The 17 Emotional Stages Of Painting Your Own Nails

by Tess Yocom

I’ve always held my nails to extremely high standards. When I was nine, I got in a fight with my choir director who made me take off my blue polish before our annual concert (which never made since to me, so it was definitely worth the battle.) Three years later, I had to go to the salon every six week to touch up my fake nails and make sure the tips were perfect. Now? I refuse to leave the house unless my shortly clipped nails are coated with coral polish. It's a lifestyle.

I’m not the only one, though. From gel polish to crazy complicated Pinterest nail art, it’s become a beauty obsession over the past few years. And why not? It’s a cool way to show off your style that will (theoretically) last all week.

But, I’ll be the first to admit that painting my nails is a complete struggle. Like, an actual royal pain in my butt. You have to choose a color, apply enough coats that it won’t chip throughout the week, and sit there and wait for it to dry. And if you accidentally get wet polish on and stain your clothes? Oh, honey.

Yeah, it’s an annoying process that every Essie addict has to go through. Here’s a walk through of the entire emotional roller coaster of an at-home mani, because you need something to read while your nails dry.

1. Ok, I'm So Excited

You’re going to paint your nails! They’ll be super shiny and pretty and Instagram ready! You’re basically a beauty guru.

2. But How Am I Supposed To Decide Between These Two Reds?

Hm… this is hard. Do you go for that old fall shade or crack open a new Essie bottle? SO. MANY. CHOICES.

3. Ugh, Filing Is The Worst

Not only do you have to listen to that awful sound when you’re basically grinding your precious nails with sandpaper, but they never turn out even.

4. OK, OK. Let's Do This

You’re ready to paint those bad boys.

5. My Left Thumb Is Painted

And it looks SO GOOD.

6. Well, That Didn't Last Long

I swear, these people MAKE these tiny brushes so you’ll mess up and get "sure shot" all over your fingers.

7. Ugh. This Is Bad

That’s cool.

8. Now That I've Finally Cleaned Up All My Cuticles, It's Time For Another Coat

Are you kidding me? Seriously? Why can’t this just be one and done?

9. And Now We Wait

I mean, they should only take five minutes to dry.

10. ...And Wait...

10 minutes… tops.

11. How Are My Nails Still Wet?!


12. Let Me Just Try Gently Touching One...

And it smudged.

13. Time To Whip Out The Blow-Dryer

I will get my nails dry. I will get my nails dry. I WILL GET MY NAILS DRY.

14. [flash forward to Two Days Later] A Chip. Already.

Wait, seriously?

15. Whatever, I'm Ignoring It

Nope. Didn’t see it.

16. But, Soon Enough, Every Finger Is Chipped

How? HOW? All I did was go to class and get dinner and drink wine. There’s no way those activities can cause this much damage.

17. And Now It’s Time To Do It All Over Again

The cycle never ends.

Images: Getty Images; Giphy (17)