Monday, 17 May 2010

I love to get nailed, but not like this

My mother's a classy dame. She's one of those ladies who never leaves the house without lipstick, a designer bag or, weather permitting, a fur coat. Don't be angry; it's an Italian thing. But beneath that polished surface beats the heart of a neurotic loon. A trait that was passed on to me in utero and haunts me — or enhances me, depending on who you talk to — to this day. Among our shared neuroses: obsessive cleanliness, a dramatic intolerance of poor table manners, a manic need to be the hostess with the mostest, and neat fingernails.  

That last one is weird, isn't it? I don't know why, but if we spot a stylish woman (or man, for that matter) in public, we both check out their hands before giving the green light of approval. It bears mentioning that this approval means nothing to them, but you know, we judge regardless. To our credit, we are pretty meticulous about keeping our own hands clean and, for the most part, freshly polished. My mom's a tried-and-true red lady, while I'm more of a floozy who flits from nudes to brights to dramatic grays and black. Sometimes we make a point of matching our nails to a particular item of clothing, and although I know I'm verging into old lady territory, sometimes I like to match my lipstick. It's more quirky than granny...or at least that's what I tell myself. In a pinch though, my mom and I will both reach for the nearest tube of top coat and slap it on naked nails as we rush out the door, because if nothing else, shiny nails are pretty nails.

Note: this is not my hand

For some reason, however, the beauty industry is trying to slip us a lethal dose of Ativan by way of a perplexing trend: matte nail polish. Flat and viscous, matte polish delivers all the saturated colour with none of the exciting pop. It's like painting your nails with Liquid Paper, which sure was a fun way to pass the time in geography class, but by the time you got to world history it was already chipped and the chemicals were slowly seeping into your bloodstream. In short, a bad idea. I'm not sure if nostalgia is what beauty companies were going for when they launched matte polish, or if like $350 half-pants-half-shorts (you know who you are) it's just because everything else has been done 20 times over. Either way, I beg of them to stop.

I understand that sometimes boredom is the mother of invention, but I don't think that 15-year-olds who switch between sniffing Liquid Paper and applying it to their fingernails is really where we need to be looking for inspiration. 'Cuz that shit ain't classy at all.     


  1. Word. And matte polish has a real 'bloated corpse just pulled out of the East River' vibe that I canNOT get behind.

    BTW - your mother sounds awesome.


  2. Agreed. Agreed, agreed, agreed.

  3. Now I feel like you're judging my often unpolished fingernails!! Talk about pressure.

    That pic is totally creepy. Thanks for pointing out the Liquid Paper reference... have often thought that.

    Plus, matte chips super quickly. Beauty FAIL.

  4. Also, love the disclaimer under the photo.

  5. Michelle: Don't be silly. I don't judge my friends...anymore.

    Janine: Wouldn't you want to clear up any misconceptions about the dodgy mani pictured? ;)

    Liza: My mom is kind of awesome. Just don't tell her I said that.

  6. Matte nails... It does look kind of creepy. Like press-on nails. Or lead paint. Sweet but dumbening...