It wasn’t until I went down a #nailart rabbit hole on Instagram that I stumbled upon an account by the name of Enamel Diction, which showcased snap after snap of insanely detailed manicures. Obviously I was intrigued, but I was definitely not expecting what came next: I Googled the LA-based salon and found that they not only offered intricate manis, but also—wait for it—one-on-one astrology readings to accompany your nail art. I immediately booked a “color-scope” appointment—a 30-minute session with an astrologist paired with an hour-long manicure to match your reading. I’ll admit I’m a bit of a sceptic when it comes to astrology, but I decided that worst-case scenario, I would get a pretty manicure. Best case scenario, I learn something new about myself.
I brought up the idea of a story on the astrology reading-slash-manicure in our weekly editorial meeting and was greeted by a mix of skeptical, “only in LA” comments and excited, “I want to go!” responses. The bottom line was, like me, everyone was curious. It was official: I was going to do this and write about it.
The morning of my appointment, I woke up, walked into my closet and picked out a brightly printed Mara Hoffman maxi dress. As I was about to throw it on, I realized it was sort of what I imagined my nails looking like–it was colorful and a little wild, which I feel is a pretty accurate reflection of my personality. While this would have been an easy choice on any other day, I suddenly had second thoughts about it for my appointment today. I didn’t want to be so obvious with my style–I wanted to try to throw the astrologist off and see how much she could really tell about who I am. I immediately swapped it out for a pair of burgundy tailored pants, a white button-up and metallic oxfords. Let’s see if this manicure lived up to its hype.
The Mara Hoffman dress I almost wore.
As I drove to the appointment, I couldn’t help but wonder what my nails would end up looking like (despite being a beauty editor, I actually usually keep them bare). I was hoping to come out of Enamel Diction with a clean, simple manicure (snoozefest, I know), but I realize it’s more likely I’ll end up with some sort of intricate nail art, so I tried to imagine what my dream nails would be. I was thinking a nude base with rainbow accent colors in a pretty design (similar to the photo I saw on their Instagram below). But alas, I went into my appointment with an open mind–I was seriously curious for someone to tell me what my nails should look like and, even more interestingly, why they should look that way.
Photo: @enamel Diction
When I walked into Enamel Diction I was immediately greeted by name (no, it was not the result of psychic powers, just excellent customer service). I meet Rose Theodora–an astrologer and color advisor–and she asked me to choose the hues I most gravitated to on the salon’s color wall. I instantly pointed to bright pinks and neon oranges, which Rose said meant I was craving mental stimulation, fun and a lighthearted approach to current challenges. Of course, I also grabbed for my beloved nude shades, which she said appealed to my practical, detail-oriented and straightforward side.
Photo: @enamel Diction Enamel Diction’s polish wall.
This was when we got into the subject of my birth chart. Rose asked me for the day, location and time of my birth (the answers were February 13; Mission Hills, CA; and I didn’t know the exact time–she said it could have made my reading even more accurate, but it wasn’t mandatory). I was surprised at how I immediately felt comfortable with her. I found myself telling Rose more than I usually share with someone after just meeting them. We chatted about my relationship with my fiancé, our future children, my travel goals, family and my job (I didn’t tell her I was a beauty editor, I simply said I was a writer). She told me I was smart (gee, thanks!), calculated (hmmm), a workaholic and a dreamer (guilty on both counts).
She was spot on with everything but the calculated part, which actually made me feel a little bummed out. Truth be told, I’ve always taken pride in my carefree, spontaneous attitude. I tried to push back, arguing that I actually loved to do things on the fly and that I wasn’t much of a planner, but she assured me that while I think out of the box and love new experiences, I’m not one to act on impulse. When I gave it more thought I realized I do tend to overthink things, and I always thoroughly evaluate situations before diving into them. Damn! She’s good.
Once Rose knew everything about me (astrologically speaking), we moved on to the manicure. She handed over a nude and emerald polish and delegated the design to the nail tech. She told me she chose emerald green because it was representative of my sun sign, Aquarius, and because it is a restorative color, which also provides a boost of creativity. She went on to say the nude hue creates balance when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and that she wanted to add a crystal to my nails to connect the two colors. She also said she chose the colors because of where I am in life–busy with work and planning a wedding. Her goal was to find something that supported me emotionally. People sometimes forget that colors are therapeutic, so knowing which shades work best for you and at which times in your life can be key to creating balance. Once she was done with her explanation, I realized I felt somewhat drained and was excited to indulge in a relaxing manicure.
The result of my color-scope session.
I emerged from my chair with a manicure I never would have picked for myself–it looked pretty, but I don’t know that it was very me. But from what I understood, that wasn’t the point—the point was a manicure that gave me balance. Since Rose did a great job at giving me an in-depth reading as well as tons of color inspiration, I don’t foresee myself coming back for another session. However, Enamel Diction offers regular manicures, so I will definitely be back for one of those with my lessons learned in mind.