Before you switch off, presuming that this is some girly blog about beauty products, stop right there. Check out the rest of my blog. I’m about as likely to write about makeup as I am about horror movies. I have nothing against either, per se, they’re just not my ‘thing’. Boys may still want to look away now though.
I had my nails done before Christmas to see how I would get on with them. I’m getting married in June and wanted to trial them before having them done for the big day. It’s probably the only time in your life that your hands have photographs taken of them. (Although my hands have appeared in a DSS training video!)
My history with nail art is a tempestuous one. I’ve always been hopeless with nail varnish. Apart from the fact that my nails shred at will, if they are ever long enough to paint, the finished article lasts approximately 5 minutes. I get impatient waiting for them to dry and you can guarantee by the time they’re done they’re ruined in short order: smudged and chipped by having my hands variously in pastry, dough, mud, paint or water. My one dalliance with false nails was equally disastrous. Within a few minutes of having them on I’d laddered my stockings and dropped 2 of them down the loo. I managed to replace them and continued on my evening out without further incident. When I got home I had to take them all off. I couldn’t work out how to remove my contact lenses with them on, and after 3 attempts and multiple pokes in the eye, I gave up. I’ve not tried them since, until – rewind to the start of the paragraph – December. Amazingly the gel nails looked OK on my ‘not long’ nails and they lasted really well. My nails grew. No chips, no smudges, no cracks. I was impressed.
The more interesting thing about having my nails done was that it made me think about looking after myself. It made me put some time aside to care. I can scrub up with the best of them, but have a lackadaisical approach to my appearance – depends on my mood and energy levels. You can guarantee I’m clean, for the most part, but very rarely styled and made-up. I wear what takes my fancy – comfort is paramount – combined with ease of going to the loo (I have to go a lot). I’m allergic to most make up, especially mascara, and rarely bother to wear the organic versions I have. It always seems like a waste of time, spending hours on hair and make-up and clothes selection. I mean who’s going to see me? Who’s going to care? Well, I am going to. A little bit more anyway. Not because it matters, not because I care a great deal about how I present myself to the world, but because investing time in self-care is not really wasted. I pay a great deal of attention to the food I eat and try and exercise when I can, and perhaps this is an extension of that. I’m not saying you need to have painted nails and coiffured locks to look after yourself, not at all, simply that for me it’s been a bit of a revelation. When you lack energy and suffer from health issues it’s easy to give up caring about your appearance and that can have knock-on effects. Having my nails painted isn’t going to make me better, but as an occasional indulgence, it might make me feel a little bit better about myself.
If you spend so much time working and looking after your family that you don’t have much ‘you time’ getting you hair or nails done, or having a massage, may be just the thing to put something back into the well-being bank account. You may not be suffering from self-neglect, which is a completely different proposition, but like me, maybe an occasional dose of self-indulgence will do you the world of good. Although having my nails done will never really be my ‘thing’ it’s been a useful reminder that I owe it to myself to care a bit more.