My Relationship with Nail Polish

Tuesday, 31 March 2015


From a very young age my mom instilled in me that if you're having a bad day, a new nail polish will fix it. This meant that I've always had a rather well stocked collection of nail polishes to dally with. As I've started to declutter and simplify my life, though, sorting through my nail polish collection has mad me reconsider my relationship with the product and try to come to terms with where we're heading.


Like makeup, I probably have more nail polish than anyone would ever need ever. Especially considering how little you have to use each application and how quickly the polish can turn gluggy. I have thrown out dozens of nail polishes in my time because the colour didn't suit me anymore or I didn't like it or it had just gone off. As I slowly start to use up the things I've accumulated in my life, the prospect of using up all of my nail polish seems incredibly daunting. Even after having given some polishes away and throwing others out, I still have plenty. I have to start looking at the things I consume more realistically and consider what I'm capable of using economically. 

I love having my nails painted because it makes me feel put-together, sophisticated, as though I've really put the effort in. And I have! Painting your nails can be a lot of work and that leads me to constantly putting it off further and further. More often than not, I have a polish on for 5-ish days before it chips or I peel it off, and then my nails are bare for the majority of the next month. With this kind of habit, the possibility of using up my polishes is nowhere in site.

More than once I've attempted to set nail polish goals for myself: to paint my nails once a week, to keep track of the polishes I'm using, etc. But none of them have ever really paid off. It's most likely because I very rarely have the spare time at home to sit down for half an hour or 45 minutes to paint my nails. My friend recently declared that she's giving up nail polish for the year for X, Y, and Z reasons which is absolutely fine for her but considering how much I love nail polish and having my nails painted, that doesn't seem like a step I'm willing to take.

So, I'm stuck between odd feelings of pressure, guilt, duty, and joy when I think about my relationship with nail polish. It doesn't take a psychologist to figure out that that probably isn't healthy or sustainable. For now, I'm delaying any nail polish purchases into the foreseeable future in an attempt to whittle my collection down to some degree. Then, it's just a matter of keeping myself motivated to paint my nails and eventually use up a bottle of polish. Who knows if it's even possible!

Do you have a similar relationship with a makeup product? Am I thinking way too hard about this?

xx Julia

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