I don't think people should have to explain anything.
For example, if I should paint my fingernails green,
And it just so happens I do paint them green, Well, if anyone should ask me why,
I say: I think it's pretty! "I think it's pretty, " I reply.
- Sally Bowles, 'Cabaret'
Cabaret is one of my favourite musicals and when the chance arose to see it while in New York recently, I jumped at the chance. It's currently starring the incredible Alan Cumming as the Emcee and Sienna Miller as Sally Bowles and being performed at the famed Studio 54. As excited as I was to see the production, I was delighted when I realized that I could get a bottle of Sally Bowles-green nail polish as a souvenir.
I love green nail polish. I have eight bottles of green polish right now, and this makes nine. But it's the official Sally Bowles green nail polish, so that makes it extra special.
It's a tiny, tiny bottle. The Cabaret logo is on one side, and the Roundabout Theatre (the company putting on the production) logo is on the other side.
This nailpolish has the tiniest brush which makes it a little tricky to apply, at least for me.
Christopher Isherwood described Sally's nails as being painted emerald green: "I noticed that her finger-nails were painted emerald green, a colour unfortunately chosen, for it called attention to her hands, which were much stained by cigarette smoking and as dirty as a little girl's."
The onscreen and onstage Sallys haven't always worn an emerald green. I've seen photos of Liza Minnelli's Sally, Natasha Richardson's Sally, and Sienna Miller's Sally and their green nails varied in shade from more of a kelly green or apple green to a deep, dark green.
This one is close to what Isherwood described. I'd call this an emerald green, and it's laced through with shimmery metallic.
Here it is on my nails. And here you can also see how tiny the bottle is.
I did three coats of polish since the formula is very thin and the thin brush made it challenging to apply. Since the formula is so thin, I had to work quickly and the thin brush made it challenging. However, the final effect is very glossy, and it wore well. It's a sophisticated green, so even though it's green, it works for daytime and the office (depending on office dress code).
While the bottle is tiny, I bet I'll finish the bottle before it dries out, unlike all of my other nail polishes. Maybe all nail polish should come in this size of bottle?
It strikes me that this shade may have been considered edgy back in the 1930s when Sally Bowles was created, but today, it's pretty tame by comparison. When I first saw it I thought "This isn't a Sally Bowles green." Then I saw Isherwood's description and it is indeed a Sally Bowles green. If Sally existed or was created today, I imagine she'd wear an acid green on her nails.
Still, this green is a wonderful addition to my green nail polish collection and a perfect memento of a great stage production.