Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays to all of you! These are cool nail designs from the Nail Art Gallery. I hope this season was well spent in the company of friends and family. I'm taking a break as well as my piggies. I just actually 'clipped' (OMG) my toenails very short as they had grown weary and looked rather nasty. They had discolored from the continuous polish wear and became dry. Ugh! Fortunately, this only involved the last third and the more proximal portion looks healthy pink. I do file the fine ridges away and keep them shiny. No product. For now. I can't wait for liberating spring to come. Be safe out there and to those who are wise and spend the winter in warm outdoor weather proudly displaying their love for colored toesies, YOU SUCK! Maybe you could show me what you're wearing and I'll post it for us poor snow bound creatures.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

TOMS for Fashion and Charity

I first noticed these shoes on my most recent trip to L.A., strolling through the shoe department at Neiman Marcus. Among the $1000+ leathers, there were these simple cloth shoes in a variety of colors. TOMS. I never heard of it but they are cute and fashionable shoes. Of course, the offerings at NM were pricier than the usual set, having exclusive NM versions. These shoes really reminded me of the classic black kung fu cloth shoes so I naturally took a liking to them. I had a pair as a kid. I think all Asian boys had them at some point, to wear with their traditional silk outfits on holidays.

TOMS is a rising corporation now who's being recognized internationally. Blake Mycoskie is the founder. During a visit to Argentina, he came across many poor children who ran around barefooted. Something in him sparked his kind heart and he set out to make a difference by starting this One for One Movement. To those who have never been outside of the U.S. and have visited a third world country, there is poverty in this world that is unimaginable. Sure, there are also kids here that are poor and starving and I don't want to undercut that fact, but poverty is a whole level worse. TOMS shoes has already delivered hundreds of thousands of shoes to needy kids around the world. It all began in 2006. Their goal for 2009 is to reach 300,000 donations. I've spotted young people wearing these shoes around town.

As you can see, I have joined in the movement and purchased a black pair. I have another one being shipped and also got my wife a girly pair. I bought the T-shirt and sweatshirt as gifts too. That amounts to five pairs of shoes that will be given to those in need. I certainly love its philanthropic angle but won't deny that I also love the shoes. They are super light, comfy and casual, and it makes a personal statement. I do hope they hold up to frequent wear. They come in a simple box with instructions on how to direct the shoe donation. There is a unique code on each box that you can use online to assign which country you want to ship your donation. These delightful treats cost $44 and up. I got mine at Nordstrom for $48. They recommend staying true to size but I found that they ran small. I ended up with a M8.5. Children's sizes are also available.
Check out their website at and join the cause to improve a child's life.

Marine Blue over Soft Soles in Winter

It snowed for the better part of the day though the chill didn't bite as sharply as it did a week ago. I had gone bare for longer than usual and my piggies were sadly devoid of color. I know that others report that polish will make your natural nail discolor and yellow, especially if the nail isn't given time to "breathe" between coats of lacquer. It's been many months since I started this craze and truly haven't let them air too much. I'm guilty. My nail doesn't flake or change in contour or thickness so I don't think that I have any infectious problems. I should have posted a picture of them bare but I couldn't resist dressing them.

I came across this color because my compulsive self saw this Sally Hansen gift set with mystery colors inside at the supermarket. Somehow going out to get bread, ham, chocolate syrup, and tea became another opportunity to pick up a fetish-related item. One or two 'mystery' colors were far out there. I will post them later as I'm sure to give it a chance, especially since my cold toes will spend life sheltered.

Sally Hansen Marine Scene turned out to be quite a surprising and cheerful color for this time of year. It's a metallic swirl polish in baby blue with fine silver specks. In the sunlight, it's so shimmery and mesmerizing. I wish it was summer already. My daughters really liked it when they saw me change socks this morning. It's a lighter blue than the image depicts.

My feet and their soles continue to be pampered. It's become a habit now to slather them with the lotion(s) of the day and it's no bother. It only takes a few minutes. I crave the daily foot soaks which have fallen off precipitously due to time constraints. I did treat them to new foot bamboo files for the shower. Again, fetish items brought home with the bread. Honey wheat. I'm proud to say I have no calluses or cracked skin. The pressure points of my feet are obviously mildly thickened but soft. I don't think I can or even want them to be thin because a barefoot walk on my stone flooring would be painful.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Grape Looking Toes

Winter has come late this year but has presented itself unpleasantly with snow and chilly temps. The hours of the day are short so it goes that I rise in the dark to work, spend the day indoors, and depart under the blanket of night. The fashion sandal or thong will only be for those daring supermarket runs in between the snow falls. I doubt it's worth frostbite. Sad are my toes as they anticipate the coming of spring in a few months. I should move to Arizona or Southern California. Texas? They'd shoot me for wearing polished toes. Ha! Sorry, I'm sure it's quite safe.

I sported my last new bottle of lacquer. I chose OPI No Spain No Gain from the Coleccion de Espana. It's a solid purple that's quite pretty and made me think of grapes every time I admired my toes. Since I've been keeping my feet sheltered and warm, the polish has kept it's gloss for the better part of a fortnight. It wasn't until the past few days that it started chipping, as you can see in the picture. I am not flawless and having been busy, I let things go for a while. The nails are grown out at the base. I will eagerly await the day in spring when I can wear this out.

I was looking at my blog picture and thought of how awful my toes and nails look. Any of you think that? I'm wearing my favorite pair of Rock & Republic jeans, which have sadly faded. I will have to replace it, the picture I mean. I am looking for more designer denim and thought I might give 7 for All Mankind a try or Citizens of Humanity. I have several pairs of R & R and True Religion and should expand. I almost bought a pair of Rag & Bone jeans but I had already gotten a jacket and pants so jeans would have been much on my current budget. Rag & Bone has such great items and some that are out there. They're an American designer brand. Check it out.

I will continue to wear polish through the cold season and make the best use of the bottles that I've collected. My wife no longer buys any and just takes from my selection. I have a drawer that is slowly filling up. What the hell will I blog about now? I will file and smooth my toes as usual and perhaps just gloss them with clear, or clear with sparkles. My soles had been the softest through any spring and summer of my adult life. With shoes and socks everyday, they are already softening up even further. I love them and how they feel. I am quite proud and happy about how well I've taken care of my feet. It's certainly enriched my life and health a little better. For those few fans out there, I hope to continue to share my silly experiences with colored toes and healthy foot care.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rockin' Los Angeles, Not Really

I meant to save this black for Halloween but got too busy after the Seattle trip. What better place to try it than Los Angeles, where rock stars litter the trendy spots and many sport polished nails. I got so busy with work that I barely had a chance to get out. Right before leaving I had a chance to stroll down Rodeo Drive, where it seemed like the economy hadn't touched them since every other dude seemed to drive a Bentley and half a dozen fairly young guys were cruising in their (parents'?) late model Ferraris.

I stayed at the Sheraton Downtown and was less than impressed. Certainly no Hotel 1000 and the price wasn't far off. Not my choice but if it was, I'd look for something else. It's old and worn and the bathroom much of a turn off. In fairness, I think other Sheratons can be quite nice.

I had the chance to check out some shoes and really like the offerings from Gucci this fall, especially their sandals. Tom Ford also has some nice models but they are insanely expensive, like $1600+ expensive. John Lobb from London fit in the middle with $1000 leathers. I keep nice shoes that I've collected over the years and take very good care of them. I polish them frequently and keep them in cedar shoe trees. They still look quite new. I don't purchase shoes that often since I'm a bit selective. Aside from Ferragamo shoes, I can't get the other brands locally unless I visit a place where there's a Saks or Neiman Marcus or a particular designer boutique. I've bought online but it's dicey and returns can be costly. Occasionally Nordstrom Rack will have a rare treasure buried in the mess of shoe racks and I'll find Prada in my size and style. Very rare. In fact, it's only happened once. For women, I've spotted Jimmy Choo, Prada, even Lanvin on the rack. Not the ugly models but something very wearable. I'm gearing up to wear my keen boots or my Columbia snow boots as the weather turns icy. I've often thought of buying "regular" work shoes to wear in the winter as the salt is harsh on the leather soles and the tops and spare my designer collection. Do you have a shoe fetish? Or am I just nuts for a guy?

Pat on the Black by Sally Hansen was also purchased with Raisin the Bar. It's a solid black but it's been described as having a purplish hue. It didn't appear to be purely black and instead gave a flash of dark chocolate. My wife saw them and thought it was brown. It took two coats and came on evenly. Now that I'm home, I haven't ventured out with them. It would appear less feminine, not that I care. I honestly prefer the pinks. I like reds, just like wine, and should wear it more often.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Raisin the Bar

Sally Hansen Salon Nail Lacquer offers Raisin the Bar as a superb shimmery pink-laden red. It's quite silvery and one could really tell by the streaks impressed on the paint as I stroked the polish on. Not a bad thing. The consistency was perfect and it dried just right. I like the rubber handle but it's less comfortable than Orly's. The square bottle is clean and looks sharp. It reminded me of Testor model paints from my nerdy pre-teen days of building cars and jets. All in all, for the price (I got it for under $4), it's a beautiful color to wear. I am mortified that I lost my picture. I won't mind wearing it again and I'll snap one for all of you.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bedside Toe Treats, Aveda Foot Relief Review

I read some wonderful blogs about our passion for lacquer but I have to recognize that much work and time is dedicated to bringing that final entry, especially if you have to color your nails with six different swatches then capture them in their most vivid pose. As an amateur, it still takes me considerable labor to get my piggies prepped. I can't imagine the cost of searching and purchasing half a dozen new colors weekly. My hats off to them! I'll have to post my favorite ones later on the section of what blogs I follow.

I really haven't taken the time to review foot care products. My decision to choose a particular product is influenced by location, availability, marketing, packaging, and branding. Personal choice ultimately decides what makes it home to slather on my precious skin. These happen to be my current options for loving my feet. I got manic and lost my senses for a bit during the beginnings of my new fetish when I bought several foot creams. I alternate products just about daily and often combine them. How the hell do I tell what is superior and what makes a difference for my skin? I can't. Sorry to disappoint. These are not randomized, double-blinded clinical trials. I like all of them and really choose one based on mood for a certain texture or fragrance. My feet stay moisturized and I always wear a pair of socks to bed. I generally use a flavored lotion first right after my shower (I do this at night) then follow with a fragrance-free base cream like Cetaphil. Do I need to double up? Or am I just wasting material? What conclusions can be drawn about the first lotion? The base lotion? Damn it! I don't know but my ridiculous obsessive ritual calms my anxiety and urge to twist the doorlock three times with my left hand each passage through a door. Ha! I'm kidding. I don't like touching faucet knobs or door handles in public places. This is true.

Back on track! From left to right, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, Kiehl's Superbly Restorative Argan Body Lotion, L'Occitane Verbena Body Lotion, Pangea Organics Egyptian Basil & Mint Hand & Body Lotion, L'Occitane Relaxing Foot Cream with Lavender, Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion, and Aveda Foot Relief. This composes most of my bedside foot bar where each night those silly piggies imbibe in these delicious toe tickling treats.

One of the tastier samplings is from Aveda. Their Foot Relief lotion "gently exfoliates, revitalizes and nourishes stressed feet." Before purchasing it on a trip to Las Vegas, I searched the internet for reviews and found a plethora of raves for this wonderful lotion. Its creamy smooth texture rubs on smoothly without feeling greasy. Just as you open its flip top, the herbal scent of peppermint and rosemary mixed with nuts and fruits quickly engages your senses. By far it has the most wonderful, irresistible smell of any lotion. Hands down. It absorbs quickly and does make your feet feel clean and refreshed. I tend to use this one by itself. It is made with many extracts of fruit and herbs, a characteristic trait of the Aveda Corporation. Cons of Foot Relief are that it's pricey for the amount ($19 for 4.2 fl oz), which can disappear quickly. It states that it exfoliates but I doubt it's significant. I will certainly always keep this product stocked in my bar. I highly recommend it and award it a full 9 piggies out of nine.

I will review the other products over the next few weeks. If you have any thoughts or have tried this lotion, please feel free to chime in. This is only my simple view and as you can tell, not an exhaustive or unbiased opinion. Keep those feet spoiled and show them off!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Naughty in Seattle

Seattle lives up to its reputation. It is cold, wet, and gloomy outside. Despite the typical forecast, the seaside city is vibrant, cultivated, fashion forward, and bursts through its seams with delectable food choices. My keen observational skills tell me that women are well dressed here. Perhaps the weather permits one to accessorize and bring forth a more complete ensemble of threads. Boots are very fashionable this winter. It completes the look whether you're draping over a dress or tucking in well-fitted jeans to show off those slim, long legs. Tres chic! Men, although fewer in numbers, were hip and tuned into modern looks.

I wish I'd spend more time here living so that I may run down to Pike Place Market, past the disgusting Wall of Gum, and plan elaborate meals utilizing the fresh seafood and locally grown fruits and vegetables. There is a neat store called Beecher's Handmade Cheese that sells specialty artisanal cheeses. Through its large windows, you can see their vats of curd and whey being mixed. Strolling through the downtown area, I notice that there are many nail salons. Some are nicer than others. Unfortunately, I did not feel the compulsion to visit one during my stay and can't really review one. (What kind of crap nail blog is this?)

The Hotel 1000 is a modern, swanky edifice conveniently located in downtown Seattle. It is near many attractions, including one right next door. Taboo Video is a 24hr adult store ready to satisfy any carnal urges at any time of the day. We had a good laugh about this since they're not shy about their front window display of many decorated phallic items. My oldest daughter read their sign and pointed out to us that it was for adults. The staff is very friendly and accommodating. The room, as you see above, is fantastic. It's relatively spacious and I didn't feel cramped at all. The bathroom was special as it was only divided from the room by a large glass pane. A nice touch is that the tub water fills from the ceiling. The feel and look of the hotel reminded me of our visit to Vancouver, BC. We stayed at the Opus. If you get a chance, I highly recommend these places.

Though my toes were colored, it was too damp and cold to wear sandals or flip flops. My piggies rebelled within their classic toe cap Ferragamo enclosures as I mingled with my stuffy colleagues in meetings all day long. Orly's Naughty is a rich, ultra-dark chocolate red that almost comes across as black in low light. My bottle was filled with thin liquid and when it came time for application, it brushed on like dark venous blood with a degree of transparency. Surprisingly, it took three layers to wear it but it layered smoothly. Wow! This is the darkest I've worn. Against my pale winter complexion, my piggy coats stood out naughtily, as the name suggests. I love this color. Good transition to the goth black I'll be attempting soon for Halloween's sake.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Back to the Start in Havaianas

One last stretch of chilly weather before utter popsicle days set in and my sad piggies become sheltered for a long bleak winter. Browsing through my girly drawer, I came across that old bottle of OPI Rodeo Rose, the one that started it all on that fateful afternoon with my precious daughters. I immediately took a fondness to this bright, almost flourescent cheerful pink and thought of what possessed me to polish my toes at all. I can't explain it other than it was sheer fate. One last effort for this bottle since the lacquer was condensed as syrup and its top forcefully opened (but not cracked! Ha ha!) Even its smell was stagnant and slightly repulsive, unlike the inviting swirl of exhilarating fumes flowing from a fresh bottle of liquid joy. Armed with crazed determination, I slathered it on each toe with swift strokes and startling skill, knowing that a second pass will likely result in aggravating smudging and frustration. It came on thick but the stroke ridges dissipated into a smooth thick shell. The top coat always seems to correct any minute contour deformities. At last, my toes basked in triumph and curled with delight. The pink is certainly loud, unlike the elegance that my Essie Movers and Shakers exulted.
It's a bit late to discover the fun of flip flops combined with well dressed toes. I have a few sandals and a pair of flip flops from Prada and UGG. Havaianas, especially on sale at the Rack, are only a small fraction of their Italian counterparts. I don't have much variety on the expensive side so I usually choose black. Havaianas have an attractive slim shape even in the men's styles (not that it matters to me whether they're women's or not.) Many of the patterns and colors are so fun that I can't help but keep a few. They are surprisingly comfortable and gentle on the heels. It's a great way to lighten up one's appeareance. They go absolutely well with jeans as well as a dressy pair of Armani pants. Shorts are a no brainer. One must still somewhat match the right shade of rubber, of course. Otherwise, it looks sloppy even in its casual dress down kind of way. Just my humble opinion. My latest pair is much wilder than my norm. Havaianas 4 Nite is a glow-in-the-dark offering with painted alternating ?s and !s interrupted by glowing circles. The Havaianas label on the lateral strap also glows. Radiation on my feet? Who knows but the glow doesn't last very long. Halloween is near so I guess that attracted me to these flops. Good times.
I went to the local mall to pick out sunglasses. The young man working there was very pleasant and when he offered to help me, he instantly noticed my toes. He said he really liked them. Since I was buying $300+ sunglasses, he wasn't going to insult me. He even admitted he colors his black. I appreciated that compliment from a complete stranger. A guy. A rather feminine guy. With flare. I'm totally cool with that since I'm probably considered borderline by those who don't know me.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hot Toes in the Valley of the Sun

I am sitting at the Phoenix airport waiting for the my delayed flight to arrive. I am buzzed after only two, albeit large frozen margaritas, and all of a sudden this hub of frantic shuttling activity for folks from all walks of life has become rather warming. Comfortable. At the bar, an older business-type man started talking to me about football, the only thing screening on the multiple flat panels. I nod and smile and awkwardly try to come up with something smart to say about football. I don't watch tv and much less follow sports. Nothing comes to mind except for that thug M. Vick, who apparently had a bad week. I did feel bad for him as his focus turned to remembrance for his teenage boy who was apparently killed in some sort of accident. He has a 14 year old daughter who is so traumatized that when he or his wife travel, she freaks out because she thinks that something bad may happen to them and she'd be left alone in this world. Geez! Count your blessings and appreciate your life and your loved ones. Any time that I travel, I tell my wife to always let my girls know that I loved them very much and that I always want the best for them. She thinks I'm stupid for talking like that. One never knows.
My trip was for business, not pleasure. I did see my brother for a little bit since I also travelled to Tucson. He's just as busy and worked for the better part of our time. I will admit that I was at least anxious about showing my toes in front of him. I was bogged down with work the week prior to leaving and didn't have a chance to pick out a color. I stuck with the gorgeous fuchsia, which was at its latter end of luster. It chipped on two piggies. I was well prepared, as always, and promptly addressed the minor injuries to my ailing toes. I was shocked to find that when he saw them, the only thing he said was "Do you paint your toes?" I said with certainty in my voice "absolutely." It never came up again. I was shocked and ready to defend my position but didn't have to at all. That was easy.
Arizona is a conservative state and I got more negative grimaces from women and men alike than any other place. No one has yet to say a thing about my toes. It's just interesting. My next trip is to Seattle but it will be too cold to sport sandals. It already snowed a bit at home. The era of closet toes is coming.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Passion Back on my Toes

My tired feet had been dragged through a bit of an arduous week bound in restrictive shoes. These poor piggies shed their perfectly kept pearl coats and have cruised through a few days au naturale. I filed and smoothed their backs as well as those of their cousins, the fingernails. Catching a break from the hustle of my chosen path, I came around to finally sporting one of two colors I had bought from the OPI Coleccion de Espana. Last night, er, technically this very early AM, I once again found solace in my bathroom whilst my loved ones were securely asleep. Only the sound of our zen rock slab fountain dribble is heard through a baseline hum of electrical appliances. It's quiet. I'm achy. The girls are not fighting and calling each other a "fidiot." I curiously asked what or where that word derived from. Apparently it rhymes with idiot and it sounds funny (and offensive). I couldn't help but look it up. On urban dictionary, it signifies an extreme of idiot. No wonder my bathroom is a desired, soothing shelter.
One attractive choice from that selection is Ate Berries in the Canaries. Wow! It colored smoothly with its wide brush applicator and its thinner consistency made for an even slick coat. It's a rich and seductive fuchsia that effortlessly oozes confidence and glamorizes my spoiled piggies. No glitter this time. It's perfect just how it is. My toes were tickled silly and smiled wide. This feels right. Very sexy, at least that's how it makes me feel. My wife still rolls her eyes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pearly Pink Does It Again

Tutti Frutti Tonga by OPI was another color found at the supermarket on clearance. I guess people don't usually pick up their polish while purchasing leafy vegetables. This creation is composed of a simple yet complex silvery pink metallic lacquer. Since I've worn this new color, I like its flattering iridescence and understated elegance. Again, sprinkled with a touch of Orly Fifty-Four it gives it that brilliant edge.

I wore it to the fair this weekend with my favorite sandals, dark blue jeans, and a casual polo. The outfit came together well, I thought. It was quite dusty and being as subtle as they were, the fine dirt blended away the panache of my toes. Made it to the movies too. I saw "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" in 3-D with the fam. It was fun but looking through my own eyeglasses and the special plastic 3-D glasses gave me a headache. Ay!

I am travelling to Phoenix for business and to visit my brother. What color should I shock him with? I'll not hear the end of it but I have to stick to my guns. It was easier to present them to my mother-in-law. Even my own mother, who once asked if I was gay because of my pretty toes, at least tolerates it and won't say a word about them now. I wish the thought of decorated piggies had crossed my mind in my younger years. It will be fun grilling and cooling off in his pool as it is hellishly hot there. I'll meet his new dog. I miss having a dog. My thoughts are drifting,.. riffftngg... ningg..... It's late and I have a meeting at 630am. Ugh!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Pretty Pearl at the End of Summer

Having taken an affinity to all things pink, I considered knocking things back a notch and exploring more subdued, less alarming colors. Shades that would stand out when light strikes it at just the right angulation. Subtle (yeah right). I'm perfectly fine with louder colors but for me it takes more maintenance to get all my piggies dressed and in top shape. Going for lighter colors is a way to curb that as I'm trying to come to terms with my one injured piggy. Now, subdued did not mean flat polish or shimmer-free concoctions. No way!

I visited my friendly Sally store and picked up Fifty-Four from Orly, which is essentially a clear coat with fine silvery specks that will add a touch of beauty to a plain nail or dress up any nonmetallic paint with a touch of shiny glamour. I've also discovered that if used on top of a metallic color that it enhances its own shimmery properties by adding another dimension of glitter for an end result that is fabulous.

I used Fifty-Four as a top coat for the lovely OPI Rosy Future. It must be an old color because the label seemed dated and it was on clearance at a local supermarket. Nonetheless, it is a beautiful opalescent pink with a hint of blue shine and fine silver specks. It took two coats to cover the nail well and a top coat of extra shimmer that added depth and sparkle. It wore quite well as it lasted well over a week before I changed colors. We drove to a nearby town for a dog show. The dogs didn't seem to mind. In fact, I think they were rather tickled to see my colored toes. Ironic for dogs to notice.

Weather is still relatively warm and my piggies can still enjoy some exposure. If I count by weeks, I only have a handful of colors to show off before the cold sets in and the prohibitive snow follows. I imagine that I'll shift my palette to darker shades and I'm thinking for Halloween that I'll give black a try.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pink is the New Black

I must admit that I love the pink shades and have been looking for different offerings. Essie makes a wide range of pinks and reds that come in these cute small square bottles with white tops. I bought my first bottle in a nonmetallic medium pink dubbed Movers and Shakers. Its consistency was just right though the brush was thin. I've been spoiled by OPI's wider brush design. The polish went on smoothly and settled evenly. My toenails were trimmed back to a shorter length and the tops filed to a smooth shiny surface. The pink made me feel young, daring, and quite sexy. I love it! Pulling pink off as a man is probably hard and dressing well doesn't help. Needless to say, I am confident and don't mind breaking the "rules" and showing my lovely toes to the world.

I am still having fun with polish and can't wait to try the next color. Only a couple more months before the season changes and the cold snowy months force me to keep my toes sheltered in waterproof boots. On the bright side, my feet are usually in their best shape during those gloomy times and with my ramped up obsessive foot adoration they will be baby smooth. Some day soon I will pack up and leave this miserable place to be in a warm or even hot place where the snow sprinkles over the dessert landscape once in a hundred years. I can then wear my sandals year round with my dashing toes playing under the bright sun. That will be the day. Gucci sandals would be so fitting and an absolute must in the collection. I am up in clouds right now. Please don't wake me up.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

That's Berry Daring with UGG Fluffies Review

As I'm becoming more comfortable about my fetish, I'm not too shy about trying out different shades. I am now exploring the more "feminine" side with several tones of pink. My latest flirt with color has to do with OPI's That's Berry Daring. It's lovely and so rightfully fun for summer. It shows my sensitive side (though I think to the general crowd it screams gay). Hey, if Beckham (the ultimate metrosexual) can pull it off, so can I. That's Berry Daring is a semi-metallic middle range pink with a hint of red. It has a tiny amount of golden flecks that only under intense lighting does it become apparent. On this photo above, it came out rather reddish, which it's not. I've since taken it off but considered putting it back on for another run because I liked it so much.

I was pacing through REI, one of the best stores for outdoor gear, when I came across this pair of flip flops from UGG, makers of fuzzy sheep boots. Since my footcare is rather extreme, I thought it would function well to protect my so soft soles from my own hazardous slate floors at home. These black UGG flip flops, dubbed Fluffies, are made from soft rubber straps, firmer rubber soles with a light flat tread pattern, and its most important feature, the soft fleece footbed. Upon stepping on them, they feel as one can imagine, fluffy. They are comfortable and functional. They look good. I must say that I like the women's slim cut. I don't like bulky sandals or flip flops. I only use them at home but wouldn't be embarrased about taking them out to the supermarket. Hell, I already have my toes painted. My only complaint about this item is the black suede leather patch on the back of the footbed. My heels rest directly on them, and though soft, it's not as soft as the fleece and after slightly prolonged wear, its black dye rubs off on the skin, leaving me with a black heel. They're new I suppose and with continued use, should get better. They seem to be washable by hand but I'm not sure how that would affect the fleece. They go for $40USD but they were on sale for $30. For a pair of flip flops, that's fairly pricey but well worth it. My Prada rubber flip flops were over 3 times more so this seemed like a bargain. Overall, I give it 8 1/2 piggies out of nine. Keep loving those feet!

Coleccion de Espana

I frequently scour the net for updates on what's new in the fascinating world of colored nails. Although I own a mixture of polish brands, OPI is one of my favorites. The Coleccion de Espana contains so many beautiful shades that elicit a sense of passion and lust. This is making me crave tasty tapas and rich saffron-laced paella. I've recently purchased a couple of their sexy chromatic offerings. I find that my piggies' appetite for color outpaces my rate of being able to actually dress them in it. I leap forward one too many playful coats while still feeling out the current outfit. It takes too much work to switch out enamels more than once a week. I now have a growing collection with several new bottles still untouched and I'm thinking about what other color to get this week. If I was a girl (I may be worse than a girl), I'd go through them quicker as I'd try one color on my hands and another on my feet. I'm not sure what rules there may be regarding matching fingernails and toenails. My knuckly hands are too ugly to wear polish plus I can't do it because of my healthcare job. My feet are also manly and veiny with large nails but I feel as if I can get away with it. At least they are well taken care of and naturally hairless. I will post my toes in those colors once I get around to them and once I stop my compulsivity in neurotic polish acquisition. Which colors do you like? Which colors did I get?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Why So Many Unfortunate Piggies

I painted my wife's toes last night as she was sleeping and thought that it doesn't seem fair that she can wear any color, style, and a plethora of the prettiest shoes without any clout. That being said, she takes it for granted and ignores her poor feet. Her polish was a couple of weeks old and worn out. I've made efforts to help her get them better but without her wanting them to be pretty, hours spent scraping, filing, and nourishing her feet just gets wasted. I don't try very hard any more. By the next day, they were chipped in multiple spots. One day. How much damage can one do in just one day? I can't help her if she doesn't want to help herself. She's not asking for my help I suppose.

I must confess (no surprise) that I have a growing foot fetish and I now take notice of people's feet, which are abundant for inspection in the summer and early fall months. Don't get me wrong. I shouldn't call it a fetish as that brings to mind multiple perverted acts that one can do with toes and feet. I'm a foot admirer. That sounds better. Men's feet are among the worst, including a pair that I saw that had deep cracks on the heel with duct tape over one of them. Duct tape! Are you kidding me? How caveman-like is that? I proudly say mine are still the best out there and I am happy.

Now for the female side of feet, one would logically conclude that most women look out for themselves. Not true. I'd say one out of 25 women I come across at work, the grocery store, or the mall has nice feet. Nails are usually polished but chipped, faded, or left on so long there's a quarter inch of new nail at the base. WTF? There are those where the nails are obviously salon quality crafted but their heels are dry and fissured and their toes white from dessication. I saw a lady with feet that looked like they were dipped in tar and never washed. Where's the pride? Where is the self-respect and the basic need for hygiene? At least hide them behind shoes.

Looking back in time, I'd say this foot adoration of mine was well hidden within me and just needed that spark to overcome my own subconscious gender obstacles. I remember a girl in high school who sat by me all the time and spent her time painting her nails in class. We were friends and I had a crush on her. She would let me paint her nails all the time despite the crappy job I did. That never blossomed into a relationship. I moved on to college and only remember "foot" instances (now that I'm trying hard to analyze my fetish, uh, adoration), like this time I saw this girl in class with the most beautiful feet and cute too. Funny how that sudden, impulsive attraction came from seeing her slender, smooth, clean feet. That may have been just the beginning. I tried toe sucking but it didn't do much for me. Strange that I think about all of this now, today, right now. Self-therapy. Purging of inner feelings to the external world. My wife won't hear it or care for it. Actually, she'd rather have me stop.

Whatever your reason, true fetish or not, keep feeding those deserving piggies your love, attention, and color of choice. They deserve it, especially since they support all of your weight everyday. Keep hydrated!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Brick Red for my Piggies

Having recovered from a week long outing, my toes were finally glad to be back into the old routine of pampering and trying out new products. My next adventure was somewhat unexpected as aiming for one color turned out different but so delightful.

OPI offers a wonderful array of colors with catchy names. I picked 20 Candles On My Cake to feed my hungry toes and I've been surprised at how well it wears for a man. It is a nonmetallic, smooth earthy shade of brown with a reddish hue. The polish was easy to apply and the larger brush spread the paint evenly. I originally thought I was getting a deep off pink color but under poor store lighting, it's hard to make out. My wife says it looks like a brick red and remarked what a nice shade it was for my feet. Persistence is slowly gaining her reluctant acceptance. My mom doesn't even say anything after her "Are you gay?" remark when I first started.
One question I have (and I will ask in a forum I frequently visit) is how long should a toenail be? Should any skin show at it's distal end? What's your opinion? The sound of crickets in the night are overwhelmingly clear :(

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Yellowstone Whirlwind in Glamorous Pink

Vacation came rushing Friday afternoon as we desperately packed our poor SUV with endless bags of everyone's crap. All available space, including a Yakima storage unit for the roof, was crammed with water, snacks, children's books, and our luggage. Luckily traffic had died down as we headed out for our outdoor adventure. My in-laws had arrived that same day and to my dismay, they noticed my toes colored in pink, chuckled, and didn't say much about them. Off to a good start!
Finger Paints offers a terrific pink dubbed Signed by the Artist. It is a metallic offering that glows with fine golden specks with a reflective hint of blue amidst the vast sunlight in Yellowstone Park. The base pink is subdued and blended with a reddish blush. These elements all complemented each other to create a fun and cheerful outfit for my piggies.
This polish was easy to apply due to its thinner consistency (unlike my bottle of Artistic Azure). It was surprisingly transparent and required 3 coats of paint to cover the subject and to bring out its color. As a result, it was also more forgiving at the edges and easier to remove the aberrant brushstroke. Still getting better on the application skills.
We visited many sites, some of which I travelled in flip flops. Obviously the crowds noticed but didn't make a big deal. A group of latin teens giggled and told each other to check out my toes but didn't say anything bad. They spoke in Spanish right in front of me not realizing that Spanish was my second language before English. My mother-in-law did ask my wife in private why I painted my toes. She told me about this later. Her response was that I am around too many females and I don't want to be left out. Partially true. It did start out that way as you have read. Now I really love it and I can't imagine having my toes undecorated. It's tremendously fun trying out new colors and the shine of new paint on my happy piggies is mesmerizing. It's lead to healthier feet and nails and more confidence as I brave toe exposure to the gender locked world. I don't have any desire to become a woman or to wear a dress. I like softening my masculine look with a little feminine touch. Only those few daring men would understand.
Other men with nail polish on their toes hiking the Tetons and Yellowstone park? Fat chance. Not a single one that I saw, unless they were hidden by their hiking boots. My toes and feet fared quite well as I didn't do any heavy hiking in flip flops. The paint job held up well and only needed a few touch ups near the end. Feet stayed soft with nightly loving care. Here are a few pictures to share.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

One Trip in Pink

Anxiety looms over my tired being as my vacation draws nearer. Less than a week since our 'sinful' weekend romp in that desert paradise and short of recovering from a chaotic work schedule, I must again confront a fast-paced, cram all the sights in a week, go, go, go because the bears might hibernate early type of wilderness adventure in beautiful Yellowstone National Park. That is my wife's style of vacationing. You get overwhelmed with activities while you're away, come home the last minute, and go to work feeling absolutely wasted. I usually need another week of vacation after my vacation just to recover my senses. We're driving this time and it's a long way there.
Packing for any trip now also involves the vital decision of what color to dress my plump piggies and hauling minimal foot care products. For this incursion in the wild, I have chosen Signed By The Artist by Finger Paints. It's a pink and I'll write about it after I come back and fill you in as to how my mother-in-law reacts to her daughter's chosen man's new hobby.
As you can see, my Coach travel bag is a practical size and sturdy. The minimal foot care for this traveling week will consist of nail polish as noted above, nail polish remover in case I have to repair an injured piggy coat, foot file, and foot lotion. The latter is a new product I'm trying but it's too early to know how good it is. Look for my review in a few weeks of Aveda Foot Relief. Miscellaneous items aside from the ordinary include a dental pick (I'm also obsessive about dental hygiene) and a bite guard (I'm a grinder and it's probably related to stress). So, this is a glimpse into my strange and odd habits.
We're not camping or roughing it. We're renting a cabin, doing some sightseeing, and hiking. Old Faithful here I come!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Snazzy Blue in Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas! Disinhibition is the rule and what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Since Sally's was having a buy 2 get one free deal on Finger Paints, I decided that the third and "free" color would be a frivolous indulgence. Guilt-free. Adventurous and bold. I never thought that a blue tone would be so fun and rewarding. Not my style for flashy. Then again, just wearing polish sets me apart.

Artistic Azure is the amusing path I've enjoyed taking through the crowded streets of the Vegas strip. It's a robust metallic blue that really awakens the senses and shines with a big smile under the hot desert sun. The metal bits are delightfully cheerful against the sea of deep blue. The contrast against my sluggishly roasting tan provided a solid platform to spring its livelihood. The polish itself was rather thick to brush on and provided a challenge to keep the strokes even and the surface streak-free. It may be an old bottle or just needed more shaking up. Other Finger Paints have been fine in consistency. Well, it was the "free" bottle.

Our choice of lodging proved to be quite pleasant as it was a last minute decision to spend a weekend away. The golden Trump hotel is located just off the strip by a large block, across from the fabulous Fashion mall, where I was able to attain some luxurious beauty items that I'll write about later. The pool became our main accommodation where the kids would joyously splash around. Bare foot and armed with Artistic Azure, I graced the pool with my head up high. People certainly took note but no one seemed to be too bothered. Still no comment, good or bad. I secretly yearn for some kind of feedback. Positive would be nicer. Am I still too out there even for sin city? Doubtful. The mall, the shops, and boutiques would also draw many looks and double takes. I'm truly not an attention seeker though my wife would argue that by being "odd" that I'm seeking validation for my shortcomings. Hhmm? Maybe it's just creepy to most of society and by the simple act of decorating my toes I've turned my otherwise clean and approachable nice self to some perv creep type that repulses all but my own children, (who I am taking this opportunity to teach them acceptance).

Keeping my feet and toes protected from heat, sun, a chlorinated body of water, and sandals through a weekend was incredibly challenging. Like a good boy, I brought my foot file, lotion, and polish for touch ups. As I expected, splashing in the pool and trying to monitor two young girls is a hard job. Sadly, my near perfect polish chipped in the grainy pool concrete over several toes. A fix up at the end of the day did the trick and off I went to show them off to the random masses. My soft heels gathered a few extra layers of keratin that were easily checked with a foot soak and filing in their gigantic whirlpool tub in the room. It's nice to be home now where I can nourish my frazzled footsies back into silky smooth condition.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

OPI Mattes

I had read about the highly anticipated release of the new OPI Matte product line and wondered if it's set out to be the trend of this season. Honestly, I didn't hold my breath for it. I happen to come across those pretty little bottles yesterday as I was itching to expand my collection. The color options were indeed wisely chosen as they are some of their more popular tones. Colors include La Paz-itively Hot, You Don't Know Jacques, Gargantuan Green Grape, Lincoln Park After Dark, Russian Navy, and Alpine Snow.

The label is informative but strangely so because it blatantly states that these polishes don't last as long nor should they be combined with any routine preps such as base coat, top coat, or drying agents. The oddest warning by far is the recommendation that one should not get lotion on them. Does lotion make it shiny and ruin the purpose of the matte approach? Does it rub it off more easily? The response from searching many blogs or review sites are that it ruins the matte finish by ruining its chalky surface. Some readers are very excited about it and want to purchase the whole collection. Others, like myself, don't find it appealing. Much less so when it seems like a poor product (unexpected from OPI) since it doesn't last and you can apply lotion on your extremity without worrying about lotion danger. I'm not sure that glossy white is good except for French tips but one reader mentioned that Alpine Snow looked like white-out. Yuk!!

What I love about nail polish is its shiny finish and sparkle, like having a new sports car every week or so. Who would buy a car with a dull paint job? I should qualify that since one of the most expensive offerings by Lamborghini is the awesome Reventon for over a million dollars. The few models sold out before even production began. It has a charcoal gray matte finish that actually looks stunning on such a rolling work of art. It's chosen matte finish is due to its inspiration from jet fighters.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Heel to Toe Feels Like New Review: 3 Piggies out of 9

As I was shopping at Sally Beauty Store for my next chromatic adventure, I perused through the small but replete aisles hoping to chance upon that rare magical pearl that would propel my feet to a new level of softness. I conjured myself discovering the magical potion that was always overlooked due to its plain or generic packaging or its unappealing "cheap" price, but was truly wondrous in deep penetration through those stubborn layers of human foot skin.

My tender soles are by many standards, especially for men, probably one of the better ones out there. I am proud of it and owe it mostly to my obsessive and persistent daily care routine. I've been guilty of skipping a day (at most) of lovingness when I'm just dead tired but I'm so far ahead that my piggies can absorb the light abuse. I guess in reality I could probably go a week without them getting bad but I wouldn't dare to even try, particularly in these hot summer days. I will stress again that hydration and beauty come from the inside so drink up until you pee clear. Ha! I'm giving this product review as a test. See what you think.

Heel to Toe is a brand that offers a variety of foot-related products and retails through Sally Beauty Store. Their products include lotions, scrubs, and instruments that center around care of the foot, as its name implies. Feels Like New Foot Softener is boasted to soften corns and rough cracked heels and calluses, which it states on its purple lid. It is distributed by a company named Esthetician Services, Inc. from Los Angeles, California. No word, at least from the container, as to where the product is made. Its components are relatively straightforward with only a few items that were unrecognizable. Main ingredients are lecithin, soybean oil, lanolin, and papain. The last item caught my attention as this is also what's found on meat tenderizers and medical wound debridement creams such a Accuzyme that are used to clean up necrotic or contaminated open wounds. It is also used for teeth whitening. Furthermore, according to the FDA, it has a warning on topical products containing papain as it can cause a reaction similar to a latex allergy or bring one's blood pressure down or speed up their heart rate or make them blind (if somehow applied to the eye, accidentally maybe.) Whoa! Nonetheless, I, like many others, didn't know this at the time of the purchase. Read your labels! BHA and BHT are preservatives, likely to stabilize the soybean oil. Information on those chemicals seem to be inconclusive for carcinogenicity and they are found in many foods and products. Aaahhh! This makes me wonder about everything else that I put on or worse, eat! Maybe organic is the way to go and worth its price. Hhmm?!? I'll never get through this review.

The product is a honey-colored firm ointment that melts in your warm hands as well as your feet as you rub it on. It spreads easily and I made sure I put on socks right afterward so as to not stain my sheets or slick my floors. It comes on rather oily and has a medicinal odor to it. It's aromatherapy and this is also noted on the lid. I followed this application with my regular Cetaphil rub and Body Shop body butter concoction that has been my staple in foot care. I bought the small 0.5 oz jar to try it and it costs less than $3US dollars. I used it daily for a couple of weeks until it was all gone. I had no adverse reactions to it nor did I wake up to oil stained socks and bedsheets. By the end of the day, my feet weren't greasy either and still quite soft. No additional softening effects were attributed to the addition of Feels Like New ointment. Overall, I don't think that it made a notable difference in softening my feet and the smell of aromatherapy was not pleasant for me at all. Perhaps it performs better in broken up skin with calluses but I doubt it since it didn't seem to penetrate my thinner healthier skin. I would not purchase this item again and I'm glad I only got the small sample. I guess one should also be cautious of papain-containing topical solutions since it has an FDA warning. I rate this item 3 piggies out of nine. (one piggy being the most horrible and 9 piggies being the absolute best). I give it a 3 because it didn't hurt me or make my feet worse, it's inexpensive, but I wouldn't recommend it or try it again. It doesn't smell good and it's greasy.

Well, I get carried away. I should look up what's in the Cetaphil and the Body Shop butter. Yikes! I suppose I haven't been so objective of these "routine" products of mine either.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Silvery Shimmer in San Francisco

I thoroughly enjoyed the attractive pinkish red glow of Seduce Me but I still managed to chip it on multiple toes. Yikes! I keep my footsies well protected but must have let my guard down one day. Sally Beauty Store had a sale on Finger Paints lacquer and opened the opportunity to be bold and pick out some new colors. I will of course try them all and blog about how it made me feel.
The first in line was a color I had already considered and couldn't wait to put on. Suggested by the one and only person to comment on my blog, I must agree that a silver color is very classy and elegant. I guess it also falls under the category of "manly" colors. Finger Paints offers a shimmery silver named Mystery Muse that glides on effortlessly (or I'm just getting better). The reflective particles are very fine and distribute themselves over the nail nearly homogenously, leaving a shiny coat of glimmering joy. As with most paints, its color is dynamic and changes its mood with lighting. Outdoors under the bright sun, its shimmer comes to life against my pale soft toes and makes them standout more than I figured. Under artificial lighting, it takes on a slightly darker persona and it glistens with a touch of medium gray while retaining its lustrous character. Mystery Muse is certainly one that will be added to my favorite list and will spark a search into that silver spectrum of polish for more variations.

I wore it through the Oakland airport with much confidence and got many looks, all strange despite being in the liberal San Francisco area. My family and I did see an athletic guy at the airport who was carrying a huge bike case who wore sandals that revealed a dull silver polish that must have been there for a couple of weeks. Nonetheless, I was excited to finally encounter that. I was wearing my sneakers and didn't get a chance to strike up a conversation about it. Was it something that he did all the time but just didn't have time to re-do it? Was it just a one time 'dare you' to type of occasion with his significant other? I guess I'll never know. It seemed to validate to my wife that I'm not the only one out there with crazy ideas. She still shakes her head at me over my toes but doesn't stop me from wearing it out. I'm not stopping now. The fun is just beginning.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Oh Seduce Me, Please

     Be as it may, despite my hypervigilance over the care of my piggies, the Black Pearl did chip along the slowly lengthening tips. Short of a fortnight, it came time to dissolve its speckled blue-hued gray substance. I regret that it wasn't my best polish application and under a critical eye, the perionychium was encroached upon due to several slips of my brush strokes. 
I was eager to embark on my next adventure with a bottle of Seduce Me from China Glaze. As I was scanning my eyes over the pink-red spectrum at Sally Beauty Supply, I came upon this little number that appeared to be an energetic red subdued by a touch of pink. My toes had already suffered three days of blandness without a colored life.  They did get filed back, shaped, and polished smooth. Cuticles were tamed. My foot care regimen has dialed back a bit.  I'm not filing my souls so often so as to let the skin recover.  About every 3 days seems just the proper amount to keep them soft and not so sore.  I may have been too aggressive at the start of my newfound obsession.  I put padding on my work shoes to cushion the burden of my own weight and the prolonged standing I endure in my profession.
The local art festival was met with strong rays of sun beating upon the crowd. The long winter and early summer rain showers had weakened my resistance to heat.  I armed myself with 45SPF Neutrogena Healthy Defense daily moisturizer over my face and a pair of sunglasses.  By the way, this cream was highly recommended by a dermatologist friend who preferred this particular item over many other very expensive and exclusive creams.
With my family out running around town, our quiet abode set the mood for the home spa experience.  My feet were gently cleansed prior to applying a clear base coat.  This time I used the Seche Clear base coat.  I really enjoyed the ease of use from this base.  It is thin in consistency but not runny and so easy to apply.  It dried quickly and evenly.  I was using the Revlon quick dry base coat before and wasn't completely satisfied with it.  It had the same thick consistency as the nail polish itself and perhaps dried a bit too quickly.  Seduce Me burst my excitement from the first caress of the tainted brush.  My heartbeat was startled by an "Oh my!" reaction that grew stronger through the revival of each nail.  Surprisingly, my painting was rather good this time but not perfect. The polish was smooth and flawless over its glossy surface.  My great toes are the hardest to do because of the large surface area and it always requires re-dipping the brush twice before covering it.  The paint dries fast and subsequent strokes over semi-dry paint can leave irreconcilable smudge marks.  As a perfectionist, I HATE that!  I dislike starting over even more.  Following the theme, a smooth layer of Seche Vite top coat was evenly smothered over the seductive red.  The top coat is thicker compared to its counterpart but easy to apply as well with good results.  I managed to only have a few violations of the borders of the nail and that was corrected with minimal scraping from my fingernail and finished off with a hot shower later that afternoon.  I am proud of myself for improving both my time of application and the end result.  
With a complete set of nine and my handicapped weakling, I smiled and slipped on my most favorite pair of sandals and quickly prepared to show them off at the festival.  The large crowd meant lots of eyes eventually or accidentally, and maybe even reluctantly had to notice my fully exposed piggies.  Not a single comment, not even from my wife's friend, whom we met there for the event.  She was being polite.  I caught only one guy that noticed and made a face of disgust.  Poor soul, I forgive him.  I have to come forward and admit that I do yearn for someone, anyone, to at least acknowledge my boldness and compliment my toes sincerely. Not the right town I suppose.  I guess if I lived in L.A. or NYC it would not seem so out there.  I guess it's dumb of me to wish that since I'm really only doing it to please myself.  I am flawed.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Rain is Back and I'm Wearing Shoes :(

     The storm front came angered at all those who wished to show their pretty (well kept) footsies.  I sheltered mine in a pair of Prada sneakers my wife gave me for Father's day.  A good compromise, I deduced.  I am currently soaking my not-so-tired feet in the warmth of a tub mixed with The Body Shop Moonflower foaming milk bath.  I will pass on the multiple foot files I routinely use and just enjoy a gentle rub.  I am sipping on a glass of cabernet and listening to Dashboard Confessional.  My love is also dipping her feet with me. Those rascals of ours just got to bed not too long ago and peace is now starting to creep back into our household.  
     More rain tomorrow and we're heading out to the mountains for a wet romp at the ski resort. Hiking boots will be requisite.  I am disheartened over the limited exposure I've given my new toe color and wonder when summer will finally reign.  I will certainly wear it again but not before trying out many others.  I am having fun with this and again wished that I had started earlier.  My technique continually improves with each successive color and the mess over my toes are lessened.  For those out there in nicer weather, show them off!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Black Pearl Balloon Fight

     The skies reluctantly cleared but thunderstorms are predicted for tomorrow. Bummer!  I got out today and had a water balloon fight with my daughters in our lush backyard.  The opportunity presented itself for a barefoot giggly stomp and chase involving rather chilly exploding bombs of latex.  The lawn care kid missed his day last week due to inclement weather so the grass was unusually long.  The green blades were feathery and fun to prance on without the mud.  
The glittery microparticles of the metallic Black Pearl are immersed in a deep sea of overpowering grey.  Under the bright sun, the glitz beaming from my nails were rather subdued and less alarming. I am warming up to this color and will give it some time.  Perhaps a silver shade will tickle my emotions with more punch.
     I am discovering that the color of polish has a dynamic property, or at least it likes to play a fun trick for my retinas.  It changes tone under varying light conditions.  I love it! I think natural daylight extracts the best color out of polish.  What do you think?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Dark Side of Color

After a few dreary long days devoid of color, it was time again to resuscitate the vivacity of my cute appendages. Only this time I would take a great departure from the pinks and reds to succumb to the force of the darker side. It's a side, as I'd mentioned before, that I would try to avoid.
Black Pearl is a metallic charcoal gray with just the right amount of shimmer, which I have yet to expose to the sun since the weather has been dreadfully gloomy. I'm curious how the bright light will react to them. Will it light up those reflective particles and scream, "Hallelujah! I'm alive! How can you not notice me?, or will the light rays collide with them and state, "Excuse me, but there's too much disarray on this surface and I must scatter. Good day!" I just don't know yet and I'm patiently awaiting our great star to rid itself of those pesky puffs of soggy gas. My wife thought the color fit me better as it was more "manly," and even suggested a copper color. She's slowly coming around and getting used to the idea of me wearing color on my toes. The initial shock and conflict, which involved episodes of tears and reprimand, has been stowed away in that pile of forgiveables somewhere deep in her heart, along with that time when I forgot to.... Never mind.
Honestly, I feel that Black Pearl will take time to unveil its tenderness and appeal to my piggies. Dressing them in layers of gray has yet to invoke that giddy excitement I've associated with colored toes, especially in the red zone. Unfair perhaps. Premature judgement. Shimmer is a step forward in my boldness and that makes me feel happy.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My confidence and comfort level in sharing my pure piggy delights with the whole world has certainly settled in. Outings to the crowded mall, a 311 concert in the rain, church on sunday, a flick at the movie theatre have all become commonplace. I just took off the rich red of Quarter of a Cent to let my nails rest for a couple of days. My naked toenails look so sad without a splash of color. I noticed that I have some fine ridges and irregularities on my nails and took my time last night to polish them up. My goodness, what a difference. They are now SO smooth and shiny. I also pushed back my cuticles and trimmed them. I have collected more pedi tools since I started this and now I have enough equipment and a better understanding to make my feet look even better.
I would like to thank all those wonderful people out there who post advice and tips on foot care. It's been very useful. I am now developing a routine for foot care that is both easy and relaxing. Though I took care of my feet before, now they are the best they've ever been. I will say that as my feet have become so soft that I am getting sore feet more easily. No calluses, no blisters, no red spots. Just sore and more delicate. I pad my shoes now for increased comfort. I'd be lying to you if I said that all my designer shoes were ultra-comfortable. Some are better than others. As soon as I get home from work, which usually requires a lot of standing and walking, I take off my shoes but leave the socks on to keep my soles protected from our jagged slate flooring. I will write about my routine in another entry and scare you with my obssessive behavior.
I have enjoyed the red tones quite a bit and will likely wear reds the most. I ventured to darker hues and picked up Black Pearl at Nordstrom Rack. It's gray with fine sparkles. It would be a fitting color for an Aston Martin lined with an intoxicating black leather interior. I am steering away from black because it's just not me. Too rocker, too goth. I'm too gentle for that.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Shopping for New Colors

Still bashful over the new toes in deep pink, I decided to expand my color collection. After reading much about this, I couldn't quite grasp what nail polish tones are considered "manly." Odd paradox. A popular link seemed to be Manglaze, which are matte colors offered in only 2 tones, black and grey. This is one of few, if not the only brand to directly market to men. It is aimed for the rocker or punk folks. Cool! Rock on. I guess there was a brand by Hard Candy directed at men with funky macho names that didn't do so well and is no longer available.
For me, part of the allure to nail polish is the polish part of it. I love seeing my piggies smooth and shiny, reflecting the busy world around me. They especially look fantastic out in the open sunlight wearing my favorite pair of sandals or flip-flops. There is a marked difference between artificial lighting and sunlight when it comes to the brightness of your chosen color. I've found that there's even a difference between the apparent color of the polish at the store, in different parts of the house, and actually once unleashed onto your toes. I'm still figuring it out.
As my wife's collection was limited to mostly pink shades, I decided that I needed more choices. I was shopping at Nordstrom Rack and found my next adventure. I have since lost the bottle so I can't recall the brand or my wife hid it from me in a gesture of discouragement. Sultry was its name. It was a beautiful maroon that contrasted well with my light skin and well groomed feet. I wore it through the Phoenix airport without much fuzz, not that I expected any. Not before long, I was already wondering what color to feed my piggies as they got a taste for the polish. Something redder would be nice, I thought. I finally found time to visit a local beauty supply store. It was in midday as I had gotten out of work early and nobody was in the store except for the two employees. I walked around a little bit hoping to find the nail polish section right away, hastily pick a color, and pretend it's for someone else. I had no idea how much stuff they sell there and many of the items I didn't even dare guess at its intended purpose. One of the helpful girls promptly approached me with a "Can I help you find something?" greeting. I didn't have the balls to ask where the nail polish was so I had to think quickly. "Do you have a cuticle pusher?" I had read about getting one of these from an informative thread and figured that was a good start. Harmless. She showed me a variety of pushers, from the cheap wooden stick version to the german surgical grade type. Ahhh! Surgical grade. Must have it, much in the same way a guy goes into the hardware store to get a screwdriver and comes out with an air compressor and a dozen other power tools just to change a lightbulb. Once I picked one, not realizing they came in different widths and different scrapers on the other end, I moved along and shook the girl off. I browsed the aisles and walked purposely past by the nail polish display. Bingo! My adrenaline sped up my ticker two notches. Now I'm by the file section and must work my way back to all those little precious bottles of OPI. Of course it had to be right by the counter where the girls were chatting. I checked out a few low grade files, let my heart catch up, then walked over to where I wanted to go in the first place. So many colors to choose from and luckily displayed in a kind of color gradient pattern with lights on the left upper corner and darks on the right lower end. I only looked at the reds and maroons and fiddled with some bottles nervously. Vodka and Caviar was too far on the left side to consider at this time. I inched a few bottles down the spectrum and found Quarter of a Cent. It seemed to be well placed between a bright red and a light maroon. I"ll take it, along with a bottle of clear nail strengthener, which at the time I thought was top coat but didn't have a clear mind to know better. No loss though since it served as base coat and top coat quite well thus far.
I've enjoyed my new red and took it out for a spin at the mall. A pair of teen boys laughed at it but I didn't value their reaction at all. It makes me happy, which is the main reason I do it. Imagine if you could change the color of your sleek sports car every week or so. How awesome would that be?