Last week I was sitting on the subway reading a magazine and listening to music on the way to work, when I noticed something horrific on the girl next to me: a chipped manicure. It was so bad that there was more nail than polish, but enough color to notice that there had once been the semblance of something lovely. If this were a confessional, I would be happy to admit that I am a manicure addict—and occasional nail judger.
I hate chipped manicures. To me there is nothing worse than a pair of unkempt hands—ragged cuticles, half worn off polish, jagged nails. Now, don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a nicely kept bare nail. It's trés chic in Paris (the women there aren't so big on manis), and I completely understand that some girls prefer bare to color. But it's the neglect that bothers me so much. Perhaps it's courtesy of my grandmother and every other stylish icon I admire, who has stated throughout time that even if your dress is ragged or your shoes old, your nails should always be groomed. Essentially, it's a statement that you take care of yourself. You have pride enough in your appearance to put in time and maintenance to present your best self to the world. And in turn, that time and care also reflects how you take care of other things in your life. It's why you'll often hear that it's important to get a manicure before a job interview, or a special occasion. I once heard of a woman who was interviewing a girl and became so agitated at her chipped polish that she suggested she remove it in the bathroom before they continue the interview. Suffice it to say she didn't get the job.
There's also another side to this story. I love manicures purely for the relaxation factor. Just like some people prefer yoga and running, or Audrey Hepburn headed to Tiffany's when she had a case of the mean reds, I find solace in getting a manicure. There's just something about it that is instantly relaxing and calming about sitting in a beautiful space getting pampered, and nothing is better than looking down at my hands to see them perfectly painted.