The Nail Trend I Am Terrified To Try

by Stephanie Montes

Maybe it’s just me but I always thought not having nail polish on your toes was a major faux pas. I can’t be the only one who loves the ritual of walking up to a polish wall at a salon and picking a fresh color—it almost feels like I’m like buying a new accessory. So when I heard that a pedicure with everything but the actual polish had become a thing, I was instantly skeptical.

So why go bare? I have to admit, when done the right way, unpolished nails can look effortlessly cool and surprisingly chic. I’ve seen the no-polish look on runways like Prabal Gurung and Lela Rose, and lately it feels like everywhere I turn girls at fashion events and roaming the streets of LA are rocking the sparse look. I’ll admit that there is a certain je ne sais quoi to how a bare pedi looks with a pair of gladiator sandals. And yet, if it was me, I think I would feel insecure in a pair of open-toed shoes.

There also happens to be good-for-you benefits to the ditching-your-polish trend. “It’s important to lay off the nail polish every now and again to give your nails a breather,” says Hiroko Fujikawa, owner of LA’s Mars the Salon. “The chemicals in them can tarnish the color of your nails and turn them a yellowish color. A break from polish allows your nails to grow out and get their healthy, natural color back.”

It's important to lay off the nail polish every now and again to give your nails a breather.

The last time I can remember not having polish on my toes was at least 10 years ago. And even then I only wore closed-toe shoes (per a high school dress code), so it didn’t matter. Nowadays I live in heels and strappy wedges, which means my feet are constantly exposed (one of the few downsides of living in Southern California).

Furthermore, when I get a pedicure and the technician removes my polish, my nails never seem to look quite right. I either have stains from the polish or white marks on the surface of my nail (aka calcium deposits). While these can both be easily fixed with some buffing, I prefer to completely cover it with a pretty color.

However, it's interesting to note that as nail-polish obsessed as I clearly am, I actually keep my fingernails bare—mostly because it’s easy to maintain (manicures never seem to last on me). When I do take the time to get them painted, I usually choose a nude shade because I like how clean and put-together it looks. In an effort to try the new pedi trend without diving in head first, I decided to take the same approach on my feet and chose to paint them a nude hue. Surprisingly, I actually loved how it looked.

If you’re down to go bare but still feel like you need some oomph, try a polish that enhances the look of natural nails. Some have whitening effects while others give your nails a healthy pink glow. I, however, have to work up to that point, but in the meantime I am content with my lovely nude toes. Hey, at least I tried.

Would you rock the naked nails trend? Tell us what you think on Twitter @thezoereport.

Barely-There Polishes