Recently, while at a nail appointment, I didn't so much choose my polish colour as it chose me. I realised as I was spinning the glass bottle of OPI Malaga Wine between my palms, that over the past week, I had been subliminally influenced into a burgundy manicure.
It's not just the seasonality of a red-wine shade — though the cream-coloured chunky jumper currently draped over my shoulders every time I leave my apartment definitely plays into it — but more to the fact that I had seen so many good purple-red Merlot manicures that it made the choice feel almost instinctual.
It probably started with Adele, and her "Easy On Me" music video, which starts in black-and-white film, but turns to colour about halfway through at which point, the entire set, everything from the vintage wallpaper to Adele's lacquered suit coat and long, stiletto nails, reveal the same shade of soulful black cherry.
Beyond that, I recalled Hailey Bieber wearing a very similar shade of dark purple in a recent "fall things" Instagram dump. Shortly after, I saw NYC-based influencer and content creator Ella Rose sitting at an outdoor restaurant in SoHo styled in a very trendy fall ensemble — a long-sleeved black turtleneck and moss-green corduroy — with a dark polish that hits that black-purple-red blend.
While I myself tend to gravitate more towards a candy-apple red as opposed to anything with an eggplant undertone, a maroon shade felt fated. Also, I recently read a Vogue Beauty profile on Simone I. Smith, the founder of S.I.S. Luxe Nail Lacquer, wherein she convinced me that purple can be neutral. "Purple is always my go-to colour because I think purple is almost like a neutral colour," she explained. "It has to be like a dark purple, you can really wear dark purple with everything."
In my own Instagram feed, the wearability of deep purple is widely evidenced. Specifically, it was this squiggly burgundy negative-space nail art on Dutch influencer Isabella Frandsen that did the best convincing.
I'm currently wearing mine, similarly, with a white Oxford shirt. Now, I'm going to add my first-ever bottle of burgundy nail polish to my medicine cabinet — sneak it in between the light pinks and bright reds — so I can reach for it the next time I'm doing my own polish change.