So, the other day when I was getting my nails done – which, mind you, is NOT often – I was chatting it up with the lady next to me. She commented on how much she liked the nail color I chose (a dark grey-purple), and when I asked her what she picked, she showed me a neutral-ish light pink and said, “You know, I used to go for brighter colors when I was younger. Now, I stick to the basics.”
Huh. Two things struck me with that comment:
1. She didn’t look any older than I. She actually looked at least five years younger (or am I being too hard on myself?).
2. I feel the exact opposite.
I am just now coming into my own with nail colors. I grew up being forbidden to paint my nails (love you, Mom!). I remember going to a sleepover when I was six, getting my toenails painted a bright pink, and being terrified to show my mom. In my twenties, I went along with the neutral theory – unless it was Bubble Bath or a classic like OPI Red, it wasn’t touching my nails. One time I actually got a manicure and had them paint my nails clear. CLEAR!
But, as I’ve matured, I’ve noticed myself branching out more with nail color and totally embracing it. Unlike other things in my life that I’ve slowly crossed off the list because of age (crop tops, Victoria Secret bathing suits or anything with their “Pink” logo splashed across my seat, overalls) nail colors are the one area in my life where I can experiment without regret. I get so excited when I find a fun color that I actually call my bestie in NYC so she can find it – she does the same for me.
It’s the little things in life.
Choose the wrong shade of pink? Who cares – know not to pick it next time! Feel like channeling your inner rock star but still drive a minivan or SUV? Bring it on with a nice shade of grey. Nail polish is not a piercing. It’s not permanent ink. Your children won’t be picked up by DSS, and your husband won’t leave you. Plus, unless it’s the Gel manicure (which, P.S., is the only way I do a mani now because you can actually take your car keys out of your purse when it’s time to leave the nail salon, AND Sally sells a great drug store version), it only lasts like a week (Gel = maybe 3 weeks).
I am not on any sort of home or salon manicure schedule – I know many who are and I applaud their commitment – so my manicures, whether I do them myself or not, are sporadic at best. Spotting my digits gliding along the computer keyboard in a haughty shade of red is both unexpected and just plain fun.
There aren’t a whole lot of acceptable thrills in the life as a mom, but I’m finding nail polish is the perfect way to rebel quietly, stand out for a hot minute, add a little pizzazz to a Tuesday afternoon carpool, or maybe brighten things up while you watch your very own dry winter hands make the millionth peanut butter sandwich. Trust me, it’s waaaaay more fun than living life “in the clear.”
You probably won’t see me with any sparkles or diamond-encrusted manicures (you can breathe easier, Mom) but I don’t see anything wrong with ladies who do. That’s my point. It’s a nail polish color. Do what makes you happy no matter your age. And, it makes me happy to know that just because I’m getting older, it doesn’t mean I have to do it neutrally.
Side note: Here are some fun links to inspire you to go outside the OPI Bubble Bath “bubble”:
– Birchbox’s Guide to 2015’s Most Wanted Nail Colors
– The Zoe Report’s Top Ten Nail Polish Colors to try in 2015
– Cosmo’s Spring Nail Trends 2015
– Harper’s Bazaar Prettiest Nail Polish Shades for Spring 2015