Letters from Gel.

As a woman whose makeup expertise is limited strictly to spot concealer, eyeliner and mascara, I am no beauty blogger.  For the majority of my adult life, I’ve either been too intimidated by makeup counters or too terrified of raging breakouts to get really into putting lots of chemicals in my hair and on my face.  In addition, I tend to be cheap and investing in products I knew I would be too stupid to use correctly always seemed like an unnecessary luxury.  This frugality extended to hair blow outs and manicures, which, much like a clean house and folded laundry, don’t last long enough for me to justify the time and energy (and often, the money) to do them with regularity.

However, I am willing to put all that very reasoned thinking aside and climb right aboard the gel manicure train.  My fingernails are blowing my mind.  Since last Friday when my friend J paid my way, I have done countless dishes, played ball with the dog, picked at and untied innumerable shoelace knots, scrubbed paint off paintbrushes, stacked chairs, wiped tables, and picked up tiny objects from rough concrete floors (I’m aware of the freakish specificity of that last activity – I remembered it simply because as I scraped the sequins off the pavement on Monday, I thought to myself, “Well, there goes the three week manicure,” only to look down at my still-perfect nails afterward in total shock and awe).  My fingernails are still just as shiny and gorgeous as the day they were painted on my body and then set to dry under a UV lamp.

The gel manicure, which cost more than all the food I ate last week, is one of my new favorite things.  I’m even debating making regular appointments (which, to be honest, I’m considering partially because I have no idea how to remove this shellac).  For once in my life, my horror at the cost of something frivolous is being outweighed by my joy at how pretty it is.  Between this and the fact that I cried actual tears of disappointment on Valentine’s Day (which is a story for another time), I’m probably due to hang out with my brothers for a little while.

The nails today, after surviving four full days longer at the school than any other manicure I have ever had:

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While on the subject of personal grooming, yesterday I hung out with the Fiece (who, for the uninitiated, is my “fake niece,” the daughter of Fertile Myrtle, my dear friend since our freshman year of high school), and Fiece did my hair.  It looked spectacular:

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She, at barely two years old, has a better mastery of the small round brush than I do.

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