Acetone Files: Nail History and beyond
I'm giving in to the undeniable siren song of nail polish ... and to egotistically blog about it to no one in particular. Perhaps it's more of an instinct toward documentation. In any case, I hope someone enjoys my manicures (besides me and my friends) and can learn from my reviews and tips, but if this just turns into my own nail diary, well okay.
My first polish ...
I discovered black nail polish my sophomore year of college. I had always considered nail polish too prissy, but I was rapidly opening my mind to things I once found too girly and fussy - the color pink, strappy sandals, shorts, etc - and overcoming my trepidation of yet another labor-intensive beauty element I was never taught (my mother has had the same hairdo since 1975, and doesn't wear makeup). I acquired a Petites Night and went through the beginners' torture of chipping, patching, remover, reapplying, cricked back, etc. It was chippy a lot. And I left it that way.
At some point, I saw this dull purpley-grey shade on TV, and fell in love with it. I went out to Walmart and bought the closest thing I could find - Essie Merino Cool. (At the time, Essie was the only brand with a variety of colors besides pinks, reds, black and all manner of glitter - I swear, not a month later, Revlon and all the others jumped on the bandwagon. Grrrr.) It became my signature color - I painted it over and over for most of college. At some point I also picked up Sally Hansen Hard-As-Nails Tough Taupe on sale, which is nearly the same shade (it's a tad pinker) and half the price. My ambition is to collect all the brands of this hue - for example, Revlon's got one. By the way, it looks WAY greyer online than it is in real life.
My other "signature color" was an impulse purchase of Revlon Red Hot Tamale. I naturally shy away from red as too predictable, but the intense orange-red burn of this shade entranced me - it conjured up the exact shade of those tiny but explosively hot chili peppers we grew on the farm at my Quaker high school. I wore it all summer of 2011, and I'm still in love with it.
Eventually the interwebs told me about topcoat and bottom coat - I bought Revlon's duo, 950 Extra Life No Chip Top Coat and 995 Quick Dry Base Coat - which helped a lot. I didn't nearly have to do so much patching, and it really did last around 8 days before I had to redo the whole thing, and I still use them. For review, nuances and such of their use, look for a future post.
My coworker and partner-in-polish-addiction, Jessie, claims I actually got HER started on nail polish, by coming in to work with just my Merino Cool every day. Once she got into it, she would come in every two days with a new interesting manicure and shade. After a while we started discussing nail polish, browsing blogs with fun ideas, and in a few months, I was hooked. Mind you, not to the extend of Jessie (who got all her female relatives into it too), who estimates she has 400 bottles. But I was inspired to try new brands, new colors, and interesting patterns. I've never been a fancy manicure from an Asian salon with rhinestones kind of person, but some of the more minimal, artistic, color-blocky ones appealed to me, and I began to gather my collection.