It’s been absolutely ages since I last put anything other than a coat of clear nail varnish onto my nails, with The Mothership forcibly bullying me into putting a hint of pink onto my fingers for my own wedding. I’ve been so reluctant to do anything with my nails for so long that it has to have been at least 8-9 years since proper colour last graced them.
I’ve worn colour in the past, of my own free will and without coercion: I had a mini goth stage while at school, and so wore the obligatory black polish on my fingers that chipped away to communicate my inner turmoil, issues and angst to the world; before and after that I used to have a lot of fun with nail varnish in school and college, playing around with layers, bands and multiple colours; however I eventually began working in a customer-facing role for a Bank and so not only did I have to maintain a clean, professional appearance, but the constant keyboard use rapidly chipped both my nails and my nail polish and so I decided to stop wearing anything other than a bland coat of clear in order to keep my nails as low-maintenance as possible.
While here in Florida, sorting out my immigration paperwork and waiting for my work card to come through, I’ve had the time to play around with hairstyles and makeup looks that I wouldn’t have previously attempted, and at the weekend The Hublet asked me why I didn’t wear nail varnish as he thought it was a cute look. I launched into my spiel about it being high maintenance, and having not worn polish for the last few years, and he politely listened and waited for me to finish, then again asked why I didn’t wear nail varnish. He was right, there was no longer a good reason for me, if not wear it publicly, to at least play around with nail polish, as it was purely the mental block of ‘this is something I don’t do’ that had been stopping me. The mental block convinced me that although people of all cultures and colours can successfully wear colour on their nails, any sort of colour on my nails would result in me looking like a transvestite or a ‘ghetto-fabulous’ wannabe, neither of which were me at all.
We went out later that day to pick up a few things from the shops, and I saw him lingering around the makeup section of a department store, giving me big puppy eyes to lure me over. He asked me if I would be prepared to break my nail varnish vow of abstinence with something completely extreme, and picked up a glossy black bottle. Initially I was taken aback, but quickly caught his enthusiasm and agreed.
At home he watched as I painted my nails with a coloured polish for the first time in years, even bugging me to let him have a go at a couple of nails (surprisingly he has a natural talent for it), and I spent the rest of the day adjusting to wearing colour. It just didn’t feel right and I didn’t know whether it was the newness or something else. I explained to The Hublet that I was happy I’d tried it, but wasn’t won over by it, and removed the polish before bed.
The next day I wanted to have another go, but decided to cut my fingernails first. I’m fortunate to have nails that don’t split easily, and are strong enough to grow quite long and still look healthy. I realised that it was the length that put me off, after such a long period of wearing neutral nails, the long black claws looking too creepy and over-the-top for my liking, unlike the professionally maintained nails that I’d been used to. I’m sure some people can get away with colour on long nails, but for me black is not a colour I feel I can pull off with talons.
I put on a base coat of quick-drying clear, carefully painted my short nails with black, waited a while and then added another coat of clear on top. And stared at them for the longest time.
I liked them!
It had taken someone as influential as my husband to break my 8-year vow of abstinence, but I genuinely liked the look of black nail polish on my fingernails. I reasoned that I’m 30-years-old, an experienced and successful Recruiter and Headhunter, I run a house, I cook curry pretty well and I’m able to keep a cat alive, therefore feel I can rock coloured nail polish as an adult without looking like an Emo-teen or mutton dressed as lamb.
This may not be the best photograph, but it captures the epic moment where I put aside carefully nurtured beliefs and embraced change after 8-years of bland nails.
I’m now getting excited about grey, dark blue and deep red polishes as I want to see if I can get away with other colours. It’s the beginning of a new era people, 2012 is ‘The Year Of The Nails’.