This Might Be the Nerdiest Post I’ll Put Together, Ever: Match Your Nails to What You’re Reading

Will some bibliophiles please back me up on this one?
Publish date:
March 29, 2013
shoppables, books, nail polish, entertainment

I got my nails did, as we shallow New Yorkers tend to do, since mani-pedis are cheap, nail salons run as rampant as the city’s rats, and I have absolutely nothing to take care of besides myself and two pairs of expensive shoes. (They’re not even THAT expensive.)

On the subway back to scummy ol’ Bushwick, I pulled out my book, and noticed something peculiar:

Last summer, I was reading Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad when I had painted my nails with Color Club’s The Age of Aquarius:

I thought Tee-hee, what a coincidence! I had also picked up Baggu’s Canvas Backpack in Sea that summer, and pulled Egan’s book from the NYPL shelf at random, so I figured I was going through a teal “thing.”

But this was too much. I ascended the subway stairs wondering, “Do I subconsciously match my fingernails to my books? Is this the lady-equivalent to the plaid flannel shirt, plastic rim glasses-wearing, scraggly-faced dude in the dark corner of the bar, flipping through the pages of some beat-up Kerouac novel, totally side-eyeing you and other women, and you’re thinking, “OK I GET IT YOU REALLY LIKE TO READ, AND THAT BOOK IS YOUR ‘IN,’ RIGHT?’”

Then I realized I was having obsessive, non-tangential thoughts, and that I should take a deep breath, and roll with it (or, “ride the wave,” in DBT-talk).

(Rehab skills: I’m using them.)

So why not match your nails to what you’re reading? Aren’t you always overwhelmed by the many wonderful polish choices that exist in the world? Aren’t you tired of resorting to Lincoln Park After Dark? Don’t you want an e-reader so badly but you always end up spending money on beauty products, so you can never seem to save up for one? (I get books from the library. Also I break every electronic I touch. Don’t lecture me.)

Here are some ideas for pairings:

An Extraordinary Theory of Objects: A Memoir of an Outsider in Paris by Stephanie LaCava

This book in itself is lovely -- and I rarely call anything “lovely,” since I’m neither British, nor a pretentious asshole (I’d like to think). It’s small and adorable and bound beautifully, and full of all these pretty illustrations LaCava references throughout her story.

As for that part: In Objects, we follow LaCava as she moves from the U.S. to France with her family as a pre-teen in the ‘90s and basically has a mental breakdown. Like, there’s a part where she faints outside her school dance and wakes up in her own vomit. When she’s not going on hunger strikes or throwing herself around her bedroom in a dress slip as I imagine Margot Tenenbaum would, LaCava describes objects that she obsessively collected or that are intermingled with her story, like a mushroom or a poisonous frog, footnotes them, and gives a short “history” of each one.

Though a unique format, I found going back and forth between the story and the footnotes sort of annoying, and though I, for one, very much appreciate fun facts, I had THAT thought writers tend to have, aka, “Anyone could write this with access to Wikipedia.” I’m almost positive that stemmed from me being jealous of LaCava, who a) lived in France b) has a rich family and c) got a book deal -- obviously.

Maximillian Strasse-Her by Essie

The Essie site calls this color a grey-green. It’s definitely a dusty blue, though. Wait, it looks sea-foam-greenish in a certain light. No, it’s totally blue. Whatever, I love it.

READ: Role Models by John Waters

Read the following in a Stefon voice:

This book has EVERYTHING: allegations of champagne abuse, members of the Manson family, a self-made Marines pornographer drinking baby oil, a neglectful lesbian stripper, a padded-in-all-the-wrong-places designer dress that gives wearers the “Quasimodo look,” an interview with Little Richard, a wall-size print of a FedEx plane sitting at an airport and NOTHING ELSE…

What else would you expect from John Waters?

This sort-of autobiography paints a picture of the great cult filmmaker through profiles of personalities Waters admires -– including Leslie Van Houten, who yes, was a member of the Manson Family, which I’m completely obsessed with.

Also, I learned a fun fact! (See?) Waters uses makeup to fill in his iconic pencil-moustache. His product of choice is Maybelline Expert Eyes in Velvet Black.

From Role Models: “I’ve tried expensive smearproof eyebrow pencils, but they’re too thick, too penetrating, too indelible. There’s only one eyebrow pencil for me -- and that’s Maybelline!”

John Waters = the SHIT. (Ah, Pink Flamingos flashback!)

PAINT YOUR NAILS: Blanc by Essie

There’s something about all-white nails that I find repulsive and intriguing, similar to everything in this book. They’re kind of trashy -– I first saw them on Nicole Richie in her “Simple Life” days. They also remind me of bored girls and punks painting their nails with Wite Out in middle school. However, they’re a neutral, like black, and thus go with everything (or nothing?) and are so odd, crisp-looking, and unexpected.

I count down the days until spring, so I can wear them again, even though I myself don’t understand that style logic at all. And, truth: I planned to keep my nails bare until the weekend, but even writing this enticed me to paint them white. I used three coats and OPI’s RapiDry Top Coat to prevent blotchy spots.

READ: I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know by Kate White

Even though I don’t want to offend Kate White, who was editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan for 14 years (the magazine makes BANK and is practically the only title that grew during the recession), I didn’t initially have the highest expectations for this book. I thought chapters were going to be, “Fierce Females Can Make $$ Too!” or “Don’t Dress Slutty in Your Office: A How To Guide!”

I simply got it ‘cause I had finished Kelly Cutrone’s career book and needed more.

And I’m so happy I did! I’d recommend this book to anyone in the beginning stages of her career, or looking to change fields. It’s full of such amazing, practical advice, and written in a way that you feel like you’re getting lunch with the author and picking her brain for advice.

PAINT YOUR NAILS: Gold Flash Metallic Nail Polish by American Apparel

Every time I wear this metallic gold polish, I get a million compliments, like I should be getting at my workplace. (I left the office for a month and then my ovary twisted, though, so I think my co-workers mainly feel sorry for me.) The hue reminds me of White’s blang-y jewelry on the cover, and of the palace I’ll have when I land that enormous book deal.

Also, if you enjoy peeling off polish, you’ll be happy to hear this kind comes off in one big, sexy chunk!

So, bad idea, the best idea, or a hipster-douche idea? Don’t you LOVE books? What are you reading now? Can I borrow your e-reader? My books get heavy on the subway.

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