The Year of Turning 50 — Does This Black Nail Polish Make Me Look Younger?

Tue, February 26, 2008

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Tell me the truth — am I too old for this??

The whole idea of black nails is something I never would have embraced before. But we had a fancy event to attend over the weekend at PunditGirl’s school. My outfit was black and a teensy bit sparkly. So I thought, “Hey, why not get a manicure!” That could be fierce!

I generally don’t indulge — it’s just too hard to keep them looking nice, what with all the typing I do. But my nail lady (I DO make time for the pedi’s!) could fit me in, so I dashed off to the salon.

As I scanned the reds and the pinks and the buffs, I noticed she still had some black polish on the shelf that she usually saves for her teen clients at Halloween.

I found my hand reaching for that bottle of black. My nail lady gave me the one lifted eyebrow look. You know — the one that says, you’re not really going there, are you?

When I do get the occasional manicure, say, if someone gives me a gift certificate (attention Mr. PunditMom!), I tend to go with some nice neutral color that won’t look bad in two days when I inevitably do something stupid that puts a nick into the beautiful shine. But I couldn’t help myself. After a relaxing hand massage, she started applying the onyx shade.

Turns out, my nail lady says I have the “perfect hands” for black nail polish. Who knew? Short nails and small hands are apparently the combination to pull off this look if you don’t happen to be a 16-year-old goth girl.

So, can an almost 50-something pull off this look on a regular basis?? I know there were some at the BlogHer conference last year who pulled it off it off, but they really are way closer to 30 than I am.

But I’m tempted. And it apparently goes well with the new look of the season!

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29 Responses to “The Year of Turning 50 — Does This Black Nail Polish Make Me Look Younger?”

  1. impromptublogger Says:

    I’d love to hear the reactions from your husband and others when they see it. My favorite nail polish color when I was in Jr. High was lilac.

    My almost 12-year-old loves black nail polish, but then I might have a future Goth on my hands…

    P.S. Can you like hip-hop and still look like a Goth?

  2. Average Jane Says:

    You should!

  3. Blog Antagonist Says:

    I love dramatic nail polish (usually just on toes, I’m too hard on my hands to keep polish on them) but I’m far too pale to pull off black. Recently, however, I got a beautiful deep aubergine that almost looks black. It’s a tad less harsh on me and I love it.

    BTW, I do actually read all your posts, I just don’t feel qualified to comment on the political ones. This? I am qualified to opine upon.

  4. Florinda Says:

    My 13-year-old stepdaughter loves black nail polish. I’d stay away from it myself, but it’s not an age thing; my nails just seem to rebel against nail polish in general. I have been known to chip or smear it on my way home from the salon. When I wear it at all, I tend to stick with neutrals and pale shades for the reasons you mentioned.

    But if it works for you, Joanne, then definitely go for it!

  5. Lisa Says:

    If you can pull of black nail polish, GO FOR IT. I think its pretty cool. I wish I could pull it off.

  6. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah Says:

    I say that unless you have a good excuse 19 years old is too old for black nail polish.

    Maybe it is just all the time I spent hanging out with the Death metal crowd.

  7. Dana J. Tuszke Says:

    PunditMom, you’re not a day over 29. And if you want to wear black polish, I say go for it! :)

  8. Amy@UWM Says:

    I say at 50, the only thing you’re too old for is worrying about what other people think of you. You go for it, girl!

  9. Laura Says:

    i say go for it. i recently indulged in a dark, dark purple mani that almost looked black and received so many compliments. it was fierce.
    ps: my 2nd daughter just loves that guy too!
    http://adventuresinjuggling.wordpress.com/2007/12/03/can-i-keep-him-mom-please/

  10. Donna Says:

    I also worry about being one of those 50-somethings that tries too hard to look to young — there’s something unseemly about it.

    That said, if it looks good, you should totally go for it.

    50 today is not the same as 50 twenty or thirty years ago. Like every other stage we boomers have been in, I think we get to make new rules.

    At least, you have a lot of company.

  11. Paige Says:

    Black, vampy nail polish is very now. Same with blue. Chanel is making a boatload of money of women of many ages hoping for that dramatic look.

    I say do it.

  12. Anne Glamore Says:

    I do it all the time, but my fave is not quite black– it’s Essie’s WICKED.

    In the summer I wear the world’s greatest red- OPI’s I’m Not Really A Waitress.

    Fingernails are something I can grow(as opposed to, say, boobs) so I take this way seriously.

    No light pink for me!

    (Today I’m 41)

  13. sweetbeans Says:

    I was telling my 62-year-old mom to go with the black just last weekend. And it DOES go well with our motto!!!! BitNB! Thanks Tina Fey

  14. Redsy Says:

    Hey – If you can’t wear what the hell you want at 50, when can you?? You should start a “too old for black nail polish” club… I’ll join.

  15. Chicky Chicky Baby Says:

    I bet you rocked the black polish. I have long, skinny fingers and big hands so I can’t pull it off. I’ll stick to the neutral shades and you go for the rocker glam.

  16. landismom Says:

    Hey, one of my favorite pictures from the birth of my daughter is the one where you can see my black manicure. Okay, I was only 31 then, but I think you can pull it off at any age.

  17. Mayberry Says:

    I almost never wear nail polish (see also: typing) but lately when I do, it’s with the dark dark polish and short short nails. Do it!

  18. Stefania Says:

    I am 38 and huge fan of the black-tipped “french manicure.” I think French manicures are horrible (sorry!) but with black tips, sooo rockin’. I get compliments all the time.

    I got the idea here. LOVE!:

    http://wishboneclover.typepad.com/wishbone_clover/2007/12/julz-rules-seas.html

  19. Kelly Says:

    Last summer the trend around here was a black polish pedicure. And I don’t think Okies around here would call themselves goth. (Though there was that time I got my hair too dark.) So, I would simply call you trendy! See…trendy and you didn’t even know it.

  20. Lisa Says:

    Just wanted to let you know…

    Last night while at the pharmacy, I saw some black nail polish. I thought of YOU and then bought it. Also thought of you last night when I applied it. Am loving it. (Its actually a really dark, dark purple. SO dark purple it looks black.)

    From now on I’ll be thinking of you whenever I see election coverage AND when I see black nail polish. heehee.

    Take care

  21. Glennia Says:

    I think you should wear whatever you are comfortable with. What people think is their problem. I didn’t get that until I turned 40, and now I’m looking forward to 50 in a couple of years!

    I think I’m becoming impaired already, unfortunately, since I can’t seem to get this stupid captcha right to post a comment…

  22. Amanda Says:

    Did I miss the hand shot? Do we get to see this divine (devilish) display?

  23. Jaelithe Says:

    I have never met you, but, as a woman in my late twenties, I say to you, you will look fabulous in that nail polish, and you should wear it. Wear it!

    After all, I am fairly certain a good portion of my generation will be entering their fifties with nose rings and pink hair.

  24. PunditMom Says:

    Sorry, I don’t have a photo — I messed them up within days! :(

    The downside of dark polish!

  25. karrie Says:

    I can see you pulling this off. You have enough sense to keep everything else understated.

  26. Rhea Says:

    Try it out. I think you should do what makes you happy yet doesn’t scare anyone away. I am turning 50 in June.

  27. Jessica Says:

    I’m 30 years old, married with 2 kids and I’ve been wearing black on my toes for about 2 years now. Recently, I gave up the acrylics on my hands and they have grown out a little bit so I felt ready for the fingers too. It’s looks and feels awesome. It makes me feel younger and bad-ass! Any look is all about attitude and if you are feeling black…rock it!

  28. Anonymous Says:

    You’re never too old for Black nail polish. I’m a 36 year old Goth
    guy & I always wear it. Forget what the herd thinks, wear
    it for you & because you like it!

  29. Niteangel Says:

    Personally I wish to see more and more 50ish+ goths, I am a goth at heart and I think I will forever be so I’ll have to pull it off when I get there no matter what, I might look like a crazy woman but I don’t care. Ozzy pulls it off very well in my opinion, its a matter of personality too tho, in other words be yourself, don’t listen to people who tell you “you can’t do this or that because you’re too old”, if you like the black nail polish then by all means go for it!


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