Friday, January 18, 2013

It's Fashion Friday!: Paint the Toes Red!

Oh, Rita! Look at those nails!

            I feel like my last posts have really taken a negative slant. I don’t know if that’s actually the case – to determine the truth would require me to go back and read and good heavens that is effort I’m not interested in spending. To turn a bit in the upward direction I thought it might be nice to focus on something I really like! Painting my nails!  Fingers and toes are so much more fun to look at when the tips are covered in unnatural colors and patterns, don’t you agree?
            When you think about it, it’s a really odd thing to do. The more I thought about the oddity of it, the more I pondered the history of it. Of course, I had to go searching around the Internet for a lesson. You might expect that this fashionable body art began with the French, but there you would err. Think back to long ago. Think back further. Keep going. No, further. You’re not there yet. Have you reached the time when they were building the pyramids in Giza? My Egyptian friend Miran will love this, as she enjoys telling me how many things originated in Egypt. The Egyptians were painting their nails with henna as far back as 3000 BC. Men and women alike would color their fingernails. Different colors would be used depending on social status, darker colors being indicative of a higher status. Cleopatra and Nefertiti preferred deep reds. The proof lies in the mummies! The Chinese were also staining their nails around this time, not with henna though. They had odd concoctions of wax and egg whites and flowers. And I also read of the ancient Babylonian men using kohl to color their nails as far back as 3200 BC, but could not find anything to back that up.
            I guess nail polish fell out of favor with the men just as the high heels did, but that’s quite all right. I don’t particularly like the look of men in stilettos and pink toenails. Something about that just doesn’t sit right. It wasn’t until the late 1920’s that the nail painting trend started up in the States, coinciding with the painting of automobiles. It was a pretty slow thing to popularize, with ladies really only daring to paint their fingers light colors in the forties. If you dared to paint with a bright red - good heavens you know what that meant, YOU TROLLOP.
Oh life in the eighties...
            I remember as a little girl being SO EXCITED to get my first set of Tinkerbell nail polish. (I had Tinkerbell perfume too. And mind you, this was not related to the weird Disney princess crap you see everywhere now). It came in a little carry case, there were three colors, and it peeled off like rubber. I just had to tell my Pop-pop (mom’s dad) all about it. He was excited for me too, I could tell. He did, however, make me promise that I would never paint my toenails. “Okay, pop-pop, I promise.” Now I am a girl of my word. I kept this promise long past his passing, when I was nine. I think it was probably when I was eighteen or so when I finally decided that he wouldn’t mind if I did, indeed, paint my toenails. My mom and I had a talk about it; she hadn’t known about this promise or that he had even requested this and was quite entertained. We decided he probably had made the association that only harlots painted their toenails and he couldn’t have his sweet little granddaughter looking like a whore.
This is what is on my toes RIGHT NOW!
            Well now, there is no discretion when it comes to what colors I will put on my hands and toes. The darker and stranger the better. The day I discovered Chanel’s Black Satin nail polish I wore it straight for almost a year. Why not? When you’re irritable there is something very satisfying about looking down at black fingernails. Deep purple and navy are also nice. My brother bought me an excellent chocolate-like bronze for Christmas. Feeling low? Go get a pedicure! You get your toes painted a cheerful color, AND you get some random person massaging your feet and legs. Okay, so take your mind off the fact that it’s a weird random person touching your feet and it’s a really enjoyable experience.
            Not all nail polishes are created equal. I know nothing about the gel nail polishes – it freaks me out that you need PURE ACETONE to take them off. I find that the ones at the drugstore aren’t as good as the ones at the salon. They chip. They don’t stay on as long. OPI, however, does not cost much more than the stuff at the drugstore. They have every color you could possibly want. And of course, I love Chanel nail polish. It’s just expensive, but so is Starbucks. 


  1. I am a guy that has a very strong feminine side and always wear fire engine red nail polish on my professionally pedicured toenails. The polish is OPI Big Apple Red. I live in a warm climate and my painted toes are almost always on display in women’s sandals. Red toenails are classic, sassy, and feminine. When people see my red toenails in sandals, they know I have a very strong feminine side. Whenever I am having a bad day, it always cheers me up to look down and see red toenails peeking out of my sandals. Never underestimate the power of red toenails. It is amazing how something as simple as red toenails can do so much to lift my mood. I am looking forward to my pedicure appointment tomorrow.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that! I think if what you're doing makes you happy, then it is DEFINITELY the right thing. And what a fantastic red you have picked. Rita Hayworth would be proud.