A Meditation On Toe Nail Polish

A Meditation On Toe Nail Polish

On my recent and rare visit to get a manicure /pedicure, I was asked by a smiley Korean woman on the stool by my feet if I had picked out my toenail color or did I want “no” nail polish. It actually had never occurred to me to leave the color off, since I was paying “good money” to have pretty toes. Here we were, however, in the cold days of winter and I was being asked a very simple question. I figured that I was always in shoes or slippers, very rarely exposing my tootsies to the cold chill of the outside or even the under door drafts of our older home. My husband wouldn’t notice, too mesmerized by my oversized flannel plaid pajamas to look down. No parties were on my upcoming calendar to bust out the bright shiny “girls”. I thought for a few seconds, trying not to show indecision in front of the line of other women in a row of mechanical massage chairs, took a deep breath, and decided to hold off on the polish. I will let my pale, discolored toenails have a respite, an honest open expression of who they really are. Maybe I’ll absorb just that much less chemicals into my body. Maybe they’ll replenish themselves in some simple way and become stronger in the months to come. They’ll reawaken for the spring, manicure season in full, ready to take on the bright colors and new eyes to stare at them. Now, maybe I’m reading a bit too much into this decision, but for such a routine activity, one that I’ve practiced for years without any thought, this move was a bit scary and yet unusually liberating.

I’ve been watching these unpolished, discolored nails for three weeks. Now, every time I look down at my feet before donning a sock or soft pair of slippers, I think tenderly of the freedom that they are now experiencing. I see how their color is changing to a soft pink, shedding the keratinous layers of old into a fresh pair of bright healthy toenails.

I’ve decided to keep the polish off every winter, if possible, to have them go through the same molting and renewal that I’m experiencing with them now. We’ll see, maybe they’ll mirror the growth in my life and renewal that I seek personally and come up bright and rosy in the spring ready for new experiences, colors and eyes on them!

If you do plan on painting your petunias….choose safer products!

Choose brands that take out the top 5 unsafe chemicals (known carcinogens):

  • Toluene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
  • Camphor
  • Formaldehyde resin

Go to EWG.org/skindeep and type in your favorite color to see how it rates for safety.Or go to ecowatch.com to find the safer brands of nail polish:

  • Zoya
  • Suncoat
  • Piggy Paint
  • Honeybee Gardens
  • RGB
  • Sheswai
  • LVX