Nail polish may be a beauty product, but for me it means so much more. It's my way of letting my inner self shine through and keeping my family, both near and far, close to my heart. When my mom first let me use nail polish, I was in kindergarten, and little did she know the monster she had just created. If I wasn't raiding her collection, I was spending my allowance on it. Over the years, I've amassed a collection of over 200 different nail polishes. Fun fact: I actually have a clear cabinet dedicated solely to storing my nail polishes in my bedroom, and the entire thing is color-coordinated, just like at a nail salon. Seeing the shades displayed out in front of me allows me to use different colors all the time so that none go to waste. My rule? If I can't remember the last time I wore it, I will either donate it or throw it out. Some people collect stamps; I collect nail polishes.
Some people collect stamps; I collect nail polishes.
Up until I went to college, I would spend my Summers visiting my mom's family in the Dominican Republic. One of the first things I would do after arriving was have an at-home spa day with one of my aunts. We had a ritual where I would bring a bunch of nail polishes to wear throughout my vacation, she would pick which one she wanted to use, the two of us would paint each other's nails on her porch while catching up on life, and before I left, I'd let her keep whichever ones she wanted. It seems small, but having an array of nail polishes is a luxury in the Dominican Republic. Back then, buying a $9 polish was a tremendous privilege, so I will never forget when my aunt bought me my first one. I still have the exact bottle and have repurchased the same color multiple times. Every time I look at it, I smile, because it's such a happy memory for me.
I tend to remember certain events in my life based off what color nail polish I had on. I usually switch up my nail polish weekly, so when it's time to change it, I walk over to my cabinet and think about what mood I want to be in for the week. My go-to colors are any variations of pink, red, white, blue, brown, black, and purple. I have always worn a single color, but right now I'm in a phase where I'm embracing designs. Although the patterns I pick are super simple, it's been fun to explore different ways to add more personality to my manicure because I feel like I'm discovering and embracing a whole new side of myself. Just like people make a statement with their hair and their clothing, you can do the same with your nails. It's just another way of expressing yourself, and the best part is that you can always just change it!