Men! We’re at war-so, for God’s sake, butch it up a bit!
Face it, as a bloke, there are just certain things you simply cannot be seen doing during wartime, one of which is getting your nails done. Trust me, no matter how gritty and innately masculine you are, you do not want to be caught sitting in the window of your local nail salon passively dunking your cuticles under the quiet but emasculating supervision of a lovely Korean girl with a name like Misty. If you are spotted mid-manicure, you will lose all personal credibility with colleagues and friends, to mention nothing of the negative impact your limp-wristed behavior will have on our collective sense of national invincibility.
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with doing your nails: The Marines even encourage it. “Fingernails will be kept clean and neatly trimmed so as not to interfere with performance of duty, detract from military image or present a safety hazard,” reads the Marine Corps regulations. Yes, it’s a “don’t ask, don’t tell” thing: In other words, dunking is O.K., just don’t try it in public.
Here’s what you do instead: invite a buddy over, open a couple of beers, pull down the shades, cosy up to the kitchen table and do each other , using celeb manicurist Deborah Lippmann’s manicure kit (at Bergdorf Goodman or Henri Bendel). While you watch the game and/or share piercing insights into the current geopolitical turmoil, you can give each other a stellar handjob, courtesy of Ms. Lippmann. With clients like Sarah Jessica Parker, Mariah Carey and Meryl Streep-to whom she administered the pale pink shade “Night and Day” on Oscars night-New York–based Deborah is the Colin Cowie of cuticles. She is also no stranger to the male extremities: As she rushed through Manhattan on her way to give Mariah a touch-up the other day, she told me that she had once “did” Wayman Tisdale, the tall former National Basketball Association power forward. “His feet were so huge, they would not fit in my pedicure tub,” she recalled. Hot!
Deborah’s handiwork can be seen on the cover of the April “hetero” Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair , on the paws of the 13 actor/coverboys-Brad, Tom, Harrison, Jack et al. To give your buddy a Lippmann celeb manicure, follow these three simple steps:
1. Using Smooth Operator ($11), Deborah’s ingenious file and four-way buffer, first file your buddy’s tips. Nothing pointy: Ms. Lippmann recommended using the natural curve of the cuticle as a shaping guide. Then lightly touch the top of each nail with each facet of the buffer, starting at No. 1 (for shape) and ending up at No. 4 (for polish). “Be gentle,” she insisted, addressing the male tendency to overdo things with excessive grinding.
2. Liberally apply Deborah’s Cuticle Remover ($17) anywhere the skin meets the nail. Then, using an orange wood stick (three for 59 cents from Duane Reade), gently push the cuticle back 3 or 4 times until there is no more dead skin. “Never push till it hurts,” exhorts Deborah. “Nails are delicate-even butch ones.” Now rinse and relax.
3. You are now ready to enrich your pal’s nails with Lippmann Cuticle Oil ($18). With its nourishing mixture of jojoba and vitamin E, this product is also good for hands. Do not massage each other’s hands-that would be too queer.
If you’re an older, or sleazier, gentleman who prefers a shiny nail, simply re-buff lightly using facet No. 4. Et voila!
And what about you broads? After your next manicure, ask Misty to apply a coating of Ms. Lippmann’s latest color, called Constant Craving ($15, no relation to the k.d. lang song-I think). It’s a cheery but luscious lilac that will perk you up during these dark days. Warning: French manicures make for unpatriotic flippers.
Re that Vanity Fair cover: La Lippmann told me that a couple of the famous dudes were much too butch to let her give them a manicure. She wouldn’t name names (I’m sure it wasn’t Brad), but she did disclose that none of these movie legends refused her signature deep hand massage. Oooeeh!