*Full disclosure: My nail kit actually includes two other polish shades, but since these are technically only for toes – bright for summer, dark for winter – I didn’t feel the need to include them here.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 11/08 7:25 PM

    Love that color–it works very well with your skin tone. Right now I am partial to Essie’s Pillow Talk. But really, how many varieties of sheer pink can they come up with?!

    • Jennifer permalink*
      11/08 7:56 PM

      From the looks of the website — more than 30. Madness! Thanks for the heads up on Pillow Talk (don’t you just love the names they come up with?) though I can’t try it because then I’d probably have to change the entire post. :-) Come to think of it, I believe it may have been you who introduced me to Essie in the first place, style maven.

  2. summer permalink
    11/15 11:19 AM

    done. i will try this color immediately. oh, how i love the essie color + name varieties. it’s in the bag sister!

    • Jennifer permalink*
      11/15 11:26 AM

      LMK if you need the coupon. We love to maximize our savings!

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