I'm working on perfecting my feminine hand movements and that's helped me avoid a lot of cracked nails. (You know the drill, pushing elevator buttons with knuckles instead of fingertips, and not prying pop-top cans open with my nails. Typing is still a challenge - thank heavens for spell check - relatively long (for a guy) nails have affected both my speed and accuracy! But sometimes, we relapse to old habits. Monday, it only took a couple absent-minded seconds and a simple push of the car's trunk button with the tip of my fingernail, to crack the end of the nail on that finger. So, I made an appointment at the nail salon for Thursday - it was time for my pink-and-white fill, anyway.
All my nails have grown to nearly 1/4" beyond my finger tips, and the tech generally smiles knowingly at me each time I ask her to shorten them. She then proceeds to trim about 1/16" off and proceed with the fill. Since they grow about 1/8" between fills, it seems she's devised a painless way to insure that I end up with long, very feminine nails.
Last fill, I asked long she plans to continue to "grow my nails out." Her answer was that once they all exceed 1/2" beyond my finger tips, she'll keep them between 1/2" and 5/8"permanently. "I initially considered giving you long extensions, but everybody would have noticed that big change. Instead, I'm forcing your nails to grow out slowly, over a period of months. By doing it this way, you'll find yourself getting lots of comments from girls about your pretty manicure, but be fairly insulated from comments about how long your nails are."
So far, she's been exactly right! It happens whether I'm alone, or with the better half - women tend to comment on the appearance of my nails. But I just don't hear from anyone about their length, probably because they're an appropriate length for a woman. Men never notice, or simply ignore, them. "So, if they keep growing like they have, by the holidays in 2013 you should be sporting lovely, feminine hands with gorgeous French-manicured talons that women everywhere will envy. Maybe then, we'll think about having you paint your nails in colors, to coordinate with the following day's outfit. It's something many of us girls enjoy doing. Won't that be fun?"
"I guess so...particularly if I'm wearing dresses instead of pants by then. But I'll probably need help with picking colors. How long will it take for me to polish my nails each night?"
She was very helpful. "With our selection here, we'll find you some color numbers you can buy at your local pharmacy, or we can get them for you from our supplier. You can figure about a half hour a night to remove old polish, push back the cuticles and apply the new color. But don't forget another half hour or more to let it dry. On second thought, the best option for next fall may be for me to switch you from French to a pretty medium red acrylic. That's a wonderfully-feminine every-day color for your nails. Many women wear it. Like your French acrylics, there's no effort required on your part, but to come in for your fills."
"And you won't need to be in dresses every day. Red nails will look fabulous on you, whether you're still in stirrups and capri's, or have switched to skirts, dresses, bikinis, and so on. When you need to coordinate your nails with a dress for a special event, or with an evening gown, you polish over the red with another color." I said, "Why don't you make the decision for me, once my nails are grown out?" And she agreed...
My pedicure tech is really getting into this feminization, too. Last time I got a pedi, she tried something new on my toes, called shellac polish, to stop the way the regular polish wears off between pedicures. (It's a hybrid of regular polish and UV cured gel.) Another big benefit is that "you don't need to wear sandals on pedicure day. You can put your flats on and walk right out - your new polish won't smudge, and it will still look good for at least a month, probably more." I told her that was a big advantage in the winter - I've never liked having to wear sandals on pedicure day, just to keep my nails nice. Sandals in the snow are particularly inconvenient. "That's why the girls all love shellac, and you will, too!"
She picked a bright silver color for me, and that's what I'm wearing now. After it was on and cured, she assured me that she'd keep them silver (a winter color) for the next several pedicures, to get me used to seeing my brightly-polished toes. After that, she'll stick to seasonally-appropriate colors, like medium browns for fall and pastels for spring. "What color dress and peep-toe heels will you be wearing on Easter Sunday? Once you decide, let me know and I'll see if I can match it with shellac polish." Then she reminded me of the last product characteristic. There are special removal techniques (which I haven't experienced yet), so I won't be able to remove it on my own. Not that I'd want to try...they look too nice.
A pic of my pedicure with shellac polish, after a month. As you can see, this color shows up nicely in pantyhose...
And, as for wear, she was right. It's now been a full month, and all my toenails still look pretty good, don't you think? Yes, some growth is showing at the nail bed, but that's to be expected. No visible wear, no chips. I should easily go another two or three weeks, maybe more, before needing a pedicure - as long as I don't whack a toe on a piece of furniture! (Been there, done that - it can really mess up a nail - hard on the nylons, too!) A big bonus is that the silver color is plainly visible under my pantyhose. Looks like wearing sandals (or open toe shoes) should become much more interesting this coming summer! More on this topic with my next pedicure.
Today (it's now Thursday) Judy gave me a pink-and-white fill on my fingers. Definitely another fun visit! I didn't have to ask her to shorten them this time...she had to take a bit more than usual off to make the nails even, after Monday's "Oops." It's at least a month's setback for reaching the proper length. But even so, the finished product always looks really pretty.
Palm side of my left hand during a break in her work on my right hand...which needed to hold the camera! Notice my ballerinas and stirrups? I'm still wearing them...every day.
Judy's hard at work again, and I'm having a great time!
The tech and I were discussing another customer's Michael Kors handbag with her. We all agreed that it was beautiful, 100 percent sequins, and very shiny. While I would never say anything out loud, for my current situation, it would have been a bit too "over the top." But, she looked very pretty carrying it. Bet it cost a fortune! Hope her boyfriend got it for her as a holiday present...
Stay tuned for more as it becomes available.