Getting my nails done straight up intimidates me. From the under-the-breath tuts from the technician at the state of my cuticles, to choosing the right colour for my pasty fingers before immediately regretting it, I wonder how this could possibly be an enjoyable past time? But, as a hard-hitting journalist with a Friday morning free, I bravely put my hand up to be the guinea pig for a stiletto nail road test. TBH, I was curious—stiletto nails look hella’ cool on RiRi, maybe I’d be a natural…
Off I went to Brooklyn Beauty Bar in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley, where I was greeted by Jodie, my expert nail technician. After handing me a glass of champagne (I could get used to this), and exchanging pleasantries, I was told to ‘Treat your new nails like jewels, not tools’. Err, that sounds impractical? What have I gotten myself into!?
After prepping my hands, my new nails were built up using a gel-like paste and a brush—no acrylics at BBB! Once they’d set, Jodie got to work hand-filing my talons to the perfect point based on my hand shape and finger length, and both agreed I’d need the beginner’s length and sharpness, save any eye-poking accidents in the days to follow.
A quick coat of sparkly gold polish and a hand-painted Aztec accent nail and I was literally a new woman. Looking down at my new nails—which now complete, I must admit, looked incredible!— something swept over me (confidence? A new #girlboss attitude?). Whatever this feeling was, one thing was for sure, my hands had taken on a new personality and I was loving it.
The thing about stiletto nails, however, is that unless you’re a seasoned pro at fake nails, or happen to have a personal assistant, you are in no way prepared for how much of an idiot you look like trying to get by in the real world with freaky cat hands.
To wrap up the first few days of life sporting my new nails, here’s a list of all the basic human tasks I could no longer execute: do up the zipper on my jeans, put on a bra, anything with buttons (!), wash my hair, put on earrings, pick up bobby pins, make the bed, use a pen, use chopsticks, open anything with a ring pull, type this article (seriously, where’s an intern to type this as I recite for Christ sake?), nor any other task that required me to use my hands in a very un-jewel like manner (so basically everything).
It was around the time I shamefully asked my colleague to open my tin of tuna so that I could feed myself, that I had an epiphany. I asked myself ‘what would RiRi do in this situation’? Would she starve simply because she couldn’t open her tin of tuna? Would she hide her nails when having pleasant conversations with the elderly gentleman at the post office? NO! She’d freaking well own them, and I’d be dammed if I didn’t give my stilettos the praise they deserved.
So, for the next 2 weeks I owned my talons. I accepted compliments on my manicure graciously (they did garner a lot of attention), and avoided any activity that could be detrimental to my nails. After all, these were finger-jewels I was rocking.
In summary, stiletto nails are not for wall-flower types. You will stick out like a bejewelled thumb and will be approached in the most unlikely places by total strangers asking where you got your nails done (I was told my nails were ‘fierce’ from the cashier behind the counter at the petrol station). As a lifelong member of the shy girl clan, I can honestly say that once you get over the awkwardness of feeling a little on show, it was actually kind of fun attracting some extra attention for a few weeks.
Now, to book in my next appointment…
Image credits: Ariana Gillrie