Polish Chit-Chat: Living in the Nub Club

If you have peeked into my blog at all in recent days or weeks, you probably noticed that my nails are back into Shorty McShorty territory. I had let them go for a few months with only minimal filing, and they had gotten pretty long. Not long compared to a lot of polish bloggers and YouTube nail ladies that I love to follow, but long for me. I liked the longer length, and I had just come to the conclusion that I would leave them that way — or, maybe, even let them get a bit longer — when I got a humdinger of a break on my left hand pinky nail. This break was a whisper and a prayer away from the quick on my nail. Yikes! I didn’t want to give up my longer length, and I can’t stand to have my nails all different lengths. I don’t mind when others do it, so this is not me judging in any way, shape, or form. This is me being totally weird about my own hands. When I look down at my own nails, I need to see them at a mostly uniform length. Anyhow, I patched my broken nail for a while.

This didn’t last long. I quickly lost patience with applying the patch each time I changed out my polish, which I do quite often. Addiction — the struggle is real! I don’t mind short nails, so I decided to take a big breath, put my “big girl panties” on, and just file everything down. Way, way, waaaaay down.

I won’t lie. I felt pretty sad about it at first. I had gotten used to my longer length. No matter how often I end up with short nails, I have a weird mental block about it. In my teenage years, my mom was very strict about nail polish. I could never wear it chipped. I couldn’t wear certain colors because they were too “loud”. I couldn’t wear polish if my nails were too short. It’s this last childhood rule that sometimes haunts me still today.

Whenever I first file my nails off short, there’s this little voice inside of me that whispers, “Well, now you’ve done it. Now, you can’t wear polish at all.” Of course, this isn’t true. At all!! I actually love the way polish looks on short nails. Heck, I love the way it looks on MY short nails! But it always takes me a few minutes to get over that weird mental hurdle.

So my weird mental hurdle got me thinking about how there are certain colors I like best on my nails when they are short. And there are a few colors that I will ONLY wear on my nails when they are in “nub club” territory. I thought it would be fun to celebrate my Shorty McShorties a little bit, so here ‘ya go: Colors I like best on my short nails. Woo Hoo!



This is OPI, “Alpine Snow”. I’m not sure I can say it’s my favorite white, but it is a beautiful, stark white with a decent formula. Also, it’s part of their core line, so it is readily available. I think I also mentioned this polish in my “starting over” post, but I didn’t have a picture of it at that time. Anyhoo … Here it is.

I love white nail polish. I love soft white polish … I love white polish that has a little shimmer or glow to it … and I love stark, looks-like-liquid-paper-on-my-nails white polish. There is something so clean and crisp about it. And I really like the overall starkness of this look. I wear white polish on my nails when they are longer, too. But I like the look of it so much more on my nails when they are short, and that’s when I am more likely to wear it as a full manicure on its own (as opposed to a base for nail art or other colors).



This is OPI, “Black Onyx”. Again, I’m not sure I can say this is my favorite black. It is a decent black with a pretty good formula. I don’t have trouble with this one streaking, pooling, or flooding. And, like Alpine Snow, it is readily available.

I am such a fan of dark polishes. I love black polish. I also love almost-black polish, but I am much more likely to wear my almost-blacks (like Lincoln Park After Dark, for example) when my nails are long. I seldom wear a full manicure of black unless I have my Shorty McShorties going on. To me, there is something kind of careless, flirty, and fun about stark black polish on short nails. On a longer nail, I feel like black can look very elegant and sophisticated. I’m not saying it doesn’t look elegant and sophisticated on shorter nails. But the first feeling that hits me when I see black on my own shorties is “fun”! And, maybe a little sense of rebellion, too.



This is China Glaze, “About Layin’ Out”. I feel like this color is kind of pink, but it definitely falls into the “coral” part of the universe for me. In certain lights or angles, I also feel like I can see a bit of an orange undertone to this polish. Perhaps I’m just imagining that …?? This is not a color I originally decided to purchase. I think I ended up getting it when it was on clearance, because it was one that I looked at several times, debating over whether or not I should buy it. I surprised myself by loving it! It is not a color I typically gravitate toward.

As much as I love this color, I NEVER wear it when my nails are longer. For some reason, this color feels mentally overwhelming to me when I see it on my longer nails. I’ve tried it, but never managed to wear it for more than a couple of hours. I love it on my little shorty nails because it feels so refreshing, fun, and summery to me.


In general, pink is not my color. I love how pinks look in the bottle. There is something so vibrant and lively about the color pink. I almost always find myself drawn to them. when I get them home and try them on my nails, it tends to be a hit-or-miss sort of thing. Each time I have a “miss”, I tell myself, “Self, we are not pink people. We are not going to buy any more pinks. You know it’s a waste of time.” And yet, I will head right back out and buy pink all over again the next chance I get. I’m a glutton for punishment, I tell ‘ya!!


Taking up my “dark pink” slot, here is Colores de Carol, “Abbey”. This polish is from her recent Spring 2017 Collection. And it is magnificent!! It is rich, vibrant, and luscious. And, it has the prettiest sparkle to it! So far, I have only worn it for swatching. I’m looking forward to wearing it as a full manicure sometime this week, I hope!

I’m pretty comfortable wearing dark pinks on my longer nails. I think I would happily wear this particular color on my nails if they were longer. But, I love it so much more when my nails are short. I feel like it gives a lot more contrast between the dark pink and my super light skin tone. Somehow, it feels like there is a much bigger color “pop” with my shorter nails.


For “light pink”, I am showing OPI, “Suzi Shops & Island Hops”. This is a lovely and almost-sweet lighter pink. Perhaps it’s really a mid-tone pink, but it looks and feels light to me. This color has an airy feeling to it, which is nice, particularly when I am in the mood for something of a palette cleanser.

Overall, I do not like this color on my nails when they are longer. Much like corals, I have never had success wearing a light pink on my longer nails for more than a couple of hours. It never fails that the color will start to drive me crazy, so I will remove it and apply something else. Because my skin tone is so light, I often feel that lighter pinks blend in too much. I feel like the blending effect is less when my nails are short. If my nails are longer, I will look down at them and feel like the pink is going on and on and on forever. And a day.


Much like pink, I have not gravitated toward green polish in the past. I have several greens that I love in my polish stash, and I feel like I have come to like the color green on my nails more and more over the past year.


For a light, minty green, here is China Glaze, “Refresh-Mint”. This is a lovely, light, and airy pistachio color. It’s a great color for Spring, and I love wearing it during that season. I also really like this color as a base for different glitters. Even though it’s clearly a mint green, it almost feels a bit neutral under certain glitter toppers.

As a full manicure, I NEVER wear this on my nails when they are long. But I love it so much on my little shorty nails. When my nails are shorter, this color feels fresh, flirty, and fun. On a longer nail, it starts to feel a little bit heavy or “too much” to me. I’m not sure if this is due to the color or because of the finish. I find this polish to be a bit chalky in appearance and formula. I like this type of look, but I think it looks nicest on my own nails when they are short.


To represent a bright green, this is Colores de Carol, “Vida”. This polish is a recent creation. It’s Colores de Carol’s Pantone Color of the Year polish for 2017. It’s perfect for Spring and Summer. I feel like I can see a little bit of yellow undertone to this polish. I like it quite a lot.

I would wear this polish if my nails were longer. But I love, love, LOVE it on my little shorties. I feel like the full punch of vibrancy and fun comes through so well at this length. I have seen swatch pictures of this polish on other people who have much longer nails, and it looked amazing! I’m just not sure that would be the case for me. I feel like, with longer nails, it might make my whole hand look green.



For orange, I decided to show OPI, “No Tan Lines”. This is a new color from their Spring 2017 Fiji  Collection. It’s a lovely and rich orange that feels warm, even against my super pale skin. I debated a lot over whether or not to buy this color. I didn’t include it in my initial order, but I decided to get it later at my local Ulta. I actually do like it quite a lot. It’s such a summery and juicy color, and I think it will be beautiful under nail art, in gradients, and (maybe) in water marbles, too.

Much as I love this color and think it’s so juicy and gorgeous, I would never wear this on my nails if they were longer. Because it’s a bright color, I would find it completely overwhelming on me with longer nails. I love how flirty and playful it looks with my shorties, though!



This is OPI, “I Just Can’t Cope-a-cabana”. Look at how pretty this polish is! It is a perfect, sunny, gorgeous yellow. And I love yellow polish. Which is weird, because I don’t love the color yellow, in general. Go figure.

I do sometimes wear yellow on my nails when they are longer. But, I prefer it on my shorties. I find this especially true with a really bright yellow like this one. As with orange, a bright color like this feels too overwhelming to me if my nails are longer. Also, yellows are tricky. They can sometimes give me a bit of the “lobster hands” thing. This doesn’t keep me from wearing them, but I find lobster hands are less noticeable with shorter nails.



This is OPI, “I’m Not Really a Waitress”. I think this is a pretty classic OPI red. It’s one of those polishes everyone knows about, and a lot of people have this one in their polish collection. This is a relatively new polish for me. I purchased it for the first time a few months ago. It’s a beautiful red. I can definitely see why it’s so popular. I love the color tone of it, and I also love the finish of it on the nail.

There are a few reds I enjoy on my longer nails (like China Glaze, Ruby Pumps or Zoya, Blaze). But, for the most part, I prefer to wear red when my nails are shorter. I like how it gives a fun punch of color with shorter nails, without feeling heavy or overwhelming. I do sometimes wear red on my nails when they are longer. But I seldom manage to wear it longer than half a day or a day, at the most.



This is Zoya, “Portia”. It is a pinky nude with a decent formula.

Nudes are not my thing. I have extremely fair skin, so it’s easy for nudes to give me that “mannequin hands” sort of look. Many people love that look. I do not. It freaks me out if I look down and can’t see my nails at the ends of my fingers. I really just hate this look on me — especially when my nails are long. When my nails are short, I find nudes to be much more wearable. I still won’t wear them for very long: a day, at the most. But I am able to wear them and feel calm and happy with how they look, as opposed to the whole freak-out of, “Augh! Where are my nails?!? What sorcery is this?!?” Yeah … I never said I was sane.

And that’s it! My super-long post of colors I love best on my little Shorty McShorty nails. I have to say, given how sad I was at filing my nails off, I am now loving the heck out of this nail length! It feels liberating to me, in a way. I love that it’s easier to do most things with my nails this length. I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I spend a lot of time doing dishes, doing laundry, and cleaning stuff. Of course, I wear gloves. But, even with gloves, I find my daily tasks more difficult with longer nails. This is going to sound totally crazy, but I also like the feeling of typing with shorter nails. And I enjoy the look of most polishes on shorter nails, too. So … it sounds like my Shorty McShorties might be here to stay for a while! Woo Hoo!





2 thoughts on “Polish Chit-Chat: Living in the Nub Club

  1. Wow, your mom was sure controlling of your nail polish! I understand thinking that polish doesn’t look good on short nails though, because I used to think that, when I was a kid. I mean, I thought they had to be really long and I wasn’t into that. I guess that’s why I wasn’t into polish back then? Obviously I don’t think that anymore! I love my short nails best in darks.


    1. Ha, ha! Yeah, she had a lot of “rules”. I’m not sure why she cared about it so much, because she never wore nail polish. I think it was partially because that’s how she was raised. Her dad was really strict, and I think she thought that was the “right” way to do things.

      I love dark colors on my shorter nails, too! But I also love dark colors when my nails are longer. Basically, I just love dark polish — ha, ha!


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