I’m Done with Nail Polish!

I haven’t had my nails polished in probably a decade. Oh, I’ve had delightful non-polish mani-pedi’s, but I’ve avoided the polish out of principle. But this past weekend was my daughter’s wedding, and I thought, “Oh, what the heck, I’ll go for it.” And while I don’t necessarily regret it, I realize that I am good and done with nail polish forever.

As I said, the manicure part is great. And I go to an eco-salon (Lux, in Bethlehem, PA) where all the polish is vegan and nasty chemicals free. But the first sign that nail polish wasn’t for me was that you had to wait 15 minutes before doing ANYTHING after the nails were done. Wait…15 minutes?! I started adding up in my head all the time that would be over a lifetime, time that could be spent doing something more fun and more productive—even if it were just waiting without having to worry about ruining your nails.

And then there was the smell. Apparently, removing whatever doesn’t make a nail polish vegan and the most serious chemicals (there were three bad guys listed on the label) isn’t enough to remove the smell that makes nail polish, well, smell bad.  Even the next day I could smell it. It made the skin on my upper lip itch, which is always a sign that I am near something toxic.

Then there is all the time I spent staring at my own nails, asking myself things like, “Was it worth it?” “Does this make me more or less attractive to my husband?” “What about that cute cousin of the groom—does he notice my nails?” (“Wait, he’s only 21!”) And other random, unnecessary thoughts that actually keep me from being truly present in the moment. I wonder if I will trip and fall walking down the aisle because I will be so busy looking at my own weirdly colored nails rather than where I’m supposed to be looking. They are just a sparkly pink, but honestly, it’s not natural. In fact, it’s a distraction.

So after the wedding, it’s coming off, and I’m going back to my old natural-nail self. No regrets. But I’m done with nail polish for good this time. Now…if only I could convince my teenage daughter. But I guess each woman has to come to her own conclusion about these things. I’ve come to mine.

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11 Responses to I’m Done with Nail Polish!

  1. Donna in Delaware September 22, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    I’m with you! Haven’t had polish on these nails in almost 20 years. I did give in and do them once in all those years for something special. I can’t even remember the “something”. Don’t like the smell or waiting for them to dry. Then they put more chemicals on top of the polish to help the polish dry faster. Go figure. I just get a manicure and buff them to a shine with a nail buffer and I’m done and out of the door.

  2. dblinder September 22, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    To play devil’s advocate, I recently talked to a farmer/gardener extraordinaire who swears keeping a coat of polish on helps protect her nails from getting split and broken when working outside.

    I’m prone to paint my nails now and then but it’s only a matter of time before I chip the polish and get irritated. Sigh.

  3. Vanessa September 22, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    The smell is the quickest way to trigger a nasty headache for me, so my house is a nail-polish-free zone. However, my daughter chews her nails and I’m wondering if her nails were sparkly, would she stop? Such a conundrum!

  4. Bernadette September 22, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    I do keep my toes painted. My husband really does still like the painted toes in pretty shoes; but, rarely do I have my nails painted. Even clear polish seems a waste because trying to garden is impossible with it. My nails do often split and break so maybe the coat to protect them isn’t a bad idea?

  5. Leah September 22, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    For those who do still want to paint their nails, you might want to try Scotch Naturals and Hopscotch Kids polish. They are rated very safe on Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Safety Database, and they are free of cancer-causing formaldehyde, coals tars, and harmful solvents.



    It is a bit pricey, but hey, good health is priceless, right?

  6. Heather September 22, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    Haven’t used it since I had my son 8 years ago. I’ve kept my nails short and as there’s just not the time to let it set and so busy dealing with everything, there’s just no point. They look nice as they are.

  7. Sarah September 22, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    I think it is great that everyone makes their own decisions about nail polish and all things. Do what makes you feel good. If nail polish doesn’t, make you feel good then don’t wear it. When I was in high school I wore nail polish because I liked it but also focused too much on what other people thought of it too (like was I more attractive for wearing it) then I didn’t wear it for many years because I was a “natural” person and “natural” people don’t wear nail polish (again worry about what people think about me) and now years later, I love to wear nail polish at times because I think it is fun, and for me it is cheap entertainment. I don’t wear it for anyone else but myself. And I am happy that I feel good about being someone who can be “natural” and “green” and still like my nail polish too. So hopefully others won’t be judging me or trying to convince me to do otherwise because for me right now it works.

  8. Lisa S September 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    I never wear polish on my fingernails, it makes them feel heavy. But I LOVE painted toes. That makes me feel good as does having someone take care of me for the 45 minutes it takes to have it done. Not to mention I get caught up on some reading while I’m in the chair. You can’t really do that when you’re getting a manicure.

  9. Laura K. September 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    I love this post. You’re so funny.

    I just wanted to point out, polish or not, guys usually don’t give a sh*t if our nails are pretty colors or naked. When I polish mine I do it for me and fashion, or because I was seduced by an advertisement or some content in a “beauty” magazine, not to be attractive to boys.

  10. Anne A September 22, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    Flaxseed oil significantly strengthens nails!

  11. maria (farm country kitchen) September 25, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    OK, one week later I asked my husband if he noticed my painted nails. The answer was no. “Maybe if they were red,” he said. Then I asked “what if I painted them orange and blue for Syracuse” (his favorite team) and he said absolutely…that would show my loyalty and commitment to him. Sorry, that’s where I draw the line!

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