Showing My Stripes

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Showing My Stripes

I had to log off social media Saturday afternoon.

Well, just Twitter. I haven’t been on Instagram in forever. I was comparing myself to everyone else’s highlight reel and that’s just not helpful right now. Or ever, but especially right now.

I’m writing celebrity fashion news for Brit + Co, so I scan Twitter throughout the day to get an idea of who’s wearing what where. But Saturday afternoon, with the news of Trump’s immigration ban, it just became too much. I’m torn between choosing to be aware of what’s happening right now with our government and ingesting too much news. It was starting to feel like too much.

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I needed to do something for myself. Which feels silly but like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie so eloquently said, “There are different forms of resistance. Sometimes just the fact that one continues to do what one is doing is also a way of speaking out for something.”

I did my nails.

In high school, I used to spend so much time on my nails (again, where did all that creativity go?). In middle school, I could finally wear something other than clear nail polish making up for lost time and I went HAM. Do people still say that? Go HAM?

Because my mother hated chips, I would use a chipped mani as an excuse to do something new. And trips to Michael’s and A.C. Moore for crafting supplies that I could use to do all sorts of designs on my nails.

I’d  plop myself in front of the TV. My mom and I would use our time watching our favorite shows (remember Desperate Housewives??) to read fashion magazines, paint our nails, and soak our feet. Whenever I’m home now, there is a big stack of magazines waiting for me and we pick our routine right back up.

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Back then I’d be busy gluing tiny rhinestones onto my accent nails. Or using stiff paint brushes to freehand some little design around a cheap-y nail sticker.

In college, I thought I was too old for nail art. I was trying to be “chic” with a dark mani, wearing colors like OPI’s Suzi Says Da, Russian Navy, or Midnight in Moscow.

In New York, it felt easier to pop into the nail salon in my ‘hood. I could get a quick manicure for cheap. Then the New York Times did that exposé and well, I couldn’t frequent my favorite place in good conscience anymore.

Save for a few trips to ethical nail salons with PR people (who pay), I’m back to doing my nails at home.

Soaking my feet, gluing all sorts of glitter onto my nails for a minimalistic take on something 15-year-old me would do. I’m obviously biased but I think these are Valley, Paintbox-level manicures. 

Mostly, because of the stripping tape.

Y’all. I am *obsessed* with stripping tape. A roll of it came in the Kiss Salon Secrets nail art starter kit I found at Target. I bought it for the rhinestones but the roll of gold stripping tape has made the kit more than worth than the $6.99 it cost.

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Shop the look: Kate Spade book clutch, Larucci rings on left hand, Dannijo ring ($195, I bought mine at a sample sale but this is similar) on my right hand, Kiss nail art glitter and striping tape on both ($6.99)

I haven’t done my nails and not used it in, like three weeks. And one roll lasts forever! 

Helpful hint: cut the pieces before you start. It will save you time and it makes the stripes easier to place.

If the world is going to shit and the rapture is nigh, the very least I can do is have a cute (not to mention ethical) manicure.

Please don’t want this to be mistake this for choosing to do nothing or sitting on my hands. I just needed to do something that would make me smile.

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What are you doing to make yourself feel better/normal/not numb in these trying times?

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