Tuesday, May 18, 2010


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!

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