I see mommy and daughter mani pedis quite often at the salon these days, but when I was growing up that was uncommon. Unless a teenager, you were considered too young for the luxury and “grown up ness” of getting your nails done. I was mostly a tomboy growing up; I liked nice things especially unique accessories from overseas, and expensive sneakers, but I was way more interested in my horse, dog, playing tennis, soccer, skiing and hanging out with my friends than I was in makeup or manicures. Sometimes friends would come over and we would polish our nails but really we would rather be building forts, riding bikes or playing basketball in the driveway. I didn’t get my first professional manicure and pedicure until I was in high school and it was to get ready for a homecoming dance. I liked the way they looked and loved that my nails could express my aesthetics through art but I was an impatient teenager and didn’t like sitting in the salon that long. I loved art growing up, and could color, paint, make paper doll clothes, create jewelry and anything else artsy. My mom had a craft area set up to keep me occupied, because I had a lot of energy and she didn’t want a bored Allison running around the house.
As I got older, I turned my creative spirit into fashion, nail art, attending art shows, appreciating street art , trying out beauty trends and even tattoos. I love to be a little unique and I enjoy picking up trends and styles from my travels and incorporating them into my look. I recently got my hands done in henna and the intricate swirling details came out so beautifully. It brightened up my tan skin and was a great contrast to a sparkly white manicure. When I was in the Middle East I got into the gem themed nails, kohl eyeliner and their beautiful silk scarves. On my recent trip to Africa, the bright colors inspired my hot pink pedicure and hand made statement necklace. One of my most memorable manicures was in Hawaii. My family had taken an earlier flight so I had a few hours before I needed to return the rental car. I had explored the island, been to the beach and really had my heart set on a tropical “Aloha” manicure. It did not disappoint! The spa was natural and modern at the same time and the pedicure bath was infused with coconuts and mangos and smelled divine. Hawaii sells some of my favorite hand and body lotions and my “paws” felt like silk when I was finished. The artistry on my nails was amazing: hibiscus flowers, wave scrolls and palm trees all delicately hand drawn with the most beautiful attention to detail. I wish I still had the photos to show them.
Ever since college I have been going to the nail salon on average every 2-3 weeks to get manicures and pedicures. I usually pick a couple salons in my city and depending on my vicinity that day choose a nearby one that I know will do a good job. I have tried foils, shellac, gel, nexgen, holographic colors and acrylic tips and I love to mix it up. Sure, my natural nails may not be thanking me but when I look down at my glossy new talons it brings me enough joy to not even care. My preferred method as of late is gel polish with tips in an almond shape and the colors change each session. Sometimes I’m into one sparkly finger and the rest nudes, other times I like designs, or a French manicure in black and white or half moon nails..really whatever inspiration comes to mind. Metallic accents are appealing, as is anything sparkly. I have been known to have a few leopard nail faux pas and even long square acrylic nails with my initials on them in college…cringe worthy I know. In an often bland world of people wanting to blend in I love to stand out and let my creativity show. If you look good, you feel better! Happy polishing!