I’ve been asked this before, rightly so, and thought I’d post about it today. Occasionally I or other bloggers or people will refer to some nail polishes as “Mom colors” or “Grandma colors.” Just what does that mean?
There’s no real definition; it’s a nebulous term used when someone thinks a polish is something they’d expect to see on an older person, perhaps literally their mother or grandmother. Generally, these shades seem to be mauves and some pinks. But you know what? Mauve and pink are two color families that I happen to love and which I think are flattering for a lot of people. I don’t think they’ll ever completely go out of style.
But let’s think back to, say, the 1980s. Many women wore very brownish mauve cremes which were dull and muddy — not much shine and certainly no shimmer. They were considered “safe” shades. You saw them in every office setting and at every PTA meeting.
There are mauves, pinks, and neutrals that can be beautiful without being boring. A great finish is shimmer, because it gives the polish a little kick without being loud and glittery. And not all polishes have to have shimmer, because I like cremes too. In fact, ultra-frosty finishes are often labeled “Mom colors” as well, because of past styles. (Remember the late ’60s and early ’70s?)
What got me thinking about this today is a great new post from Scrangie with preview swatches of the OPI Spiderman colors. Wish I could review the new colors too but I have to wait and buy them at retail like most people. At any rate, look at some of the comments about that frosty pink shade called “Your Web or Mine?”. Scrangie herself says, “Super frosty warm medium pink. Leans coral. Yikes. DO NOT WANT.”
Others’ comments: “A frosty pink/coral? BLECH!,” “… why does that pink frost exist?!?!?! That’s something my grandmother would have worn in the 80s.,” “I like the look of it [the pink], but I doubt I’d like it on my actual nail – reminds me of my granny’s nails!,” and “And what about that frosty pink aka “frosty granny”?”
Another thing I think that makes a difference is nail shape. Very oval or rounded nails were more in style decades ago (and will be again, no doubt) and I think that shape makes my hands look older, which is why I go for the squared look now, but still short. Long, pointy, curving nails? Let’s not even go there. Every time I see those on someone, all I can think of are the little aliens in the “Toy Story” movie series, and their cry of “THE CLAW!!”
Hope that explains what I mean. I’m a mom myself and am certainly old enough to be a grandmother. As always, take what I say with a grain of salt, and wear the colors and finishes and shapes that YOU like best.
P.S. Hey, can we stick a fork in the crackle polish fad and call it done? That dark green crackle/shatter OPI polish shown is one of the ugliest things I’ve ever seen and, with my wrinkled skin and big knuckles, I think it would make my hands look like they belonged to The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Yuck!!