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Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer Collection Lets You Taste The Rainbow

When I was 10 and 11 years old, I would often beg my mom and my oh-so-fabulous grandma to let me put on one of their fancy nail polishes,  a process that involved child manipulation tactic— from placing praying hands moving up an down ever so slowly in supplication to fluttering eyelashes, pouty lips, and the occasional crocodile tear. My mom worried that perhaps I was too young to sport polished nails, so she rarely caved but my grandma, well,  she loved to indulge and pamper her nietas. We’d sometimes do our nails together while watching one of her favorite telenovelas or even re-runs of The Lucy Show, and I’d take out every polish in her plastic basket and line them up in row, marveling at all the shades of red, burgundy, maroon, pink, beige, light golden brown, coral, and peach. At that point in time, blue, purple, green, yellow, and orange nail lacquers were a rarity, while neon shades, completely matte colors and multi-dimensional, glitter packed or magnetic offerings were simply non-existent — or, at least, that was the case in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, where I spent my childhood. By the time I was in college and, even towards the end of high school, nail colors had started becoming more adventurous, but these intrepid colors still constituted a minor segment of the overall market. And, as far as nail art went, the most creative things we knew to do were use White-Out to give ourselves French manicures, apply tiny stickers on our nails or slap on some Lee press-ons (later, of course, many of us fell into the unfortunate acrylic nail tip trend, which made it rather uncomfortable to perform normal tasks like dial a phone or type on a computer).

How the world has changed! Now, 9- and 10-year-old girls, many of whom aren’t yet allowed to wear lipstick or eye shadow to school, express their femininity and their individuality via their nails, constantly exploring with new nail colors and appliqués, and even scouring YouTube for nail art tutorials so they can teach themselves dotting, marbling, and striping techniques.

Whereas nails were once a bit of an afterthought, then, they are now regarded as accessories in their own right. During New York Fashion Week, models can be found sporting claw-like, talon-shaped fingernails in vampy colors; rounded nails bearing cheeky polka dot designs, girlish striped patterns, or tuxedo motifs; flaunting modern interpretations of French manicures involving unexpected color schemes (such as gilded tips); dazzling with ombré nail designs or glittery manicures; sporting velvet-covered press-on nails; and much more.

With the interest in nails growing so rapidly, major makeup brands like L’Oréal and Maybelline are catering to their customers by developing comprehensive nail lacquer collections in a variety of colors and finishes — all with more affordable price tags than the standard $8 to $9 charged by, say, China Glaze, Essie or OPI.

Introduced earlier this summer, the Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer Collection consists of 40 shades, 30 of which fall into the Hot Colors category, a range encompassing moody grays, porcelain whites, shocking pinks and yellows, breezy turquoises and teals, and much more; and 10 of which are classified as Statement Pieces due to their textural quality. Within the Statement Pieces category, then, you’ll find Shredded shades,which create a crackle-like effect reminiscent of ripped and distressed fabric; the Metallics, high sheen  silver, gold, blue and purple hues; and the Denims, shades of blue  in a variety of “washes,” from a cornflower blue with the finish of wax-coated denim to deeper indigo shades with more of a tumbled finish.

In terms of the nail lacquers’ formulations, Maybelline relied on a transparent suspension gel to hold concentrated pigments and maintain shine, along with a flexible resin to fend off chipping (I won’t say they’re as chip-resistant as, say Zoya nail polishes, but they can definitely rival most O.P.I and Essie colors). Free if formaldehyde, DBP, an toulene, each nail lacquer comes with an Easy Flow Brush, a medium-width bristle brush that allows you to cover the desired surface area quicker and more efficiently.

Given Maybelline’s trend-setting reputatuon, we can expect them to keep adding exciting, bold, full-boddes shades of Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer ($3.39 each at mas food and drug retailers. visit Drugstore.com to buy online) in coming months. Aside from the traffic-stopping bright hues, like Shocking Seas and Fierce N Tangy, and the succulently creamy and decadently dark hues like Dressed To Kill, you’ll want to check out the hues in the Denim Collection since they have the same feel as denim in that they feel versatile, hip, edgy, and classic all at once.

Below, you’ll find close-ups of four hues in the collection, along with swatches of each. I’ll be posting more photos of the nail lacquers in the coming weeks so stay tuned for more pics!


The Iced Queen color is a stormy lavender shade but, in addition to being rather saturated with pigment and boasting an opaque and creamy finish, the nail lacquer has the type of grayish undertones that makes it feel apropos for autumn. This tempestuous nail lacquer hue doesn’t have the pastel quality of most light lavender colors, then, but rather an intriguing, hazy, wintry quality.

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This deep turquoise shade isn’t quite a neon color, but it’s definitely electrifying. It reminds me of the white-washed structures with blue domes that distinguish the Santorini landscape — and, just like those architectural masterpieces, this shade is unforgettable.

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When you first apply the Wine & Dined polish, the show looks like Pinot Noir but, as you layer on a second and third coat, the shade moves from a deep wine to a caramelized fig shade. Flecks of ruby and coppery bronze, shimmer, meanwhile, add dimension and excitement to the hue.

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The Denim Dash nail lacquer could very well have been informed by 1970s-style bell bottom jeans since it’s more of a periwinkle-tinge blue than a deeper indigo shade. But perhaps what I appreciate most about this color is how the swirls of fine, misty silver glitter particles create a sheen that’s almost wax-like, which touches upon the prevalence of wax-coated denim this season.

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