The Nfu Oh nail mail was waiting for me when I got home from Melbourne Monday night. I was tired from standing on my feet presenting for a large part of the day, and from the late night the night before, but I knew on opening my Fabulous Street package I had to try one of these babies. So I cracked out the only basic black polish I have so far, Essie Licorice, and set to work. I’ve had such craptastic luck (or rather lack of skill) with applying polish lately that I don’t know why I wasn’t more daunted at applying a black polish. But once I’d finished cleaning up my nails I cracked straight on into it and I must say Essie Licorice was a real pleasure to apply. I didn’t take any photos of it until today so I have no shots to show you of Essie Licorice by itself but it was shiny, fast drying, great consistency, didn’t end up in my cuticles (which made a nice change) and was just generally the type of consistency that got me interested in Essie in the first place.
Now apologies for the tip wear. I’ve been wearing it for two days now and have done a bit of typing in that time. Also there was the great nail break of April 2012 last Friday as we were packing the car to head to Sydney. The result is that you’re a lumped with swatches of my left hand which, given I’m left handed, is not exactly me putting my best foot forward but there you go. It will have to do because the middle finger of my right hand tore over half way across the nail about 3 mm above the bottom of the nail bed and the start of the free edge. It flipping well hurt like buggery. There was blood and there was swearing. Lots of swearing. I tried to rescue the nail over the weekend but it had ripped too far across to repair. So I’m afraid it’s left handed swatches until my right middle nail grows back to a sufficient length.
Nfu OH #50 was a strange sort of gelatinous paste like consistency, not like regular nail polish at all. It took a wee bit of manipulating to get the opalesque flakes evenly across the nail but overall it was easy going. This is two coats of Essie Licorice and one coat of Nfu Oh #50. Virtually no clean up needed which was astounding for me. I did use two coats of Seche Vite as the Nfu Oh #50 leaves you with a slightly raised feel, nothing like gritty but not completely smooth either. Here’s some more spam:)
I hope the pictures give you some idea of the beautiful duochrome quality of Nfu Oh #50. It’s default is a foil-like emerald green but in direct sunlight it changes to a sapphire blue. It’s just gorgeous.
If you told me ten weeks ago that I’d be wearing black nail polish with green-blue opalesque flakies I’d would have laughed and thought you were odd. Pale pinks and beige were the only colours you could wear on your nails. Even red was too challenging in my mind. Law is a conservative profession and as a wee baby lawyer working in Melbourne back in about 1997 I made an effort to look after my nails and grow them a bit after having always been a nail biter. I recall that I even bought a dark aubergine colour – can’t recall now what it was exactly. Anyway, having applied it one weekend and thinking it looked ok, I wore it to work the next day for the first time. I was working at my desk when the 50something bloke who was the equivalent of the office managing partner stopped by to ask me something. Once we’d finished that discussion, he stood up, nodded to my nails and said, a brusque tone, something like ‘That colour’s a bit unprofessional don’t you think?’. I was so taken aback at the comment that I couldn’t think let alone respond so I don’t recall what I said, if anything. That was it. Since then until this year I have avoided wearing anything on my nails that is in anyway noticeable or attention-getting. That comment from a senior male to the scared, completely unconfident junior female grad that I was had such a lasting impact on me.
That was fifteen years ago and I’d like to think that I am now comfortable enough in myself to not give a fuck what others might think of how I present myself. In part I think that’s true. However, I think it’s also got to do with the environment I work in. I currently work as an in-house lawyer for a large government agency. If I were still in private practice and having to convince clients to pay $500+ an hour for my work I’d probably still play it a bit safe and not push boundaries with colours that go beyond what’s traditionally accepted as work-appropriate. In part though, I know I’m no longer trying to prove anything to anyone in my work or my career anymore. Nail colour is the only thing that can be in anyway described as ‘out there’ about me. I appear otherwise entirely low key, restrained and understated. So wearing colours I love on my nails feels like my way of expressing that I’m not just a suit, that I’m a person with a life outside of work, with interests and passions and dreams. But the turn around in my attitude about polish has been relatively quick and I’m still surprised that I feel quite as relaxed as I do at wearing such strong colours on my nails now.
I’m 41 years old so was what I experienced a indicator of that period and the mentality of the baby boomer generation that I had to work for as a young grad? Or do 20something girls these days still feel pressure to tone down their nail polish in working to us GenXers?
Has anything changed? Have you ever been made to feel uncomfortable about the polish you were wearing? I’d love to hear of others experiences.
Until next time, xx