Monday, July 7, 2014
Jungle Red Nails!
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Here at Jungle Red Writers, we're not afraid to take on the most topical issues in the news. The World Cup, the Supreme Court, hurricane season, I.S.I.S - nothing stops us from debating the burning topics of today.
But wouldn't you really rather talk about nail polish?
I was laid up with a 24-hour migraine a few days ago - we've had a round of illnesses and accidents befall the Reds recently - and one of the few consolations I had was looking at my manicure. Yes, I am that shallow. My nails are done in "For Audrey" by China Glaze, a shade that comes as close to Tiffany Blue as copyright will allow. They look like the bottom of a pool in August, and I swear, having pretty nails makes writing more fun.
I try to keep my nails up year round, since, like a lot of us who type for a living, they break and shred if not protected. But in the cold season, I tend to very neutral and discreet shades with a little shine, like China Glaze's "Fast Track" and Sally Hansen "Gilty Party."
When summer (finally) rolls around, however, my nails are ready to party. I like shockingly bright blues, corals and greens. And of course, I have to have color (usually contrasting) on my toenails, since I spend all summer in sandals and flip-flops. I actually had a moment at the first BBQ of the season we attended when I realized every other woman had a nice pedicure, and there I was, with my sad bare winter toes, bringing the tone down. I was embarrassed. (I told you I was shallow.) I've remedied that with a tomato-red polish (Sally Hansen "All Fired Up") that can be seen from up to a block away.
So, Reds, let's talk nails. What do you use? Do you go for fancy effects? Do you have an aspirational polish or a secret to the perfect application? Here's mine:
If-money-were-no-object-product: Scotch Naturals Nail Polish. Toxin-free, paraben-free, biodegradable and they have lovely colors in absolutely beautiful bottles.
My nail secret: I don't get professional pedis. Ross does my nails for me. He says it's just like painting the Revell battleship models he did as a kid.
SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: Loooooove mani/pedis! But not that into polish — I know it's a small thing, but I don't want toxic chemicals on my body or to add anything more to the pollutants in the environment. I usually do my nails myself, but once-in-a-while splurge for a professional job — love buffing as an option to polish for shiny nails. Julia, I'll have to check out Scotch Naturals — that sounds great!
DEBORAH CROMBIE: I've never been able to do my own nails, in any color. Lack of manual dexterity is my excuse. And I can't keep regular nail polish on my fingernails more than a day, if that. But a few years ago my right thumbnail started splitting vertically. I tried everything to fix that nail, even Super Glue (and yes, I take all my vitamins...) It is apparently a permanent fault line (you West Coasters know about that) and I've since discovered other people that have them. So I started having my fingernails done in acrylic, which was a huge pain in the bum. When shellac polishes came out I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I have my fingernails done in shellac and my toes in regular polish. The only problem is getting the colors to match. I tend to wear plums and magentas in the winter, blues and greens in the summer. And I love my deluxe pedis!!! I had a manicure in London, something I've seldom done because it's so expensive, at Julie's in Notting Hill Gate. Such fun!
Oh, and check out the nail art on my toenails, done by lovely Lily at my local salon. She outdid herself!
PS Julia, remember the scene in Bull Durham where Kevin Costner does Susan Sarandon's toenails? Sigh...
JULIA: I know, right?
HANK: Ohh, yes.
RHYS BOWEN: Manicures are mostly a waste of time on me. I sit in the shop thinking of all the things I could be doing. Then I come out with perfect nails, try to do a spot of DIY and one nail has already chipped. Doomed to failure I'm afraid.
But I do love a good pedi. Sitting in a chair that massages my back with my feet in warm water is very nice, especially when I do it with my daughter or a friend in the next chair and we chat.
And one of my small mysteries of life is why my toes look great in red nail polish when they are done at a professional salon and they look as if a small truck ran over them when I do them?
LUCY BURDETTE: I don't bother with fingernails anymore because I have to keep them so short to type. But once a month I love a pedicure! I walked on the wild side for July 4:). Though she did first try to talk me into blue.
HALLIE EPHRON: Every Christmas Santa leaves me a bottle of nail polish in my stocking. It’s a tradition. Don’t ask. The upshot is that I have about a dozen used-once bottles of nail pollish. I love getting my nails done but I truly don’t have the patience for it and almost immediately ruin them. Toenails are harder to ruin so I do paint them in the summer. Never thought about toxicity. Yikes!
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Rhys, you cannot do it yourself, that's why. It's impossible to use the non-dominant hand to do the other hand, and besides, one hand will always be wet while you're doing the other. And if you get a ding, you cannot touch up. Give up. And toenails, forget it, It's just physically not possible. It's not a DIY deal.
I am so used to my red-nailed manicure (OPI "Malaga Wine") that I feel weird without it. And you know fuddy-duddy me--when I decide to GO WILD I use something crazy unusual, like "Day at the Beach," which is sort of sand colored. (Incredibly brave, right?) I have to admit feeling a little embarrassed to have a pedicure (though I do it regularly)--it seems too indulgent. Although obviously it doesn't stop me.
Gel! (Same as shellac.) A life-saving thing. I'm all about gel now, cannot do without it, it lasts three weeks and is impervious to everything. My color is...Number 33. Which is red.
And sisters, I cannot deal with blue. Or green. Sorry, but I think fingernails can be red, pink, tan or french. End. And you know there's a color made by Nars called JUNGLE RED, of course. But it's--brown, seems to me.
JULIA: How about you, dear readers? Conservative or crazy colors? Buffed, natural, acrylic or gel? And does a nice mani or pedi make you feel as good as it does us?