Love Aesthetics

November 19, 2018

Manicures Matter

cow printed nails, images & text by Ivania
puffer / Weekday
rings / Inflated

You can tell when I don’t have my shit together by looking at my nails. The lacquer will be chipped off, the index fingernail is probably broken too and if I’m wearing acrylics they should have gotten a refill about a week ago. My nails give away that I have been putting myself on the bottom of my priority list. Which sadly, is not uncommon.

With a fresh manicure however, I feel like my life is completely figured out. Hand gestures get bigger and better too. I will generously extend my hand to shake yours and everyone else’s in the room, first physical contact between people is usually between hands.

It reminds me that most daily movements involve your hands too. Most work, most effort, most ideas come out through your hands – by drawing them out, writing them down, by sculpting them, building them. Significant actions are ultimately done with a hand, like the iconic and symbolic hand-action of pressing a button. Pressing the button of the elevator to go up, pressing the button of the subway doors to open, pressing the button for the bomb to go off. The click of a mouse. The switch of the light. Double tapping on that picture. It is the sight of a hand.

You see your own hand more often than you see your own face. The sight of your hands is how you visually experience your own presence, constantly.

What a manicure does for me has not that much to do with how others perceive me. More importantly it is about how I perceive myself. In my slouchiest sweatshirt I feel and move a little more elegant thanks to done nails. I look down at my hands while typing this and see my freshly painted cow-printed nails moving across the keyboard. Yes, that is definitely me. It feels good.

Aesthetics, silliness and cow-prints aside, self-care is often confused with self-indulgence. There is a certain shame and stigma attached to caring about, spending time on yourself or on appearances. That somehow if you are concerned with those things, you aren’t concerned with anything else. But taking care of yourself (or expressing your identity) us an act of self-love. It is about keeping your own glass filled. When my nails are done, it means I blocked some time and budget out for me.

It is part of being human to express and communicate your identity through clues on your appearance. Even through something as simple as a specific color on your nails. Honestly, we are not the prettiest creatures on this planet. We don’t have feathers or patterned fur (looking at you, cows) except for that tiny bit of hair on the top of our heads and under our armpits. Or in Ru Paul’s words; we’re all born naked, the rest is drag.

Before anything else this morning, when it was still dark outside, I took 15 minutes to paint my nails and another 5 to actually let them dry all the way through while not touching anything. Calling it a meditation would be exaggerated, but it was everything I think meditations should be. Quiet, calming, focussing one one single thing even slightly creative. When you feel good, you do good. That’s why manicures matter. For some that might be to have a shiny (or matte) layer of lacquer in the color of your current mood on the tips of your fingers.

Something completely unrelated…I couldn’t help myself in already squeezing in a preview of a design project I am beyond excited about. These rings! They are part of a small jewellery collection of affordable, high quality gold and silver pieces. You can have a peek at it via

9 responses to “Manicures Matter”

  1. Charlie says:

    THIS! I always put myself to the bottom of the list and have rotten nails and feel bad about myself and ashamed about it. Recently I took some time get a get manure once a month, my nails grew longer than ever and I had a new sense of pride in myself. Really made me think about what a huge difference something so small makes 🙂

  2. I’ve actually never had a manicure in my life – I’m very stingy so I can’t justify spending on my nails. But you make a good point. It’s nice to indulge ourselves once in a while to feel better about ourselves! 🙂

    So excited about your new design project! It’ll be great for sure! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  3. Dessa says:

    Totally me! You can tell when my life is a mess just looking at my nails! Having a manicure done every week by a professional is my dream.

  4. Jammie says:

    this is lovely. i appreciate a woman that takes care of her nails immensely.

  5. nati says:

    okay soooo much YES to this manicure ! I just discovered your site + as a huge fan of everything minimalist, I’m super excited I did !

    nati x | | @alaslowed

  6. I agree, beautiful nails make you feel good. But they don’t have to be expensive and you don’t have to wait for them to dry. I found Color Street Dry Nail Polish Strips and fell in love with them. Give them a try.

  7. Louis says:

    I rarely put on lacquer, but when I do, I feel more confident and willing to help other people than when I don’t, haha. My friend always have new manicure every time she have a special event, such as travel, party… or when she feels down.

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