Remember ...

If not now, when?

Thursday 3 March 2016

Why the Pout? Why the Nails?

In my 50s, it was noticed by friends and family that I (unwittingly) pouted most times I passed a mirror and sometimes when I concentrated.  Seems it was my Signature Look.  I was teased a lot,  I rationalised this positively by telling myself that it symbolised my playful side.

I wanted to carry my pout (playfulness) through into pensionhood so I thought about how I could make this transition with Pout intact.

I encapsulated (or "branded"!) these thoughts and ideas with the tag The Pouting Pensioner.   I set up this blog account as it seemed the best vehicle for what I wanted to do.  And then I did nothing with it.  Over time I added a random selfie to my profile, then a bit of profile blurb.  Then this year I had an "If not now, when?" moment and wrote my first blog
When I went "live" I was aware that my profile selfie didn't quite say "Pout ",  and would be something to sort out when time allowed.
So, if not now, when?  Today I searched around to see if I had a photo of my pout for my profile.  Yes I did, from 2007... taken when I was candle-making.  Now, please tell me, is it "done" to use such an old shot for a profile?

On closer inspection, what jumped out at me was not that caricature of a pout but that I. Had. Nails!  I'd forgotten that I'd had proper nails as, on reflection, growth had probably slowed and it just got worse with a Serious Nail Event last summer.

The SNE involved a paintbrush cleaner product and my bare hands, which caused nail layering and tearing for the next 9 months until natural body repair and the occasional use of nail strengthening products got the nails back to normal.  However, my new normal is slow (aging) nail growth - today they barely scrape past the fingertip, unlike my talons of 2007!

During the SNE repair period (no photos, fortunately!) I've hidden my ugly growth under an occasional mix of  nail hardener and dark nail polish and used nail and hand cream when I remember, for example with products

I've dug around for info on aging nails recently.  More serious medical conditions and nutritional issues aside, the following seem to be the most common factors inhibiting good growth (and with them I give you my completed checklist!):
Nail ridges, tick.  Age (= natural slowing down of growth), tick.  Exposure to harsh cleaning products by not wearing rubber gloves for housework, tick. Arthritic finger joints, tick.

I have tried most of the products suggested to improve growth, but one I haven't is soaking nails in olive oil for 10-15 minutes.  So I'll give it a go and will report back, just in case you too are experiencing Nail Slowdown.

In the meantime, I leave you with my top nail care tips:

1. If, like me, you never use rubber gloves for housework, leave them dangling on the sink edge as a not-too-gentle reminder.
2. If, like me, you forget to use hand cream despite there being a jar of the stuff by each sink and wash basin in the house (!), then a last-chance-location is to put a tube with your medication, if taken, or on top your bedtime book or Kindle - at the very least your hands will get a feed once a day!
3. Use darker nail polish on short nails, as magically they look longer and less stubby than in a paler shade.
4. (v. important tip) Wear rubber gloves when using paintbrush cleaner!
and 5. will be regular olive oil treatments if that works, I'll get back to you on that one.

So, that's why I put the "Pouting" in Pensioner and why I'm putting the nails in olive oil!

Do you have a Signature Look?
Do you have any nail care tips to share?
And is it ethical to use a 10 year old photo as a profile shot?!!!

A la perchoine.  

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