Fingernails and toenails… why do you enjoy stressing me out, so?
I was a little girl lucky enough to enjoy my first manicure at a relatively young age. It all started one summer in Seoul when my babysitter wanted to get her nails done. She took me to a department store and sat me down next to her for my own personal pampering session. Next thing you know, I was strutting into PINKY on the Upper West Side asking the manicurists to use two colors on each nail. I specifically wanted each nail to have a base coat of light blue and then for half of each nail to be painted dark blue. That was maybe in sixth grade. #NailArt #Diva
a few more than ten years later and I am one year out of college, a New York City resident, and a continued lover of polished nails. However, my visits to the salon have become less frequent — usually occurring only in anticipation of an upcoming vacation or formal event — due to lack of time and, to be entirely honest, my now having to foot the bill. In figuring out how to work with my limited budget, I have happily decided that I would rather spend my money on food or trips home or books or food. Mani-pedis are no longer a priority. My nails have been doing just fine without being massaged on the reg. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still yearn for a bright pop of color every now and then.
Thus, I stopped by Duane Reade on my way home late last night and picked up an OPI nail polish in “Big Apple Red”. Lord knows the last time I purchased a bottle of nail polish. I plopped myself down in front of an episode of Mad Men and started on my toes.
Now, I’ve always guessed that I wouldn’t be stellar at painting my own nails. Despite having taken piano and flute lessons as a kid, my left hand hasn’t always been the most coordinated. But I was horrible. Even with my right hand. Excruciatingly abysmal. Too much polish on the brush and it goes on unevenly. Too little on the brush and it looks streaky. An unsteady hand and it’s barely even making it onto the nail at all. Try to fix it with a q-tip and it just makes it even worse. I don’t know what’s wrong with me! If I’m coming up with excuses — and obviously I am — the difficulty was attributable to my having teeny tiny toenails and a serious case of OCD. Even the smallest hint of color outside the imaginary lines and I had to start all over again. But still, there must be something that I’ve been missing. Some secret that was I never told.
I started on my fingernails about a quarter of the way through my second Mad Men episode and things started to get a little better. My lovely roommate-for-a-month, Melanie Comeau, advised that I should take the polish off the brush by pressing and flattening it against the bottle. The scoop up a little bit of polish on a flattened side. That helped a lot but I still couldn’t get the technique down pat.
A bajillion q-tips and cotton pads later, at 1:30 a.m., I was finally done and was ready to head to bed with an imperfect-but-acceptable-and-also-I-was-just-so-tired paint job.
Today, I’ll glance at my hands and think, “hey, nice job!” one second and then switch to thinking “ugh, I’m going to have to take this off as soon as I get home” the next. I envy those girls who can fix their fingers up in no time flat. Please, someone tell me, what’s the trick?