While I was drafting up yesterday’s post about Dollish Polish’s Go Luigi!, I kept staring at my nails and debating how work-appropriate some of my more glittery looks are. While I personally adore glittery and colourful nail polish, sparkly eyeshadow or blush, red lips as much as nude lips, I often feel hindered by my professional job. I should point out that I do not work in a law firm or a suit-type environment; in fact, my office is quite relaxed and offers a casual dress code; yet I sometimes look at my nails before running out the door in the morning and wonder if I should have removed my polish.

Yesterday’s post with my two-toned Go Luigi! is already off in favour of my next blog post’s colour, but would you wear this to work?

This look was quite demure….

…before I added the sparkly The Many Shades of Mr. Grey:

And how do you feel about this look? Office-appropriate?

Sometimes I even wonder if my simpler polishes are “appreciated” in the workplace:

Thanks to my polish (and beauty products) addiction, I am always seeking my next purchase. Many times I want colours that are different, unlike anything sold in a beauty store, but I purchase and wear it, write a post about it, and then decide it’s not “safe” to wear in “real-life.”

I would love to know how my fellow polish lovers and non-polish-lovers alike feel about this dilemma.

Do you wear some polishes only to blog about them, then immediately remove before your work-day? Do you have weekend and weekday-specific polishes? Or are you bold enough to wear the bright and glittery confections, no matter the place?


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  1. I’m in lawschool and do work in a law firm and have to wear a suit almost everyday and I still wear whatever color I want … Within reason. If I know I’m going to be in court or in a very important meeting Ill wear a more “appropriate” color but on an everyday basis I wear what I want. Its actually the days that I think I might be pushing it that I get the most compliments. There are colors I have that I just wear to blog about but those colors are mostly colors that I don’t feel confident in wearing personally (I’m not a huge coral or orange fan). But in terms of work polish, I’m wearing a blue/purple jelly right now. I think people are way more socially accepting of crazy polish colors. Plus it’s about confidence. If I’m comfortable in the color im wearing I think it’s ok

    1. This is a really good perspective to have, especially because of the “strict” reputation law firms seem to have (and I have worked in one and experienced this…). I have done the same – toned it down for certain dates. Hopefully one day you’ll wear just about anything and feel great doing it! πŸ™‚

  2. I’m currently enjoying a mostly work-from home job, but I’ve notice I get the once-over at the grocery store or picking up my son from school if I’m wearing a bold chunky glitter polish. I do feel judged, and I will remove my crazy polishes if I have a big client meeting or site visit. And I feel that certain colours are a bit more acceptable somehow, like the vibrant purple I have on my nails or a pale colour with sparkles is more “ok” than a bright yellow or orange or lime green. I’m sure this is mostly in my head, maybe it’s just a pure curiosity on the observer’s part but I do feel a bit of a sneer sometimes. I’m most sensitive to the idea that I appear high-maintenace.. a gripe I’ve heard from a number of guys I’ve dated, that varnished nails equate a high-maintenance girl. Something I’m trying to get over!! πŸ˜‰

    1. Mai, I feel the same way sometimes… I do get the occasional look, and have found some of my male colleagues commenting on how often I change my polish, which is just strange (aren’t males supposed to NOT notice these things?? lol). I do feel that certain looks are more acceptable which is why I generally don’t wear bright blues or greens (especially with sparkles) to the office… I feel that it may make me look immature or high-maintenance in a bad way, ie not as serious about my job.
      PS: You’re not high-maintenance at all! πŸ™‚

  3. I work at a University, and I always have glitter and or nail designs going on. I think its approiate so keep them coming… besides some days you just need to look at your nails for that pick me up…. Kim

  4. It is tricky! We’re bombarded with rules about how we should appear, and I think often we buy into these rules which were just invented to sell magazines and products. When I was doing my nursing training we were only allowed to wear clear or french mani polish, so obviously it was about image, not the actual polish. Now I wear whatever I like, and I can, but it is still a bit of a struggle with some colours – just feeling like I ‘shouldn’t’ be wearing them. My goal is to pretty much learn to please myself when it comes to colour in my life, and ignore my own and others judgements – I mean, its nail polish, not a law πŸ™‚ I’d wear all those colours to work unless there was a policy against it, and do it for myself πŸ™‚

    1. You’re right… part of it really is about how we have been “trained” to appear, which is a shame… I don’t like the thought that a certain colour of clothing, makeup or polish equals unprofessional, and I guess that’s why I’ve steered clear of some of these looks… I do try and push myself to not care and mostly do wear whatever I like, but I admit sometimes it is a struggle with myself. πŸ™‚

    2. We all do it, to ourselves, each other, and boy can it be enforced on us πŸ˜€ I quite like finding these areas of struggle and having a look at them, and seeing what we can change – it can be a lot of fun πŸ˜€ I think you should show off your awesome manis at every opportunity!

    3. I love your optimism and outlook!!
      Yes, we definitely need to challenge at every turn… and thank you, I will definitely try to be less intimidated about some of my glittery manis πŸ™‚

  5. I often feel the same way about some polishes that I love. My work isn’t nearly as formal, but I work in a male-dominated field. Sometimes I feel the pressure to not wear bright polish (so go with nudes).

    I have been trying to wear what I want more often, but I still tone it down (no neons) for meetings so that I don’t feel self-conscious. In a world where bright, large tattoos are common and accepted why can’t we get away with bright glittery polish?

    1. How right you are Rebecca. The judgement bothers me and aside from one polish that ended up being much brighter than I anticipated, neons are generally no-nos for me. Luckily I don’t love them on my nails. πŸ™‚

      We shouldn’t have to feel self-conscious when what we are doing actually takes a lot of time, care and thought. Manis don’t just take care of themselves! πŸ™‚

  6. I feel we should never feel self-conscious about our manicures. You know yourself what your limit is as far as what is proper in your workplace. I believe that very many of the glitter polishes are very proper and classy. I’m in a home situation now, however if I still worked in the corporate field I would wear my tame glitters with pride. It could be your trademark in networking….you are the girl with the gorgeous nails!!
    Now, in my home situation, I wear what I want to…..the brighter the better at times. If someone looks at my nails I assume that they are appreciating the trouble I go through to keep them awesome. I have so many people ask me about my nails or grab my hands and compliment me on them. I enjoy their attention!! πŸ™‚

    1. Patty, thanks so much for your comment! Love your “the brighter, the better” motto, even at home! That’s a fantastic way to be!
      And I also love the viewpoint that gorgeous nails can be a trademark πŸ™‚
      People often comment on my nails, but I guess it’s the few negatives (or perceived negatives) that sometimes bother me… I feel comfortable pushing the envelope most of the time, but do think about whether or not to remove certain crazy manis before work comes around…

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