An unvarnished life

snowflakes nailsSo, did y’all know that fingernail polish used to be called “varnish” because that’s basically what it is? It might still be called varnish in some countries, I don’t know. Of course most nail polish isn’t clear, so the definition isn’t quite accurate, but I remember reading in old books and stories, that women “varnished” their nails rather than “polished” them. Makes sense to me.

Varnish — var·nish /ˈvärniSH/
noun 1. resin dissolved in a liquid for applying on wood, metal, or other materials to form a hard, clear, shiny surface when dry. synonyms: lacquer, shellac, enamel, glaze; 
verb 1. apply varnish to. “we stripped the floor and varnished it” synonyms: lacquer, shellac, finish, japan, enamel, glaze;  (Google definition)

stripesI used to polish my nails in all different colors. sometimes I’d go nuts and put more than one color on each nail.  Usually no more than two colors, but sometimes I had as many as ten color on each hand. 🙂 I had fake nails at the time because my natural nails are kinda weak and brittle and break quite easily.  I really hate taking the time to polish my nails only to have them break right off within a day or so. Also, my natural nails don’t hold the varnish for long, it peels right off, sometimes in less than a day. Especially the expensive stuff.  It’s so annoying. In addition, I just don’t like the feel of polish on my nails. It feels, I dunno… weird.  It’s the same reason why I don’t get foofy hairstyles, because I can’t stand to have my hair all puffed up. It has to lie flat or I’ll have this uncontrollable urge to comb it.

So my nails remain clear, or rather, unvarnished. ^_^

trees nailsWhich was weird, because I had no problems at all with having fake nails for years and years. Like, I had the glue on nails you can buy in any big-box store like Wally World. That’s about all I could afford, because they’re not expensive, and I liked how they looked. Not only that, but I could do them myself and it didn’t take long. No going to a nail salon and dealing with people for me. Just glue them on and I was good to go. So anyway, I wore these fake nails for years, and I would polish the heck out of them.  I didn’t go to the extremes of the pictures I’m posting here, but yeah, I liked painting them interesting colors. Every once in awhile, I consider getting them again, but they tend to pull on the natural nail.  It used to be slightly uncomfortable but tolerable, but ever since I developed fibromyalgia, it hurts a little. I mean, it doesn’t hurt a lot, but every little bit counts. So now I have weak, bend, and unvarnished nails.

And I’m okay with that. As much as I enjoyed painting my nails, I’m okay with having plain hands nowadays.

via Daily Prompt: Varnish

2 thoughts on “An unvarnished life

  1. Embeecee

    I go through phases .. I’ve had fake nails (expensive salon versions), and do it yourself varnished nails. I’m partial to wine and rose colored polish. Since hubby died though I hadn’t done anything with my nails at all. I bite them and they peel (like yours do) and so it seemed a waste of time to get them all gussied up. Recently though an 87 year old friend of mine hosted a little nail painting party (her care giver likes doing nails and has a really impressive variety of varnish colors – from robin’s egg blue to hot pink, deep purples and reds, and greens in a lot of different shades, plus clear (which is what I call ‘varnish’ instead of polish). This nice woman did all four of the attendees to the party, and my hands looked actually nice instead of aged, worn and old as they’ve gotten lately. So I’ve bought some shades and started trying to keep some polish on them, it helps with the nail biting if nothing more. But oddly enough I can’t find my favorite shades of wine and rose colored polishes, they’re all too brown or red (for the wine colors) or downright purple (which I don’t mind actually); or for the rose the shades range from a really ugly odd pinkish brown to an orange/peach. No rose. Um…okay I may have to brave Wally World and find some appropriate shades. I’m giving the ones I’ve bought which are not my style to my friend’s care giver. SHE’LL find use for them! 🙂

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    1. Willow Post author

      I like wine and rose colors too. I also like purples. I hate pinks and reds. bleh. I usually went with the 99 cent polishes because I was poorer than a church mouse and they worked just as well as anything else. They’re probably $2 now.


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