Polishing Up

My relationship with makeup is a contentious one, or at least it would be if I actually had one. I hardly ever indulged in the Mummy's-dressing-table type shehanigans, which was why she was more than a bit surprised when I bought my first pot of black nail varnish at eleven*. It's about the only variety of cosmetic I buy on a regular basis other than lip balm, the reasons wherefore are a bit of a long, dull story.
I'm not sure exactly how the nail varnish craze caught on among us tweens, but the only thing I can be absolutely sure of was that my school's strict no-makeup policy had quite a bit to do with it- all that forbidden fruit logic and so on. No matter- we just painted our toenails instead of our fingernails, and as for those I'm fairly sure acetone suppliers had an excellent time of it, what with all the goop we had to clean up and take off before going to school. As most good tweens across the world today seem to do, we favoured the sparkly, but for some reason red and pink- probably because they were seen as 'mummy colours'- were banned from use (I quite liked red sparkly polish, but given that not being a total social outcast in those days was dependent on not wearing naff things, I behaved as a good little sheep should and went right along)- and once my lot got tired of wearing plain blocks of colour, we began experimenting with nail spots and stripes and flowers- some of which required work with very thinbrushes that were subsequently ruined because the varnish dried onthe brushes. The freaky part? People actually volunteered to do it- spend hours painting each other's nails, I mean. They were short nails too, because school insisted on that**- but they still took ages to dry. And then we reached the eighth grade and- heaven knows how- nail colouring was consigned to the trend dustbin. We were supposed to be more grownup, so about five bottles of half-used nail paint in my possession were doomed to uncooldom, and I was an expert on how fast they dried and how long they lasted and just how to mix colours, and the knowledge was pretty much useless***. I still buy the pots now, though- mainly because I like to see them sitting on the shelf and they're the only vaguely girlie things around- I don't own so much as a kohl pencil (standard Indian college girl fare, as far as makeup goes). And lately I've been getting the urge to break out the sparkly silver polish again, only my twenty-two-year-old feet aren't anywhere near as pretty as my thirteen-year-old ones (Queen Michelle, you were right about the sun exposure. If I wanted to look at a living example of sun damage, all I need to do is look down.). And no neon on my nails, I don't care what Nu Rave thinks.

*those were the good old days when the word Goth didn't exist in my vocabulary (actually, it did- Germans in Asterix) and hipsters were trousers, not people.
**I've never been able to get over the conviction that long nails are dirty. I end up reaching for the clippers every time I get to see the edges of my nails over the tops of my fingers.
My mum was quite relieved, though- she hated my nail paint. But the bottles that remained did get put to good use- every time I got given babysitting duties for my then two-year-old niece, I simply put a coat of colour on her nails (it didn't take much time since they were so tiny) and told her to sit still with her hands out till they dried. It made a nice change from chasing her to make sure she didn't break her neck or anything else in the house.


Meg said...

I like short fingernails too. They definately look better in my opinion, so much neater. And they look better with nail varnish too. I practically live in a deep burgundy colour because my skin's too dark for pale colours.

Re: The clumpy shoes are my favorites too! Where are you planning on moving?

Emma said...

i hate v. long fingernails. they're just so suburban mom, especially with french tips. i like either dark purple, shocking pink, blue, sparkly, or black, but usually my nails are grotesquely chipped and torn at and generally awful.

Yohan said...

I agree about long nails. They have to be dirty, unless you have people to do your work and cleaning for you. And I always thing about how painful it would be if one broke or bent the wrong way.

Black nailpolish eh? Touch of the goth? Did you ever see that cartoon Daria on MTV?

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Chipped and otherwise raggedy fingernails are an unavoidable fact of life for people like me- we're always strapped for time. So the only way to go is clip them short.
@Yohan: I was eleven, and didn't know what Goths were back then- unless you mean the kind that came in Asterix. I've seen Daria too, but the name mainly suggests the model and not the cartoon.

ambika said...

Aw, a post after my own heart. My relationship with make-up is pretty non-existent as well. Pretty much mascara and I call it a day. I rarely wear anything on my nails b/c it usually gets chipped within a day or two and hate having anything on my skin.

It's just one of those things that is a complete mystery to me when I see others with bags of it.

Mrs Fashion said...

I love nail varnish and all the pretty colours it comes in but the feeling of it on my fingers and toes just weirds me out so I stick to buffing them.
Mrs F x

Queen Michelle said...

I too collect and gather up nail polishes like there's a war rationing thing about to happen. I rarely actually wear it, but it just keeps on comin'!
And short, black nails are very chic...

Teresa said...

Oooh I hate long nails as well. They scream "cheap fakenail salon on 69th avenue manicure for 5 bucks" sort of deal. And I see pieces of fake nail littered all over my school, probably broken in catfights. Sad.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

It just triggers off magpie tendencies, I guess...if nothing else, at least the colours are good to look at.

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Fondest of upbeat music and brightly coloured sweets.