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Nails Bite

Before your next over-the-top mani, read what this writer has to say about the trend.

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  • I wasn't always so nail averse. During the mid-'90s, the pristinely manicured fingers of my New England college classmates (always polished a light, ballet slipper pink and clipped into perfect tiny crescents) briefly held me in their thrall. My friends and I came to refer to them as "rich girl nails," and though I dabbled in them briefly, they never looked quite right on a Doc Marten-wearing, middle-class gal from Virginia.

    It's not that I'm against women spending time and money on their appearance—quite the opposite, in fact. I've always been crazy for cosmetics, and have experimented with dozens of out-there haircuts and colors. Vampy burgundy lips, '60s retro winged eyeliner, buzzed-to-the-skull locks—I've gleefully rocked them all.

    But aesthetically, the payoff of a manicure never seemed worth the effort. Yes, my hands looked well groomed with red varnish tipping each finger, even when I did them myself. But unlike a glam lip color that ties an entire outfit together, or a blush that restores vibrancy to a dull complexion, nail color does little to enhance the look of hands—a body part that isn't usually the cause of much anxiety anyway. So I always think, why bother?

Nails Bite
Before your next over-the-top mani, read what this writer has to say about the trend.
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