Monday, April 27, 2015

My love affair with greige

My favorite nail shade of all time is GREIGE. There is some dissention by now about what color actually constitutes greige, but to me it is a blend of tan, purple, and grey; you could call it a purple-tinged beige or a warm, rosy grey. It seems to have started "trending" in fall of 2010. No doubt some of this was due to  Lady Gaga, who went through a greige phase around that time, appearing in Vanity Fair decked in the color and also wore it on her nails to the VMAs that year.


The shade she was wearing in VF is supposedly Deborah Lippmann Waking Up in Vegas, which isn't really a greige so much as a grey-tan that I (and other bloggers) would call "putty" colored, which is probably why a lot that gets tagged as "greige" now is actually that light dull tan nude. However the shade she wore to the VMAs was Essie Merino Cool, which to me is the standard for greige. I started wearing it regularly around that time and wore it exclusively for about, hm, 10 mos maybe? I just love that it's a hint of a color, also a rather great neutral, and this color is just magic - it looks good on literally every skin tone!

Le Standards

Along with Essie Merino Cool, some other "standards" of greige are: Sally Hansen Commander in Chic, China Glaze Below Deck, and Sephora by OPI Metro Chic. I also find there are "shade shifts" in greige, e.g. it can be lighter or darker; OPI's got a bunch of greiges, and included in the new Brazil collection are two greiges that beautifully illustrate the "light" and "dark" shifts of greige in my mind: Taupe-less Beach and I Sao Paulo Over There. Essie also has a few darker and lighter shifts, the standards of which I feel are Chinchilly (light) and Smokin Hot (dark).



Sally Hansen is interesting because they came out with the first greige actually called "Greige" with the launch of their Complete Salon Manicure line, a very light very grurple version of the color; I got it, the formula was AWFUL - too thin and streaky, and I returned it. (I wish I hadn't now because it's rather an historic greige!) After that they discontinued the original Greige, reformulated it as Greige Gardens, pretty much the same shade but better formula (it reads more violet in promo shots than it actually is), and then released Commander in Chic, a darker more "traditional" greige as well. Now Sally Hansen has a ton of different lines, with at least one greige in each one.

Le Standards cont'd - Not greige

To continue, my collection has grown to the point where I have to define where "greige" begins and ends, which is harder than it sounds! At this point, I essentially identify by standards of hue what is and is not greige. Greige for me contains 3 main hues: beige/tan, grey, and purple. Too much or too little of any of these hues is what spills it over into different colors.

 < Too purple (purpley-greige)
Not enough purple (warm tan) > 

 <Too grey (warm grey)
Not grey enough (dull warm purple)> 

 <Too tan (beige/tan/nude)
Not tan enough (grurple)> 

Now a lot of these surrounding colors are really beautiful in and of themselves! I am especially obsessed with "greigey purples" right now and I'm kind of "collecting" them as well; Nuance Evening Haze, Revlon Hold 'Em, Essie Warm and Toasty Turtleneck etc. - there are a lot of different "shades" of warm dull purples that are not really tan enough to be considered greige, but I do love my subtle purples too! Also I want to shoutout to Covergirl Non-Stop Stone, which is such a unique tan-grey that  I absolutely adore; I am looking for more like it, but frankly the don't get much more warm grey than that! ... Anyway, these are lovely, but not within the limits of "greige." I'm looking at you, Deborah Lippmann Waking Up in Vegas! Ha ha, sorry but that's definitely a tan/beige/nude, and quite a lovely one, but it only LOOKS purpley against Lady Gaga's skin tone.

On that note, it seems like a lot of the definition of "greige" especially in decorating circles comes from the fact that greige is a portmanteau of "grey" + "beige", which makes sense, especially for wall paint - e.g. you're going to paint your walls a light tan more likely than a darker purple-grey-tan. However, in nail polish circles and my own personal definition, based on how the nail color has trended through time, my definition of "greige nail polish" includes the purple aspect. Otherwise, what separates it from actual beige/tan/nudes?

I'm in the process of re-swatching my nail polish collection right now onto spoons, which are easier to compare than wheels or obviously actual nails. I will update with my greige collection v. soon! Until then, a portion of my collection is dealt with on my old nail blog (I also wasn't sure how one spelled it at the time lol!). At the time I had about 20, evidently; now I think it's closer to 40!

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