Last month, I got my nails done for Hanukkah/Christmas/New Year's Eve, because 'tis the season to be fancy. I asked for black gel polish with golden-glitter half moons, and I drooled over their shiny, perma-lacquered existence for about two and a half weeks before I sadly went back to my nail salon and asked to have them removed (aka, violently scraped off). Since gel polish essentially drains your nails of their lifeblood, I'm taking a polish break for a few days—and I'm going insane. It's beyond official: I am addicted to nail polish. I only take comfort in knowing that I am not alone in this.
Any true nail polish addict can attest to the discomfort one experiences when having to polish-detox. It's horrendous. Being forced to stare at your hands and think about the endless color combinations and patterns that could be adorning those drab nails is torturous. The major downsides of identifying as a polish addict are few. For the most part, practicing fresh nail game is a super fun habit, albeit an expensive one. But still, it can get out of hand. Here are 21 textbook signs that you're a nail polish addict.
1. You have no more room for new nail polish, but you buy it anyway
Your polish hub is overflowing at this point. You quite literally have no more room for new additions, yet the collection somehow keeps growing, and you just keep getting more and more creative with storage space (by which I clearly mean, "your Essie collection has now taken up residence in your underwear and sock drawer.")
2. On the rare occasion your nails are bare, they’re still slightly stained with the last color you used
It's like the nail equivalent of your roots showing.
3. Your manicurist knows more about your life than your own mother
And you know all about her son's graduation from medical school, and where she and her family went over the holidays. After all that time spent together, you have formed a very special, indestructible bond. A manicure appointment is half-cosmetic and half-theraputic at this point.
4. Chipped nails make you dangerously uneasy
It's not the '90s anymore. You're not auditioning for a Chris Isaak music video. Chips give you anxiety.
5. You have a playlist ready and a candle lit specifically for when you’re painting your nails because #ambiance
You set aside at least an hour a week to paint your nails, and you take this allotted time very, very seriously. Nothing will get in the way of your holy nail polish time. NOTHING.
6. You get excited about holidays because it means you can color coordinate and get festive
Time to whip out the big guns (aka, gold glitter).
7. You don’t leave the drug store without a new bottle of polish
Like I said, you have absolutely no room for more. But how sad is it to just purchase toilet paper without something fun to accompany it?
8. You totally have a nail inspo board on Pinterest
And you spend an embarrassing amount of time curating it.
9. Sometimes you stare at people’s naked nails and wonder how they can live with themselves for going through life like this
Like, not even a base coat? Really? You tilt your head and silently wonder if they were neglected as children, or something. There really has to be some deeper dysfunction happening with these people.
10. More than half your Instagram is pictures of your fresh new mani
There is nothing wrong with nail pride, OK?
11. You experience major nail envy when you notice a friend has way chicer nails than you
It's a simultaneous feeling of anger, jealousy, and approval. On one hand, yes, you hate her because her nails are on point thus making yours look lackluster by comparison, but you also love her because she takes her nail game seriously and you gotta respect that. If anything, it just motivates you to try harder.
12. You own twelve different shades of your favorite color
I don't care what you guys say, there is a significant difference between Essie's "Ballet Slipper" and "Mademoiselle."
13. You skip buying a Chipotle burrito for lunch because you know you can just buy a new OPI shade instead
When you start thinking about money in terms of how many bottles of which brands of nail polish you could buy with any given amount, you are officially letting your addiction control you. How much food have you eaten, knowing that those funds could have gone toward a new set of polishes? You've learned it's best not to think about it.
14. You know exactly which polishes need two-three coats (all of Essie’s pastels) and which ones only need one (almost all shades of OPI, because OPI is God)
You basically have a PhD in nail polish, and should maybe add this qualification to your LinkedIn.
15. You don't even care if no one notices your new nail decor
This has gone way beyond just wanting your nails to look nice for the approval of other people. You do it only for you. You love every part of your nail polish addiction: buying a new color, setting aside time to ritualistically do a DIY manicure at home, treating yourself to a salon trip, complete with exquisite hand massage, and then lying to yourself about not buying new polishes before inevitably giving in—you love it all. Your nails and your relationship with nail polish is for you and you alone.
16. Finally finding a nail polish soulmate whom you can talk to about brands and techniques with
You know you've found a keeper—whether it's a friend or someone you're dating—when they show you their Ciate holiday collection and ask if you want to swap matte colors. YES, ALL YOU WANT TO DO IS SWAP MATTE COLORS. HELLO, SOULMATE.
17. When you finish painting your nails perfectly only to discover tiny bubbles have formed, and you have a mental breakdown
What. Fresh. Hell. Is. This. You wonder what you possibly could have done in your past life to deserve this. No sane, non-addited person would possibly be this emotionally affected by such an occurrence, but you so. are.
18. When your answer is “Butter London, Chanel, Nails Inc, or Deborah Lipmann” when people ask what you want for your birthday
A gift card to Sephora will do quite nicely, as well.
19. You desperately want to paint your nails again, but you just got gels and HAVE to wait
The struggle is real.
20. When you can tell the difference between “Big Apple Red” and “Revlon Red.”
Yup. You're just THAT good.
21.You will spend very severe amounts of money on a quality base coat.
You've got your mind on your money and your money on your really, really good bottle of clear polish that will ensure a chip-free manicure for at least a week.