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Secret Language of a Nail Polish Addict


“I can’t believe how bright my nails are and I’m not even wearing undies!”

If you can understand that sentence, then go straight to the top of the class! You get an A+ at Nail Polish Addict School. But if ‘blurple’ ‘crème’ and ‘untrieds’ leave you scratching your head then read on…   but remember there’s no going back.

I’m not even wearing undies!

Most neon polishes benefit from a nice white undercoat, aka, ‘undies’ to help the colour pop. But, sigh, some ‘nuggles’ insist the word means underwear…. so when your friend says to you in a crowded bar, “Wow your nails are actually glowing under these lights!”, you really, really, REALLY don’t want to shout back, just as the music goes quiet: “I KNOW right? And I’m not even wearing undies!” I can guarantee the majority of people in that bar will not think you are talking about your base coat. Please don’t ask how I know this.

I can’t believe I’m onto my third Helmer

It may be as attractive as a government office filing cabinet, but it is actually an enchanted magical casket in which you can house all your preciouses. Who knew one of the most exciting days of your life would be when you go to IKEA to purchase your very first grey metal cupboard? Less exciting is crying over the assembly instructions for three days.  PS. You should be aware that your phone will autocorrect ‘helmer’ to ‘helmet’. This can be awkward. Very awkward actually.

Blurple isn’t a word!

Blurple is not a word you should attempt to use in front of a nuggle. They will either think you have just burped rather unattractively, or you are drunk and have resorted to making up words. Well, it IS a legitimate word as I have an entire drawer dedicated to that unique colour that’s not quite blue and not quite purple. While we are here griege ( not quite grey, not quite beige) is also a legitimate colour. And has its very own drawer. I think you can probably guess now why I’m onto my fourth helmet.  I mean helmer.

I do love a good creme

Not the white, whipped variety. Well, I do but generally not on my nails…..This crème is spelt  the posh way: without an ‘a’ and with an extra ‘e’, and even accents if you’re being super fancy. However, your phone will probably auto correct it to crepe, and you should be aware that if you hashtag your nail photos with #crepe you’re going to get a few very confused and rather disappointed foodie followers.

Isn’t Holo just the same as glitter?

No! Not in the slightest. Really? Are you actually being serious?

Do you think Coffin would look good on me?

Only a fellow NPA isn’t going to be totally freaked out when you say “I am sooooo in love with the coffin shape! Am I a coffin sort of a person, do you think?” Freak those nuggles out even more and start only going out after dark wearing a long cape, and gagging if you smell garlic. This can be quite amusing behaviour in a pizza restaurant.

I don’t know how to arrange my collection!

You will find your ‘people’ on Instagram and Facebook and spend entire evenings discussing the merits and drawbacks of arranging your polishes in brand, colour or finish. “Which drawer does everyone else put their turquoise jellies with holo glass flecks? Because we just got a new addition to the family today and I don’t know what to do with her. Anyone?! Please don’t tell me I’m going to have to totally reshuffle my jellies again?” (Not a sentence I ever thought I would write.)

I am on a mission to go through my untrieds

Untrieds account for the majority of your polish collection. You lose entire days of your life checking out swatches of a polish; you lust after it so badly you consider creating a vision board in the hope the universe will take pity on you from the heavens; you set your alarm for 3 am to catch the restock that’s happening the other side of the world. It arrives AT LAST, you hug the frightened postman with joyful tears in your eyes;  aaaand you put the new precious straight in your helmet/helmer, probably never to see again, because OMG, there’s this new limited edition blurple crelly with rainbow flakes that you need to have NOW. Just need to take a week off work to check out swatches first….

I neeed to buy more polish!

You swing wildly between sobbing: I want more polish! Now!!” and stamping your foot like Verucca Salt; and crying: “Which polish should I wear? I can’t choose! I have too many!” to anyone you can get to listen. Like the cat. Or the postman. The postman is beginning to get really scared of you now.

I would literally kill for your nail beds!

“How are your nail beds so amazingly perfect? Why did my parents give me such rubbish nail beds?”…..I don’t think I had considered we had such a thing as ‘nail beds’  until about three years ago…

I am on a No-Buy

“I have made a decision. I am on a no-buy. I totally do NOT need any more polish. I probably should pay my rent….Okay, wait, maybe I’ll make that a low buy. That’s totally do-able, right? I mean, just one really special polish a month will fill that aching void…..Hmmm, well surely one polish a week isn’t that unreasonable? The weather right now  is too hot/cold/rainy/cloudy/weathery *delete as applicable,  and so I totally need cheering up and….OMG there’s a new collection out and you get 3% discount if you buy all 16 polishes today! To be honest, that’s a total bargain. I am actually saving myself money! God, I’m good with money. Perhaps I should be an accountant”.

Stiletto Nails? You’re going to poke your eyes out with those!

“Well, obviously I haven’t done so far, as I can still see your chipped mani and flooded cuticles all too clearly, Susan”.

You don’t change your nails every day do you?

If a super vigilant nuggle catches you out, admit nothing. If they could only guess how many nail polishes we have they might want to…gulp…”borrow them”. That obviously cannot happen. So change up the places you go, wear gloves, keep your hands in your pockets. Keep the faith. The first rule of the nail community is you do not talk about the nail community.

What do you mean they’re identical?

And a word the NPA doesn’t recognise? Identical. No such thing. Every nail polish is completely unique and essential to your collection. “How can you even say these two grey polishes look exactly the same? You do know how many shades of grey there are, right…?”

Read Claire’s 15 Signs You’re an Nail Polish Addict here.

Read Claire’s 15 Awkward Nail Polish Problems here.

A little more about your Picture Polish Writer…

Claire lives on the beautiful southwest coast of England, on a constant but currently fruitless search for Ross Poldark. She is also an aspiring writer and supermodel. She suspects she is more likely to succeed in becoming a writer. While awaiting the global stardom that will surely come, she has made it her selfless mission to acquire all the Picture Polishes ever made. She may soon have to buy another house in which to store them.

Check out Claire’s Instagram Clairestelle8 for her mix of amazing nail art and humor.

Thanks for the reality check Claire.  The Girls xox