For three decades, I did not care about my nails. As a result, they were usually more than a little scruffy: peeling, dry, chipped, and filed (or, more accurately, broken) to different lengths.
My desire to have pretty nails coincided almost to the day with giving birth; all of a sudden, I had to let go of any reasonable certainty that I would be able to leave the house and interact with other human beings while looking anything close to presentable, and something about having polished, manicured, non-chipped nails made me feel better about that.
Like I had something, even a small thing like my fingernails, under control. “See?! I may look like I haven’t slept in three weeks and I may or may not be wearing a shirt, but damn, my ‘I’m Not Really A Waitress’ polish looks hot.”
Except…when you’re doing things like changing diapers and scrubbing bottles and crawling on your stomach to retrieve the Lightning McQueen car that absolutely must be secured before anyone will go to sleep and let me watch The Walking Dead…it’s kind of tough to keep your pretty, polished nails looking pretty and polished. And so I started exploring the world of gel polish, and I fell in love.
And I got hooked.
I wanted more.
And then I remembered my friend in college who always had the most stunning nails: they were all the perfect length, the perfect shape, the perfect shade of pale pink…and they were acrylic. I wanted those. So I got them, and then filled them a couple of times, and at some point along the line either I screwed up or a nail technician screwed up, but the result was something happening to my nails that I won’t go into in detail because it’s both extremely gross and kind of embarrassing…but suffice it to say that on my final acrylic-having trip to the salon the polish was removed to audible gasps from myself, the woman working on my nails, and the lady sitting next to me.
Oh my god.
Time for a break.
I had to cover the disaster I’d wrought with dark polish until my nails grew out, but now that they finally (finally) have…I think it’s obviously time to put things on pause for a minute. Let my nails breathe actual air.
This decision was cemented by the fact that I tried to remove my last round of gel polish all by my lonesome because I didn’t feel like going to the salon, and…well, let me just sum up by saying: don’t do that.
So: what I have on my nails right now is…nothing. A few times a day I apply Simple Skincare Protecting Light Moisturizer (both for hydration and SPF) and a little Elizabeth Arden Eight-Hour Cream on the cuticles, but other than that I think it’s best if I give them a week or two of total au naturel-ness before I start exploring the rainbow of gorgeous spring polishes.
(Besides: with rings this pretty, what more do you really need?)