Splendid Thing: The Most Perfect, Most Natural, Most Hilariously Named Manicure Color

Look, sometimes I want to get all deep and serious with my complicated feelings about the inevitable passage of time, and sometimes I just want to talk about nail polish, if that's okay with you. Today is a nail polish day and I have some important, pressing news about it: I have found the perfect one.

For a long time, I've been looking—idly looking, I hasten to add, I'm not THAT industrious—for a perfectly natural pink color for my nails. You know the color I'm talking about: just like your nail beds, but a bit shinier. If the very best lipgloss makes your lips look like your lips when you've bitten them, and the very best blush makes your cheeks look like your cheeks when you've been running around outside on a cold day, the very best nail polish makes your nails look you're the sort of impeccably put-together person who has a standing date with a manicurist. 

(I do not have a standing date with a manicurist. I have a standing date with my couch, a bit of half-hearted concentration, and an old nail file decorated with candy canes that I got in my stocking for Christmas one year, but what are you going to do.)

Anyway, I have now discovered a nail polish that makes me look far more glamorous than I am, and let me just take three seconds here to assure you that no-one is paying me to say this, no-one has sponsored this post or sent me any free nail polish, and blah blah blah, can't a girl just recommend a thing she likes anymore without all that hooplah? I want less hooplah. 

I found this nail polish at Target when I was browsing for something natural-looking and office-appropriate—the kind of thing that makes you look like you don't have any nail polish on at all, you just have effortlessly attractive fingernails—and, despite the fact that I ended up getting really lucky with it, I pretty much just chose it because it had a hilarious name. It's called Shell We Dance?, which the pun-maker in me appreciated greatly. The cheapskate in me also appreciated that it was made by Sally Hansen and not the slightly pricier Essie or OPI, but was still slightly thrilled that it felt like a particularly fancy "treat," considering I usually buy the $1.29 stuff from the Wet n'Wild selection. 

It goes on wonderfully smoothly, smudges not at all, and makes your hands look like they belong to a person much richer and more carefully groomed than yourself. Its full name is Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in #160 Shell We Dance?—as I have mentioned, but I will mention it again because I want the person who came up with that name to feel good about the excellent pun they made, which I am assuming is pretty hard once every other nail polish pun has been made by OPI already—and it looks like this: 

I look forward to the many compliments you are about to receive when you use this. "Oh yes," you can say. "Standing date with my manicurist." Then you can point to yourself a few times with your thumb when the person turns away from you, and smile a self-satisfied little smile. A small victory dance wouldn't be out of order either, I'm just saying. 


Aug 15, 2012

Really interesting and fantastic color ..!

Thanks for your post ..!

Aug 15, 2012

People like to go on about OPI and how wonderful it is, but the Sally Hansen salon polish is so much better, in my little unprofessional opinion. I have to take it off because it starts to grow out, not because it's chipped within 48 hours, as OPI often does. I wish the colors were a little better, but eh, what can you do?

Tall Girl
Aug 15, 2012

I'm on the hunt for a Kate-esque colour for my wedding, and this Sally Hansen one looks like the essie colour ador-a-ball, which I tried, liked, and didn't buy because it costs TWELVE DOLLARS here in Canada! And the name shell-we-dance is miles ahead of ador-a-ball, not to mention more weddingy. Thanks!

Tall Girl
Aug 15, 2012

What a nice pink! I've been looking for a Kate-esque colour for my wedding, and this Sally Hansen one looks like the essie colour ador-a-ball, which I tried, liked, and didn't buy because it costs TWELVE DOLLARS here in Canada! And the name shell-we-dance is miles ahead of ador-a-ball, not to mention more weddingy. Thanks!

Aug 15, 2012

I want to love OPI as much as everyone else because of their awesome color selection, but they really do chip much more frequently than other nail polishes! I love Sally Hansen because it lasts! Their top coats are also wonderful!
Also, in my next life I want to be the nail polish namer for OPI!

Aug 15, 2012

I have a Zoya nail polish that I bought for a wedding, and at first, I wondered why I was buying nail-colored nail polish, but HEY NOW, it really does look nice! Good to know about the Sally Hansen, though.

Aug 15, 2012

I'm a yellow person, rather than pink (um, in my skin-undertones, not in liking the color), but I've also recently discovered as Essie color that does the same thing - Make people think I may be a lady who lunches. And gets manis.

I shall endeavor to locate the name to assist my other yellow toned friends.

Anna Louisa
Aug 15, 2012

I wore this color for my wedding! I have similar ones from Essie too, but this one does win out on a regular basis.

Aug 15, 2012

I only buy Sally Hansen nail polish (I buy the Diamond Strength no chip kind) because I find that it stays on FOREVER and still looks great.

Aug 15, 2012

The main thing here is that you made those of us who can easily write four paragraphs on nail polish (or talk for 17 minutes to her boyfriend about her stuffed puppy [Osawald], whatever) feel much better because a. you do it so well, b. you are so terrific and c. nail polish is the best. Am I right?

Aug 15, 2012

I am definitely going to have to find this color. Particularly since I now live far away from my old nail salon with the $15 manicures and my favorite OPI Bubble Bath nail polish.

Aug 15, 2012

I love this color! And the brush shape makes it so much easier to apply. I just gave my bottle to my mom who just cancelled her standing appointment with her manicurist and decided to start painting her own nails so I may have to go buy myself another bottle!

Aug 15, 2012

Hooplah! One of my favorite words. Hooplah, hooplah, hooplah! Nice polish color too. :)

Aug 15, 2012

I shall have to find this in the UK. I also use a similar one from Revlon called Pink Nude which is fab but I can't always find it.

Can we have bathroom update - pretty please? I have become worringly fixated on it and a little anxious that you have had some kind of decor disaster which is why you've not posted about it. I hope not. I love your home decor posts as my house is a) a dump, b) a work in progress and c) work is going at a snail's pace so seeing your lovely updates cheers me up.

I am not a stalker. Or under the care of a psychiatrist. Honest.

I'll stop now.

Aug 15, 2012

Seconding Anne's plea for a bathroom update. I am also sane. Well, somewhat sane.

Aug 15, 2012

Seconding Anne's plea for a bathroom update. I am also sane. Well, somewhat sane.

Aug 15, 2012

Pretty! I have been wearing all kinds of crazy brights this summer but I need something neutral like this for when I go back to work in the fall. I'll keep my eyes open for this one. I am a huge Essie fan, but I agree about OPI - they chip pretty easily especially for the price. I have the same Sally brand as above in Peachy Keen and it lasts really well!

Aug 15, 2012

You should try Essie's "Good to Go" top coat. It's a shiny, quick dry clear top coat. And, it makes your manicure look professional -- no one will believe that you didn't go to a salon.

Aug 15, 2012

I marched down to Target over lunch and snatched-up the last bottle of shell we dance. It was in the wrong slot and the shell we dance slot was empty. I had a moment of disappointment but alas I prevailed. I do love it.

Jennifer R
Aug 15, 2012

For my birthday my friend got me a bottle of polish from the line ManGlaze it's called Butt Taco. That's right, Butt Taco. It's a really neat orange matte.

Aug 15, 2012

Ooooh, I've been looking for a nice natural pink and I'll have to try this one!

I'm also a fan of nailpolish under $5. Whenever I'm considering to purchase "fancy" nailpolish, I'm pretty sure I look like I'm shoplifting, because I just wander around and around Walgreens' beauty section wrestling internally about how ridiculious it is to pay $8 for a bottle of something I'll never finish. But it's so pretty! Then I proceed to put it back on and off the shelf approx. 50 times, always leaving it.

Aug 15, 2012

I have that polish too and love it and bought it for the same exact reason!

Aug 15, 2012

I have that polish too and love it and bought it for the same exact reason!

Aug 15, 2012

I've been looking for a color just like this - I need something light and "fresh" for my wedding (though I may just be like a lady who lunches and pay for someone to do my nails. we'll see.. I think doing my own nails could either be zen or be a disaster.. but I digress). And for everyday, of course!

Aug 15, 2012

OMG, the minute I read the title I knew you had to be talking about this color! I recently discovered it myself and it's awesome. Makes my not-long nails and unkempt hands look suddenly elegant. I put a top coat on it, though--for some reason it never gets shiny enough without.

Aug 16, 2012

Love Love Love Sally and her polish.. I myself use #170
"Pink Slip" .
I'm with you.. who ever comes up with these names is very
"punny" sorry I couldn't resist.
Best to your Mum !!

Aug 17, 2012

zomg! Thank you so much for sharing this, as I also have dumped a ridiculous amount of money into varying shades of pale pink polish hoping to find the perfect natural "my nails but better" look. Ordered this one from and put it on last night and it is perfect! I may need to buy this shade by the case to make sure I always have it. :) Thanks for sharing this great find!

Aug 17, 2012

I totally have this one! Love it! it also goes well when you are feeling a lil pizzazy and use the pink glitter from wet n wild on one nail. many compliments hurled your way and not one included the word mom! Except from my daughter, but that is a given.

Aug 17, 2012

Delurking to say thanks for the recommendation. I picked up the last bottle at the store today, can't wait to brush it on before work tomorrow!

Aug 18, 2012

I often choose a nail polish based on the name alone. Case in point: I'm currently sporting "Melon of Troy" on my toes. (Seriously, I love this name.)

I chose it knowing that it probably wouldn't look great. (Orange shades almost always disappointment me.) But this one, I have to admit, is a particularly flattering shade of cantaloupe.

I think it's all in the name. :)

Aug 18, 2012

Holly, I know this is off the nail polish topic, but when I saw this I immediately saw it on your table, at one of your holiday "do's"... made me giggle!

Aug 18, 2012

MarSHELLine (hilarious, by the way): that plate is amazing and I am seriously considering buying it.

Aug 19, 2012

Amazing! I picked up the last bottle at the store yesterday. Having only worn nail polish twice in the past year (which just gets picked off in a day or so), I have generally been an outspoken opponent of nail polish... It was nice to be surprised & pleased when I brushed two coats of this on today. Thanks for the reccomendation.

Aug 19, 2012

SO many people grabbing the last bottle! Surely that can only be attributed to your phenomenal effect on market trends, Holly! I had a polish like that years ago and have never been able to replicate it. Everything turns out either too pink or too shiny, Am encouraged by folks here who suggest adding a top coat for shine -- might mean this is just perfect for me as is. Will try my luck at Target tomorrow (since I'm so late getting around to this post, maybe they've re-stocked by now :-))

Ant that plate? Yes indeed, it should be yours. Were I heading down to Simi Valley any time soon, I'd offer to pick it up for you and save the shipping!

Aug 19, 2012

Love it. Makes my nails all nice and shiny

Aug 20, 2012

Glad you checked it out! I was worried I would look like a spammer trying to sell something and get axed by your censor. It really is cute, yes? They have a bunch of other retro-esque plates by the same maker, but that's the only one that had your name on it.

Aug 20, 2012

If the category is for ONLY the most hilariously named nail polish color (althogh the color itself is pretty great too, albeit for toes not fingers) my award would go to: Back to the Fuschia. Yes, it's fuschia.

Aug 20, 2012

1) I am very excited to try this! I looked at Wal-Mart but no luck, so I'll have to check at Target next. I own an absurd amount of neutral, pink, nail-colored polishes because I am on a quest to find THE ONE.

2) I have an entry for the most hilariously named nail polish color contest: OPI's So Many Clowns, So Little Time. What does it mean??

Aug 21, 2012

I bought this on the weekend and am really happy with it! It is a lovely shade and looks good on my near-nubbin nails and with my ghostly pale skin. Thanks for the tip, Holly.

Aug 22, 2012

Love! Thanks for the great reco :)

Aug 22, 2012

I was on the fence about this one - I read your post and immediately went out to pick it up - but at my local Manhattan Duane Reade, this polish is actually more expensive than either OPI or Essie! Grumble. So I didn't get it - and then I come back to my desk and see all the readers confirming your pick, so I am going to bite the bullet and headed back up to pick it up! Because my nails need to TLC

Aug 24, 2012

First Maybelline Full & Soft and now this!!! Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. You are my new BFF. I promise you my firstborn son...but don't worry... I am 56 so it is highly unlikely (I hope) that you will ever find a little blue bassinet on your doorstep.

Aug 26, 2012

Two just-perfectly-shiny thumbs up to you for this, Holly! My local Target was all out (I tell ya, you should definitely be getting a commission from the Sally Hansen folks) but CVS down the street had a couple of bottles left. I opened it right up as soon as I got to the car and slapped a coat on my left thumb (if you've never done that, the air conditioner makes a great speed-dryer for nail polish, plus your fingers don't usually bump into anything to smear before it gets hard while you're driving) "Ooooh, I think she led me astray on this," I thought to myself. At first it seemed *really* shiny :-( But by the time I got home ("Yay!")it had magically mellowed to just the perfect "glow". Like Jamie, I too have a veritable graveyard full of "just-wrong" nail products. Will be ditching them all, and am buying an extra bottle of this to have on hand for back up. (You heard it here first, folks -- I like it, so that means for sure it is about to be discontinued. Better stock up!) Thanks so much for the stellar tip, Holly :-)

Aug 30, 2012

I got a red Sally hansen one..Red Zin. Have I missed an obvious pun? Good stuff, but at 42 I'm afraid anything other than au naturel or dark brown/ black makes me look like a man in drag. And as a mother of 3, I am not a man, so its not a good look. When I've had my nails done properly (which has only happened four times in my life) I can't stop looking at them, especially whilst driving. And I look in the mirror a lot whilst stroking my own cheeks (only when I've had my nails done, not at any other time) Hope I'm not alone in that?

Sep 06, 2012

I had to write to say thanks for the tip! I was skeptical, standing in the aisle at Target, but thought, "Oh, what the heck!" and tossed it into the cart. I'm glad I did, because it looks great and I already fooled two people into thinking I had gotten a manicure!

Sep 11, 2012

just wanted to write and say thanks. This polish is...fantastic. My manicures often chip after a couple of days, but I wore this on vacation. After a full week at the beach, my nails looked...great. No chips, no cracks. This polish wears remarkably well.

Love. It.

Well Manicured in Boston. xo

Sep 11, 2012

I have no idea what I was thinking with those ellipses. Let's blame it on the late hour here, that I'm typing this while attending a work meeting, and the fact that my allergies are conspiring to kill me.

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Oct 17, 2012

I have been hemming and hawing (and then walking away) from this since I first read your blog two (yikes!) months ago. I finally indulged (thanks to Target sending me a coupon for $3 off a $5 beauty purchase) and picked it up yesterday. I was worried it would be too pale/pinkish, but you didn't lead me astray. I just put on a coat at my desk (meeting tonight...think they'll be wowed?) and am absolutely thrilled with the results! I'll be throwing away the bottles of near misses stashed under my bathroom sink as soon as I get home!

Jan 26, 2013

I am glad to see at least one other person in the world likes this brand! I love it so much I think I have 6-7 of their shades (some less practical than others: Butter Yellow, Puke Green - not the real names of the colors but I can't be bothered to get up and check). I am also a big fan of Essie but I find it chips too easily. Also, if you find the name hilarious I offer you this gem: "My Boyfriend Scales Walls" by OPI.

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