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(GIF: Giphy)

When I was a kid, my dream was to become an actress and a zoo keeper. Now that I’m an adult, I have much more practical aspirations: I want to be a professional nail polish namer. Seriously, those people have it good. Can’t  you just picture them lying around, staring at swatches of colors, and saying things like “Eh, that looks like a banana peel to me. Let’s call it ‘Princess Consuela Bananahammock.’ Now, where’d I leave my gin and tonic again?”

Although most nail polish names seem to be chosen after someone had a few stiff drinks at total random, many were inspired by the most beautiful places on Earth. I’ve rounded up 18 of my favorite nail polish colors that were named for cities and countries here. Let me know what you think of my picks in the comments section below.

Deborah Lippmann

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Cleopatra in New York and Harlem Nocturne ($20 each)

Deborah Lippmann never fails to knock it out of the park. I love Cleopatra in New York–gold and black are never wrong together. And don’t you think Harlem Nocturne is actually such a pretty name? I’m honestly kind of surprised that none of the people I went to high school with have named any of their ~special snowflake~ children Harlem Nocturne. Anyway, great name, great sparkly blue color.

The Polish Bar

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Clockwise from top left: Cape Cod, $8.50; Bora Bora, Seychelles, and Maldives ($11 each)

The Polish Bar’s Late Summer 2015 collection was inspired by some of the most beautiful beach destinations in the world. I love Cape Cod, Bora Bora, Seychelles, and Maldives in particular, but the entire collection is great. The Polish Bar shades are all 3-free (which means they do not contain any formaldehyde, toluene, or dibutyl phthalate) and the entire business is owned and operated by one person, so you know extra special care has gone into the making of your nail polish.

Butter London

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Primrose Hill Picnic and West End Wonderland ($15 each)

I loooove Butter London nail polish. My sister got me a bottle for Christmas a few years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Unsurprisingly, many of their shades are named for popular London hot spots, like these two super pretty polishes. Primrose Hill Picnic is a pretty shade of fuchsia, and West End Wonderland is a glittery, opaque gold.



Braziliant, St. Lucia Lilac, Turquoise & Caicos, and Bordeaux ($8.50 each)

Some of Essie’s best-selling nail polish shades were named for beautiful destinations, like Turquoise & Caicos, pictured above. I also love Braziliant, a bold orange (something to keep in mind for Halloween) and St. Lucia Lilac, a soft shade of light purple. And finally, a little something for the wine lovers: Bordeaux, a gorgeous garnet red that was named after the French city and the grape-growing region surrounding it.



Clockwise from top left: Berlin There Done That, You’re Such A Budapest, My Signature Is “DC”, My Address Is “Hollywood”, Do You Have This Color In Stock-Holm?, and Vampsterdam ($9.50 each)

OPI is infamous for having some of the world’s craziest color names (Pineapples Have Peelings Too! has to be the strangest one I’ve encountered in a long time), and apparently they love to name their shades after cities and countries. I think Berlin There Done That is one of the best shades of greige I’ve ever seen. You’re Such A Budapest ranks in my top five favorite polish shades of all time–the lilac is so bright. My Signature Is “DC” is a blindingly bright silver, and My Address is “Hollywood” is a fantastic rosy pink with a bit of subtle sparkle. And Do You Have This Color In Stock-Holm? and Vampsterdam are both fantastic names and polish colors.