With the recent skyrocketing trends of guys getting regular pedicures, it was only a matter of time before the next step took off too: guys actually sporting some color on top of their pristine toenails. Men of all walks of life are giving it a shot, from celebrities to the average Joe alike. I decided to do a social experiment of my own and see how some of the guys in my life would react to getting some polish with their pedicure, or see which ones would agree to do it in the first place.
Enter The Color Dare. My first victim was my friend Jason, a well-groomed mid-30’s Production Designer who lives in Hell’s Kitchen in NYC. Although we’re both in the Big Apple, we decided to meet in sunny Los Angeles when we discovered we had overlapping travel plans. We walked down Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood to InStyle Nails & Spa, recommended from our friend who recently moved there.
Upon walking in, I immediately noticed something interesting. Not only was the salon pretty full, half of the patrons were males. I counted. Out of the twelve people getting a service done, six of them were guys. And not just any guys either. One was built like he could lift a truck. Another had two full sleeves of tattoos and an ear of piercings. A third was a salt and pepper-haired gentleman deeply engrossed in his phone. It was pretty awesome to witness. I cracked a slightly confident and telling smile to Jason. It was time to pick his polish color.
“Do you know what color you’re looking to get?” I asked. He barely skipped a beat when he answered, “I’ll do a blue. Something lighter, but nothing too metallic.” He clearly had given the matter prior thought. After picking up a couple of bottles to examine the shades within, he selected a periwinkle blue with a subtle touch of shimmer. “Got it,” Jason said triumphantly.
We sat down and put our feet in the bath, each giving our pedicurist the color we were going to use. As they got underway, I asked Jason how long it had been since his last pedicure. “It’s been about three years,” he admitted. “I do try to keep up with my feet on my own, especially in the summer. You know, flip flops.” It was then that his pedicure reached the scrubbing point and he grabbed hold of the armrest as if he were going to fly away. I knew the face he made all too well. “It’s like tickling torture,” Jason said, still bracing himself. As the scrub came to an end, his body relaxed. “I just hate that part,” he said with a laugh. “You’re not alone,” I reassured him.
The moment of color had come. He watched intently as he saw the polish go from bottle to toenail and evaluated the shade he chose, as is to be expected from someone who designs surrounded by color for a living. The periwinkle blue was on, as was my violet purple, and we moved to the dryer. “It’s not as shimmery as I thought it was going to be,” he said from across the table. “It’s a cool blue. I like it!” Our nails dried and we settled up. As we were leaving in search of a post-pedicure cocktail, he thanked me for the experience saying, “I almost forgot how good that feels.” His toes looked great and down Santa Monica we went, which was now just a touch more colorful than when we arrived.
Color Dare #1 complete! Who’s next?
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