It happened one day five years ago totally unexpected. At the time I usually sported "naked nails" except for special occasions. That night was one of those special occasions.
I had a business party to attend where I wanted to look my best, all the way down to my fingertips. I snuck in a late afternoon manicure, and took a sorely needed break.
To me, the best part of getting your nails done is watching your plain, ordinary nails that blend into the rest of your hand suddenly transform into these wonderful bursts of color.
The worse part of getting your nails done is waiting… for … the … nail …. color …. to …. dry. Ugh.
In an attempt to keep my mind busy, I turned my attention to the bright new bottle of nail color I just purchased. It was this delightful combination of hot pink and red. "What was this color called?" I wondered.
I picked up the bottle, turned it over. The label said "Wild Berry." Immediately I thought "Wild Berry! I so want to live like my nail color - full-up on passion and energized about life!
I want to feel wild about myself and what I'm doing with my life. I want to feel more confident. And I want to have more fun!"
I know I'm not alone. Since then tons of women have shared with me their favorite nail color that they want to live like. Colors such as Bubble Bath, Free To Be Me, Chick Flick Cherry, and U-Rock-Apulco Red. With nail color names like these, the problem isn't being inspired; the challenge is staying inspired day after day, week after week, through good times and bad.
We can't help but laugh when we hear the phrase "If mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" because it feels so true. But, I have something to add to this popular mantra: "And, it's up to mamma to make mamma happy."
If we don't take time to make ourselves happy, then we have no one to blame. And when we're unhappy, we're not much good to anyone else.
That's why I developed four steps for doing your nails and living like your nail color. Doing your nails is a great way to slow down for just a bit and take time to make mamma happy. With each step you are not only taking care of your nails, you're taking care of you.
STEP 1: PREPARATION
To prepare your nails for new polish the first thing you have to do is take off any existing polish. Then you'll want to trim, file, and buff your nails they way you prefer. If you use a little scrub to exfoliate and then moisturize your hands will feel great.
Since during preparation your nails are naked, it's the perfect time to reflect on your true, authentic self. So, while you're trimming, filing, exfoliating and more, ask yourself "What's one thing I've done recently that I feel really good about and why?"
It might be a simple gesture of kindness like listening to friend or it might be an act of courage like making a difficult phone call. Whatever it may be, dwell on why it felt good. That's where your real, authentic power shines through.
STEP 2: BASE COAT
Base coat is a protective layer between your naked nails and polish. It's foundational to healthy nails because if you skip this step your nails will become dry and brittle from the polish. Just as base coat is all about laying the proper foundation for your nail polish, knowing what you want is the foundation for a healthy, happy, successful life.
So, while applying a layer of base coat ask yourself: "What's one thing I want in my life?" Choose any area of your life and be as specific as possible.
Remember what happened to Lily Tomlin: "I always wanted to be someone, just wish I had been more specific."
STEP 3: TWO COATS OF POLISH
I have two "rules" for picking nail polish. The first rule is to always try a new color. Sure, you have your favorites, but by trying a new nail color, you are getting just a little more comfortable with risk and change, which is essential to feeling energized about life.
Give yourself the small thrill of seeing how the color looks on your nails, how your feel wearing it, and only then decide if you want to keep it on or take it off.
My second rule about choosing a nail color is always pick one with an inspiring name. If you ever love a nail polish color but the name does nothing for you, give it a new name. Life is too short to wear a nail color with a boring name!
STEP 4: TOP COAT
Top coat gives your nails shiny, finishing touch. It's a great time to fill yourself up by remember the recent "top" moments of your life.
Did you do something you're proud of? Did you make someone smile? Did you make it through a ton of green lights?
We all have ups and downs, or as I like to say, chip happens. Being alert to top moments in your life is a great way to keep yourself sane and positive.
About Mary Foley
Mary Foley, author of Bodacious Woman: Outrageously in Charge of Your Life and Lovin' It!, speaker and founder of the Live Like Your Nail Color Women's Club, aims to inspire more sanity, confidence, and fun in every woman's life.
You can be inspired, too! Grab a copy of her audio "Live Like Your Nail Color - Even If You Have Naked Nails" today at her fun site www.LiveLikeYourNailColor.com.
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