Tuesday, March 16, 2010

30 Days to 10 years younger--10 minute tips. Tip 15: Bump up your nails

This is not a post about good grooming, per se. But I do have a question for you. What's worse than ungroomed hands? That's easy. Aging ungroomed hands.

So, OK. Age doesn't do our hands any favors. We don't have the soft, sweet hands we had when we were 17. And you might feel that the less attention paid to them, the better. I get that, I really do.

But even if you don't want to make a big show of your hands, they're going to be on display all the time. You should keep them as presentable as possible.

In addition to that, you should keep them as hip as you are comfortable with. Maybe you've never liked calling attention to your hands. But if you have, maybe you're wondering whether you're too old to wear the latest nail polish colors.

My philosophy on that is simple. Nail polish won't make your hands look younger, but the right color will certainly make your hands look hipper.

So as long as your hands are tended and your polish is perfect, go for it. The most fashion-forward society ladies I know wear dark polish. If it's good enough for women 15 years older and 40 years younger than I am, it's good enough for me.

So find out where you score on Poppy's Nail Scale. Then bump it up to the next level.

Level One: You keep things clean. You clip and file. You slap on a little lotion when your hands feel rough.

Level Two: You shape your nails into the most flattering shape for your hands. You keep your nails a uniform length, and you put on lotion pretty much every time you wash your hands.

Level Three: You buff your nails to get rid of ridges. Or you wear clear polish. You might get a salon manicure for a special occasion.

Level Four: You regularly wear a sheer baby-pink shade of polish, like Essie's Ballet Slippers or Mademoiselle. Maybe you splash out for a pedicure in the summer months. You go a little crazier on your toes.

Level Five: You frequently get professional manicures. Your toes are pedicured all year round. You also keep abreast of nail polish color trends. You spent the fall wearing dark shades like OPI's Lincoln Park After Dark; for winter you switched to Chanel's Particuliere or OPI's You Don't Know Jacques.

Now that's it's spring, you're ready to move on to pale grey-lilacs.

Except that this week, you're wearing a lovely shade of green to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

Nail tools, nail care supplies, and nail polish are about the most cost-effective way you can update your look. And after all, it's only polish. I'm not telling you to dye your hair purple.

I say it's time you got more fashion-forward and did something adventuresome with your nails. Think about it; your nails can help you look dowdy, or they can help you look hip. Which will it be?


  1. I refuse to answer on the grounds that I might incriminate myself. I do love a pedicure, though.

  2. I'm a Level 3.5 - fingernails are shaped and buffed (damn those pesky ridges!); feet are always pedicured & polished with bright or dark pink polish (I'm partial to sparkly fuchsia these days).

    I should get back in the habit of wearing polish on my fingers - my fingernails grow very nicely with that extra bit of strength and I think my cuticles were less dry and ragged when I polished my nails all the time.

  3. I have a girlfriend with an amazing claim to fame. She used to work as an editor for Mademoiselle magazine, and she was the one who named the nail color Mademoiselle. It's like the most popular color in the nation. Not that she gets any money for it or anything.

  4. I admit it - I'm a 5!! I LOVE wearing new nail colors. My faves right now are from Rescue Beauty Lounge in NY b/c the colors are all so original. I recently bought Stormy (the color of wet concrete), Dead Calm and Bikini Bottom.


  5. I once had a beauty consultant tell me that the easiest way to guess a woman's true age was to look at her neck and hands - places that don't get enough moisturizer or sunscreen.

  6. I put lotion on my hands like a woman obsessed because I am a delicate, fragile flower (shut UP, I am too) and my hands get dry and crack if I don't. I have to use Eucerin or the like and even that doesn't totally eliminate it. I also make sure my nails look decent, trimmed and buffed, but I rarely polish them because of the whole hand-washing-the-dishes-hating-rubber-gloves thing.

    CAN I dye my hair purple, though? Or flaming red? Pretty please?

  7. Oh, and my toes are Lincoln Park After Dark right now. I love that colour.

  8. Hmm, I have a different category, perhaps 4a, i.e. I work, and cannot abide polish on my fingernails. Gets in the way of typing. But toes, toes, toes, I'm in Particuliere as we speak...

  9. I had lost mu hopes that you would mention at least ONE THING I do.
    Well, m'dear, the day has arrived.
    Nail polish, HERE. Weird colours? HERE, HERE. Except they are not accessible here so I stock up when traveling to Tuvalu. You know where it is, no? wink
    Another thing, I do my mani and pedi. Always have. And everyone has always complimented so I guess it looks OK.
    I feel slighlty better.

  10. Tomorrow, the Chanel lady and I will discuss nail colours and I will explain that I have been advised that shade 505 is where it's at. Thanks Poppy!


Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.