Saturday, July 27, 2013

CHANEL - 667 - Bel Argus Limited Edition Summer 2013

Continuing with the CHANEL Sumer 2013 Series, this is Bel Argus, a Cobalt Blue that reminds me of a midnight starry summer night sky. There is something about CHANEL nail polish that is different from all the other brands. Aside from the price, which is very steep for nail polish, there is also the exclusivity factor, but it is really “unique” in some way.
Application is buttery, color goes on nicely and though it may seem very thin at first, it really goes on solid with just two coats. This is a relatively fast drying polish. I have worn my fair share of blues over time, but this one has to be by far, until now, the best of them, definitely a keeper for me. 

Like all dark blue’s, you can dress it up or dress it down. Since I “dressed down” the other blue’s I have worn on past postings, this time  I opted to “dress it up” a bit by wearing this polish with silver gladiator sandals and white trousers, a perfect outfit for summer that really make my toes in blue stand out. 

A particular thing I have noticed about CHANEL’s Summer 2013 line is the way they effectively catch the suns rays to “light the color up” when outside, as you can very well see from the pictures. 

When indoors under ambient lighting conditions during the day, the color seems a bit deeper, but still blue, no color change on this one.

When putting it directly under a fluorescent lamp, the color seems a bit more metallic, but I wouldn’t consider this a metallic color.  It is a very nice blue that really comes to life outdoors. 

Over time I have noticed that some nail polish colors are meant to be worn outdoors and other colors are meant to be worn indoor’s under fluorescent lighting conditions. I am personally not very fond of pictures of swatches under the lamp because even though it looks nice, unless you are always indoors and/or carrying a lamp with you, it can be deceiving. If you are a person who spends more time outdoors than indoors, than this color is for you. You will absolutely love how the sun makes this color come to life. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chanel Azure (657) Collectors Limited Edition

I was at a local department store last weekend and I walked by the Chanel counter where I saw this shiny bottle of paint that I liked so much I had a double take. When I turned my head slightly upward, I saw this big add for Chanel Nail Polish Summer 2013 colors. I had never seen a color such as this on nail polish, kind of green, kind of blue, the kind of greenish-blue that reminded me of the shallow seas of the Caribbean, like in Cancun or the Bahamas. This polish reflects the sun with a sparkling beauty that you have to see to believe. This is not exactly a holographic polish.  I had never splurged before on nail polish, but I caved in on this one. This is great quality polish, and at $27 a pop, it should be. Although it goes on thin at the first coat, two coats is enough for good overall cover. As always, I apply three coats. Of course, I prepped the nails before that with a good buff on the nail bed, primer and a base coat.
Topped it off with Seche Vite to give me a good two weeks of unchipped wear. Even though this is not a holographic color, I can perceive different shades under different lighting conditions. One thing that amazes me about this polish is the fact that unlike holographic colors, when in low light settings, it is more visible. I am not very much for bright colors, don’t typically like bright orange, yellows or bright greens, but this color seems electric, literally. When typing on my computer with just the light of the monitor hitting my nails, they seem like a blue metalic that seems “lit up”. When looking at them under direct sunlight, they look definitely green, but a greenish hue with sparkling shimmer al over. Sunlight make them more greenish, ambient light and/or fluorescent lighting make them look more blueish.
The less the light, the more metallic they look, kind of like an electric blue. A very nice surprise for me. Highly recommended if you like metallic and bright colors. This is definitely not your “low key” color, it screams at you, but in a very nice way.

If I have to give this Polish a rating, I will give it 5 bottles. It is like having 3 nail colors in one bottle. If you wear this to a night club, I can assure you, it will be the talk of the night. If you wear it to the beach, it will be a nice summer beach color. 

Happy Polishing!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

What is the identity of a man who wears nail polish?

A couple of months ago, I recieved an email thru this blog from a journalist from Italy. She was doing some research for a future article of a nails magazine. The article in question was to be something related to nail polish and men. So to sum it all up, like any good journalist, she asked a very good question. I think she got more of an answer that she expected. I haven't seen or read the article or even know if what I wrote her made any difference to her article, but I did see that the cover of the magazine was related to men and nail polish in some form.  Since then, I have been recieving more and more emails and coments posted on the blog with questions of how I got started and more than anything, how I got around to actually start wearing nail polish openly. So I thought that posting what I replied to that journalist might help other people understand that wearing nail polish is really no big deal. 
So what was that question? She asked me, What is the identity of a man who wears nail polish?
That is a very simple question with a very complex answer. I can only speak for myself,  though, so the following long answer is what she got from me.
About Me:
I am a 45 year old heterosexual married man with 3 children. I am a Marketing consulting specialist and an Information Technology company owner. I am also a Professional Photographer, I have my own studio and do all kinds of photography, from commercial and fashion to portraits and weddings. You could say I am an entrepreneur, but I only venture into businesses I understand and I can control. I do not consider myself a risk taker. I do not like to depend on others. I say all this not to be pretentious, but so you can have a clear picture of my personality.  
I like to take care of myself, I wear my hair medium length with highlights, as you can clearly see on the self portrait I made. Yes I highlight my hair and color it. I started doing it to cover the grey hairs and then I decided to do some highlights and I liked it so I kept on doing it. I like pampering, I go to have manicures, pedicures, massages and facials every so often. I do not wear full make up (foundation, lipstick, cover makeup) but I do shape my eyebrows and sometimes use eyebrow liner to add definition, I sometimes wear eye shadow to ad a little bit of depth to my eyes, the kind of make up enhancement that goes unnoticed to the naked eye, not like a drag queen. I do not like body hair, so I remove it from my chest, back and legs. I do not like to wear women’s dresses and do not crossdress. Although I do have some women's garments that I like to mix with my male clothes, like some vests, a couple of "boyfriend" shirts, some scarfs and sarongs and even some tunics,  I do this not to pretend I am a woman, but simply because women 's clothing have more options when it comes to colors and textures. I am not trying to look like a woman either. I also do not wear woman's clothing because I have any fetishes.

About my style:

men who wear nail polish
My youngest daughter and me wearing a candy apple red from Sally Hansen

I do not consider myself a slave to fashion, I wear what I like and not what fashion magazines push on people. I also do not consider myself a trend setter, I just try to be myself. 

About Me wearing Nail Polish:
I wear nail polish on my fingernails and toes, color depends on my mood, but I mostly prefer dark or contrasting colors to my skin type. I am fair skinned so I prefer dark colors, I have worn blacks, blues, greens, reds, and browns, I prefer shimmery and metallics.
Dark Blue, Red, Holographic blue
I do  like some bright colors like fuchsia and light blues, but am not into yellow, hot pink, light greens,  or bright oranges. I change my nail polish every two weeks. I like my hands and my nails to be impeccable. I dislike chipped nails on me or any other person for that matter. When people ask why I do it, the answer is very simple, just because I like it. I tell them that I am the one looking at my nails most of the time, I see my hands when driving, writing checks, typing on my computer, preparing meals, taking a shower, etc. So I mostly do it for me, and not to show off or pretend to be something or someone I am not. That is why I like to wear rings and bracelets too, because I am looking at them, I do it for me.

Diamond Black from China Glaze

About other men who wear nail polish:
For what I have seen, men have been wearing nail polish for a long time now, but the problem for most of the men who do it and not wear it openly is FEAR. Which ever angle you might want to look at it, at the end of the day, it is only fear that keeps them from not just wearing nail polish openly, but to do many other things in their lives. Men who have not even tried it, but sometimes think of trying, do not do so out of FEAR.

men who love to wear nail polish
Purple, Deep Red and Black with my wife's silver toes

FEAR of what other people might say or think. FEAR that others will stereotype you as something you know you are not. FEAR of what reaction it will bring from friends and family. FEAR of what you can become for doing it. FEAR, FEAR, FEAR. Many men wear nail polish on their toes only because they can cover them with their shoes and because they can wear it "SAFELY" (in there minds) privately at home. Some men only wear on their toes because of the kind of work they do, If they do manual labor, the polish does not last much. But this is the same with women. Our parents educate us to follow rules, and societal norms are imposed upon us sometimes with no common sense what so ever, but our education makes us follow those rules. We are educated not to think anymore, not to question, just to follow and do. If you look at children, they do not have any societal rules. It is fun for a child of any gender to play and paint their nails. It is just society and our own mental barriers that we impose upon us that change that over time. Speaking for myself, at my age, I have come to understand that fear is mental and having said that, no one controls my mind but myself. When it comes to the way I present myself, I make my own rules, and being my own rules, I can change them, break them or create new ones. They are after all, MY RULES. I am not breaking any law or offending anyone. If any one finds it offensive to look at my painted nails, they always have the option of not looking at them. As a nail polish wearing PERSON, I like choice. As a nail polish addict, we are always looking for new colors. To me, color has no gender, so I do not like it when cosmetic companies market NAIL POLISH FOR MEN. They tend to offer what many call “safe colors” or “masculine colors”. I strongly disagree with this. I understand that it is a business or marketing strategy, but it only further boxes us men into what we can  or must not do, or wear or do not wear. Personally, I do not like the color selection that some companies like alpha nail, man glaze or evolution man offer “for men”, they are very limited some even boring. Only BB couture has a bit more choice. But when it comes to choice, why limit ourselves? In my personal point of view, nail polish companies should market to an open mixed market, not to a specific gender Market.
China Glaze Magentix "Cling On"

Polish selection should not be “for men” of “for women” but rather for what they are “bright colors”, “dark colors”, “metallic”, “holographic”, etc. When you get what nail polish is all about, you understand it is all about choice, you are always looking for a nice new color shade, so it would seem contradictory that you limit yourself to what “male nail polish” colors are available. Last December, I fell in love with a red called “malice” from Chanel, good luck finding something similar in the men’s section. There is also a slew of new independent nail polish makers that are booming with business because of their unique color mixtures.
For what I have read and seen on other blogs, most of the males who wear nail polish openly, are either under the age of 15 or over the age of 40, because of the points I made before. The under 15 boys are fearless naturally, they still have no malice, the over 40 males, have matured enough that they come to dominate their fears to the point that they don't care what people say and think anymore and are just enjoying life. It is the 15 to 40 age range crowd that are still discovering who they are, and that maybe have more trouble accepting themselves, and in that process tend to be more followers of trends or norms.
For what I can read in the analytics of this blog, I can see thousands of visits, The spinning globe on the right sidebar already has passed the 40,000 visit mark, yet only a few followers and very few comments. That straightens even more my theory that only FEAR is what is holding back men from wearing nail polish. I say this, because I know the key words that my blog is anchored on, and I once searched on the subject using the same key words. Some years ago, I started to search for “men who wear nail polish” or “men that paint their nails” or “nail polish for men trend”, only to come to the realization that I was doing it only to “justify my actions”. When I realized this, I just stopped searching and decided that there surely must be other men out there just like me, so I created this blog. The mere fact that society “forgives” male celebrities from wearing nail polish and your average Joe is “forbidden” is beyond any logical explanation. 

These are may favorite pair of sandals, bought them in South Korea
So what kind of men wear nail polish? I think bold, secure and fearless men do. Men who have a sense of style, men who lead and not follow. Men who make their own rules.  Men who enjoy life and are comfortable with how they present themselves.
I don’t know if this is the kind of answer you were looking for of the kind of answer that may help you, you got here, you tell me. If you have any other questions I will be glad to answer them. You can either post them openly, or as other people have experienced, you can email me directly. I take the time to answer all email.
Men tend not to open up to women and/or treat women equally also out of FEAR. It is so contradictory that humanity educates men to be the strong, independent and fearless yet when it comes to a simple thing like self expression, they restrain from showing their emotions thru simple actions like painting their nails.
Also because of FEAR, they educate us men to restrain or hide deep within us  our emotions and our appreciation for beauty. Self expression thru color and nail polish is an emotionally driven form of expression, and many men restrain from painting their nails out of  fear that it will make them vulnerable. We are beings created from the strongest emotion there is, LOVE, so why should we restrain our emotions because of our gender?
Men are CONDITIONED to restrain emotions, they tell us “men don’t cry” and so on.
An example of the way men restrain emotions out of fear is the following;  If we look at at a pretty woman on the street, we will check her out, appreciate her, enjoy the view and even sometimes express it thru a verbal action, because, it is “accepted”, some women like it, but many don’t and even find it offensive. But if we see a beautiful man, first of all, we automatically cancel the words BEAUTIFUL OR PRETTY when judging a man's beauty, and use the words, HANDSOME, GOOD LOOKING, STRIKING, NICE LOOKING or anything else. Then, we look away. We know and accept the fact that a man has beauty, be it a beautiful face or pretty eyes,  but most men will just cancel the thought of even judging a man's beauty out of fear that people will judge them if they keep looking for more than a split second, or that they might become gay for doing it, which by the way, will not happen. It is all in our minds. FEAR is a negative emotion of a future event, and guess what, the future does not exist! Only the NOW exists. In other words, why would you fear something that might not ever come? 
Now, for the sake of equality, it happens to women also. Some women find it “weird” or “not right” and even “totally wrong” when they express their opinions about men wearing nail polish, I have even heard "If they want to" but "not on my man!". So guess what, the same explanation applies to them. FEAR has no gender.
So be fearless, be bold, look for and find your own style. Make your own rules, enjoy life, stand up to your individual rights. And If you want to wear nail polish or wear a skirt, so be it. Share the blog and spread the word. Men can wear nail polish!
If you liked this read, feel free to express your opinion, that is what it’s all about. If you do not agree, you can also post what ever your opinion is, but be prepared to receive a reply.