French pedicures are like Donald Trump in that either you love them (and probably don’t live in New York City) or you hate them.
Unlike Donald Trump, however, there is a very quiet resurgence in progress that the MR office thinks has been largely in my head but I’m pretty sure it’s not.
It started like this: A few weeks ago, I had breakfast with Pernille Teisbaek, who is a Scandinavian editor who makes everything look cool (truly — if she wore Crocs, I would whip mine back out, too). While we were sitting next to each other on a couch in a hotel lobby, appraising the similar striped shirts we were wearing and gold coin necklaces dangling from our necks, I noticed her toes inside a pair of snake print Céline wedge sandals, which were painted the French way. I jerked my head up abruptly like I’d just caught sight of a cockroach and didn’t want to make a big deal about it, but then, as I slowly looked back down, I guess I realized it was actually a butterfly? And that I wanted to touch it?
I don’t know.
So on Tuesday, I went to Ten Over Ten, which is a nail salon in New York that I am pretty sure would have a Michelin star if the rating system covered nail facilities and asked for a French pedicure. Everyone looked at me like I was an alien. “You sure?” The technician asked. “Maybe we heard wrong,” the woman behind the iPad cash register suggested.
No, no. White tips, please. White tips and nude beds.
Now look, I would be lying if I told you I didn’t feel somewhat embarrassed as I was reading my book (The Power of Now), having these facades painted on to my toes that made me feel like a full-time masseuse who lives in the South of France. They certainly took some getting used to; for the first 24 hours they were painted French, I laughed pretty hysterically every time I looked down. Almost as if to say, “I’m in on the joke, too.”
But the thing is, I wasn’t. Wednesday morning was weird because I kept trying on and taking off open toe shoes — they didn’t look right with lady feet. Obviously this signaled that I did not like my pedicure. Until, that is, I put on the right shoes to compliment them — not a feminine pair of quiet sandals, but an open-toe gold flat that resembles a brogue coupled with green jeans. As with all things (related to style and otherwise), the key is mindfulness. Good styling takes thought.
Thought and practice.
On Thursday I wore flat lace-up sandals with a pair of denim shorts and by then I was sure that I’m supporting a return which now makes me feel much more comfortable turning Man Repeller into a beauty forum that requires you to weigh in. I feel like most internet threads about French manicures and pedicures are correlated to weddings but this is a much more general question that simply wants to know: would you get a French pedicure? Do you see its redeeming qualities? When’s the last time you had one, if ever? Is this it — have you finally decided you’ll never read Man Repeller again?