Once upon a time, apropos of nothing, a man told me I had beautiful feet. That was during a time, it must be said, when I was much younger, before my feet began to bear witness to the ravages of time. Actually, there is nothing terribly wrong with my feet: I don’t have bunions or corns or other disfiguring knobs and twists of the bone. It’s mostly cosmetic that I complain of (isn’t it always in everything?) After decades of not resolving a fungal situation on my right foot, my toe nails have come to resemble something more akin to horses hooves. My left foot, I hasten to add, is fine.
It is now sandal season. This means that I must once again find a way to camoflage my errant toe nails. I’ve never been much of a manicure girl; I like my fingernails short and I suffer from an irrespressible urge to peel off nail polish. My collection of polishes, then, are all assigned duty to my toes, and over the years, I’ve attacked them with a spirit of adventure that was, I must say, ahead of my time. It was, after all, two years ago well before the current trend that I started painting my toenails with two colors of polish. Last year I did freehand op art stripes and checkerboards on my toes. Having jazzy feet allowed me to tread with pride in the strappiest of sandals.
Knowing as you do my love for all things new and improved, you can imagine how curious I have been about gel polish. The issues with my right foot toenails seem to cry out for the rock-hard, patent leather shine that the gel polishes are all promising. Except–I didn’t love the cost of the ultraviolet light that was needed to cure the job.
Then I saw NutraNail’s Gel Perfect in my local drugstore. “Sets rock solid in 5 minutes to a patent leather shine…no UV light needed, quick and easy to apply.”
Dear reader, I bought it in Passion Red and set about that very evening to give myself a pedicure. Much to my dismay, however, when I opened the box, I found a sheet of instructions that were detailed and daunting. There were three bottles–activator, cleaner and gel color–and no less than five stages involved in successfully using the stuff. The Application Process alone (stage three) consisted of four steps:
- apply sufficient activator to all five nails
- immediately apply gel color using enough pressure to blend with activator
- clean brush by wiping thoroughly on a paper towel and putting it in cleaner
- take brush from cleaner and put back in gel color to apply a required second coat
This is not what I call quick and easy. I was totally intimidated, so I decided to just do one toe nail. I chose the big toe on the right foot, which is my problem child. I followed all the instructions, and the result was not bad. But to get not bad, I could just slap on a couple of coats of regular polish the way I always have. For not bad, I didn’t have to suffer through the detailed and daunting four step Application Process.
For several weeks I walked around with polish only on that one toe (it was still winter, so no one knew my secret). But then the balmy days of spring arrived and it was time to remove the trial Gel Perfect and give myself a ten toes pedicure. That was easier said than done. I don’t know what is in the stuff, but 100% acetone polish remover does not do the job, as Nutra Nail promises. I ended up having to chip away at the raggletaggle remnants of Passion, and finally used an emery board to get rid of the last of it.
The lesson learned: a base coat is required on my toe nails, one the seals the cracks and lumps and fissures that the ravages of time have wrought. In the meantime, I have my eye on that new magnetic polish that’s out this season. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Have you tried the new gel polishes yourself? What’s your experience with them?