I found out recently that my favorite OPI Gelcolor polish color is being discontinued. I was getting my nails done, and the product sales person just happened to ask for a manicure at the end of her sales call. Seated next to me, she noticed the color I had selected and said casually, “…I love that color. Did you know it’s being discontinued at the end of the month?” My ears started ringing and the zen of my manicure was shot. Thus began a frenzied banter about WHY it was being discontinued, and HOW much inventory was still available, and with WHAT was it being replaced? I left the salon feeling downtrodden and desperate…clearly not the objective of a quiet hour when I had booked the appointment.
Many of you are likely reading this and thinking “WTF! Who cares? Find another color and get on with your life…” but those of you who are creatures of habit…those of you who spend weeks, or months, or even lifetimes, seeking that certain je ne sais quoi that makes one particular aspect of your life COMPLETE can understand my lingering malaise.
I don’t like change. I don’t like surprises. There has been far too much of that in recent years. I like the freedom and the flexibility that comes from doing something simple and indulgent – like getting a manicure – and not having to think about what color to choose. I like breezing in to a salon, selecting the same shade that has shrouded my nails for years, and knowing that it will work for every function and event and scenario in which I will find myself for the next two weeks.
It took a long time for me to finally find my signature color. Some were too dark, some too light. There were shades that had too much beige or too much pink. The pigments in some bottles were too harsh, others left me feeling like I had nothing but air on my nails, and that I had wasted my hard found hour for a color that was little more than a clear top coat. Then one day…I found it. The perfect shade. It worked well with winter skin and summer skin. It dressed up, down, all around and in-between. It was sophisticated and casual and seemed to fit all my moods and activities without a fuss. And now it’s discontinued.
I got my nails done yesterday. I called several salons in the area to ask if they had my shade in stock. They didn’t. I booked an appointment at the closest place, then poured over the color wheel with an intensity that rivaled review of my tax deductions. I chose a benign color not far from the spectrum of MY shade, but it wasn’t the same. I tried to love it but it doesn’t seem to love me back. I keep holding my hands at different angles, wondering if a sunbeam or ray of incandescent light will take me back to the feeling of the perfect color.
Maybe if I go in a completely different direction I”ll find the same enthusiastic satisfaction that I have had for years. Perhaps a deep, velvety, red or luscious, regal, crimson will jolt me back to my A-game. Maybe the transition to a new season is the perfect time to shake up my manicure routine. But before I commit to something new, I’m going to spend some time scouring the internet looking for bottles of my discontinued shade on eBay and Amazon…surely it must be out there somewhere…