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Who knew? Los Angeles has a leadership role in the nail-polish industry, since North Hollywood-based cosmetics company OPI started coming up with off-the-wall names (e.g., the Chianti-red best-seller I'm Not Really a Waitress).

Now local brand NCLA is getting creative with nail-enamel names and formulas. Last year saw the introduction of nail foils, stick-on patterned decals that are an easy and long-wearing alternative to polish. While patterns including ikat and Pucci-esque zigzags are cute, we like a simpler look for everyday, such as NCLA's new collection of polishes.

LA Collection includes 18 colors inspired by different Los Angeles neighborhoods. Rodeo Drive Royalty is a dark, classic red; Malibu Beach Babe is a trendy teal blue; and Hollywood Hills Hot Number is a disco ball's worth of multicolor glitter in a bottle.

All lacquers are free of unhealthy nail-polish additives (such as formaldehyde and toluene), and none are tested on animals. It's another cosmetics hit for our fair city--and we wonder why out-of-towners call us superficial. 

NCLA is available at Kitson Boutique, 115 S. Robertson Blvd.; 310-859-2652 or 

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