I’m the kind of girl who the fancy ladies come to when they want help opening a can of zero calorie Coke. I’m sized up in minutes with my flat heeled shoes, real albeit sparse and short lashes and natural colors on the end of my fingers as the type who has no concerns about the manicure risk involved with popping a pop top.
My sister always said as she passed her can to me: “My nails are jewels not tools.”
Mine are decidedly tools. I want to be able to retrieve a heads up penny from the pavement, to replant (without gloves) a bulb that pops out of the ground, to dig into the vast and treacherous terrain of my over-sized pocketbook without care. It is perhaps the last vestige of my years as a tomboy, well that and my preference for bare feet. I don’t really get the whole girl/shoe connection. Most of those expensive things hurt like mad in minutes.
I realize I may vex the fancy ladies because my nails are strong and rapid growing, something I’m sure they think I do not deserve based on my negligence of them. My nails sprout as easily as weeds. Okay maybe not like weeds exactly, I’ve seen weed-like nails on the web, but maybe like a well maintained lawn. Too slow to see grow, but needing a weekly clipping
For a while, given my role as a public facing ambassador for a number of companies, I tried; I really did. I got manicures that chipped and looked worse than naked nails. Then I tried long-lasting gel nails and the process of removing them by soaking the fingers in acetone, a harsh chemical that dries skin and is sometimes poisonous if the liver can’t break it down, and this metal tool that’s kind of like a nail hoe that scrapes and scrapes away the polish and a good part of the nail bed ultimately made my strong nails sensitive to touch. Ridges formed in my nails and the tops started splintering and flaking. You wouldn’t know this if you continually applied gels to your nails. But I stopped for a while and noticed the havoc wreaked on my natural jewels. I experienced another epiphany as the last of the gel wore off. I like my nails better in living color than all the hopped up ultra bright or ultra dark colors. Not to mention all the “Nail Art” options out there.
Guys never have these concerns, do they? What do guys think of bright manicures? My husband once said he preferred I didn’t have blue nails, and I get that – dead or soon to be dead people have blue nails, but what about all this other stuff. Is it indicative of a high maintenance woman or of one who takes good care of herself? Is it ugly or as personally expressive as a tattoo?
It took months for my re-naked nails to return to normal, so I swore off gels. I do want my hands to look professional and a little less beastly, so today right before another business trip, I had a lovely and relaxing manicure. But I now lean toward the sport manicures or a clear polish after a clean up and shaping. The advantage of natural polish is that in dim light, it’s nearly impossible to tell I picked up another penny in the parking lot. And I am in fact feeling mighty lucky.
(c)2014 by Alison Colby-Campbell
For a report on the minimal dangers of acetone click here: http://www.healthline.com/health/acetone-poisoning#Overview1