Mar 13, 2013

Nail Polish: History and Some Fun Facts


      Last summer, my mom decided to have a picnic for her birthday and of course she invited her parents, my grandparents, to join in the fun. Besides grilling and the traditional who-can-drink-more-beer contest my brother and I have, something interesting happened. Ok, let's say semi-interesting, so you won't expect too much.
      I wore my flip-flops, therefore my shimmery turquoise toe nails were on full display and they had to be pretty bright since my 80-ish grandmother noticed them immediately: "Bright blue toe nails. That's smart. People won't step on them, safety is important."
      I'd never thought about nail polish as a safety precaution measure but my grandma made me think: What's the deal with nail polish? Why and since when has the human race been painting nails? When I got home and the beer buzz wore off, I conducted a little research and apparently this completely useless girlie habit is more connected with men then I'd thought.
      As it turns out, people have painted their nails since 3,200 BC and the first to do it were Babylonian men, not women. They used kohl (instead of henna like Indians) and the color signified class - black was worn by the upper classes and green by the lower. But in my opinion, they did it just to hide the blood and dirt behind their nails - it's much easier to smear more shit on than to actually clean the shit you already have underneath. Chinese used a mixture of egg whites, beeswax, gum from the acacia tree and floral petals and both men and women had to soak their nails in it for hours to get the desired effect.
      In 1920, French make-up artist Michelle Menard thought: "If they can paint le cars, we can paint le nails!" and used the same nitrocellulose dissolved in solvent, which was used on cars, except not as potent. In fact, nail polishes today are still more or less car paint. But unlike nowadays, the act of painting one's nails wasn't always this widely accepted. For decades, it was seen as a form of self-mutilation (much like tattooing and piercing is today, some food for thought maybe), bright colors (especially red) were considered promiscuous thus signifying that you were a slut or a prostitute and as late as in the 1950's, you still had to take it off before going to church. God obviously wasn't that fashion forward back in the day.
      If you worship Satan, are a slut or just like to see some color on your nails, here are two useful facts: After one year, a bottle of nail polish is considered harmful to your health, whereas nail polish remover never expires. If you are a vegan, vegetarian or just an animal lover, you should stay away from nail polishes containing glitter and shimmer elements because those are mostly made of fish scales.
      But whether you're a guy, a girl, you use nail polish or not, here's a fun fact you might find interesting: In 2010, David Sheath set a world record for the longest online ad. How? He painted his white Fiat pink using 131 bottles of pink nail polish. It took him 4 days, 2 hours and 2 minutes. You think I'm making this up, right? Here, You Tube doesn't lie.


I'm wearing:
Orange nail polish: Maybelline Colorama Urban Orange (105)
Pink nail polish: Maybelline Colorama Vibrant Fuchsia (64)
Lipstick: Nivea Beauté Rose Bijou (65)
Rings: Newyorker

      Don't forget to like, share and/or follow. There are new posts coming up every Monday, Wednesday and Friday so see you again this Friday with another fun tag-like post thanks to Mishberries.

      Peet


64 comments:

  1. Hey ;) Love that post and it was really intersting :) The last fact is real quite funny ;D

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  2. I really enjoyed this post! You have an amazing blog! :)

    http://sofijasphotography.blogspot.com/

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  3. Actually in the news some guy just invented halal nail polish. Muslims still aren't technically allowed to wear nail polish bc it gets in the way of ablutions before prayer. But it is all just war paint isn't it?

    Loved the ring nd your nil pics! X

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    1. War paint in modern-day jungle of the 21st century.:) Or we're all just sluts.:D

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  4. Hihi such fun facts! I really love the way you write.
    And your nails look beautiful honey :D

    X lisa

    www.llittleblonde.blogspot.com

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  5. Awesome pictures! :) I totally thought the first one was from an add campaign or something!
    Your piercings are to die for btw :)

    Jennifer
    The White Studio

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  6. NICEEEEEEEE!!!!!
    I'm following you back now!
    See you soon...
    expressyourself.paolalauretano

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  7. See? This is why I love your blog. You always look cute and I learn something too. I wear red often ;P

    xo Ashley
    thetiniestfirecracker.com

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  8. Woooow amazing nails :)

    http://valentinamode.blogspot.com

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  9. Love your nails and .. got a lil history lesson to boot!

    Monica
    www.pear-shaped-gal.com

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  10. How interesting - I will never look at or use my nail varnish in the same way again! I always wear nail polish, mainly because using cheap nail polish without a base protector back in the day has completely discoloured my nails - they look like I smoke 20 a day!

    My ex boyfriend used to wear nail polish on his little finger and do you know what I really liked it - it was unique to him and he so carried it off despite his rugged style; I found it quite sexy.

    Anyway I'm off to put my RED nail polish on he he x

    http://forcailini.blogspot.com

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  11. Love your nails!!

    Glad you have seen Zoolander and you understand me haha!

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  12. Great blog :) Maybe would You like to follow each other via bloglovin?

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  13. Loved the history lesson! I'm always so curious about makeup history; I find it so interesting how makeup was used and applied so differently in the past, as well as the cultural factors that affected how it was worn. Love the pink and orange shades you chose here! :)

    -Jen

    www.vibrantbeautyblog.com

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  14. It is very cute various colors together!
    It is original :)
    kisses*
    http://m-xufre.blogspot.pt/

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  15. Oh wow, very interesting post. I will share this with my boyfriend who has never gotten his nails done, even if it were just clear nail polish. heehehehehe. Cute nail polish colors by the way!

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  16. So if I have a rainbow nail colour or one finger one colour I would be a satan worshiper, slut, prostitute, ice cream seller, nun and every other thing in one. JUST kidding!

    I love nail polish as it makes stubby fingers less stubby *stares at fingers* And it's just fun to have colours on that doesn't come off that fast! Make up or clothes, you gotta change or wash them off at night but nail polish stays!

    Unfortunately there's something wrong with my nails and there's 'pot-holes' symptoms on it so I've avoided nail polish forever ;_; There goes one vibrant part of my life away (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

    That's some really interesting history about nail polish that I've never heard of! (especially the hiding the blood and dirt underneath >D though I don't think that's part of the history lesson =P)

    Black signifies higher status o.o Green is lower. Weird, how did they come up with that? Hahaha.

    Your nails reminds me of ice cream and I am obviously hungry right now ;_;

    P/s: Grandma has good eye sight :P

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  17. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing this! Your nails look so great!

    besos.


    http://onecolourorathemedaybyday.blogspot.com

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  18. I love painting my nails two different colours - this colour combination is so perfect for summer!


    www.fashionablepeople.co.uk

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  19. Lovey nail design))) Great pictures!
    Have a fabulous time!

    Best wishes, Alexandra
    www.svetusvet.blogspot.com

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  20. I love the colours of your nails!

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  21. Beautiful!

    Would you like to follow each other? Just let me know, and I'll follow back
    Kiss
    www.cecilleblog.blogspot.com

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  22. Beautiful nails! Now we following you if you want follow us kiss

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  23. Amazing post! I love it:)

    http://theprintedsea.blogspot.de/

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  24. Interesting post! And I love the nail colors you're wearing, so pretty and bright!

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  25. LOVE THE NAILS!

    http://babelaulait.blogspot.co.uk/

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  26. Love love love <3

    Bisous
    http://melle-lunettes.blogspot.fr/

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  27. Amazing Nail Design ,great Work! Also love the Lipstick ,beautiful Pictures :)

    kisses

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  28. So cute! I Love the pink and orange combo!

    Heather

    http://thevintagehoney.blogspot.ca/

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  29. Nails are hot, absolutely love the blog!

    www.laurenbehappy.blogspot.co.uk

    xxx

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  30. thanks for the post!!! really interesting!!

    xo

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  31. lovely nails!

    andrea-herinfinitevariety.blogspot.co.uk

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  32. Cute blog hun! Love your nails :)

    Would you like to follow each other on gfc? xo

    catherinebelle.blogspot.com

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  33. Amazing facts the Fiat one made me laugh so much polish :O lovely blog xx

    www.krystelcouture.co.uk/

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  34. love the nails!!! the ombre from orange to pink is quite stunning! :D

    Click me for my NEW BLOG

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  35. You are dropping some serious nail polish knowledge, love it! Thanks for the tips:)

    xx,
    Maya

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  36. wow ! nice nails, now I want the tutorial :) (and I will send you the hilarious result of my patience combined to my artistic skills).
    Anyway, I feel like I learn stuff on your blog,now you're my favorite wikipedia slut =)

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    1. It's actually dead simple. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to do it.:D Check out these two links:

      http://www.kaylashevonne.com/2012/09/tutorial-gradient-nails.html

      http://www.nailxchange.com/2012/02/gradient-mani-tutorial.html

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  37. Great nails! Don't know if I would do that on me but love it on you!

    http://fashionbrunette.blogspot.com

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  38. nail art stupenda!
    se ti va passa a trovarmi:http://viviconvivi.blogspot.it/

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  39. Wow - thanks for the background on nail polish! The funny thing about that guy painting his car with nailpolish is he probably SAVED money doing it that way - respraying your car is not cheap. But it'll probably chip all to hell ;-)

    ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.
    http://shoe-fiend.blogspot.co.uk/

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  40. Great nails!!

    thanks for your comment and welcome to my blog!

    kisses

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  41. beautiful! orange and pink look so great together!

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  42. The pictures are AMAZING!


    Edita
    ENTER MY GIVEAWAY: http://www.pret-a-reporter.co.uk/blog/giveaway-with-fifthorient/

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  43. I love the nail color. Im planning to get this nail look in other color. And I love the way you write your posts. :)

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  44. I really liked this post. Never thought about nail color in a historical context.
    I like the ombre nails, although I don't have the patience to do it myself with the sponge. Props to you. :)

    Amalia

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  45. Thanks alot for visiting my blog..You have a great blog..:)
    I love this post.. Not to mention the nail art looks awesome..!!
    I am following you..Hope you will follow me too..
    Stay in touch..!!
    http://softwarestostilletoes.blogspot.in


    Namaste..!!

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  46. Lovely shades! :) ♥
    Mina from the blog The Style Fever.

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  47. Great post, your grandma is just too funny :D Also I really like your nails in these pics, I might try this manicure soon :)
    xx
    www.clothesandcamera.com

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  48. Hahaha funny post! I didn't know nail polish's history, Thank u :)

    http://katwalked.blogspot.fr/

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  49. as it turns out, fact is most things first utilized by men were then appropriated by women. skirts were men's to begin with for freedom in movement, think swords, and women wore long gowns for modesty. bifurcated pants have only been around a couple of years, good invention for keeping guy's thighs from chafing on horseback, now girls got those too, probably modesty too tell the truth.

    wigs. yep. because bald men heads were considered weak, then younger guys with hair adopted. then women to change style and color.

    so in the end, when women adopted the men's fashions then men or culture decided that since women were second class and frivolous, read silly, then they gave it up. women then claimed it as their own, and that's where we are today for nailpolish.

    beautiful nailpolish color BTW. nice art and job.

    my point? I wear toenail polish as a guy because the thousands of color are so cool, yet I'm not allowed to add them to my body canvas because I'm a guy?? nonsense. I like the shine too, and everybody's toes look better polished. hands for me no, as I'm really hard on my hands, and trashed polish looks like hell on anybody, but somehow a lot of younger girls simply don't get that concept. but I digress.

    besides, color and polish are totally gender neutral regardless of what anyone makes of it, and on guys trust me they do. but as a man,I have my own confidence and honestly could care less.

    long post I know, but you write well, are thoughtful, and warrants a male perspective. still love your tequila sunrise nails! way cool. be well!

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    1. I like long, thoughtful comments, keep them coming.;) I've never thought about it, but we, women, are a bunch of thieves without imagination, we're totally copying your style.:D Not just copied, we've monopolized most of the borrowed concepts. But I agree - if you have the confidence you can pull anything off!;)

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  50. Wow I didn't no men used nail polish before women.Now it might even be considered gay for a man to wear nail polish,well I guess you learn something new each day thank God for that. :)

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  51. Turns out, a lot more guys do wear color than you think. They just don't have the courage or confidence to show, so they wear it under shoes and socks. The crazy part is that the bravest of them, the ones you'd think women would be attracted to because of that get derided for their confidence and bravery. That's funny in my view. Why anyone would care what I have on my toes, or, not, is even odder to me. I'm not asking anyone permission, nor that they like it if they don't. But I am requesting merely the acceptance of someone doing something different, like a girl who puts multi colored streaks in her hair is, for just being expressive and having a bit of fun. It means I'm creative, fun, bold in a lot of ways. It does not mean I have any gay tendencies, nor would a woman who is a lumberjack or wear pants is gay either. BTW, I'm married, 3 kids, and have always been known to be a good lover by the women I dated when single. Perhaps that was because I was truly interested in what they like and were interested in. Never wanted or had a same sex relationship, so there you have it.

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  52. Yeah, and guys are painting their nails again too. It's becoming more popular for guys to wear their toenails painted, and even some wear their fingernails painted as well. More common colors for guys include black, gray, brown, dark green or blue and maroon.
    I think it's awesome that guys feel more comfortable showing a little color too. When they do this it says they are confident in who they are and want to be fun and different. I like that.

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    1. Me too!! I like adventurous people, male, female, doesn't matter. And personal style is one of the easies ways to be adventurous. And fun. For Peet's sake, people need to start having more fun!!:)

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  53. Man, Peer, you got that right. People do need to have more fun. This world seems to be getting more judgmental and serious by the day. In some ways there is a bit more openness of things and then the door slams shut again. What are folks so afraid of, especially if it doesn't affect them? But I have to think there is a lot of people who are pegging, oops, wrong word, LoL, into little bitty slots in order to compare them to themselves and make themselves feel better. It is beyond the normal, in my view, just a determination of who those others really are. It is deeper than that.

    This life in relative terms is short. So why one should or want to spend an inordinate amount of time constantly worrying about what and where one's place in the pecking order is, as if that never changes, seems to me to be a futile exercise, because I used to say 100, but now I say 50, in 50 years who will even remember. It is really more like 2 weeks but let's give it the gravity it seems to inspire. Love your blog. But then again, I love intelligent people.

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    1. And I love you!!!:D I love intelligent and thoughtful comments, so this just made my day. THANK YOU.

      As for the content of the comment itself, I couldn't agree with you more. Especially with that part about people being afraid of things that have zero effect on their existence whatsoever. I know the post is about nails polish, but still, why are people against gay marriage?? They're not forcing you to marry one if you don't like them, so why take the time out of your day to protest against something that won't change the way YOU live YOUR life in any way, shape or form? Intolerance and judgmental attitude sadden me and piss me off, be it on account of men wearing nail polish, women liking women or a person dyeing their hair neon green. It really pisses me off. But your comment made me happy, so I'm going to hold on to that instead.:)

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  54. You are right about that Peet! This world is getting more judgemental and serious by the day. Life is really short. I used to say that in 100 years would much of this be remembered anyway? Now I say 50 but in fact it's really more like 2 weeks. LOL! People have beed decorating their bodies for millions of years. A bit of color on one's toes, male or female seems to be hardly worth the flabbergast-ness and thoughts attached to it. BTW. Happy Valentine's Day!

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  55. I don't know if this ever went through, Peet, so i'll try again. It said it was awaiting moderation but then nada.

    Thank you, Peet! I totally agree with your upper comment in reply. Why anyone cares what other people do as long as they hurt nobody else, or doesn't directly affecct anyone else is beyond me.They of course have the right to their own opinions, and I don't like it much better if at all if anyone calls them wrong for their opinion as they have their own experiences that have contributed to their being, and I or anyone else have no right to discount those experiences.

    BTW, sorry for the double post before, I didn't think it showed up, but then through the marvels of technology, it did! What I am going to post here may be longer than normal, but I think you'll appreciate it as the thoughtful person you are. If you choose to delete it, that's fine, but just let me know that you did so and why so I might learn. It does involve nailpolish in the vein of this thread, just not directly.

    I am a psychotherapist, specializing in gender issues, and I havethought of this issue of black white, either/or ideas of human sexuality for quite awhile. I have developed what I think is a novel way of rejecting the gender binary, as that is a simplistic notion at best. My nomenclature allows for the spectrum of sexual identity of the whole person.

    There are 4 facets I believe to the human sexual self: sex, gender, sexuality and expression. That is: what is between your legs biologically, how do you think of yourself, who are you attracted to, and finally how do you dress or decorate yourself-do you cross dress, or cross behave, speeech, affectations or what not. This would include the hobbies, firends you're naturally gravitating too, competiveness or whatever stereotypical boundary that is not what the outside world would expect in binary thought.

    I'll use myself as an example. I'm male, think of myself as a male, am heterosexual and like some, but not all stereotypically male activities. I like to cook, shop, have long deep conversations, usually have more female good friends, am not particularly competitive and so on. Therefore in my identification, I would classify myself as a MMH75. That means I would be male, male, hetero with about 25% from the MMH98 who is your sterreotypical TV man. Hunts, doesn't know how to communicate etc etc.

    A typical woman might be FFH85, if she was more feminine, yet politically more feminist in viewpoint like a male. A typical samee sex attractcted person might be MMG40. Or FFG50 or even less if she was predominantly male in expression. A transgender might be MFG50 or less. A woman might be FMG30. This would also account for drag queeens for example, or anybody who might be gay or straight at any one point. In drag say, they might be MFH or G40, yet in their male persona may be MMor FG or H60 for example.

    The cool thing about this may be that it would explain away social changes, so what was considered too masculine or feminine in one age or culture, would be easily redescribed in another.

    I have envisioned a test like the MMPI that would be statistically valid that would place you in a range of this. I would call it something like the Sexual Index multiphasic llinear expression test, or SIMPLE scale. maybe 100 or more questions like the MMPI and it would give you a good value of who you are. The interesting part would be if there was enough data, then perhaps only a few would be all at one side, but rather the norm for males might actually be MMH70, or even less for all I know, which would put to rest the ridiculousness of the all or nothing mentality. Then the stereoypes might fall away completely.

    Just food for thought.

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Hi there. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I read every comment and reply to all the questions, so please, speak your mind.