Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Manicure Several Decades In The Making

In the 1980s, the beauty industry had an ingenius idea with the invention of Lee Press-on Nails. I'm not sure if I ever wore a whole set of these, but I came to really love them, desire them, think them the key for making me not so shy and a little less ugly (seriously, me circa 1988, not a pretty picture).  Lee Press-on Nails were pre-polished nails that glued onto your own nails for an at-home quick manicure.  Perfect.

I do remember I had at least one.  I think I got it from the bottom of a jewelry box that I had gotten from a friend maybe.  It was a pinky nail, a pinkish-mauve-ish color. I remember pressing it against my pinky nail whenever I went through the box to see how my nails would look if I had longer, painted nails.  The bottom of the nail was not sticky, so it wouldn't hold.  Whatever glue was on there had attached itself to dust and some glitter.  The bottom-side, in all honesty, looked like a giant booger.

Sidenote: My family was on vacation in Florida.  We were at the Kennedy Space Center.  I was in grammar school and so was my brother, three years my elder.  We found a bumper sticker that was not very funny until my dad read it aloud.  It read: Don't drive any closer or I'll flick a booger on your windshield.  My dad, not a man who wastes his time on slang and vernacular, obviously had no idea of what "booger" meant, and he pronounced it loudly as if the "oo" sounds like what a cow says: mooooo.  So he read it as "flick a boooooger on your windshield," which sent me and my brother into hysterics and my mom into teaching mode, explaining that it was pronounced like sugar.  And that's the story that pops into my mind whenever I hear the word "booger," and I'm always left with the same questions: why the hell was that bumper sticker for sale at the Kennedy Space Station?  Is it something the astronauts put on their space ships?

Fast forward to Shecky's.  In the three goodie bags from the two Shecky's events I attended over the summer, I found three packages of Impress.  Do you know what that is?  Here's what: imPRESS is a NEW! fast & easy press-on manicure that you can apply in minutes.

Hello, 1980s, we are back!

The only difference here is that the lead singer from the Pussy Cat Dolls who was also an annoying judge and coach on X-Factor is on the packaging. 

I suppose there is one other difference: I own them!  So on the eve of my Labor Day vacation, I decided to give it a shot.  I layed out all 24 fake nails of different shapes and sizes on my dining room table.  I figured out which ones fit which fingers and put the extra ones back in the packaging, not sure of what to do with them since the extra ones are ones that do not fit any of my nails. I snipped my actual nails, seeing that they were actually too long for the fake nails to fit over. Then I went at it, peeling back the tabs and pressing on the nails.  The package says that they should last for 7 days*.  The * says When applied properly.  How do you apply them properly?  FIRMLY apply them.  That means push down really hard on them.  That's it.  That's the whole process.

What I've realized now that I never realized with that one lone booger pinky nail is this: these nails are plastic pieces of crap.  Sure, they have thus far stayed on--four days and counting through parks and beaches and several hair-washings.  However, the tips are a little crooked or rough and not file-able like natural nails.  AND they will not stay firmly against the nail bed no matter how FIRMLY I apply them and then press them down again or again. 

My hair and other strappy or skinny things get stuck between the nail bed and the fake nail.  Dust and other mystery particles gets caught up between the tips of my real nails and the fake ones.   My real nails seem to be quickly creeping out up to the edges, threatening to show that what's on top is not real.

However, this is fulfillment of a dream deferred.  They are so pretty.  That makes me feel so pretty.  I am 7 and I am happy because I like pretty little things in vivid pink.

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