Confessions of a Nail Polish Addict

For those of you that know me–even if you don’t know me but have seen me around–you probably know or have noticed that I love nail polish.

A couple of months before my MBA class trip to China, we had a mandatory trip meeting. We were asked to sit with a classmate we didn’t know very well, learn something about them, and tell the rest of the class. The girl I was sitting next to is incredibly sweet, personable (I knew a little bit about her), and helped several of us push through the language barrier while we were in China.

When it came time for her to say something about me during the introduction game, I realized I hadn’t told her anything about me (oops). When it came time for her to introduce me to our professor and the class, she said, “Sara LOVES nail polish so much that she changes colours two or three times a week, sometimes every day!”. It was endearing, but also made me wonder if my assumed/observed M.O. is “girl obsessed with nail polish”. I also covered my face with my hands; so endearing, but so embarrassing.

This post is about a three things:

  1. How to manage and minimize your nail polish collection (it makes my husband really happy when I’ve done this, not so happy when he finds out I bought MORE nail polish)
  2. Where and how to dispose of nail polish or other hazardous cosmetic items safely
  3. The unanswerable and timeless question of “why am I so obsessed with nail polish?”

How to manage and minimize your nail polish collection!

Step One: Address that you have a problem, ask a significant other, friend or family member to offer support. Chances are, they already know you have a problem.

Step Two: Choose a box or container that you would like to limit yourself to and/or a specific number of colours. The box and/or number is your limit. No, choosing a large Rubbermaid storage container is not wise as your vessel for nail polish is not wise, unless you’re an esthetician. I chose to limit myself to a medium-ish box…okay actually a drawer, but I did end up with three kinds of nail polish: shellac, the regular conventional nail polish, and my Little Ondine collection.

And oh. Quit any subscriptions that may send nail polishes.

Step Three: Choose the nail polishes you like/use the most often and put them in the box. My problem is that certain nail polishes have sentimental value and I get way too nostalgic trying to sort them. Like the colour I wore when I got married or the ones gifted to me, ones that I bought while living in Israel, etc.

Step Four: Give away the rest! Or if you don’t have any friends interested in taking them off your hands, look into disposing of them safely. If you have a hefty collection, you can sell them on Kijiji, Varage Sale or at your next garage sale. Some organizations, like the YWCA in Regina will also take donations for Women’s Housing, including and cosmetics, but especially nail polish.

Safe Disposal of Nail Polish, Acetone, and other Potentially Hazardous Cosmetics…like eyelash glue.

Regina has Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Days, where you bring things like batteries, used nail polish and (eep), asbestos for the City to safely dispose of. The library also has a battery recycle program, in case you’re interested. Or Google your city’s household hazardous waste disposal programs or guidelines for more information. Okay, but because I’m nice I’m adding Thunder Bay’s Waste Disposal information.

I don’t want to say “shame on you” if you throw your batteries or nail polish in the garbage, but…you should know better. Loving beauty doesn’t mean you can’t do your part to reduce your environmental footprint.

And now moving onto…

Why am I So Bloody Obsessed with Nail Polish? (A mini-essay speculating on my personal obsession with colours in a bottle)

I have a few theories about this, starting with my mom. I think my mom loves nail polish, and I caught on by proxy. There are pictures of me as a kid with nail polish. I remember falling madly in love with black nail polish when I was 8. I’m still on the hunt for this one amazing nail polish I had when I was 9, navy blue with tiny silver sparkles that looked like the night sky was painted onto your nails. Sigh. That bottle broke all over my grade 4 teacher’s floor. Oops. I may have found the grown-up version in a Shellac.

Anyway, I digress.

The obsession.

While I lived in Israel, painting our nails, watching a movie and eating/making dinner together was bonding time with the amazing ladies I worked with. It was some sort of bizarro feminine ritual. Could we liken it to a knitting circle? A Stitch and Bitch?

The voice in my head that followed me all through Women and Gender Studies, and duh, after, tell me I would enjoy it just as much (if not more) if my husband were in on it, haha. I still find it relaxing to sit down at the end of a long day, half watch half listen to Netflix and do my nails. It’s my me-time. Also, see Sarah’s post on self-care. It’s how I get into my zen mode.

I did spot a man about the same age as my dad a few years ago who had painted toes! I secretly go gaga when I see men that don’t see nail polish as gendered. Although, I really have no idea what he was thinking or how he ended up with painted toes, so no gaga here. Just gaga over the concept.

I think what it really comes down to is all the pretty colours. My nails just look so dull to me when they’re naked.

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