You look at a friend or workmate's fingernails – so beautifully painted in some trendy colour, all glossy and perfect... 'She must have had them professionally manicured...' you reason. But, no, she did them herself. She's just a proper woman with the necessary skills to paint her talons. Unlike me... This piece is dedicated to us 'lesser girls' out there who probably shouldn't be let near a pot of Sally Hansen...

1. To start with, I don’t have the right materials – my nails are bitten, broken, grubby, misshapen and with cuticles that refuse to be ‘gently pushed back with an orange stick’.

2. Now I’ve got to choose a colour! Eek – it fills me with dread. Tarty red, girly pink, Marbella orange and Goth black are all OUT in my books. Hmm, blue or green…? Maybe – at least it’s a bit different… but aren’t I slightly old for ‘kookiness’ and doesn’t it look a bit unprofessional? So that leaves my old regulars – beige, grey or plum. Whoop, whoop – such a riot of colour!

Nails: gloopy pot

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3. I go to open the pot… It’s been so long since I last painted my nails, the lid’s glued shut. After a bit of swearing, I attempt opening it with my teeth. Break tooth. If I do get the flippin’ thing open, invariably the polish has either gone gloopy or goes on all thin and streaky.

4. So, now I just slap it on, right? Wrong – legend has it you’re meant to pimp your nails first with all sorts of cuticle creams and base coats…

5. Forget The Italian Job. The Paint Job is a bigger disaster for me. It just doesn’t go on evenly… Some coats are too thin, others too yucky and thick. And then I’ve missed big stripes down the sides of some nails, overshot on others and have Plum Jam all over my fingers. I try rubbing it off and just make more of a mess.

Nails: getting phone from bag with wet nails

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6. Patience is a virtue – one I don’t possess. After about 12 seconds of waving my hands around and blowing on my nails, I decide I can’t wait any longer and delve into my handbag. Big mistake.

7. Those bottles of varnish that promise an ‘Eight-day formula’… They only work for perfect women. My nails are faded and chipped long before the end of Day One. I can’t be bothered to start again… So I either walk around with scruffy nails for the rest of the week. Or just keep topping up with layer upon layer of really bad painting… Damn you, perfect nail women!

 

Yeah, this is me… Tell me you’re the same!