Cali is a friend and a new Contributor here!
For those who don’t know me, I am a fulltime polish (or gel) wearer, both fingers and toes. I dress in male mode, except I wear heels, open toed in the summer. I consider my nails as 20 changeable canvases for body art. Some people express themselves with tattoos, others with body piercing, for me it’s polish.
In this post I will tell of my fall into the rabbit hole of nail polish and describe my experience with pedicures and polish. I’ll leave manicures and fingernails for a later post. I am aware that I am very lucky in that I can wear polish all the time. These posts may make some of you envious, so I apologize in advance. In reality, it took me years to gather the courage to wear nail polish fulltime, but I’m so glad I did. The hardest person to convince was myself. Like everything else, it was scary at first.
I have been in love with nail polish for as long as I can remember. As a pre-teen, I was always envious that my sister could wear nail polish, but as a boy I couldn’t. I always had some nail polish around in toolboxes or tackle boxes that I used as a “glue” for certain screws or for freshening up a fishing lure.
Fast forward to the late 2000’s. I had damaged a bone in my hand and had my hand in a cast for months. I complained to a friend who was cosmetology instructor that I couldn’t cut my toenails with my hand in a cast, and she recommended that I go to where she taught and get a pedicure. “Let them cut your toenails.” So, I did. I liked it and as my hand was in and out of casts for several months I did it again and again and again … . I got only clear coat the first several times, but by the third time I was persuaded to try a rose tint. And that’s when I stepped into the rabbit hole of color. I’ve been enjoying having color on my toenails for over 15 years now.
For the first year or two I wore OPI Kyoto Pearl. It’s a very “innocent” color to wear out for novice, even in sandals.
Below are a few of the early pedicures.
Since these were students, the pedicures took more time, but they were inexpensive. I experimented with darker colors,
and with stencils.
I taught several of the cosmetology students to do nail art. I bought my own nail brushes and art tools that I would bring with me to the pedicures. Here’s a teal cheetah design.
I was introduced to ILNP holographic nail polish (I Love Nail Polish out of Las Vegas, Nevada) by a friend from other sites. Funny thing, both my daughter and Ex-wife loved these holographic polishes so much that they bought some for themselves. BTW I love sparkles and glitter – doesn’t everybody?
Once the pandemic hit, nail salons around here closed, and I was stuck doing my own. Here’s a playful attempt.
Today I have a scheduled “spa day” every month at a small salon nearby, a pedicure followed by a manicure. It takes 2.5 to 3 hours, but it is very relaxing. Sometimes I will bring my own polish, other times I will pick from their polishes. Nothing is off limits, but reds and pinks are very, very rare. Many times, I will come in with an idea and work out how to execute it.
Pedicures have become an integral part of my selfcare, partially because I have type 2 diabetes and partially because I wear open toe high heels. If you haven’t had the experience of a pedicure with foot and leg massage, you don’t know what you are missing. Treat yourself today.
I end with a tease: Manicures and Gel. The fingernails below have blue fade tips.
Cali, I am humbled by your desire to write for us and look forward to many more posts by you!
Tomorrow I will be on campus for Keystone. Many, many posts upcoming, followed immediately by my week as an employee (Kandi draws an actual paycheck) at The Cleveland International Film Festival. This is by far my favorite time of the year. I see so many friends at Keystone and then I have so many awesome experiences at CIFF. I will be in Kandi mode for nine of eleven days, in roughly thirteen different outfits.