Objects of Desire: Nails for fall

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Most people I interview for the Style section of Alive tell me one or two things they regularly splurge on — jeans (see this week’s What Are You Wearing?), lotion, Happy Socks. The stories behind the splurges are telling.

Think about the things you’ll spend extra money for. Does it reveal something about your vulnerabilities, priorities or quirks?

Recently, I’ve traded in buying fancy hair gel for getting my nails done every two weeks. I’m talking full acrylic sets here, like I’m a high school girl going to prom or a Housewife of God-Knows-Where.

Whatever. Totally worth it. It costs me $24 and an hour in the chair for a fill (Nails on Neil! Jackie Seal of Approval!), but having my nails done saves me time on maintenance and prevents mucho gray hair from sprouting because of irrational anxiety over chipped polish.

I’m certain Happy Socks similarly clear one’s clouds of ennui.

Acrylic nails are kind of old-school. Naysayers hate how they can stunt the growth of a person’s real nails. My natural nails, though, are about as tough as construction paper, so I’m not losing anything here.

Many a lady raves about gel manicures. This popular artificial nail option is pricier than acrylics but the gel applied to the nails isn’t as loaded with chemicals and it lasts longer. Layers of the gel formula are applied, then dried under a UV lamp. Gels look very natural, whereas the thickness of acrylics can look as obviously fake as the cheek bones of the aforementioned Housewife.

Popular nail colors this fall are mints, nudes and reds shades with gold glitter. Go bold with some patterns or try pointy tips, a la Rihanna and Gaga.

Those of you going sans salon, try a specially formulated polish designed to help brittle nails—weakened by the cold weather—stay strong. For example, the protein infused polish of Dermelect, which won’t make your nails peel when the paint is removed.

I also hear great things about the nail polish brand Zoya (I’ve purchased bottles of it at Bubbles beauty salon). The eco- and health-conscious polish is beloved by local beauty professionals like those at Mukha in the Short North.

Whatever your paint poison, trust me, having nice nails this fall is worth a splurge.

· Objects of Desire is a biweekly column that explores the items Columbus shoppers crave. Follow Jackie Mantey on Twitter at @Jackie_Mantey or on Pinterest at pinterest.com/alivestyle.