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?

*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:

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:

And her Flickr pics:

Thanks for reading (and your great comments too!)

What I am wearing today (Dress Rehearsal from BB Couture


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:

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?