Featured

So Many Ideas ..

That is exactly what I have been calling it – a sickness.

Advertisements

There are times when I feel as if there are just way too many things to talk about. A background story explaining this addiction seemed like a good idea. I realized that nail polish has been around in my life for so long that I can go on and on about all of the things that lead to this sickness.

That is exactly what I have been calling it – a sickness. So much that I have a whole Facebook album dedicated just to it.

FB albumFacebook Nail Album

All that I can say at this time is that I enjoy the feeling each new bottle of polish purchased brings to my life. It is an addiction which has been very costly. I suppose there are better things that can be done with the amount of money that has been spent on a  nail polish bottle, especially when it comes to the very similar colors that I own. And yet, there are also a lot worse things that I could’ve indulged in as well.

I decided to start this blog as I realized that there are so much more to polishing your nails than meets the eye. I’ve come across women on my social media platforms, who like me, enjoy everything about nail polish. I thought myself to be slightly crazy in the past, each and every time I refused to use a salon owned polish for my manicure and pedicure. Yes, once upon a time I also frequented nail salons. Not that I don’t anymore, but honestly speaking, I prefer to save the money I’d spend on one mani/pedi session (which costs anywhere around $15-$25 or more in NYC depending on where you reside) Yelp results for NYC mani/pedi on a budget) to buy a couple of polishes from my favorite brand, Essie.

Each Essie polish bottle cost no less than $9 now unless you are fortunate enough to live near a Marshall’s as I have heard on a few occasions that you can find some very nice Essie colors there for as little as $3. I love Essie simply because, the bottle is so pretty yet very Minimalistic, (There’s a very pretty off white with a pink undertone Essie shade by that name, by the way.) Essie Minimalistic but more importantly, I love that the brush is not so thick. That is very important to me as I have small hands and nails. Although my nail beds are long and perfect according to some, the quality of Essie’s polish brushes works perfectly for me. I can compare it to O.P.I. for example, whose brushes are so much thicker. For that, I do not own many O.P.I. shades as beautiful as a lot of them are. (See picture below for a comparison by look – picture does not belong to me but found through a Google search: essie polish brush vs. opi)

Essie brush vs OPI brush

The most satisfying thing about Essie polish for me is the fact that nail care products are also available. I truly believe that they are a lot more important than anything else. After all, your nails are as big a part of your life as your hair or even your stomach is. Treat it with care and you should be more than good.

Featured

Who am I? An addict..

This is the post excerpt.

Hello all,

My name is Fanja, and I am an Essie polish addict. Although the word “addict” has such a negative definition, my reason for becoming an Essie polish addict is nothing but positive.

As a young girl growing up in Madagascar (yes, the place does really exist), I would’ve never thought those words would’ve came out of my mouth, or left the tip of my fingers in this case. I grew up playing with my brother and surrounded by mainly male cousins (only 4 of us girls out of 12 kids on my mom’s side of the family, and even less girls, only 3 of us, compared to boys on my father’s side). Being the eldest, it was my responsibility to lead the boys by example and taught them all the tactics behind jumping over fences, climbing trees, and avoiding to get caught while playing “cops and robbers” or even just a simple game of tag. I have quite a collection of scars and cuts all over my legs and knees. A little dirt under all 10 finger nails definitely did not bother me.

It’s needless to say that brushing a doll’s hair or changing Barbie’s clothes were not an important part of my childhood memories. I never really pretended to apply on make up and do not remember playing dress up at all. I might’ve been an army captain at some point though.

The thought of having my nails polished probably did not even cross my mind until way after my first girl cousin was born when I was 10. The only girly thing I remember going through was this unexplained crush for Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys) and appreciation for Posh Spice’s sense of fashion even if I’d never wear anything she did even if I could back then. Although I always found her to be very beautiful, Posh was just too “girly” for me and found Scary and Sporty Spice’s wardrobe choices to be more of my style.

The question is, where did this “girly” addiction start? Surely, there’s got to be a very good explanation behind it. All I can say is that I wouldn’t trade my childhood for all the nail polish in the world. It helped sculpt me into the woman I am today and definitely taught me to appreciate the importance behind the art of caring for your nails.

Nail Polish Collection

How I use my self mani/pedi session as a form of therapy.

I know, it actually sounds insane. What can polishing my own nails really do to help me with my injuries?

It’s going on 3 months since I haven’t been at work, until further notice. I was involved in a car accident in September which was serious enough to actually keep me out of work this long. Honestly speaking, it could’ve been a whole lot worse and I am quite thankful for the state I am in and just continue to attend any therapy sessions scheduled for me.

I like to think of myself as a very private individual despite being as direct as possible to anyone who asks me about my life and what I am up to. The point behind this blog is definitely not to look for anything from anyone, however I believe that there’s always a reason behind anything that happens in life. I actually wanted to just share a little inspiration to any and all who need it as we all come to a point where we feel incapable of fulfilling what should be very simple.

This is a journey through which I am learning that even pushing myself to perform the smallest of movements can help me in the long run, even if it causes some pain along the way. It also is teaching me that not being mindful enough of any motion I put my body through, can and has worsened my injuries, causing a delay in my recovery. Moderation is key. (Something I definitely need to learn more of especially when it comes to Essie polishes.)

Besides the unfortunate part of not being at work because of this accident, it also left me with more idle time on my hands than I’d wish for. (I know, ask me if I want to wake up for work whenever it is I will be able to return and I’d probably want to keep the cover over my head.) The accident pretty much left me unable to do much (according to the doctors who in fact have been proven right on several occasions) and to just “take it easy” due to the injuries. Again, it could’ve been much worse, but it’s not easy to sit around, restricted from doing the simplest of life’s necessities such as cooking, cleaning and washing clothes and dishes, which pretty much sums up being a responsible adult. The worst of it is that my dominant side, my right side, more specifically my extremities, are where the injuries were more serious.

Besides the responsibilities of being a mother, daughter, partner and friend, maintaining a household can’t be put on hold. And for those who know me would know that an important part of my sanity is doing my nails. (#nochippednail) I’m one of those people who can probably capitalize from this hobby as a few people have already shown interest in supporting me for that idea. For now, I’d rather it remain just a hobby with the possibility of it becoming more in the future, as I learn more about it myself. The extra time I have on my hands because of the accident has been spent with countless hours reading articles and net surfing which lead to my growing curiosity and interest in nail art.

As if it didn’t take enough time and effort for me to steady my left hand to polish my right nails, now I have to also take the time to steady my right since it’s been a bit shaky since the accident. My ability to polish my nails in a moving vehicle will definitely have to be put on hold for some time. With ongoing doctor’s visits for physical therapy, attempting to do my nails have also become somewhat a simple workout for my right arm and shoulder. And slowly it is helping more than I expected.

Everything I learned about nail care, and now nail art are either self taught, learned from interactions with the very few nail techs who have had the opportunity to work on my nails and toes (yes, I am quite a difficult customer when it comes to this because I can and do my own very well) and through various internet search (Google, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, etc…). I don’t pretend to know everything, however I do have a very vast knowledge on it and always eager to learn a whole lot more. Polishing my own nails and toes have become a huge part of my life since 2006. Although my interest in nail polishing itself has grown tremendously since I was a kid, being “grown” and having my own money made it that much easier to indulge in what I wanted, when I wanted.

In high school, when I wasn’t involved in any sports activity, I’d get my nails done on a biweekly basis. Thanks to my first ever talented nail tech, whose name I don’t even remember anymore, I’d always get complimented on my nails as they were always very long and bright with very colorful and unique designs. (The above picture displays similar designs I’d get in the past and is not my own picture. Result of a Google search: “bright nail art designs”. https://goo.gl/images/MLY8pa)

I went from having designs on my nails such as those pictured above to having my own short and square nails just polished (as bright as possible whenever I got the chance to). Having bright nail art designs, although fun, may not always be desirable in a professional and conservative setting such as a workplace. It made a lot more sense to do my nails and toes myself, save money and invest it in my own collection of nail polish (Essie costs a pretty penny) since a plain colored manicure is a lot simpler than having a professional nail tech work their magic on your nails. After all, I work in a position that puts me out in the open with the public, and although they often compliment my nail polish choice especially when it’s a very bright and vibrant color, there are also company standards which I must comply with as much as possible. Over the past few weeks, during one of my numerous attempts to control my shaky right hand as I was changing my nail polish color, my interest in nail art resurfaced.

What better idea was there than to use something I already enjoy and love to do such as polishing my own nails and toes, to also help me recover and help me heal the injuries from the accident? I know, it actually sounds insane. What can polishing my own nails really do to help me with my injuries? Physical therapy focuses a lot more on the bigger muscles, which in turn help the smaller muscles, right? Having my arm do small controlled movements such as the placement of a dotting tool correctly on my nail to create a circular polish stain, now that’s a challenge in itself for any inexperienced person without steady hands, imagine for me who can’t keep my hand steady enough without shaking to even draw a line as straight as possible without a ruler. Maybe knowing that I can find something to do on my own to help better my condition is more of a mental support than anything else. Going from having a hectic work scheduled to that having to stay home with lots of restrictions until I am healed completely drove me insane. Little by little, the countless ideas provided by Pinterest and Instagram posts especially, started coming to life in my imagination and I knew exactly what I needed to do for myself. I may not be able to mop the kitchen floor or scrub the bathroom tiles and tub, but I can give my body some activities in a way that won’t cause too much strain on the muscles which needs to heal. After all, being immobile has never been a good thing.

Posted below are what I’ve been able to work on so far. Each took me 2-3 days to complete both hands because I needed to stop a lot when I started feeling some pain. The pictures were taken weeks apart with the most recent one first.

1. Unassisted French lines, dots and hearts created with a dotting tool: Posted 11/26/2017

2. Unassisted simple French lines and thinner lines created with a thin brush: Posted 11/17/2017

3: Lines assisted by scotch tape for the negative space and thin brush for the thinner lines. Posted 11/09/2017

4: Squiggly lines created on scotch tape pieces by the dispenser’s cutting edge: Posted 10/31/2017

5. Diagonal lines created with scotch tape: Posted 10/25/2017

We all deal with life and its events in different ways. It also really depends on the severity of a situation which allows each individual to decide whether or not to deal with anything thrown their way on their own or with help. Sometimes help simply means a little inspiration. Not wanting to waste any time put in front of me became mine. Wanting to get better, not only medically but in all aspects of life, pushed me to get on with accomplishing the not so simple task of being able to control my right hand enough to place a dot on a nail in the desired position.

Lines and dots proved themselves to be easiest to polish on with the assistance of a simple item such as scotch tape and dotting tools. Striping tapes of various colors are even available for purchases because it is so much easier than having to polish on the line. Imagine being able to do it without any of that? That’s a goal I am working on and will keep working on even after I recover completely from this accident. Until then, practice does make perfect, or as close to it as possible.

Nail care routine

Beauty isn’t just about what can be seen but what’s on the inside. Healthy however is within reach but doesn’t come as easily. If it did, it wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar industry world wide.

My personal nail page is up on instagram

I’ve been talking about the proper care of one’s nails being very important. In this post, I’ll be talking about my personal routine.

We don’t even realize how much our nails can say about us from others’ point of view. Let’s face it, we all judge one another. It’s just a part of life. You don’t even really need to do much to live a healthy lifestyle. Your hands, along with your face and hair, are the most exposed part of your body. Most of us have specific facial creams we use right? And let’s not even talk about the variety of shampoos and conditioners made available out there. So why not indulge in nail care products?

If you’re anyone like me who do or get your nails done several times a week, or a month even, you should consider also investing in time and products which will keep them healthy. After all, they’re as important as any other part of you.

Let’s start with the most simplest thing anyone can do as a form of nail care: trimming, cutting, filing; whatever it is you do to keep them nice and neat. I have this firm belief (whether it is supported by any sort of medical study or not, I’m not too sure) that trimming your nails using nail clippers is unhealthy for them. I don’t like the way my nails feel after getting them clipped so I stopped doing that all together. I just think about the effect a clipper has on your nails. I don’t know how to explain what I feel really, but I just feel like that sudden clip damages our nails or whatever it is carrying nutrients to the tip of our nail beds.

It’s not that I’m a fan of long nails, at least not anymore. On the contrary, when my nails get to a length that I feel is too long, I file them down. I do my nails at least twice a week and they grow pretty fast so there’s a lot of filing involved. I avoid at all cost filing my nails after I shower or have had my hands involved in anything where they were in water for a period of more than 5 minutes. My nails always feel a lot more bendable after exposure to water which typically means they’re more prone to damage. (If you think about your normal nail salon experience, you don’t really wash your hands until after the trimming, shaping and filing is done.)

These are some of the nail files I have and use. Although emery boards are great, I love glass files (2nd and 3rd from the left) as they can be washed and make for smoother finishes than the finest emery board. Also they last and don’t have to be replaced as often, if ever.

The next step I take is to oil down my cuticles. With all the harsh products we used daily, our (hands, overall) cuticles dry out without us really noticing. Cuticles are dried out faster for those of us who are consistently getting our nails done or those of us who are compulsive with doing our own. Especially during the removal of polish, gel and/or acrylic, our cuticles suffer. We also fail to think about the lack of oxygen and/or vitamin D (if you’re in North America, it’s not as if this sun we’re exposed to is even strong enough to give us enough of it anyway) since they’re covered for a long period of time, it’s important to provide them with some sort of nutrients. Vitamin E has been great for me. It’s also very cheap and can be purchased at your local GNC, Vitamin Shoppe or any pharmacy. I use one of my old/empty Essie Gel Setter top coat bottles to store it for easy access and application.

Vitamin E can be left on your cuticles and nails for as long as desired and does not need to be wiped off within a specific time frame. I even put it on my cuticles around my toe nails after a shower and just let it soak in on its own and leave it on overnight to condition and treat my skin.

There are several other cuticle Care products available out there. You can find products which will not cost you too much. There probably are some already somewhere within your household, such as olive oil, Vaseline, I have heard that even soaking your nails in milk for 15 minutes once a week will help them grow stronger … if anyone tries this and sees that it helps, please let me know. Aloe Vera is another great moisturizer for your skin and cuticles. Whether you scrape it off a piece of the plant itself or buy a product with it as it’s main ingredient, it does an amazing job.

Pictured below are 2 of the very best products I invested in which are great because they fit in my pocket or in my little daily hand bag and is accessible at all times of the day. Picture 1 shows a cuticle oil from Sally Hansen. Picture 2 shows an aloe based gel from Avon.

Warning:

If you’re a self mani type of person like I’ve become and have your own routine set up, you may love cutting your cuticles away since they somehow seem to just keep drying up and coming back out of nowhere. Frequent cuticle cutting however creates them faster too. Try refraining yourself from cutting them every time you do your nails or every time you get them done. Only cut them every other time. You’ll see how much less you’ll have to cut them at all after a while. As long as you keep them moisturized that is.

After I file and shape my nails and moisturize and clip my cuticles, I usually try to give them at least 2-3 hours of “air time” as well. It’s exactly what you imagined it to be. To me this is very important because I feel my nails need oxygen as much as my whole body. Just a few hours, which have been extended to a couple of days at times, have been very helpful in the maintenance of healthy, strong nails to me.

When I am ready to get on with polishing my nails, I’ve been consistent with using a base (a.k.a. the Protector) coat. Without it, my nails used to get stained and have this awful yellow color to them once the polish is removed. It’s so unattractive. The use of a base coat does not guarantee no yellowing nail beds however, but you can bet on it reducing that chance. Two of my very favorite pre-polish products are from Essie, of course.

1. Essie Millionails is a primer (used under a base coat or on its own under a polish) which provides treatment to the nail. It helps prevent breakage and peeling of the nails.

2. Essie Grow Stronger is my most favorite base coat. And no, there is no better way to explain what it does than what its name already so simply states. This base coat can actually be worn on its own. Add a 2nd or 3rd coat and you got yourself a sheer finish nude polish.

3. Although the two Essie products mentioned above are my top picks, I actually switch around between these few products as pictured below as well. The overuse of specific products can result in your body getting use to them and over time they lose their effects on you. Picture 1 shows Essie Millionails, Essie All in One Base (a regular base coat), and Essie Grow Stronger. In Picture 2, you’ll see Sally Hansen Maximum Strength nail treatment, Sally Hansen 7-in-1 nail treatment, and Nutra Nail 5-7 day Growth formula which is more of a primer than a base.

Not to be redundant but I cannot stress the importance of having a good nail care regimen. Beauty isn’t just about what can be seen but what’s on the inside. Healthy however is within reach but doesn’t come as easily. If it did, it wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar industry world wide. A good manicure, with or without a color polish, can make a huge difference in ones daily life. I can thank my elementary school days for teaching me to understand the importance of maintaining a good hygiene, starting with simply having clean nails. Who knew there’d be so much more to it?

Nail care

Featured photo isn’t my own but found through a google image search: how to care for your nails naturally

When I first started doing my own mani/pedi, I never used any type of base or primer. I also never realized that it was important to give your nails some time to breathe, or as I’d call it now, “air time“. Because I was eager to practice doing my own manicures especially, (pedicures are a little easier since you don’t have to worry about not using your dominant hand) I’d change my nail color every 2-3 days.

After less than 6 months of NOair time for my nails, I started noticing this yellow tone towards the tips of my nails. It got to the point where if I used any polish that had a sheer finish, the yellow stain would make that polish appear to be a different color and it had me disgusted with myself. Because the polish on my toe nails didn’t chip off as fast as they did on my nails, I didn’t do them as often. They lasted anywhere between a week to two weeks. I didn’t allow myself to go any longer than that though.

Although I did not notice any weakening on my nails, my toe nails were a different story especially the big toes. I noticed they would break easily. And when I did removed the polish off of them, not only were they stained but there were these white lines running across the nail and they looked a bit flaky as if the nails were dry. Unable to determine the reason, I went to the people who would be able to answer me, my old nail tech.

I was told at that moment that the reason behind my weakening toe nails was due to too much nail polishing. The toe nails are affected much faster because for a very big portion of life, our feet are usually hidden away inside socks or full shoes leaving not enough air time or sunlight for them. It made complete sense. And since then, I’d make sure that I give myself at least 2-3 hours between each new polish application.

I stopped leaving nail polish on my toes for more than a week at a time even if they still looked good. There are times I do get lazy especially in the winter, and in those cases I just won’t polish them again. I’d just remove the old polish and clean my nails out and file them and let them be bare for however long. I do believe that just because you don’t wear sandals during winter months, it’s not a excuse to not have your toes presentable

A nail care routine is easy enough to maintain. Being consistent is the hardest part. If you stick to your regimen, I guarantee you’ll see a difference within a few weeks.

Yellowing of the nails..

And as easy as it may come, it will also go since nothing last forever.

No one wants to have nails that are weak and brittle. If you’re anyone like me, your nails have a yellowish stain on them. If you haven’t noticed, you haven’t given your nails enough time to breathe. Or, you have an amazing nail care regimen and I need to know your secrets!!

I want to say that majority of the things I have learned over the years about nails have been self taught or learned through experiences. You don’t need to go to beauty-school to know simple hacks and solutions to maintaining healthy nails. It isn’t just about how beautiful they look with nail polish on. They should be as neat and attractive without any polish on them.

It’s really a no-brainer. If you use something long enough, it’ll will have an effect on your body. Just like your skin, nails also need caring, especially when you are doing anything that may cause a potential harm to them. And let’s face it, even the most non-toxic polish available, still has some sort of toxin in it that will not be good for you.

Beauty, just like anything else worth your while, doesn’t come too easy. And as easy as it may come, it will also go since nothing last forever. What you can do in the meantime is to figure out a way to maintain it for as long as you can, right? I mean, why not?

Unless you work somewhere that requires you to hammer your nails away, you should want to at least keep them clean and neat. Someone who has never used any sort of polish on their nails can actually have unhealthy nails compared to one who applies nail polish every few days. We can thank a good nail care regimen for that.

The simplest, most important way to keep your nails healthy is to give them some time to breathe. You’d be amazed at how much difference a few hours without nail polish will do for them. Next, invest in a good base coat packed with nutrients and supplements. Not just any clear looking polish labeled as a base coat is actually one which is meant to protect your natural nail from things such as staining. Most, if not all nail polishes, base coat included, are made up of nitrocellulose (Wiki nail info), base coats included.

With a huge variety of products available at your disposable, even simple ingredients you may already have at home, there should be no reason for anyone to not be able to at least try and do something about those yellowing nails. There isn’t anything you can’t find on Google or any search engine of your choice. You can even go a buy books or magazines and find simple nail care tutorials.

Google search: nail care

Experimental nail art ..

Two of the best colors to be paired, red and black, scissors tossed to the side and my excitement rising at the thought of this new idea..

Pingback to The Daily Post photo challenge

I came across a very interesting page sometime last week, The Daily Post.

I found it interesting because as a beginner blogger, I find myself with a load of ideas which may or may not be great, and also find myself never finding the right way to start typing away about these ideas. The Daily Post’s photo challenge idea caught my attention and here I am taking part in my first Pingback which I hope I am doing correctly.

My page was started due to my addiction to nail polish, Essie for the most part. Although I started out with brands I no longer use, coming across Essie nail polishes for the first time was an experience all on its own. Several years after purchasing a load of Essie polishes, and after I’ve been doing my own mani/pedi, I finally found it in me to add a little more to my regular manicures.

Painting my own nails with my left hand is a skill that was acquired through years of practice and countless q-tip used to clean up everywhere nail polish did not belong. Although I was born in a family of very talented people who paint, sing, play musical instruments as easily as they breathe, it seemed that chromosome which brings on the ease in perfecting these talents was somehow not passed on to me. That alone should tell you that I was not blessed with steady enough hands to even want to do my own nails, let alone try to add art to it.

Determined to get better at it as I already did with painting my nails overall, I purchased my very own set of brushes and dotting tools on Amazon at the end of October 2017. Thanks to Prime, it was delivered the very next day. Although I was ready to use my newly purchased brushes, after countless hours of browsing through several Instagram and Pinterest posts, I knew what I wanted. I settled for a simpler nail art idea which involved only the use of scotch tape.

I just polished my nail with a beautiful red color with a pink undertone to it, Essie Altitude Altitude, the day before. It was still very fresh and required nothing else but the simple addition of another color to change it. Steady hands were not even needed for what happened next. The pair of scissors I’d prepared to use to cut off pieces of Scotch tape to create a straight line border for my additional polish color, Essie Licorice, ended up never even used as the squiggly lines on the end of the tape I’d just torn off the dispenser gave me another idea.

Two of the best colors to be paired, red and black, scissors tossed to the side and my excitement rising at the thought of this new idea, I was set to get this new look going. At least for the next couple of days. Here comes nothing yet it was everything once I was done. This picture is also posted on my Instagram page for nails @essiedout.

Experimental – nail art created with Scotch tape

23100987_509107086131090_5419569169236492288_n

 

Tomboy, No More!!

“I remember the first time I’ve ever seen black nail polish. It was on Posh Spice’s nails.”

I can go on and on about the events which led to my becoming a girly girl who then grew up into the young woman I am today. I can do without the heels and fancy dresses unless I am going to an event for which that would be a better fashion choice than jeans and sneakers. I am all about comfort and practicality.

In Madagascar, the nail care/fashion industry is definitely not as big as it is in the US. I don’t even remember there being many salons that are focused only on nail care. The selection of nail polishes I had access to were from my mom and/or my aunts’ and my grandmother’s collections. They were very limited to a few variety of red and pink shades. I would’ve never imagined myself during those times as a grown up with anything different. Until my late elementary school and early Junior high school days, I did not realize that nail polish came in all colors. I remember the first time I’ve ever seen black nail polish. It was on Posh Spice’s nails.

From never worrying about a chipped nail or even just a little dirt under them, to now wanting my nails to look exactly like how Posh Spice’s nails looked like in that instance, I knew a lot has changed. I still was not brave enough yet to reveal to anyone around that I became so interested in nail care. I think all of that changed in 1997 when my family and I visited the US for the first time.

NYC is a lot different from Antananarivo (Tana for short) which is the capital city in Madagascar. Because I’d just recently discovered that black looked awesome on nails, nail salons stuck out like a sore thumb in every single location we visited during our vacation. I did not know yet at that time that there were even such a thing as “fake” nails. I do however remember my mom receiving compliments on her nails and their shape from different Americans she worked with in Madagascar. Of course back then, that was not important to me at all.

Although I became more and more interested in nail care and fashion, there still was absolutely no reason for me to enter a nail salon. I was practical. It made no sense to get anything done for me (and pay for it) especially when my mom and aunts could do it for me. The idea of paying someone to get my nails polished was absurd. That didn’t really stop my curiosity about nail salons.

One of the most memorable part of our trip was walking past a store with a sign that read “Everything 99 cents” on 5th Avenue and 9th Street in the heart of Park Slope in Brooklyn. Although I was not from here, I was pretty aware of how a US Dollar worked. Having a dollar was a great thing. We did not go in that store right away. Actually, we didn’t go in that store until days before we’d have to leave NY to go back to Madagascar. I remember thinking to myself that at some point, we would have to go shopping for souvenir items for family and friends and I would somehow convince my parents to go in that store. Everything for 99 cents, that had to be the greatest discovery ever!

The day finally came and it was not hard at all to get my parents to agree to go in the store. It was pointed out to me at that time that the sign actually said “Everything 99 cents and up” (“and up” written in very small letters). I still understood that a lot of the stuff were bargain items and this type of store could be found everything within the city. I was so excited to have found an abundant amount of nail polish, make up and overall beauty items/supplies. The best part of it, most of the items sold for 99 cents. It truly had to be my lucky day.

Shopping for family and friends became unimportant as I began to pick out a variety of nail polish colors. I cannot remember the exact brands that were available but I remember purchasing a few of them in a short round bottle with a black top. The only brand that sticks out to me when I think back is Brucci. I also remember a few that were in taller and thinner round bottle with a black top but don’t recall anything on the brand at all. The only thing I can say is that the look of Revlon Colorstay nail polish reminded me of that other brand. I ended up buying at least 10 different polish shades, black being one of them and a Pepsi blue color which became one of my favorites. I also found “press-on” nails in the same isle I was already in and I had to buy them.

brucci (Google picture obtained through “brucci nail polish stand” search)

Fast forward to today, I would’ve never thought and imagined having the amount of nail polish I have today. I never even thought I’d be living in NY. What I discovered when I went back to Madagascar after that trip in 1997 is that nail polish was not good for your nails. Although I was excited to polish my nails in black in the beginning, I remember struggling to get that polish off and I remember it leaving my nails stained. That quickly discouraged me from painting my nails too often and definitely did not mind going back to the boring reds and pinks that my mom, grandma and aunts were so into. Maybe they knew something I didn’t back then and maybe I ended up learning that lesson on my own by getting my nails stained with the other colors I used. As far as the “press-on” nails, they didn’t last past the minute I had to open the door to the car before 2 of them popped off.

Although all signs pointed to remain as natural as possible, I still did not mind polishing my nails here and there with the reds and the pinks and decided that I would never be able to wear black nail polish because I did not want stained nails. Honestly, why would anyone stained nails? I just could not understand it although that trend became popular very fast as the Spice Girls became more popular as well. I was okay with my natural nails and Sporty Spice proved that it was not a bad idea as well. messy polish(Google picture obtained through “messy polish on little girl” search)