published Monday, September 17th, 2012

Michelle Obama's nail color in spotlight

Pam Patton's fingernails are painted with the OPI polish called I Don't Give a Rotterdam, a shade of gray similar to the one worn by Michelle Obama as she delivered her speech at the Democratic National Convention earlier this month.
Pam Patton's fingernails are painted with the OPI polish called I Don't Give a Rotterdam, a shade of gray similar to the one worn by Michelle Obama as she delivered her speech at the Democratic National Convention earlier this month.
Photo by John Rawlston.

Michelle Obama was widely praised for her address at the Democratic National Convention earlier this month, but some viewers had more on their minds than her talking points.

Fashion watchers also noted the color of her nail polish, a trendy gray-lilac shade called Vogue by Artistic Colour Gloss. The unusual color matched the blue-gray hem, rather than the shimmery pink bodice, of her Tracy Reese dress.

News outlets from NBC's "Today" show to The Wall Street Journal followed up on the color and brand.

"She was adventurous by wearing it," said Joan Medley, owner of Studio 59, a salon and spa in East Brainerd. "She showed that new nail colors aren't just for the young."

Medley said there's been more interest in the shade since Obama's speech. Studio 59 doesn't carry the brand, but it does stock OPI, which has a similar shade in the Holland collection called I Don't Give a Rotterdam.

"It's a good color for all ages," Medley said.

Though pinks, reds and corals continue to be popular nail colors, shades of blue, yellow, green and purple have become favorite colors for younger women.

The change sets an example for older women to be a little more adventurous, said Pam Patton, a hairstylist at Studio 59.

"Middle-age women are no longer hanging onto the traditional colors," Patton said. "They usually start by wearing the new colors on their toenails and, eventually, progress to their fingernails."

For women reluctant to break away from the traditional colors, Medley suggests gray is a good place to start.

"Remember that gray is considered neutral, but this particular gray is neutral with a spark," she said. "It looks good on all colors of skin."

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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