Girl Talk


Recently, I wrote about the benefits of taking an Epsom salt bath in a blog post about self-care.  I’m still on a self-care kick and my latest attempt has involved a new DIY pedicure treatment.  Sidebar here: a few years ago, one of my DIY pedicures landed me in the emergency room, the heel of my right foot a bloody mess from using a callous remover that bore an alarming resemblance to a cheese slicer.  This time around, I tried a safer method that promised to not only rid me of my callouses, but to leave my feet as soft and soothe as a baby’s.  I know what you’re thinking.  What a sucker!

In my defense, I read about this product in a reputable magazine, and the gals on one of the morning talk shows raved about its dramatic results.  A couple of late-night clicks on my laptop, and a few days later it magically arrived on my front porch.  What could go wrong?

The directions seemed simple enough.  You slip your feet into plastic booties filled with a clear gelatinous substance and you don’t move for an hour.  Then you slowly slosh and wobble your way to the bathroom, grateful you haven’t fallen flat on your back, and gingerly step into the bathtub.

One at a time, you remove the botties, and rinse the goo off your feet.  Then you do nothing, but wait.  Really, nothing.  In fact, the directions are very clear about this.  You can soak your feet.  You can apply lotion.  But you are not to use any other products.  Because in 5 to 7 days your feet will begin to peel.  That’s right, you’ll start molting like a lizard.

Day 5, my feet look no different.  Same on Day 6.  And on Day 7, I’m still waiting.  How could a product that melts my toe nail polish do nothing to rid me of my alligator heels? 

Then on Day 8, I see a few flakey spots.  More the next day.  And the shedding is underway.

Day 11 – my feet aren’t fit to be viewed by human eyes.  There’s dead skin everywhere – on my floors, in my bed, and don’t ask what’s inside my socks.  The directions for this miracle product warn the process could last up to two weeks.  I’m tempted to use the cheese slicer callous remover that resulted in a trip to the emergency room.  On Day 12 my feet look so gross I soak them in scalding water and feverishly scrub them with a nail brush, swearing I will never do this again.

Day 14 – Cue the harp music.  The miracle has occurred.  My feet are so velvety smooth I want to go barefoot.  Walk in the sand.  Dance in a field of wild flowers.  I settle for wearing strappy sandals to work.

In the end, was it worth it?  Yup.  Would I do it again?  You betcha.


Girl Talk, Pop Culture

Finger Paint

What’s the one beauty product you couldn’t live without, even if you were stranded on a desert island?  BB cream?  Lash extensions?  Lip balm?  For me – no contest – it’s nail polish.  I can’t get enough of the stuff.  I’d drink it if it weren’t toxic.

When I was a teenager, the lady who lived next-door shared my love of nail polish.  She stored hers in the little egg holders on the inside of her refrigerator door because, she explained, the cold temperature helped prolong the shelf life of the polish.  By the time I was grown and had a place of my own, refrigerator doors no longer came equipped with egg holders, so I bought a Lucite organizer for my nail polish and have kept it refrigerated ever since.

My fascination with nail polish goes way beyond painting it on my fingers and toes.  When I’m on the subway, in line at the store, or at a social event, I always notice the nail polish other women are wearing.  At a recent family gathering, the lady in red had a clean and classic French manicure, and the child of the ‘60’s painted her nails midnight blue to match her cocktail dress.  My basic black ensemble needed a pop of color so I went with a vivid fuchsia.

In a January 2016 blog post, entitled “Man Buns” I went on a rant about the onslaught of guys wearing their hair up in little ballet dancer buns and hypothesized about what might come next that could be even more cringeworthy.  Jokingly, I suggested men wearing nail polish.  But this is no joke.  And as alarming as it may be, it has come to pass.

A few days ago, a millennial wearing the grad student uniform: baseball cap, graphic tee, khaki shorts, and sneakers stepped onto the train.  After he sat down next to me, he reached into his messenger bag for a book.  That’s when I noticed his finger nails were neatly painted a garnet red metallic that I’m pretty sure was OPI’s “I’m Not Really A Waitress.”  I was aghast.

I’ll give them their messenger bags.  And their ridiculous man buns.  But my beloved nail polish?  I have no words…

Life Lessons


It was supposed to be a quiet night with no plans, no obligations, and no work the next day. Because of my bathroom reno, I was staying at my brother’s place, and he was away for the weekend.  It was the ideal time for a relaxing, indulgent night-o-beauty.  The stage was set: charcoal mask treatment for my face, lavender scented Epsom salt for a soak in the tub, and all the implements needed for a professional-style mani-pedi were neatly arranged on the bathroom countertop.  Draw the bath and cue up Enya’s “Paint the Sky with Stars,” for I had created the perfect home spa!

Then something went terribly wrong…

I cut my foot using the type of callus remover that looks like a miniature cheese slicer.  At first I didn’t realize how deep the blade went, all I felt was a stinging sensation.  But a moment later, my foot was bloody.  I grabbed a wad of tissues and reached for the Band-Aids.  When that didn’t work, I stuck my foot back in the tub, under running water, and soon enough the bathtub looked like the shower scene in the movie “Psycho.”  I tried to save my brother’s gleaming white bathroom: watch out for the shower curtain, protect the grout, don’t ruin any of the good towels…  I didn’t comprehend the severity of my injury until 45 minutes had passed, the bathroom was in shambles, and I still couldn’t control the bleeding.  It was after midnight on a Saturday night, and I was home alone, stranded with no mode of transportation to get to a medical facility.   I can’t do this by myself – I need help.  I picked up the phone and called 911.

Within moments, my doorbell rang and two Emergency Service providers were lifting me onto a stretcher and into an ambulance.  I’d never been in an ambulance before, nor called upon a first responder for help of any kind.  The young man and woman who came to my aid wrapped my foot more securely, checked my vitals, and kept me calm during the long ride to the hospital.

I thought all I needed was a hand – for my foot – but they treated my injury with the same level of care afforded a life-and-death situation.  First responders are real-life super heroes who work in the most difficult circumstances, at warp speed, on a daily basis.  When they dropped me off at the hospital, I thanked them, but it hardly seemed enough.  It’s been two months since that night, and my foot has completely healed.  I wish I could remember the names of my super heroes so I could thank them again.