A (kind of) timeline of my nail polish obsession

I don’t even know why. Or how.

Junior year of college
It was junior year of college. I was finding my way. I was finding myself. It was one Saturday evening before a night out on the town when my best friend and I were getting ready. We did our hair. We did our makeup. We got dressed. We drank. And then, she painted my nails. Something I had never done before. Nails. Always the last thing on my mind. What are nails anyway? And why would we paint them? I mean, color our hair, sure. But paint our nails? Why? Anyway, she painted them a nice shade of dark blue. Midnight blue. And literally, I’m not even exaggerating, I have kept my nails painted ever since.

And the weirdest part is I went years — 21 to be exact — without ever painting my nails. I used to cringe at the girls who got their fake French manicured nails done. How tacky, I thought to myself, as if I were somehow better than them because I chose not to spend tedious time worrying about my nails. Nails are better when they are natural. They are healthier. I’ll live longer because my nails are healthy.

Present day
And now here I am.

I paint my nails probably once a week. It’s not that it’s on the calendar and something I plan to do. It’s not like once a week I do laundry and then paint my nails because let’s be honest, I don’t do laundry once a week. But by golly, I sure as hell paint my nails once a week because that’s what’s important.

I paint them all colors. I went through a phase where I only painted them red because that’s what Taylor Swift was doing at the time. And then I only painted them a light pink color because that’s what the Bachelorette at the time was doing. And then only black because I was an emo goth kid.

But it’s also important to note that I only use Essie nail polish. I’ll never forget the first Essie color I bought. It was Ballet Slippers. A light pink color that Bachelorette Emily Maynard said she wore during her season with Brad Womack. Well then. It was settled. Essie Ballet Slippers was now my go-to color. I bought it. I wore it until there was none left. I bought a second bottle. I continue to buy every Essie color that mildly attracted me. Essie nail polish isn’t cheap either. I mean I don’t want to get into it, but you all have computers and Internet, so you can figure it out. But don’t. Just believe me. Essie nail polish isn’t cheap. But I love it. I rationalize spending God-only-knows how much on nail polish because I’m a pretty low-maintenance gal. Emphasis on the pretty. I’m pretty. But I don’t dye my hair. I don’t really get manicures or pedicures, unless of course, someone asks me to, and then I’m there in a second. I use the cheap drug store makeup. Well not my powder or mascara or eyeliner. But my concealer is the cheap drug store kind. So with all that money I’m saving, I can afford a few dozen Essie nail polish bottles.

I have several different versions of the exact same color. But Essie tells me they are different colors. So I buy into it. I say, why yes, this is a different color. A color I don’t have. I must need it. Why don’t I have it yet. And then I go home and try to convince everyone that they are in fact different colors and to just trust me.

they are different i swear

Back to August 2015
It was August 2015 when my best friends and I were in Vegas. My friend Katie and I went to the Walgreens around the corner to buy liquor and snacks. But what we found was so much more beautiful than pink wine could ever be. It was shelves and rows and columns of Essie nail polish. All color-coded. Just sitting there. Waiting for me to buy it. Waiting for me to examine it. Waiting for me to memorize each and every name and carefully take it home and care for it like the child it is. I was in Las Vegas, Nevada surrounded by men and alcohol and gambling and my heart was set on nail polish.

And then a few weeks ago

what happens when u google search “nina agdal nails”

And then it was a few weeks ago when a man grabbed my hand and started to look at my fingers. He’s totally checking out my nail polish right now. He’s impressed with how good they look and that’s probably what he’s most into. And then I remembered my father and his wise words, “PMS, no guy cares about your nails. Do you think when I look at a picture of Nina Agdal, I’m looking at her nails?” I don’t know, Dad. Maybe you are?

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