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Nails Part 1 – Pedicures and Toenails

We introduce you to Cali!

By Cali

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.


8 Responses

  1. Hi Cali,
    Loved your post and you’re right….me being envious is an understatement. Your pictures of your nails are beautiful adding to my enviousness. I don’t know if it’s just a part of aging but I couldn’t grow nails to save my soul. I didn’t used to have a problem but over the past couple of years my nails have become a total mess. As soon as they start growing to a reasonable length they either split or little pieces just break off. It is totally frustrating. The weird thing is it happens only to my finger nails, my toe nails are fine. I’ve tried different things my girl friends have suggested but so far nothing seems to help. So I’ve had to go to gluing on acrylic nails which probably isn’t good for my real nails.
    If you have any suggestions girl, I’d love to hear them.

    Trish 💖

    1. Thanks Trish,
      I too have damaged finger nails. My next post will cover maincures. You have probably damaged your nail bed over the years. I know I have a break in some nail beds so they split from the tip to the root. After trying everything, I now have acrylic fingernails.

  2. Nothing like a good pedicure
    I start getting them in spring and get them through the fall, after all my sandals don’t look right without pretty toes
    Love yours and everyone should get at least one pedicure they will love them

    1. Your right Racheal, if your going to wear open toe shoes you better have good looking toes. Gross toes and open toe shoes is a NO go.

  3. Cali, Your nails look awesome like always! You are a true inspiration with getting mani’s and pedi’s and how enjoyable they are.
    I am looking forward to your next post.

  4. CALI,
    I just love having my nails done both fingers and toes, Have a CIS Gal friend who is absolutely a magician,
    She creates different scenes to go with every holiday and season. I am so proud of her artistry I routinely show them to the girls at my local CAFE and those at my all women Barbershop –Hair Salon as we as at my Monthly Facial Studio. ALL rave about her imagination and delicate touch. I really enjoy wearing seeing my nails particular the toes when sliding into and out of bed. A super great feeling. Really heightens my sense of Femininity.
    Marie Anne Greene

    1. Hi Marie Anne,
      There are people at work that will come by just to see my nails (and my heels). Last summer I was at an all day focus group. A VP compared her toes to mine, and you can guess whose was nicer. Last week I was dropping off some paperwork to someone in the same area as that VP and she came out of her office and asked to see my toes. I had knee high boots on and didn’t want to take them off. Periwrinkle with a fade into glitter, I called it “Clouds.”
      I sometimes have a theme, other times I have no idea, like last time. She pulled about 6 colors out and I went with the periwrinkle (I have a bottle or two in my collection). But it was too plain and I like glitter, so hence a glitter fade (ombre).

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