With “crazy” colored nail polish the trend right now, I’m wondering what colors are age appropriate? For a forty-year-old mother of a four-year-old, that is. Growing up, I was a nail biter, but being the girlie-girl that I was, I still loved to paint my nails. Pink and brown polishes were my favorites in the 80’s. In the 90’s, while in college, I stopped biting my nails, and for the first time experienced the long, strong nails my younger sister has been blessed with. She has gorgeous nails, spends time doing her own manicures each week (which she’s so good at, they look professional) and has more OPI nail polish in her bathroom than your local Ulta.
My thin, brittle nails have never been easy to grow, but I somehow did it. My favorite polishes were reds and, of course, Chanel’s “Vamp” or anything resembling it. By the end of the 90’s, beginning of the 2000’s, my short, chewed nails were back and eventually, I just stopped painting them. My toes however, are a different story. I have always painted my toe nails and ever since the invention of “Vamp,” have favored a dark purple until it was no longer dark enough and I went to full on black for many, many years. The only brand that even sold black nail polish was Wet ‘N Wild. I’m not complaining; it was ninety-nine cents a bottle. Can’t beat that.
Once I hit my mid-30’s and had my daughter, I decided it was time to retire the black nail polish. I was a mom and painting my toes black just seemed so adolescent. I chose to do this right in time for black nail polish’s comeback. I was convinced it was a passing fad that wasn’t going to be around for too long. Here we are five years later, and black nail polish isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Every once in a while, I treat myself to a manicure and I always choose OPI’s “Lincoln Park After Dark.” I love it!
I don’t feel too young wearing it and I love the way it makes my hands look. My short, chewed nails actually look, well, manicured. Once my daughter turned four, I decided she was old enough to get her nails painted as well. I tend to be a little old-fashioned when it comes to my daughter and I try to hide things like nail polish from her as long as possible. And if it were up to my husband, she wouldn’t have any of it until she was a grown up living on her own.
Hitting the Sally Hansen quick drying polish display at CVS, my Ella promptly chose a pearly, iridescent purple and a lovely lilac color. Okay, fine. But could I use them, too? Around Christmas when OPI released their Muppets collection, she longed for the Kermit color. Not quick drying, but I knew she would enjoy it. So I looked, and looked, and looked for Kermit polish to no avail. Back to CVS and the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polish where I picked up a green color that could easily be a Kermit color, and while there I purchased a mint green color for myself. Did you read my previous post about my parents trying to trick us with the cheaper priced item from the one we actually wanted? Apparently this is in my genetic make-up. I just explained that maybe Santa thought she would enjoy this one better. She wasn’t fooled for a minute and still asked for the Kermit polish.
Once we painted her toes with the green polish, I cringed. Was it too old for her? Did she look like a four-and-a-half-year-old trying to be a fourteen-year-old? Would people think I was a bad parent letting my daughter have green nail polish? Thankfully, the color didn’t last long and we were back to the purple shades. As for myself, I decided to try the lovely mint green color on my nails. Chanel has a similar color, “Jade,”so sophisticated women everywhere must be sporting mint green nails, right? I wasn’t sold. It just didn’t look right, and I felt like I was a forty-year-old trying to look like a teenager. I kept it for a couple of days and off it came. I did paint my fingers my new favorite color, a purplish/grayish/brownish OPI “You Don’t Know Jacques!” knock-off, which lasted about five days. Now I’m back to the clean, dry, brittle look.
The only solution for my minty green purchase was to paint my toenails. So, I did. Tonight. I’m still not sold. It looks a little alien to me. As in the original “V” mini-series from 1983. I’ll keep it for St. Patrick’s Day, but I think I need to give up the mint green dream.
My advice is to not let our daughters grow up too fast. There is plenty of time for nail polish and all that comes along with it. Let’s let them be four for as long as they want. Because sooner than I’d like to think about, she’s probably going to want a tattoo or her naval pierced. And when that happens, I’m going to kick myself for painting her nails green when she was four.
Oh, and we did end up finding one random bottle of OPI Kermit “Fresh Frog of Bel Air” polish at a local Ulta store on a clearance rack. The last one in the city, apparently. The color – a nice green, glittery shade that’s perfect for a four-year-old.