The idea of brightly painted toenails fills me with revulsion. I know I’m in the minority here, but for whatever reason, spackling one’s gnarled stubs of foot keratin strikes me as the modern-day equivalent of people from the Middle Ages bathing biannually, and otherwise attempting to mask their own stench with what was almost certainly rancid essential oil. Feeling gross? Cover it up! It’s just too crude a solution.
That said, if you’re going to walk around all summer in open-toed shoes, you have to do something about your feet. In an ideal world, you give yourself a pedicure every week, but nobody has time for that. A good hack is Dior’s Nail Glow, which I’m pretty sure I first discovered in an airport duty-free store. The copy in the advertisements for the product says it’s a “nail enhancer,” which I’m tempted to mock, but it’s actually an accurate product description. The varnish is a translucent magenta in the bottle and goes on rosy-clear. By the time it’s dried, the pink part of your nail is a little pinker, and the white part is a little whiter. The process is mysterious. How does a magenta polish make the white parts whiter? I don’t know, but it does. (Dior calls it an instant French manicure, and I’d agree.) The chipping is basically invisible, and having naked-seeming toenails makes your feet look tanner in comparison.
The effect is that clean-looking appearance your feet get after a day at the beach: repeatedly rinsed in salt water and incessantly exfoliated with sand. Nail Glow is all I use in the summer. I’ve never gotten a compliment on my feet, per se, but I’ve also never been ashamed of them, which is good enough for me. Just a few weeks of Nail Glow’d toes will make your past pedicures seem downright medieval.
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