I’m wobbling on the icy sidewalks of Manhattan against the sharp, brutal wind, which is
mockingly slicing my face into pieces. I feel like I’m five years old again trapped in my onepiece
zip-up snowsuit unable to raise my arms, intently concentrating with knitted brows
trying not to walk sideways and fall on my derrière. There are so many layers underneath my
puffy coat that I feel immobile and stuck. I grip the railing as I descend down to the subway,
my boots crunching the grayed crystal snow-salt beneath me as I slide down the stairs. At
the subway platform we’re all children again waiting for the school bus on a wintry morning,
puffing out our breaths through our cocooned scarves with only our eyes peering through a
tiny space like ninjas.
A text notification vibrates, my girlfriend (an ex-New Yorker) now living on West Coast:
“Augh! Another stupid sunny day here! I miss New York, the cold, my sweaters and coats
*cat face with tears* emoji.”
I immediately reply with: “Three *angry red devil faces* emoji” while I mentally utter explosive
curses at her—I picture her wearing flip-flops and shorts. Immaturely, at that moment, I hate
her and pout like a child.
At the studio, I’m stirring the last shimmery touches on my mixing table, the almost
completed color mixes for The Fan Collection 2.0 consume me. They are stunningly beautiful
and simply lovely, yet, for my next round of mixing, I cannot fathom working with anything
this pretty so soon. Instead, I start craving sensible soft cotton undies and my oldest sweats
from college. That’s the outfit I’d wear as I picture myself munching on Doritos and washing
it down with beer while watching horrific “Lifetime” movies—I crave dichotomy. That’s when
I remember this quote from “The Age of Miracles” by Karen Thompson Walker: “Even
beauty, in abundance, turns creepy.” I then call my girlfriend, I understand our finicky hearts.
My thirst to seek some kind of alluring forlornness leads me to words. Wordsmithing
entrances me, I can marinate myself for days with its craft. Words are a magical and ancient
medium. Great writers use words to depict the cinematic or to hint at nuances of
imagination. Would I? Can I humbly dare to translate that into colors?
As soon as I read “Ghost House,” by Robert Frost (published on public domain), the colors
revealed themselves. It was as if I was physically walking along the patch of earth from the
poem. There are many layers in those verses that illuminate one’s soul; I’ve attempted to
translate this into layers of colors. This entire collection was curated by a harmony of hues
that go seamlessly hand in hand, including the glitters that can be layered with the opaque
colors to give depth and texture depending on one’s mood.
It’s rare for me to make four opaque colors in one collection, but these earthy palettes
ravished me, when I read the poem, these colors seduced me. The opaques themselves are
all demurely quiet, neutral and wearable, yet sophisticatedly pensive for all occasions and
seasons (my own version of the perfect little black dress). I know, I know, scandalously, there
is only one color with that shimmery sensation and I’ve crushed on glitter again. That last
time you’ve witnessed this was circa 2009.
Unfolding the ocean full of desires has completed this puzzle and it makes my hunger
complete. I hope you’ll enjoy this journey as much as I did.
A Lonely House: The sleepy night sky swallows up the last of the dim sunlight. Like a black
and white photograph from long ago, naked tree branches are covered in the snow that is
falling on the ground and the ubiquitous snow wins with a smirk. A brown, weathered,
broken wooden house remains, without any apparent light or life. Just there, content,
scattered, and waiting. Out of this friendless and disparaged landscape dwells the perfect
opaque brown. Like handsomely worn English saddle leather, a rich and lush one-coater.
Forgotten Road: The snow has melted. A howling wind stamps, turns, and tangos with the
broken brown house too many times. In the morning after they part, a charcoal road, faded
over time, leads to the house yearning for companionship. In the slick asphalt road after the
rain, I found a charcoal opaque gray. It is the color of a deep gray river rock that fits perfectly
in your hand, the darkest shade of gray in the spectrum. A darker, moodier sister to Stormy.
Footpath: After the incessant rain and flood, the yellowed-clay earth slowly recovers and
hardens. Unhurriedly, the path heals, baked by the sun. The earth, for a short while, forgets
and forgives its muddied past. The willow branches persistently swings, whispers, and sheds
its confetti of mustard-colored pollen, which blend to celebrate a marriage between two
earthy-yellow opaque hues. This earthened-yellow is truly mellow, wearable, and
surpassingly neutral. If you’re on the fence about wearing a bright yellow, this is a perfect
shade to ease into.
The Mosses Mar: The small creek sings and chatters, conversing with the busy birds
pecking away at nature’s supper. In between the brown house the wood has shed, there are
sage-colored mosses bursting up for their new eager, erratic life. This is the color of the
mosses in between stones or scattered deadwoods, parched and lightened by the sun,
almost identical to the underside of Aspen leaves when they tremble in the wind. (This is a
less yellow version of Diddy Mow 2.0)
Wild Raspberries Grow: One spring morning, a sparkling hint of brilliance appeared in the
periphery where wild raspberry patches thrived. The ruby fruit twinkled. Like Dorothy, from
The Wizard of Oz, the raspberries find their ruby slippers—turning the grayed world of black
and white into a beautiful spring day. In the light of the sun of a new day, the micro leafy
green glitters and sparkling fuchsia berries float. Combine this with any of the opaque colors
in this collection or use three coats to see a kaboom of glitter!
Small, Dim, Summer Stars: Lost in the woods on a moonless, un-illuminated night, they
stumble through the darkness. Looking up at the sky amid the fragrant forest, the weeping
willow tree branches recite a monologue in the distance. A whippoorwill sopranos—its
cadenza joins to compete. Then they appeared, countless tiny stars embedded in the dark
sky, it was always there to be found in every gentle, trusting heart. This sweltering silvery
black base hammered with multifaceted and spectacular green, blue, pink, shimmery, glittery
twinkling stars will bring you back to that summer night long ago, full of wonder and beauty.
As Sweet Companions: In the end, it was the hardship and the beauty that all flourished
together. The sonatas will always have the contrasting movement that settles what the
perfect ending was meant to be. The silver-lavender and matte black glitter were meant to be
playmates. This is not your typical screaming glitter, it’s more discreet, reserved, with muted
tones. You can create a perfect polka-dot nail art overlay with any of the opaque colors from
this collection as base. Or better yet, for those who want it real–layer it on for jeweled digits!