Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween! : )

For those of you who get into it, here's a little Halloween spirit for ya!


BOO!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

OPI Cuckoo For This Color!

Yeah, I'd say the name fits this one for sure!
I don't know how OPI keeps coming up with these crazy names, but I sure like some of the new colors they've come out with recently.

This one is from the Swiss collection.


I really like the way it seems to shift colors when it is seen in different kinds of light.


I think it looks very chic and classy for toes and would look good on a girl with some dark dressy heels.
...oh, and for a guy - it's an incredible color too!
























Have an awesome - and colorful - day!!! :)

Autumn

Hello my fine followers :)


Here's a cool autumn color I came across while doing a little 'cleaning' through my collection.
I remember liking it when I first got it, and I guess I still do like it!

It's from Creative Nail Design,
called "Cedar".

...in indirect light


...and in sun
















Happy Fall everyone!!! I hope you are enjoying all the brilliant colors :)

Jake (aka Toepaintguy)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Black? ...or Black?

Wow it seems like forever since I last posted. Well, I guess I am like a lot of you, just very busy trying to make it all work in this trying economy.
But, there is always time for some fun,right?

Okay now readers, your color seleciton advice is greatly appreciated here. I have two black polishes that I like a lot, but I need some help from you in deciding which one to wear for Halloween.


On the left is Zoya Raven, a rich true-black with just a hint of shimmer hidden in it.
On the right is Man Glaze Death Tar, an incredible matte black with a ton of multi-colored flecks imbedded in it (seen here with a glossy overcoat).


With a good coat of Seche Vite, they can both look like glass, and you all know how good a glossy black can look! In fact, I am inclined to say that black may be the best unisex color of nail polish there is. It looks equally classy and great on women and men.


Okay, here they are close-up so you can really see how they look.

First, Zoya Raven:
















And here is the Man Glaze:

















Please let me know in the comments below which one you like best. If you want even better pics, check here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/toepaintguy/

Either one would work, but with your input, I will be confident I'm looking my best for the cause!
Hey, it's great to be back! I missed all of you!!! : )


Jake

Sunday, September 5, 2010

NEW "Lovers" Paired Collection is out!

This is sooooo cool! BB Couture just introduced a new collection of nail polishes that are being paired in duos - one for the girl and one for the guy - together! They are complimentary colors that look great together and are designed to help promote couples to wear them proudly. Talk about a stroke of genius... and fresh thinking!

Okay, on with the reviews!

First, a bit of disclaimer...I had to swatch all twelve of these myself because my girl had just gotten a very nice pedicure with artwork and was not too excited to remove it right away. Guess I can't blame her, but it would have been cool to show you the gal colors on a female foot.
And, my camera simply does not capture the colors as they really are. Trust me though, these are beautiful colors that are much better than you see below.

The first pair is called "Pocahontas and John Smith". Pocahontas is a very classy mauve creme with just a hint of micro glitter (that's hard to see in this picture). Subtle, but perfect because it does not look like any other 'creme' you will find elsewhere.

John Smith compliments this color nicely as a more neutral gray/beige creme that is clean and refreshingly simple.



Carla and Michael may not be famous to you, but they definitely are in love! And this rich pair of colors says they are very deeply in it together. Carla is a spectacular rich purple with hints of copper and red shimmer in it. If you like purple, Wow, this is one of the most vivid purples Ihave seen! The picture is a bit dark, but look closely at the big toe to see the detail.

And then there is Michael, no slouch in the color department either. The cool thing about this color is that it's not just another deep blue, but it has just the right amount of subtle purple shimmer - enough that you may not be sure what color it is. What is certain though, is that it looks really great on a guy - next to Carla of course!



Cleopatra is one of those "to die for" intense aquamarines that you just can't find - until now! It has a subtle sky blue shimmer to it as well that makes this one so intriguing. A perfect beach color!

Paired with Cleopatra is Anthony, a rich deep blue with subtle aqua shimmer. Not as bold as Cleo, but it looks entirely appropriate for her guy in-tow.



Okay, eveyone's heard of Bonnie and Clyde. And GREEN is their color, of course! Bonnie is a festive bright true green with lots of green glitter. She'd definitely be a 'hit' at your next bank robbery!


And heeeeeerrrrreee'sss Clyde! Basically the same true green as Bonnie, but without the glitter.



I guess I should have posted this couple first, since they really did get this whole thing started... Eve is a svelte Olive with gold and green glitter, topped with a subtle rose hue. I can only imagine what Adam might have thought if she was wearing this color in the garden!


And my favortie of the colleciton, Adam. This was a surpriser for me. I didn't think it looked that attractive in the bottle, but on the nail, it is probably the best 'guy' color I think I have come across. It's earthy, kind of an olive/army green, but it has the slightest hint of micro shimmer in it to make it interesting. and it has that same rosy hue to it as Eve. What a pair!!! Gals, this is a great starter color for your guy because it will just look so natural on him.




And now, one of the most cherished couples of all time, Romeo and Juliet. Juliet is a very pretty rose/mauve creme that just looks softly feminie.




Romeo is slightly bolder than Juliet, but they go together so well, they really do look like a couple in love. This one is a brown/mauve with very subtle hints of shimmer to make it interesting. What an awesome fall color too!


Wow, it was really fun to try all these colors and I thank the fantastic folks at BB Couture for all the hard work in creating these wonderfully complimentary colors and coming up with the idea to package them together. BB Couture has been instrumental in promoting the use of nail polish by men, and I think that even though there probably is no exclusion on any of these colors, it's a fresh and welcome effort to encourage guys to get into this that I think is pretty darned cool of them.

Now I really appreciate all the work many of you do too when you swatch the latest colors, photograph them and them publish the pics with your awesome reviews. It takes more than I initally expected, and my results are not near as nice as many of yours. Oh well, practice shold help...

I hope that many who read this are inspired to try a pair or two of these colors along with your SO. I know many guys won't get near the stuff, but since guys wearing polish is growing in popularity (at least my pedicurist says so), it will just be a matter of time before he joins you!

Thanks for reading - and following my blog! : )

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why do girls do this?

So, I attended a big family reunion last week. There were my Mom and Dad, sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews, their spouses and some kids too - a really big family event. Mom and Dad's 60th anniversary too!

We had many activities planned for the days, and in the evenings the card and board games would start and the whole place just seemed to get more lively (and loud).


Most nights you could find a group of the gals together in the loft painting their nails and talking about hair styles, guys, the guys against gals mini-golf tournament that day, whatever. And I cannot explain this, but whenever one of the guys would wander by their 'area' one of them would pipe up and ask if he wanted his nails done too. Most of the guys would shrug with a smile and say 'no, but thanks' (as if they genuinely appreciated the gesture) but one night the gals hit on me and so I smiled and said in a teasting sort of way "sure, what colors do you have?". Well, this certainly got a rise from them.

Bright pink was offered first, and I politely told them "not so much". Cotton candy pink, then blue, purple and even french were then offered. I considered french while they had fun trying to steer me toward the purple. But when my seven year-old neice with her big blue eyes told me it would look "pretty" on me, I was sold!


Let me tell you, I received the royal treatment. These girls were really having a good time with it and so I just took in having six fun women (except for the 7 year-old, they were all in there 20's) crowded around me and painting my toenails purple.

The results were pretty darned good - even my Mom was impressed! The girls all had to have their pictures taken with me - on some we alternated feet, on another I wore one of their plushy pink slippers (those pics are on someone else's camera though). Of course, everyone had to come see, and the girls even managed to talk my brother in-law into letting them do his too (he got the blue)! Craziness, but that runs pretty rampant in my family... They did however receive a bit more entertainment out of it too because I continued to wear the polish for the remainer of the reunion (3 days), and they loved it. And, I managed to crack the ice with them now knowing I like to wear my nails polished.

Here is a pic taken the next day:


So maybe some of you can tell me what the attraction is to these gals to want to paint the guy's nails. Sure, the shock factor of doing something crazy and unusual was there, but whenever we're together in a group like that, inevidibly some of the girls offer to do this for (to?) the guys. And I am not the first to take them up on it either! Well, what the heck, it was fun for all of us.


Oh, and the reunion was a great success too (in case you were wondering)! No major disagreements, no one got hurt, we just had a lot of good clean fun. And yeah, we are already talking about doing it again next year...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A jewel out there...

So, I was driving through my old neighborhood the other day and spotted a sign in a nail salon I had not seen before that said "Grand Opening", so I thought I'd stop in and see what was up.

It was a neat and clean shop and Jenny, the owner, was there to enthusiastically greet me when I walked in. When I asked if they had any grand opening specials, she told me that they did, and the specials were good for men too. I have to admit, it did surprise (impress) me that she had even considered her potential male clients, and so I chose a spa pedicure to see how she treated me.
Jenny told me that she had been previously through nursing school but could not find a job in that field, and then she decided to take a course in cosmetology because she had always liked it. It just so happened that she had a friend who had not quite been able to handle running this business, and so Jenny agreed to take it on. Well, I have to say that she has the gift for providing great service and she knows how to treat her customers like royalty. She is a smart business woman too, she had set up the salon so it was very comfortable and functional with four manicure stations and six pedicure chairs.

The pedicure she gave me was wonderful; relaxing, soothing and enjoyable. When she finished with the cleaning and trimming, Jenny asked if I would like any polish and I asked her if she had any other male clients who got polish with pedicures,he replied that yes, she had four others who were regulars. I asked for her suggestion on a color and she went to her collection of mostly OPI colors nicely displayed on the wall. She returned with a few colors she thought I'd like and I decided on this lighter gray/tan.

The results of my experience were fantastic and my feet felt great for days afterwards. As I was about ready to leave, one of her other clients walked in and she noticed my feet, commenting that she thought they looked really good, wishing that her husband would come in and have his done too.

I am telling you about this experience because I think Jenny really works at offering the best service she can to her customers, and she is open-minded and just as accomodating to men as well as she is to women. She is an impressive salon operator because she knows that a happy customer will become a repeat customer - as well as referring others to her.

I think that in order to be successful in today's tight economy, we all need to take a lesson from Jenny. Provide the best customer service you can, and it will come back to you.
I have already referred two propsective clients to her.

In case you are ever in the area and want to stop in for some great nail service, do a search on "Katie Nails" in Savage, MN. She is on Facebook too.


And yes, I gave Jenny a generous tip too! ; )

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Quick Tip for Guys at a Nail Salon

Okay gals, I'll get back to things you might be interested in too, but here is just a quick one for the guys...

If you are contemplating going to a nail salon for the first time to get a pedicure, here are some ideas for you:

1) The best way to become introduced to a professional pedicure is to take a friend who is experienced. The two of you will be treated to a service that is surprisingly relaxing and enjoyable, and certainly worth the investment. Going with someone else makes it a lot more fun too because it is an experience that you will want to share. Besides, your GF or wife will really appreciate the treat too!

2) Call ahead. You can ask about rates, whether they welcome men, and when their business might be quieter and potentially less intimidating for you.
Besides, you probably would not want to land in the middle of a wedding nail party!

3) Bring your own polish. Colors that work well for men are not as easy to find as those that look good on women. Some salons have great selections, including some collections for men, but others may not. If in doubt, bring a bottle of a color that you like, even if just as a backup. Who knows, you may find something in their collection that will expand your tastes too!

4) Wear polish to the salon. Even if not done perfectly, it will tell the nail tech that you are already comfortable wearing it, and they may even suggest some good colors for you to try. It's their job and they are usually very good at knowing what works for people.

5) Trust the pros. They take a lot of pride in what they do and they want you to be a satisfied customer. The last thing a nail tech wants is an unhappy customer, so if you have any preferences, let them know and then... just relax and enjoy the treatment.....
Remember, they want you to come back, so they will treat you with care and attention and do a great job for you.

6) Tip gratiously. These folks don't pull down six figures doing this kind of work, but they all seem to really love it. So, tip them appropraitely so that they can continue serving their customers well and so that they will remember you when you return. $10 is a suggested minimum for a pedicure but even $20 is not unheard of for really good experience.

7) Go someplace else. If you did not feel like you received the royal treatment, then find another salon. These businesses are all a product of the owner/management, and if they are in tune with their customers and they have worked hard to create a relaxing and comfortable environment and experience, then they deserve your continued business.

8) Last but not lest, don't go too often. This is supposed to be a treat, so 'treat' you and your wife or GF to it on special occasions so it remains special and new. And, you can look forward to the date with anticipation when it is not an everyday thing.

8.5) Okay this is the last one...
Gals, you can also treat your guy to this too, you know! He does not have to get polish if he's not the type to try new things, but he can still enjoy a very pleasureable experience with you jsut the same. And you can enjoy the benefit from his softer and nicer looking feet too!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summertime thoughts...

Hey readers and followers, how has your summer been so far? It's been sunny and wonderfully hot here! I say it that way because we have not really had very warm summers the last few years, and this one is a welcome change.

And, summer can be really hard on your feet, depending on what you do to them. Here are a few summer tips for keeping your toes and pedicures in tip-top shape! And these are for anyone - women or man - who wants to have great looking and great feeling feet!

* Use moisturizer - especially at night. If your feet are really getting dry and crusty, you can even wear a pair of light socks after applying lotion and it will give them an extra deep treatment while you sleep. Make sure you rub lotion in and around your cuticles, between your toes, and on heels and any callouses that may be starting to build.


- you can even rub a little olive oil into your cutilces and the pads of your feet for a longer-lasting type of moisturizing that will feel great too.

* Respect the sun! Your feet may look great with a deep summer tan, but they will also dry out faster, and you increase the chance that your skin will become wrinkled and lose it elasticity over time. Use a lotion with the appropriate amount SPF factor when you are going to be outside for extended periods.

* Don't change polish too often. Actually, it's not the polish but the remover that will dry out your skin. Once you do remove any old polish, soak your feet in warm water with a little Dreft to soften them before polishing again. It's a nice treat and it will help protect your skin from the chemicals present in nail polish. Make sure you lightly brush the nail surface with remover to remove any residue before polishing though!

* Use a good basecoat before polish. It will help condition and strengthen your nails and keep them from staining. I like OPI Nail Envy, but ther are many others available that will do the trick.


- here is a tip: apply one layer of topcoat over the base coat, before applying the polish. This will provide a very smooth surface on which the polish will just glide on and look like glass. Use a final layer of topcoat when finished applying the color too for a perfect finish. I like Seche Vite because it spreads like butter and evens out any imprefections before it sets. And, it sets in minutes to the touch which I find totally amazing!

* Wear flip flops after a pedicure for a few hours to give your polish a chance to harden. If you are polishing your nails at night, do it early enough so that you have at least an hour before going to bed. That way, the perfect pedicure you worked so hard on will survive the sheets.

* Try layering colors. Using a base of a deeper color and applying a lighter sheer polish over it can sometimes result in a really cool, almost 3D effect. You can even try layering parts of the nail to give it a graduated shading effect. There are many websites with instructions for doing this, just do some searching. Wearing a unique and eye-catching pedicure is a lot of fun and makes wearing that favorite pair of sandals or open shoes even that much more enjoyable.

* Schedule a pedicure at least once a month. Why not? You deserve a treat at least that often! Spa pedicures are a total treat too, but you don't have to splurge every time. Twice a month is perfect if you don't want to do your toes yourself.

* Get Bold! Try a color that you normally wouldn't. Heck, it's summer - go for the neon orange or bright tropical blue for a change. Those bright, fun colors look great on tanned feet with summer attire!

* Get your SO into it too. Whether you are a woman or man, you will definitely increase the enjoyment if you share this experience and interest with a partner. Some men may not go for the color yet, but there are few who would not enjoy a relaxing pedicure - and having feet that feel softer and look better.

*** Gals, I took a quick telephone survey of fourteen nail salons this week here in the upper midwest, and they tell me that yes, they all have an increasing number of male clients who wear colored polish on their toes. It seems that about 60% of the guys were encouraged to try it by their SO, about 20% started after the nail tech suggested they try it and the remainder just did it on their own.
With a little encouragement, your guy could make the leap and try something that many other guys have found to be quite satisfying and fun!


I've taken to wearing muted silvers and grays lately for some reason, and I have found a few that I think work well with the summer sandal look:

...yeah, I know, my cuticles could use a little moisturizing too...


Well, enjoy your summer and take some time to have fun. Life's too short to let this one get by without a little splurging, right?

Jake

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Foot Care Suggestions

Many thanks to Jennifer for emailing and asking for tips on keeping your feet smooth and moisturized during the summer.

Hello Pedicure Guy,

It’s summertime and I’m spending more time in flip flops and have been looking for blog postings on how to keep feet (heels and the underside of the foot) soft and smooth.

I hope you will consider a blog post on summertime care for dry scratchy heels.

I’m big on doing manicures and love to paint my nails to match my clothing (including the colored pattern) or to match a holiday so the nail painting part, filing, and cuticle care part I already understand and can apply that to my feet.

However smoothing the rough heel part and underside of my foot is a bit baffling. Some of those scrubby things in the stores look too vicious (I don't have any calluses either) and just applying lotion isn’t enough (plus they put some lame slippery stuff on there that’s not good with flip flops).

Anyhoo any guidance on this would be appreciated, so I hope to see it as a blog posting, hint, hint!

Thanks for considering this, have a great day!

Jennifer
>>>

Hey Jennifer, here is what I suggest: Readers, please feel free to add your experience in the comments that follow too!

Hi Jennifer, thank you for emailing.

I know you said those scubby things for feet look pretty vicious, and you are right - some are! But I have found that a basic loofa works pretty well, provided you don't have too much callous build-up on the bottom of your feet. I suggest soaking your feet in a solution of Dreft and warm water for a few minutes before using the loofa and it will work much better. Don't scrub hard, just evenly over the entire bottom of your feet, especially the pads and toes, until they begin to feel very smooth. You can also use an exfoliating scrub of your choice with a soft cloth for an even faster result.

Yes, lotions with an oil base will tend to leave your feet feeling slippery, so use only a light treament of water-base lotion during the daytime, and when wearing sandals. You can tell wheter a lotion has a water or oil base because it will wash off your hands with warm water easily if it is water-based. I really like the Avon Extra-care moisturizing lotion because a little goes a long way and it seems to last.

You'll also be surprised how using an oil-based lotion at night will help deep-treat your feet and really soften them over the course of a couple of nights. Olive oil is another great moisturizing treatment for cuticles, and you can rub a little into the bottom of your feet as well to help keep them nice and smooth. Just don't use too much or you will be skating out of your sandals!

If you tend to get your feet wet a lot (like in a lake or pool), you will have to be more judicious with your foot moisturizing to keep up with the drying effect that water can have. Rub a generous amount of your favorite lotion onto your feet at night, and you may even want to wear a pair of short socks to help keep the lotion off of the sheets and get the full effect.

I hope this helps. You can also search for other foot care sites for more tips. One site that I really like is: http://www.beautiful-healthy-fingernails.com/index.html. Let us know what works for you so we can pass on the good experience!

It's satisfying to have smooth, great-looking feet! Add a pair of nice sandals and an attractive nail color, and you will enjoy the admiration and compliments from others who will wonder how you do it.

Jake


Here is my color of the week (haven't changed it for a while...). I tend to really like silver/grays...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The BB Couture Formal collection

I haven't really reviewed any nail polishes here yet, so we'll see how it goes with my first attempt. Please pardon the inaccuracies in the colors - my camera and I have a bit more 'getting to know each other' before my pictures are as perfect as others I've seen on nail blogs.

I'd like to introduce the Formal Collection from BB Couture. These colors were designed to compliment more formal events, whether a wedding, prom, anniversary, even first date. They have a classy and elegant feel to them, and though they are labeled "for men", I think women may find them to be quite unique and attractive as well.

Here's the lineup:




The first color is called Tuxedo Night. It is probably the best maroon for a guy I have ever seen. It's not too dark to look black, not too light to look red and has just a hint of sparkle in it. You might think guys wouldn't wear a color like this, but I can tell you that I have searched for quite a while to find a maroon that worked well for me, and this one really does!

Incognito is a very cool looking gray with just a hint of purple opal to it (actually less than you see here). It's also abit lighter than the picture and is one of those colors that you have to do a double-take on because it's just not like anything else you have seen before.


This one is called Dress Rehearsal and is an awesome light green with just the right amount of shimmer in it. It's not loud at all and looks great with a tan and sandals. A very comfortable color to wear anywhere, anytime. I really like this one!


Dinner Jacket is a deep, rich blue that says "formal" all over it. It has that delicious, rich look to it that some polishes can only attempt to acheive. It might look out of place on the beach, but with typical formal attire, it's perfect!


Next is Ceremony, a medium green with a hint of blue and mild shimmer. The picture really does not do this one justice - it's one of my favorites now because it is such a comfortable shade! The finish has a slight matte look to it too, making it a great 'quieter' color.


And this one is called Award Medal. The best way I can describe it is a deep gold with a suave green hue to it. It changes too, appearing quite gold in bright light and more subdued, almost light army green in dimmer or indirect light. You will definitely get an award for best dressed when wearing this one to a special event.


Well, there you have it. A great collection from BB Couture of some pretty unique colors - and my first polish post!
Let me know if you buy any of these, and how you like them. Your feedback can help influence future releases because BBC is always fine-tuning their colors in response to what their customers tell them they like.

Spousal Acceptance of Polish - Part 2

Well, I hope you found the previous post intriguing. So let's explore this subject from a guy's point of view...

Guys, you have one thing going for you; many women tend to be very open-minded to new styles and trends. In my opinion, women are masters at creating, adopting and refining new styles and they do it with such flair and finesse that it seems pretty much anything they can come up with looks great. So, what this means to you is that your wife/GF may already be open to the idea of you wearing nail polish on your toes, they may just need to see an example of it done well before they accept it.

However, there are always a few gals who will look on this and frown on it, thinking that it just is not manly for a guy to wear nail polish at all - even clear. And those are the cases we'll focus on here.

The first step is to introduce the idea in a way that it is genuine and tasteful. What I mean is that she has to be able to see it as an emerging style for men that does not threaten her values or beliefs about what is 'right'. If it's on a goth (and you do not dress that way) or someone who is openly different than her taste will allow, it may do more harm than good. As with men, you cannot force an idea on someone if they are not first receptive to it. In that case, you may end up building walls in her mind that are even more impenetrable than what you started with.

Here are a few situations to begin your process that I would consider ideal:

1) You spot a guy with nice looking feet. He may or may not be wearing polish, but you point out to her that you wished your feet looked better, like his. This does not threaten her ideas and allows her to consider how it might have a legitimate benefit. If the guy is wearing polish, and it is done well and in good taste (girl colors like pink or red or chipped nails would not make a good first impression), then it may be just what she needs to see first-hand that it really can work and not look weird, as it might in her mind if you were just talking about it. Pictures could work too, but there is nothing like a real-life example.

2) You get a pedicure together. Now this make take a little pre-work to warm her up to the idea, but a great opportunity to do this is when you are traveling and out of your normal environment. Everything is new and different, and so something like stopping in for a pedicure is just another adventure to enjoy exploring together. You could even ask the nail technician if they ever see men getting color (and the answer will probably be yes), and what colors they suggest for men. If nothing else, this can open the door for further consideration on her part since she now knows you are interested, and that it's not unheard of for men. Maybe the tech may even have some example pictures, or better yet, a male client right there that you can see getting his nails done.

3) You can just spring it on her. Go out and just get a pedicure with color! You'll certainly enjoy it, it will be exicting (especially the first time), and you will break the ice for yourself and for her. If you have laid the groundwork for it by occasionally talking about it with her, like if she is doing her nails sometime, you can comment that you wonder what it would be like, or maybe that you like the way it looks and think it might help your feet (if you don't go overboard, that is).
There is the shock factor to deal with, and you could just write if off by saying that you thought it would be funny, interesting to try, you lost a bet, or whatever you can think of that will make light of it. Using humor can take you lots of places you could otherwise never get to.

4) You could take an interest in her nails and not only compliment her on them, but treat her to occasional gifts of maincures and pedicures at her favorite salon, give her nail polishes that you like for her to wear, give her foot massages, even offer to paint her toenails for her (but you better practice on this up first so you don't make a mess!). The more you are interested, the more she may associate you with polished nails, and then you could begin dropping hints that you have seen it on a few men and wonder what it would be like. Wearing polish privately is a 'safe' way for both of you to explore this new experience together. And remember, it's not permanent.


One thing she may be sensitive to is whether you seem to be interested in more feminine things, other than nail polish. And if that is something that you know turns her off, then you had better be sure to focus on just that because you like it for what it is and not even think about the other stuff because she could very easily lump it all together and think that you've suddenly changed teams on her.

Gradual is the key. As I said before, I have found that most women are quite open-minded, but they also need time to warm up to different things. There is nothing wrong with a guy wearing nail polish - it's not a lot different than if you wanted to grow your hair longer, get a tattoo, wear an earring or even buy a motorcycle (if you have never had one before) - it's just different and she will need to adjust to it. So be patient with her, she'll get there when she's ready.


Okay, so what if she is absolutely against you wearing any kind of nail polish and there is no way she will even consider it. Then my friend, you will need to consider what it's really worth to you. Probably not the relationship, and maybe not even the hassle of fighting about it. You may have to settle for step One, just having a pedicure once in a while and enjoying some great-looking feet sans polish.

I wish you the best in your journey and hope these suggestions are helpful. You may find that your wife/GF has already been thinking tabout this, and all she needed was a hint from you to admit it. In the previous post, the situation was turned around, and I got the idea for that post from a number of gals I have conversed with both in real life and over the internet who told me that they really wished their husband/BF would at least consider a having a pedicure to improve the look of his feet. And not all, but many went so far as to say they wished their guy would consider polish too because they thought it looked "cool", "nice", "neat", "different" (in a good way), and even "sexy".

Hey, let me know how it goes, and certainly comment here with your successes.
Even if you're not getting anywhere with her, let us know so maybe some of my female followers can offer some more advice from their point of view.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Spousal Acceptance of Polish

Many of you have asked about this - both gals and guys - so I will take a shot at the question. But, I would like to hear from you as well since we all have different experiences that others can also learn by.

I will start with answering the question for the women. A number of gals have asked me how to get their husbands/BF to do anything to improve the look and condition of their ugly feet. And they ask this because many men will not even consider having a pedicure just to get their feet into a presentable condition because they feel that it is not 'manly'. Some women would even like their guy to try out polish on their feet, but are met with rejection because "guys don't wear nail polish".
Well, some guys actually do.

We have all have been programmed from a very early age to act in certain ways and to beleive that certain things are true. And those beliefs are very hard to change. But the key to changing those ideas is that we have to have a reason to change. And it has to be something that we think is valuable and beneficial to us, and not something that anyone else can force on us if we don't want it.

For example, let's say that you are grossed out by his ugly feet whenever he goes barefoot or wears sandals. That probably means that he is not going to receive any favorable attention from you when he does, and probably he'll get less than complimentary comments as well. But, if you present him with a solution that he beleives will change the way you react to him when he does this, he may then have a reason to change his behavior. It might be a gradual or stepped process to help him get there without enduring a huge leap, so be ready to work it out. And it may take lots of encouragement too!

The thing he is probably the most concerned about is riducule and rejection if he does something that others feel is not appropriate. What you have to do is convince him that what you like and want him to do is more important than what others think. That their perception is not yours and his reality. If he beleives that you like it and there will be benefits from doing it (that outweight any downsides), he'll go for it. Guys can be pretty open-minded when you remove the hurdles.

It may take time and patience, so don't expect him to cave right away. But keep up the compliments and encouragement and you will make progress. Try talking him into going with you for a pedicure early on a Saturday morning when the nail salon is quiet (call ahead and arrange this). You and he can then relax and enjoy the treat without him fearing any unwanted attention. Ideally, you locate a salon that enthusiastically caters to both men and women so that he sees other guys there too. There are more and more salons wiseing up to attracting male clients because they know it means more business, and repeat customers.

You might even start with giving him a pedicure yourself at home if you are up to it so that he can experience the benefits privately and learn to associate them with being with you. Many men like this kind of personal attention and are more inclined to agree when a trusted friend is involved.

Talking him into trying polish may be as easy as having clear be a part of the routine pedicure. You could even suggest a non-gloss clear like OPI Nail Envy to make his nails look much cleaner but without the shine. Moving to color will take a bit more finesse and you may need to scope out a good 'guy color' before hand so that you will already know how it will look. Bolder guys will jump right in with a little encouragement, and so you can be a bit more creative here. But pay attention to his comfort factor so that you don't go over the line. If you do and he reacts , you may have to start at 'square one' again.

If he will agree to wearing his nails polished in private, for your eyes only, that may be one way to get him more comfortable with the idea and avoid the 'what others think' issue. At least in time, he will become used to it and may even like it himself. A surprising number of men who have tried this, even with being quite unsure at first, have ended up really liking wearing their nails polished because it's fun - same reason why many women do it!


Well, what is your experience? I'd like to hear how you may have talked your guy into tyring polish, and what your successes have been.

Next time, I'll explore this from the guy's side. How to get your wife/GF to warm up to it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tips and Tricks!

Here are a few interesting and fun things I have learned from many fellow nail bloggers, and from experience, that I thought I'd pass along. Feel free to add any that you especially like in the comments section so they can learn from your experience too, okay? Let's spread the wealth!!


Start Clean!
Use nail polish remover to clean any remaining oils, dirt or even hand lotion from the surface of your nails before polishing. Even tiny amounts that you cannot see will cause the polish to not stick of ruin the final result.

Precise Polishing
It takes some practice, but try placing the brush on your nail just ahead of the cuticle and gently press down on it, pushing it toward your cuticle line, just stopping short of touching it with polish. Then draw the brush toward the end of your nail, bending the brush over the nail end a little. This will allow you to get a nice clean line of polish along your cuticle and drastically reduce the amount of cleanup needed.

Polish Cleanup
As you paint your nails, you can use the edge of your fingernail (if you have any length to them) to clean up around the very edge of your nail while the polish is still wet. Simply press gently on the cuticle and wipe along the cuticle line, using a sweeping motion. Keep a pad moistened with removed handy so you can keep your 'cleaning' nail clean or you will just spread it around.

Another method that works even better is to use the beveled end of an orange stick moistened in remover to clean up little 'oops' spots. Wipe the stick tip on a paper towel or cotton ball moist with remover to keep it clean.

It takes a little practice, but soon you will find that it works so well, you won't know how you got along with out this little trick!

Preserve, Improve or even Renew Old Polishes
If you find that your polish is not spreading or flowing as well as it used to, add a few drops of lacquer thinner to it. Usually 5-10 drops is plenty to get the consistency back to where it does not glob or stick anymore. Do not use acetone or polish remover for thinning because these will not maintain the consistency of the original nail polish formula.
Also (and this is very important!), use remover to keep the top of the bottle clean after you use a polish. If not kept clean of old polish buildup, the cruddy old polish builds up and little hard pieces fall into the bottle when you open it the next time, resulting in lumps and specks on your nail when you apply it.

Nail Surface Prep
Use a four-way buffer to remove ridges and smooth the surface of your nails. You can go for a high shine, but that is not necessary if you are going to use polish anyway. In fact, the slightly roughened surface of your nails will adhere to polish better, making your manicure or pedicure last longer. Be careful not to dig too much into the nail surface with the buffer or ridges will result when the nail grows out.

Use A Good Basecoat
It's really tough to get a good, consistently smooth finish on your nails if you don't use a ridge-filling basecoat under your color. A few of you are lucky enough to have very smooth nails, but most of us don't, so the basecoat tends to smooth out imperfections, and it gives the polish something to stick to, not to mention that it protects your nails from staining.

Use Good Lighting
It' difficult to good a good job of polishing if you can't see what you are doing well. Use a good light when you do your nails. I like the folding tabletop full-spectrum lights that you can find at sewing or hobby shops. They are handy for other things too, they don't get in the way and they put light right where you want and need it. You will be able to see the spots where you missed and be able to fix them right away.

Roll Your Polishes - Don't Shake!
Shaking a bottle of polish fills it with little bubbles that take quite a while to settle out. Bubbles will result a in less than perfect finish. Instead, roll the bottle between your palms for 30 seconds or so before you use it to mix up the ingredients and give the polish more consistency.
By the way, store your bottles of polish standing up. This helps keep the tops clean and also reduces leakage and sticking of the cover.

Mix Polishes!
You can create or match any color by simply mixing colors. It is a little tricky to get this to work like you want at first, but as you experiment, you'll get it with practise.
Start with some older polishes that you may not care about as much to experiment with. Usually these bottle are partially full, so perfect for adding other colors to mix. Or you can empty older colors from their bottles and rinse the bottle with remover so you can start clean. Save the mixing balls though!!!
Some polishes are more opaque than others, so you can get different effects from playing with these.

Use A Good Topcoat
Glossy or matte, a topcoat will seal the polish and protect it from chipping and wear. Clear topcoat does not have pigment it in, and so it is stronger than colored polish, and it lasts longer. Many topcoats also speed up drying time, so another great advantage. I like to use Seche Vite because it glides on like butter and dries to the touch in seconds. And, it magnifies the color, so your nails will look like they are wet, even when dry.

Take Your Time
A good result takes time and there is no way to rush it (sorry folks...). Wait 5 - 10 minutes between coats so they can set before the next coat, or adding polish will simply pull and partially remove the first coat when you apply it.
Allowing the coats to dry will also speed up the curing time - the point where the polish no longer is susceptible to smudging. Multiple coats of relatively wet polish will stay soft for hours, exposing your mani or pedi to damage well after you thought they were dry and hard. Much as we like to paint our nails, it's no fun having to do a polish job over again.
I find it very relaxing to go through the entire process of cleaning, shaping, smoothing and polishing my nails. But the second time, it becomes 'work'.

Pay Compliments - Receive BIG Rewards!
Join nail blogs, get together with others who polish, compliment strangers on their nails and you'll be delighted with the shared energy and excitement it will generate. People who are into nail polish tend to be creative and expressive folks, and to get to know one or two new ones, just look for nails that look like the wearer really cares. Then pay them a genuine compliment and introduce yourself! The rest is easy - and fun! Why do you think I started this blog...?

Most of all, enjoy your nails! That is what it's all about.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Let's get back to the interviews, shall we?

Here is another viewpoint from a gal who I admire dearly. The quality and consistency of her manicures are what originally caught my attention. And I still can't figure out how she gets the polish to follow her cuticles so perfectly...!

Her name is Nihrida and here is her viewpoint on this subject:

*Why do you wear nail polish?
For many reasons, but mostly: it makes my nails pretty, i love colors & it's fun! =)

*What do you think about guys wearing it?
If they feel like it, why not. To each his own.

*Do you feel that there is a need for special nail polish for men?
No. It's not about having different nail polish for men and women, it's about spreading the idea of men wearing nail polish in the first place. I wear men's nail polish too.

*Do you think this trend for men will increase or decrease, and why?
Increase. People are more open minded about nail polish every day (''ugly'' colors, matte finishes...). I'm sure there are a lot of guys who were thinking of wearing nail polish, but didn't have the guts to do it. Maybe they'll come across your site and get their ''stones'' back. =D

*What do you like most about being able to share this interest with others (women and men)?
I met so many wonderful people because of my nail polish ''addiction''. And they're all over the world. I can now get nail polish from the other side of the world if I really want to.
And have I mentioned all the awesome people?!

*How do you decide what color to wear?
It usually depends on what I'm gonna wear (clothing & accesories) & how I feel.

*What are your most cherished colors or brands of nail polish?
Brands: China Glaze, BB Couture, Catrice, Essence
Colors: I'm a purple maniac with almost too many purples, now I'm on a green (teal) roll...but the most important colors in my collection are vampys and reds.

*About how much time per day or week do you spend on your nails (including nail care, swatching and polishing)?
Too much. =)

*About how often do you get a professional pedicure or manicure?
Never.

*Do you have any advice for someone who is new to this?
Read nail polish blogs and join Make Up Alley's Nail Board.

Thanks for asking me, Jake!


And thank you Nihrida. It's always great to talk with someone who is also passionate about this stuff!

You can read more from Nihrida at her blog site: nihrida.blogspot.com

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why Do We hide?

You know, I have been openly wearing my toenails polished for quite a while now, but it wasn't always that way. I used to keep them hidden and my wife was the only one who would see and appreciate them. But something happened a few years ago that changed all that...and it was all in my head.

Many guys who wear their toenails polished (and yes, there are a surprising number of guys who actually do this today!) feel like they have to keep them under wraps. Doesn't that seem crazy when you consider how much time and effort goes into keeping your toenails looking good? Ladies, how would you feel if you had just spent a bunch of $$ and effort getting your hair colored and styled, just to have to wear it under a veil?
But there are reasons why guys do this, so let's explore a few of them.

1) They feel something is wrong with it.
Okay, I think everyone can understand where that's coming from. Boys are taught from a very young age (after about five anyway) that wearing things that are generally considered feminine is a sign of weakness (for men, anyway), and boys are not weak - they're tough! And so, they go through their life thinking that they have do exclusively boy things or someone will think they are weak and not worthy of being a guy.
Well, you do have to consider that those beliefs were put into your head when things were different. Back then, girls didn't do tough things, get tattoos, wear their hair really short, wear jeans or trousers, wear black nail polish or wear or do very much guy stuff. Back then, men didn't wear earrings or stay home and take care of the kids, highlight their hair, wear bright-colored shirts or wear any kind of cosmetics either, like they do now.
Well folks, welcome to the 21st century! We live in a time where people are allowed (they have to have permission...?) to be themselves, and they are even encourged to explore what they like and discover who they really are. And styles have changed too (as they always will). Men now wear nail polish. And there are even companies that design nail polish intended for men in colors that look masculine.
It's not 'wrong' anymore.

2) I will be rejected.
Yeah, maybe so. But then, when were you last able to please everyone you met? In fact, how is this even possible when you consider how many opinions and viewpoints there are in the world? About 1.001 times the number of people there are. (some have multiple personalities...)
No, I have come to the conclusion that it's much, much easier and enjoyable being me, and not someone else. And you know what? I think I'm much better at it than anyone else too! So, if you think about it, the people who have a problem with a guy wearing nail polish, or even a girl wearing work boots have the problem. And it's not you or your problem. You're enjoying life as it was meant to be. They're getting caught up in guilt trips, hangups and trying to unload their opinions on to you. Once you understand that simple concept, the rejection issue turns around and is directed toward them instead.

3) Someone may not like it.
Uh, okay. See #2 above on this one too.

4) I will feel uncomfortable.
Then don't wear it. Seriously, if you don't feel comfortable, no one else will either.
On the other hand (or foot), if you truly enjoy wearing your nails polished, and it brings you joy and satisfaction, then others will pick up on that too and they will accept it as a part of you, and quite possibly like it too. There have been more than a few opinions turned around by confident and content people doing something different.
It's call a 'trend'.

5) What will my friends say?
Hey, if they really are your friends, they'll accept it because it's a part of you. And they already like you, so you're one step ahead.

6) What will my family say?
I dunno. Try it and see. They already know you pretty well, so this should not seem so far-fetched to them because chances are, if you're a guy into nail polish, you've probably already done some things that were 'different' already, and they survived it.

Wearing your nails polished is not a life and death thing, guys. It's just paint, and it will not change your sexual preference or make your manhood fall off. It's just a style that is emerging and it's actually pretty cool to have great-looking nails for a change. Polished fingernails are pretty high maintenance when you consider how active most guys, and some girls are with their hands, but polished toenails are a way to not only vastly improve the look of your feet, but have a little fun and stir up some interest too. When you wear your toenails polished, you tend to take better care of your feet too (because people will notice them more often), and let's face it, most guy's feet can really use some 'improving' (am I right girls?). Look at how popular it currently is with women. They are smarter than you might give them credit for...!

Guys can really wear pretty much any color of polish on their toenails, but if you are just starting out, I might suggest that you begin with more masculine colors like black, brown, gray, or even dark blue and green. Save the reds and bolder colors for when you mature in this style and to help bring along the people around you. They'll adjust alright if you take it in reasonable steps.

So, does that change the way you think about this at all? Do you still need to hide your polished toes? Weakling!!!!
What I am wearing today:
BB Couture Ceremony from the Formal Collection
Thank you for reading
- and commenting too!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How does a 'Polish Fanatic' see this?

I mentioned in previous blogs that I would ask others to express their opinions about nail polish for others to think about and learn from. Here is one gal who's blog I have admired and followed - and learned from - for years.

^^^
Siobhan, would you be interested in telling us a few things about why you like and wear nail polish? How did you become a fanatic anyway?

Thanks, Jake, I'm honored!

--I liked it as a kid, so I've just always worn it since I was about 10 or 11. I'd feel naked without it now.
What do you think about guys wearing it?
--If a guy's happy wearing it, I don't see why he should not.
What do you like most about being able to share this interest with others (women and men)?
--It's a fun, frivolous conversation starter.
How do you decide what color to wear?
--I go on a whim.
What are your most cherished colors or brands of nail polish?
--So many thoughts popped into my head at once my brain blew up! One of my most cherished is Chanel Jade because I love it and it's so $$$ in ebay now.
About how much time per day or week do you spend on your nails (including nail care, swatching and polishing)?
--Probably a grand total of 3-4 hours a week.
About how often do you get a professional pedicure or manicure?
--Very rarely, perhaps once per year.
Do you have any advice for someone who is new to this?
--Practice, patience, and remember they're just nails - if you mess anything up, it'll grow back soon, and the worst polish job can be fixed easily.

Thank you Siobhan! Your enthusiasm and light, fun attitude about nail polish is refreshing And your examples are some of the finest too!

If you haven't visited Siobhan's blog already, here is a link: http://thenailphile.blogspot.com/

And her Flickr pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/siobhanm123/

Thanks for reading (and your great comments too!)


What I am wearing today (Dress Rehearsal from BB Couture
:

Interview

I mentioned in past posts that I would feature an interview or two from women and men that I know who are truly 'polish fanatics'. Here is one fellow who began as a curious onlooker and then decided to give it a try...


Q Kevin, why do you wear nail polish?
A I wear nail polish because I like the way it looks on me (and others). It's something that has always caught my eye. I only wear it on my toes. I work in a very conservative industry, and feel that it would not be acceptable for me to polish my fingernails. But I would love to do it. I think it would be fantastic to see my own polished fingers typing on the computer keyboard. But for now, I'll just limit it to my toes.

I didn't begin polishing my toes regularly until fall of 2009. Finding ToePaintGuy’s pictures on Flickr was what really got me to give it a try. His application is so flawless and looks so great; I just had to try it myself. Since then, they’ve been polished 24/7, except for one week. I'm now taking baby steps to show them in public. As the weather is warming up, I'm starting to wear sandals again. Personally, I prefer fisherman sandals, which are semi-closed-toe with openings on the side. I also own some open-toe sandals, and recently bought my first pair of flip-flops (I've always hated flip-flops, but as TPG's photos show, they show off your pedicure the best).

So today, I wore a pair of fisherman sandals and jeans out for the day. If you looked closely, you could see one or two polished toes between the straps. I found myself checking them out from the top and in mirrors as I walked by. It didn't take long before I forgot all about it. Now I'm at home grilling, and I'm wearing shorts and open-toed sandals. Low risk, but the neighbor could see me, and if so, that's OK. Also, it's a matter of me getting used to seeing them with my normal summer garb, and feeling that it looks good/right (it does!). I'm relatively certain that within a few weeks, I'll be going out with polished toes totally visible for the entire world to see.
Then, I will have become another guy trying to help this become a trend, and eventually accepted as a common everyday thing.
It happened with men wearing earrings, and with both sexes having tattoos. It wasn't that long ago that tattoos were taboo.

Q What do you think about guys wearing it?
A I’m a guy, so obviously I think it's OK, if not great, for guys to wear it.

Q Do you feel that there is a need for special nail polish for men?
A I don't personally feel a need for special nail polish for men, but having it will probably help some guys get over the hump to try it. The BB Couture lines for men are very nice. I have purchased several colors (I'm wearing "Stud Finder” right now). I think that their colors do tend to seem slightly more masculine. And they apply to the nails easily and evenly. I think that's important because most guys aren't used to spending a lot of time or energy on a single aspect of their appearance. So the attention to detail required to get a nice looking pedicure (if doing it yourself) is probably new to most men. It was to me.

Q Do you think this trend for men will increase or decrease, and why?
A I think (and certainly hope) that this will increase. To me, it's a quick and inexpensive way to change your look.

Q What do you like most about being able to share this interest with others (women and men)?
A I’m really just beginning to share this with others. Jake/TPG is the only person that I've discussed it with at length. But I look forward to discussing it with others in the future. I'm hoping that as I bare my polished toes this summer, perhaps I might get a compliment or two, and or get into an encouraging conversation.

Q How do you decide what color to wear?
A Initially my color choice has related to whatever is my most recent purchase. I've bought so many bottles over the last half year that I've change colors weekly, and haven't repeated very many. But as I begin wearing it outside, I think I will be coordinating the color of my toes with the color of my sandals. Primarily browns, grays and blacks. But I'm sure I'll go more colorful once my confidence level increases.

Q What are your most cherished colors or brands of nail polish?
A My favorite colors tend to be in the brown, blue and red tones. Those also happen to be the most common colors in my wardrobe, so my taste in polish just matches the colors I prefer in general.

The color that I am absolutely entranced by is a swatch that TPG posted on Flicker by BB Couture called "Man-go". The problem is that they never wound up releasing it. I'm so obsessed over it that I've purchased numerous bottles of other brands in colors that are close, but still not right. So Man-go is my Holy Grail of nail polish. Jake has said that BBC will still be releasing Man-go, so I guess I just have to be patient!

Other colors that I really like include BBC Stud Finder (chocolate-brown with gold accents), OPI DS Jewel (bright blue holographic), OPI DS Illuminate (tan holographic), China Glaze Revvolution (medium gray creme) and CG 2Nite (light blue holographic).

Q About how much time per day or week do you spend on your nails (including nail care, swatching and polishing)?
A I spend around an hour each time I change my polish. Generally, I change it weekly, on the weekends. But there are times when I do it more frequently. I think this factor might be the hardest sell for men. If the polish isn't applied carefully with attention to detail, it won't look good. And this requires time and care (unless you can afford to always get it done professionally). But for me, the time spent is relaxing, almost therapeutic. The biggest problem is finding a time when I won't be interrupted.

The only thing I can think of that men spend an hour or two a week, paying close attention to detail, is their lawns. They do call it a "well manicured lawn", right?

Q About how often do you get a professional pedicure or manicure?

A I’ve never had a professional manicure. I definitely want to try it, and expect to get one within the next few months. As with showing my toes in public, I need some time to gain confidence before getting a professional pedicure.

Q Do you have any advice for someone who is new to this?
A My advice is to enjoy it. It's fun to try different colors, and it's challenging to apply it well for that perfect look. And since it's removable, you can change it up or go without, at a moment's notice. One of the reasons I would never consider a tattoo is that it's permanent (laser removal doesn't return your skin to its pre-tattoo condition). I don't know how people can commit to a design that they will like forever. My tastes constantly change, and my nail polish can change along with it.

Kevin, thank you for sharing your experience and viewpoints with us! It sounds like you have become very comfortable with wearing your nails polished, and I agree with you, it is fun!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why Men Wear Nail Polish

Okay, so here's the big question probably burning in the back of most people's minds when they see something about men wearing nail polish: Why?

Lots of reasons... and many of them should not surprise you because they are the same as the reasons why women wear it: because they like it, they enjoy having nicer-looking feet, it's creative, it adds interest, it's colorful, it's relaxing and it promotes better care of one's feet (and hands, if that applies).

But maybe the real attraction is that it is just fun. Those of you who are real polish fanatics understand this well. You begin experirmenting with it and find that it's challenging to get it to look well, frustrating even. But, it has a certain allure to it, so you stick with it and keep trying to make it look decent. And the challenge keeps you dedicated to getting it 'right'.

Soon, you begin to notice it more on others and take notice of different colors that you like, even different shapes of nails, and for some, even intriguing nail art and blending and shading that some of the more creative do with nail polish.
Then, you experience your first pedicure (or maniucure) and it's such a relaxing and satisfying experience that you vow you are definitely do this again - soon! And you are so enthused that you may even go out and buy a few new polishes that you find attractive.

Okay, you are well on your way to being hooked now. You didn't see it coming, but it snuck up on you and now there is no turning back! You begin accumulating nail polishes one at a time, then two then entire sets... You have become a nail polish fanatic, junkie, enthusiast, an addict!

If this sounds familiar, you probably don't have to read much further because you already get it, and the reason why you can empathize with this scenario is because this experience is not much different for women or men. But for men, there is the added factor of rejection to deal with and because of that intrepidation, it can make this even more exciting and inviting a process.

Many men like nail polish. They admire it on women and love the way it sparkles and shines. Many men like bright and flashy colors. Just look at their cars, trucks, motorcyles, boats and other toys. Do they buy drab, gray colored machines? NO!! They love the flash! And that is one reason why men become interested in trying nail polish. Now, they know that men are not 'supposed' to wear bright colors, but heck, it's still pretty intriguing to guys and so some will venture into experimenting with it. But you will find that the majority of guys with this interest will keep their interest and trials private so they can enjoy it without the threat of rejection.

Now some women know this, and so if they are considerate and sensitive to his desire, they may encourage him to try it and even wear it for them. Some gals feel that it would look good on their guy, but that he would never try it unless she initiates it, so they get courageous and play with it by painting one or more of his nails when he is sleeping or not paying attention. He'll often react in the way you'd expect (with disdain), but if she is persistent, he may warm up to it. And that is how this all begins for many guys. There almost always is some sort of support or encouragement from a woman involved.

Well, no big mysteries here, but at least now you have heard it from one guy's viewpoint and experience. Even though I liked nail polish since young, it was a gal (my sister) who got me into trying it - and I liked it! And ever since that moment, it was something that I just continued to do because I truly enjoyed wearing it.

I would love to hear reasons why other guys have come to wear their nails polished, and from you gals, how or why you may have encouraged a guy to try it!


Next blog: how a guy finally gets over the hurdle, the "decision" to just do it, and some advice about dealing with feelings that it's not 'right' for men

Thanks for reading :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Fear of Rejection

You know exactly what I am talking about. You felt it when you wanted to ask that girl (or boy) that you admired for a first date, but struggled with her (or him) saying no. And you might not have even asked them because of that formidable fear of being rejected, no matter the reason.

Well, I recognize that many of us also struggle with doing things that we fear may result in any kind of rejection because no one likes that feeling. So, when it comes to something like wearing an earring (for a guy), getting a tattoo, having your hair cut or colored in a radical way, you have to understand your fears in order to get past them.

Well, this is how most guys feel when considering wearing their nails polished. It’s still not something that is widely accepted and endorsed yet, though it is becoming more common. And the fear of being rejected or ridiculed is enough to make many guys just say “aw, the heck with it!”.

Well, there are a few things you can do to get over this, and ladies, you can play a part too!

First, you have to feel that it is something that has a real benefit. Maybe because it makes you feel good about yourself. Maybe your SO likes it on you. Maybe you just want to be unique and express your own personal style. Only you know why you do anything the way you do, but whatever your reasons, you have to honestly believe that it is good for you. If you don’t feel this way, the fear of rejection will prevail and you will struggle with it.

Girls, try to be open-minded. If polished nails is a style that you find interesting, attractive and unique on a guy, let him know you like it! Just as you like receiving compliments, guys do too, and your kind and encouraging words will go a long way in helping him feel good about his choice to wear it.

And guys, you really need to know that just sloshing on some polish is not going to transform you in any way. You have to do it right, and that may mean spending some time and money to get it done well (at least until your skills have developed enough to do it well yourself) so it looks good. And don’t expect miracles either. Nail polish is an accent, not a wardrobe. It should enhance your overall look, not transform or take over.

Recently, there have been several companies who have decided to develop nail polish colors for men. Some will say that there is no reason for this since guys can wear any nail polish already available for women. But, I think what these companies intend is to make available shades and finishes that look more masculine and go well with a guy’s attire. Sure there are polishes out there that look like a guy could wear them, but honestly, these products are geared toward women and pretty much look that way with the high-gloss finishes and feminine colors. It has only been recently that shades like dark green and blue, and even matte finishes have come on the market.

And what about black? Now there is a masculine color if I ever saw one! But, the interesting thing is that it does look good on some women too, so I guess another example of where something like nail polish can be shared among us.

Another thing these forward-thinking companies have accomplished is to send a clear message that this is an up and coming style for men and they not only want to help direct and encourage the style, but increase the demand as well for the roughly half of the population that does not currently use their products. That’s huge!

So, back to the fear factor. Guys, you will feel anxious and not sure about this when you start wearing nail polish because we have been programmed to think it’s only for women. However, if you think differently, and realize that it really is only paint, you can begin to enjoy the freedom of being more creative and colorful without the baggage of feeling like you have to hide it. You will also feel excited when you try it because it really does feel and look pretty cool. I prefer to wear it only toes because I can control where and to whom I show it. I don’t really mind if others like it or not, but I do respect that nice older woman at church who would have a fit if she saw it on me (or an earring, a tattoo or anything else that she would consider ‘radical’).

You will also find that as you wear it, more people will notice and compliment you (if it’s done well). Once that positive feedback begins, you will lose your fear and those feelings that it’s “not right” for you. And then you can just enjoy it for what it was meant to be. And believe me, it IS addictive! Am I right girls?

I’d love to hear feedback from both women and men on this. Women, do you consider this just plain weird on a guy, or is it something that you could consider once you have seen it done well? Guys, is your struggle primarily in your head (like it was on that first date)?

Next blog, I’ll provide some insight into the question “So why would a guy want to wear his nails polished, anyway?”

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Summer of Toes!

So I heard about this Twitter site where a couple of gals decided to start a "Summer of Dresses" group to encourage women to wear dresses more often. People can Tweet in with their pictures and comments and get a whole movement going. Cool idea!



So, I had an idea along those lines, but what I'd like to start is a "Summer of Toes" group! You can use this as an excuse (if you need one) to treat yourself to a pedicure and then choose a cool summer color to top it off. Girls and guys are all welcome, and the more radical a color and/or design, the better. The idea is to make your feet look summery.



On the 'dresses' site, people can post their own pictures, but I guess I don't have the level of sophistication in my web skills to set that up yet, so if you like, you can send me your pictures of you summer feet and I'll post them here. Maybe choose a color per week (or more often if you like) and send me a pic so we can share. Here is my email: www.toepaintguy@yahoo.com.



Hey, it's been a long winter and I certainly ready to start wearing sandals and get my feet in 'summer mode' again! How about you?



I'll get it started, here is what I am wearing this week. Yeah, I know it's not real summery, but it's what I had on when I wrote this.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The continuing story...

Well, by now you can probably guess that after my wife warmed up to the idea of me wearing my toenails polished, she realized that sharing this interest together might actually be a good thing - for several reasons:
1) I could no longer give her grief when she went on a polish-buying binge (ever happen to you?)
2) We would spend more evenings together (painting our nails, and we've even started playing cards together while they dry).
3) She had something unique and cool to tell her friends about (this just keeps getting better...)
4) We could enjoy having pedicures together, which really means that she would get to enjoy more pedicures than she did before because now I was on her side of the perspective.
5) We could pool our resources and polish collections so we both had more choices.
6) My feet were no longer in their grundgy typically dry and calloused condition because when you wear your nails polished, you have to take care of them!

Okay, maybe she didn't realize all of these benefits right away, but they became apparent pretty quickly.

So, when I told my sister that my wife actually liked both the color and me wearng it, she went out and bought us a bottle and sent it to us! Now, if you have never experienced that before, I can tell you that for a guy, it is a pretty cool deal to receive a bottle of nail polish from someone because they think it looks good on you! Gals, you have this pretty well nailed (pun intended) because you buy, trade and gift this kind of stuff to each other all of the time - no big deal. But when it happens to a guy, it's a rare treat. Guys just don't give each other presents out of generousity (not often enough anyway), so you make a HUGE impact when you do it for a guy. I still can feel the excitement when we opened up the box and it contained not just one, but three nail polishes that she thought we could both wear. One was China Glaze X, and the other was OPI DS Glamour. The first one I liked, the second I really liked, but was not ready to wear something quite that feminine looking, so my wife claimed that one.

I still did not openly wear polish regularly for some time after that, only on occasion and mostly when traveling (or just in private). At that time, it was just something that my wife and I enjoyed. But as I became more comfortable with it, and it was heading into summer, I began to wear sandals more often and I decided that I just didn't want to hide it anymore. Besides, it was a lot of work (fun work, though!) to do a quality job and I was getting tired of having to remove it within only a day or two if I was going to wear sandals somewhere.

Crimson Shimmy had to wait though because I started with wearing 'safe' colors for a guy like greys, silvers (not chromes) and a few darker greys (not quite black), and then moved into the deeper reds (like Lincoln Park and Midnight in Moscow) and blues. Surprisingly, it was quite a while before I tried green, maybe because I couldn't find a good "guy green", and partly because my wife didn't think it would look good on me.

There was even a period I went through where I would wear just about anything privately. I tried her reds, pinks, purples, golds and then began to get a feeling for what I liked and what I didn't. It pretty much came down to I could wear almost any color, but the shade made a difference whether my wife and I liked it. Yeah, there are even some purples that work for me too!

But my first introduction to some awesome colors that expanded my pallette came from my good friend Ladybug Lexus. She is an absolute goddess of frankens! I complimented her on some of the custom mixes she had on her blog, and she responded by offering to send a few to me, and asked what I liked. I told her about my difficulty in finding good colors for guys, especially greens, and she got to work mixing up some awesome deep greens for me - some with sparkles, some with shimmers, and then she added a few black/holo/silvers (one she even named "James Bond" because it really looked like what a secret agent would wear!) and boxed them up and sent them off. When the box came, I was expecting 2 - 3 bottles, but when we opened it up, there were maybe 25 - 30 colors!! She was even so considerate to send a few custom mixes for my wife, which of course impressed her to no end.

I then realized that maybe this really was something that I could be proud of, wear openly and even promote it for guys (girls, you do your own promotion pretty well already!). So, that is basically how I got started on my "mission" to convince more men to take better care of their feet and just enjoy wearing their toenails polished, and encouarge more women to encourage their guys to try it!

Yeah, once in a while I catch some crap from a few folks who think it's gay or cross-d, but all the kind and positive comments from most people pretty much wipes the little bit of negative away. And after a while, I developed the attitude that if someone doesn't like it, it's their issue, not mine, because I honestly enjoy having great looking nails. And it doesn't take a lot of thinking to see many parallels to this with men wearing earrings and other jewelry (besides a wedding ring), longer hair, brighter colored clothing, and even sandals!

I guess when I saw a few male celebs who wore their toenails polished (Keith Urban matches his nails to the color of his album placement on the charts: gold, silver, platinum), it told me that this style was on it's way to becoming widely accepted and more common for guys.

But, what I did not expect was the wonderful support and kindness shared by the many other nail bloggers and fanatics - like you!! It has been a sincere pleasure to exchange viewpoints and opinons, color and brand preferences, and even swap a few polishes with others who are creative, fun and caring.

Okay, I'm off for now, but I'll be back with a few more accounts since I've been wearing my nails polished.

And, keep an eye on your in-box because I intend to interview and feature your stories here as well! Nihrida had the consideration to ask me for an interview for her blog a while back and it was truly a wonderful experience. Lots of interest and comments were generated on her site from this, and I think a few minds may have even opened to the idea, one of which was her's!! Before the interview, she thought that any guy who would wear his nails polished was a 'fairy'. But during the interview, she admitted to me that if done well, maybe this wasn't such a bad thing after all, and that there might be something to the developing style because it has given her a different viewpoint on the whole guy-gal barrier that we too often create between us.

Anyway, enough babble for now. Thank you again for your kind and supportive comments. And feel free to tell your friends about my site, as I will yours. Nail polish is definitely more fun when shared, don't you think?

Jake

Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday's Thoughts...

Hey, new blog...pretty cool, eh?

Well, I have been following and admiring many of your awesome blogs for quite a while, so I figured maybe I should contribute as well.

I got into this nail polish stuff kind-of by accident. I have always noticed and admired when someone has nicely polish nails and I try to compliment them when I can. Well, that is exactly what got me here...

First, a little background:
My wife has had beautiful nails since before I knew her. It's something she began back in High School and has kept it up to this day. Well, when we were expecting our first son, she was having a little trouble painting her own toes, so she asked me for some help. Being the supportive husband that I am, I agreed to give it a shot. I remember that it didn't look that great when I was done, but she could not really see them, so I got away with it. And I helped her on subsequent occasions, through two more pregnancies, and gradually got a little better at it.

After our sons were born, she could paint her own toes, but she still liked having me do it for her as a treat. So, I would 'operate' on her feet about every two to three weeks as she was doing her fingernails. And I developed more of an interest in the colors of polish she wore and at times I would suggest some colors that I liked and even bought a few for her now and then. She liked my interest in this and so her collection of polishes grew, as we shared the interest together.

Okay, now to the turning point that got me hooked...

So, I was visiting my sister and brother-in-law and it was one of those clear, sunny summer days that Colorado is famous for. We were out on the patio sipping lemonade (with a little something more in it) and I noticed that my sister was wearing a really intriguing shade of deep maroon polish on her toes that would glisten slightly purple when the sun hit it. I complimented her on her choice of color and said that I really liked it. She gratiously thanked me and since I liked it so much, maybe I would like to suggest it to my wife when I got home. I agreed and then she took me by surprise when she suggested that maybe I should sample it so I could show my wife the actual color - on my toes! I looked at her husband and he just grinned and said "Just go for it. She got me with it a while ago". So I reluctantly agreed to let her polish my toes with it.

The results were not what I expected, and when she had finished, I was amazed at how different my feet looked with a little color on them. Even she remarked that it it looked good and that she thought my wife would really like it. I asked her if she meant that my wife would like the color, or it on me. She smiled and said "both!".

So, I just kept it on for the next three days until I returned home. My wife did not immediately notice my feet, but when she did, she asked me WTH had happened in CO, so I explained that it was to show her this color that I had really liked so I could get it for her. Once she understood how it all came about, she calmed down and said that, yes, she did like the color as well, and that it even looked 'kind-of cute' on me too.


I will continue this story later about how I began regularly wearing my toes polished, my first pedicure, how my tastes (and skills) developed, and why this is so intriging to me. Entries will be a little on the irregular basis until I get this blog up to full speed.

Keep checking back...


What I'm currnetly wearing: