I am obsessed with nail polish. I am a “nailphile” (pun intended) in nail polish lingo.
Given this is a fairly superficial obsession (sadly, I find that most of my obsessions are), I often feel the need to defend it; especially when people see the scope of my polish stash, notice I change my polish color multiple times a week, or catch me referencing something I read on a nail polish blog. “There are nail polish blogs?” you ask. Boy, are there!
These bloggers test out new polish colors and take pictures of them in various lighting conditions, comment on ease of application, chip resistance, and originality of color. The polish companies, recognizing the value of this exposure, send these bloggers free samples. My favorite blogger has gained such credibility, that she is invited to
fashion week to write about the polish on the models’ hands rather than their clothing. New York
I used to read these blogs with a hint of pity for these women, fanatically writing daily missives about drug-store nail polish. Soon enough, though, I was digging their jive, speaking their lingo (cremes, jellies, mattes, foils, holos, lemmings, dupes, oh my!) and keeping up with their daily gossip, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the newly released collections, and harassing salon owners for fresh bottles of their best stuff. (And then I started feeling it…an undeniable tug to join these lady-bloggers…)
In rationalizing my nail polish obsession, I’ve come up with the following easily numbered, and I think, highly dignified, justifications:
1. It is the only way to keep me from biting my nails. Willpower is a virtue I do not possess, so I'm replacing one addiction with another one. I think I've traded up.
2. It is a (healthy?) way for me to channel my perfectionist tendencies. I aspire for my handiwork to be mistaken for that of a professional.
3. It is a way for me to channel my creative energies. Nail polish is the latest in a string of arts and craftsy hobbies for me. (See: scrapbooking (2003), glass blowing (2006), mosaics (2007)). After all, it’s really just playing with colors, brushes, paints, and textures, right? Right? RIGHT!?!
4. It’s a way for me to participate in fashion trends in a relatively inexpensive manner. There IS such a thing as “fashion forward” in the context of nail color (grey is so hot right now!). And in this universe, I can afford Chanel!
5. Finally, my Hail Mary. In my boyfriend’s words: “at least its not crack”. We all have our addictions. Yes, I wish mine was exercising or reading fine literature, but sadly, I’m just stuck with nail polish. Could be worse.