Having huge-butt fake nails make me happy. I realize long, acrylic talons make others want to yack, as evidenced by one of my housemates saying, “Ew,” as I showed her my new set, all excited-like.
(I mean, she had a similar reaction when she saw I dyed my hair yellow. And she sometimes wears pearls. So I really can’t be offended.)
As I’m easily influenced by any film or TV show that features sparkly gowns, I got my sharp, oval acrylics after seeing American Hustle last year. Now getting a set has become my winter beauty ritual.
So I’m not going to defend how sexy-hot my fake nails make me feel, or tell you what you’ve commonly heard about them: That they’re pricey, high-maintenance — requiring biweekly fillings — or that your nails are going to be paper-thin when you take them off.
Instead, there are some latent learnings I’ve experienced whilst having talons. Here they are:
1. YOU'LL BECOME DEPENDENT ON OTHERS IN WAYS THAT MIGHT UPSET YOU
Christina at xoVain just wrote about all of the things you’ll need to re-learn when you get acrylic nails, like typing and texting, opening cans (use a knife!), and applying lip balms and moisturizers and things. (For which you should simply use all of the makeup brushes.)
However, there are a few things that are simply fucking impossible. Or that frustrate me so much, I whine like a toddler until one of my roommates or the guy I’m banging does it for me.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Clasping necklaces
- Buttoning adorable skirts and shirts
- Untying gnarly knots
- Pulling your debit card out of stupid L.A. parking meters
2. THERE (COULD) BE BLOOD
Does the sight of red, hot, glistening blood make you queasy? Then please close your precious eyes. And scroll down for a second.
All right, you’re safe now.
For someone who was likened to a '70s Barbie at the pool last week (and you must know what JOY and BLISS that brought me), I don’t consider myself the most dainty lady. I go to punk shows. My painting style is a bit manic, because seriously, fuck that canvas. I may or may not have pulled up a misogynistic douche by his nostrils and punched him in the face in Santa Monica a few weeks ago.
(Note that I said "may have." The truth remains a mystery!)
The breakage below the fake tip happened when I was angrily throwing paint at a canvas in my backyard. I felt the painful tug of the acrylic pulling on my real nail for the next couple of days, but thought I could wait for it to grow before getting it replaced. 'Cause you know. That seemed like it would hurt.
Then I tried to open a car door.
As I’m obnoxiously both pigeon-toed and accident-prone, there are several things that terrify me, post-stupid injuries.
This includes the trunk of my car, wooden staircases, anyone under the age of 17 in a mosh pit — 'cause those kids DGAF. And now, car door handles.
So I’ve broken a [real] nail before. And holy mother of dog, THERE IS SO MUCH BLOOD. Like, squirting out, kung-fu-movie style.
I washed my hands with soap and water immediately, whilst screaming, applied Neosporin to the whole nail, and wrapped it with Band-Aids. Once it stopped gushing blood, I spent a few days going on and off with wrapping it and letting it breathe, keeping it clean and applying Neosporin to it as often as I could.
I had to wait for the nail to heal and grow out about a centimeter before I could get another acrylic put on. Because I am a masochist.
3. IF ANIMALS COULD TALK, THEY’D BE MAKING PLEASURABLE MOANING SOUNDS AS YOU SCRATCH THEM
Acrylic nails are blunter than real nails. So if you’re into digging your claws into your partner’s back during sexual activities and such, they're probably not for you.
Scratching still feels ahhhh so very good, though. Dogs seem to get all, “OH, YES! YES! GOD YES,” as I scratch their adorable little heads with acrylics.
Now that I’ve taken them off and have nubs (more on that in a minute), our house rat-dog, Arya, does not seem as interested in me. That bitch.
4. YOU WILL DESTROY ALL OF YOUR CONTACT LENSES
If you wear soft contact lenses, get ready to tear them!
Taking out and putting in my contacts was one thing I had to re-learn with acrylics. Still, the rate of replacing my lenses definitely shoots up when I have them.
Should you plan on having an adult sleepover, a road trip, or a slumber party with face masks, video games, and snacks — as slumber parties are still the shit, dammit — always bring at least one extra set of contacts with you.
5. AFTER REMOVING THEM, YOU’LL BE REQUIRED TO RE-RE-LEARN A BUNCH OF THINGS
I initially had so many more images for this post, like the DIY acrylic-removal process (fucking acetone), and me attempting to pull a card out of a meter and clasp a necklace — as again, attempting such feats with acrylics makes me feel like a helpless toddler.
After four months with acrylics, I decided to remove them to give my real nails a breather.
Then I attempted to grab a glass, misjudged my grip, AND SPILLED MY DRINK ONTO MY KEYBOARD.
(Side note: NEVER tip your laptop upside down if you get even the tiniest amount of liquid on it. This causes the liquid to seep deeper into your computer’s system. And then you have to hold back tears at the Apple store when the Genius tells you that you destroyed your computer and it’d probably be more economical to get a new one.)
So I lost a couple days of work. Whatever. [Sobs]
Other things that suddenly become difficult after a few months of having nails:
- Texting and typing — I seriously think I was better typing with fakes, as I accidentally called my new dude love interest a “whatchamacallit” yesterday after my phone autocorrected me
- Getting animals to love you
- Feeling like a sexy '70s Barbie
I’m getting my nails back ASAP.
Until then, I’m maintaining my shit-nails with occasionally soft-filing them into a short, round shape, regularly smearing them with almond oil, and painting them with Sally Hansen Green Tea Nail Strengthener.
Wow, I’m so good at convincing you to get acrylics, right?
Here are some products for caring for your feline nails by pro product-pusher Alison, by the way.
What are your experiences with acrylic nails? Or what other beauty trends have you learned some not-so-expected things from?
And did I tell you about the time I removed my acrylics with floss? Never do that. Acetone does suck. But please: Never, ever use floss.
Follow me on Twitter: @caitlinthornton