Yellow, is it me you’re looking for? If you ask fashion designers like Jacquemus, Calvin Klein, Dries van Noten, and practically every single nail expert out there, yes. Spring is about to get yellower, and so is Sephora.
Sure, there are yellow lipstick and eye shadows hitting counters very soon — but perhaps more wearable is Chanel’s new yellow polish, Giallo Napoli. The brand’s global creative makeup and color director, Lucia Pica, was inspired to create the shade after her hometown of Naples. Much like Mykonos blue, Naples yellow is associated with the city because it was one of the earliest-used manmade paint pigments. Supposedly, the color deposit first appeared at the base of Mount Vesuvius, leading it to be used in Old Masters paintings in the 1700s. For me, Giallo Napoli is a perfect color match for Gudetama, Japan’s favorite lazy-egg-yolk cartoon, who frequently flashes his butt.
Long ago, a nail-polish company CEO told me that she never makes yellow because it’s the worst-selling color and “doesn’t look good on anyone.” I’m happy to report that she is wrong. After I Instagram Story-ed this shade, I received dozens of DMs from friends asking me where they could buy it. When I tried it, I loved how warm yet earthily bright the shade was. Brighter than the jokey yellow shade of banana and without any sort of a green undertone, it has the effect of looking vibrant and alive on pale to darker skin tones.
Unlike the pastel, lemony Hard Candy yellows I remember from my teens, this yellow is rich, concentrated, and undiluted, like a golden-hour sunbeam in Italy. Even with a half-hearted manicure of it, which I did at home, when I rode the subway and grabbed the pole, a woman stared and then tapped me on the shoulder to ask, “What shade is that?”