My Sunday Manicure: Nail News

Published in: Nails, News

What’s up, everyone! Happy Sunday! I chilled out today and did a whole lot of nothing. I ran, watched a few movies, fed the neighbor’s cat, did some laundry and painted my nails for the first time since December.



Are you good about getting your nails done? I usually am not, but for the heck of it I put on two lovely coats of Shu Uemura Nail Enamel Supplement Mineral (um, say that fast five times) in Chocolate Brown ($16) while watching The Darjeeling Limited on DVD. Even without a base coat, the formula applies easily and dries quickly to a shiny finish. It’s great for clumsy gals like yours truly and makes doing a home manicure easy. Love ya, Shu!

Speaking of manicures, I caught up on my beauty reading today and read this interesting piece in the New York Times by Camille Sweeny about a growing trend in the beauty world. Manicure and makeover parties are all the rage — for young elementary school girls, holy crap!


One recent rainy afternoon, Eleanor LaFauci, 7, sat with her feet in open-toed foam slippers, admiring her toenails, freshly painted watermelon pink.

Eleanor was in the bubble-gum-colored pedicure lounge of Dashing Diva, the Upper West Side franchise of the international nail spa, with her 3 ½-year-old sister and a half-dozen or so friends. The girls were celebrating her birthday with mani’s, pedi’s and mini-makeovers with light makeup and body art — glitter-applied stars, lightning bolts and, of course, hearts.

Traditionally, young girls have played with unattended M.A.C. eye shadow or Chanel foundation, hoping to capture a whiff of sophistication. In the recent past, young girls have also tagged along on beauty expeditions by their mothers and teenage sisters.

But today, cosmetic companies and retailers increasingly aim their sophisticated products and service packages squarely at 6- to 9-year-olds, who are being transformed into savvy beauty consumers before they’re out of elementary school.

Reality programming like “America’s Next Top Model” often hinges on the segment devoted to a hair and beauty transformation for the contestants, Ms. Skey said. On social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, members’ intense self-focus and their attention to how they present themselves also affect 6- to 9-year-olds, even though technically, they aren’t allowed to set up profiles on the sites, she added. “We live in a culture of insta-celebrity,” Ms. Skey said. “Our little girls now grow up thinking they need to be ready for their close-up, lest the paparazzi arrive.”

Register with the New York Times (it’s free) to finish the story.

Back in my elementary school days, a party with your friends involved cake, ice cream and several rounds of pin the tail on the donkey — not cuticle removal! If you were lucky, perhaps a pinata or mini pony would be up in the mix.

What say you about this beauty trend? Do you think these makeover parties for young girls are harmless and fun? Or does it alarm you?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 34 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Ping. says:

    I read bout this news too! my mother won’t buy me anything when I was that young.. and i only start using my lip balm during teen, not pre teen haha

  2. diana says:

    I’ve seen this pop up in a few other blogs – it’s crazy to think that these girls are getting treatments that most women don’t even do on a regular basis! when I was younger my mom only let me play with tinkerbell cosmetics, peel-off nail polish and all. I wasn’t allowed to wear real nail polish (and it was just the clear top coat kind) until I was in junior high.

  3. L.C. says:

    Gee whiz, my 18-year-old daughter feels like it’s a big treat when I take her for a mani-pedi now. I’m glad this trend wasn’t popular 10 years ago.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I will be back soon!

  4. Joanna says:

    I’ve heard about this before! I remember I went to a nail salon a couple of months ago for a regular mani-pedi and this mom brought in her 7 year old daughter. I remember when I was 7, I only used the Bon Bon nail polish and Tinkerbell peel off nail polish.

    *Shu Uemura nail polish is gorgeous! I have it in Usubeni 🙂

  5. Dao says:

    Holy crap indeed! One day during Christmas I went to this store to find some gifts for my nieces and saw a makeover party there. Apparently it was some kid’s party and the mom took her and her friends to this store to get braids, nail polishes, and other girly girly stuff. I tried not to look but the moms were gushing at how cute these little girls were. I bet they had fun but I felt sorry for the employees there who were serving for these divas in training.

  6. Anna says:

    Like Diana and Joanna,my mother would only let me use
    Tinkerbell cosmetics. I wasn’t really allowed to wear
    cosmetics on my face until I was 14. And I’m glad she

  7. Glosslizard says:

    Gorgeous nails, Karen! 🙂

    I think a nail-painting party would be fun for little girls, but full-blown manis/pedis seem a bit overboard for that age. Most importantly, I hate to see this idea hammered into pre-pubescent minds that cosmetics and elaborate treatments are necessities! We love makeup because it’s fun, but I don’t want our young girls thinking that they’re required in order to look good!

  8. Tekoa says:

    Yikes! When I was that age I had a My Little Pony nail polish (in a horrid mustard yellow) and that was it.
    I can see two sides to this the bad side is that kids are learning to be mini consumers and could learn that they NEED that nail polish to feel confident. At that age they might not understand that makeup should be used to enhance an aspect of yourself (like, to reflect a mood) or to express your creative side for example.
    The good side could be that these events function as female bonding time and both generations learn about how to properly apply makeup.

    My two cents is alarmed that kids under 12 are doing this. I’ll stick with sending my future kids to the zoo.

  9. Jessica D says:

    I think it’s important to keep kids safe from the overcommercialization of anything, ranging from breakfast cereal to premature makeup obsessions. It’s a good way of getting kids to be objective when making decisions, and it’s a good way to teach them to value ou money in the bank vs. ou money in the retailers’ banks.

  10. christy lee says:

    I used to work by a store called ‘Club Libby Lu’ where parents would take their kids in to get attacked by the overly enthusiastic workers and come out covered in glitter. They sold packages with certain accessories like wireless rockstar headsets or boas or whatever. I think the dressing up part was cute because who didn’t like to dress up when they were 8, but these girls were covered in so much makeup they looked like horribly made up pageant girls. Poor things.

    Here’s the link:
    ps- Those girls on the website aren’t wearing NEARLY as much makeup as the girls I saw leaving the shop.

    -Christy Lee

  11. Lilan says:

    Hey Karen!

    I’ve been MIA lately – it’s been so busy at work and my social calendar was surprising full! 😀

    I love the burgundy color you’ve got one. Those shades are ones I reach to on a regular basis because I love deep reds for anytime of year.

    Your weekend sounded nice and relaxing; I actually went to the San Jose Flea Market yesterday and walked around checking out all the items for sale there and the yummy produce and snack stands they have. I saw some discount perfume stands and an Avon booth. I was very tempted, but unfortunately spent my money pigging out instead!!

  12. Hillary says:

    Hmmmm….. it sounds innocent enough-getting your nails done- but I can’t help but hear alarm bells ringing somewhere deep within my psyche. I guess for me it conjures up images of Jean-Binet Ramsey, all painted up to look like a 20-year-old woman. I’m noticing that little girls are wearing shoes with high (although chunky) heals, and half of them have wardrobes that I would like to have! I guess they sort of look like little pedophile magnets to me. I think it’s sad that they’re seeming to grow up so fast, like a loss of innocence. They don’t get to just be kids anymore. It actually makes me kind of sad.

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Ping,

    Yeah, I had play makeup when I was a kid, but didn’t really wear any lipstick or eyeshadow ’til I got in high school. My mom so would’ve laughed if I asked to be taken for a mani/pedi at age 7, LOL!

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Diana,

    I know, right? When I was seven I wasn’t thinking about nails or soft feet, that’s for sure!

  15. Karen says:

    Hi L.C.,

    You’re welcome! Glad to see ya 🙂

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Joanna,

    That’s crazy! I can’t believe the kid sat still long enough for a mani/pedi, to tell you the truth.

    I think I’m going to have to pick up a few more Shu polishes. I’ll look for Usubeni!

  17. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    You know, I’ve never seen it in person but I think it might freak me out. Things are so different now for kids it seems (I feel so old saying that).

  18. Karen says:

    Hi Anna,

    I had rules similar to yours – I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup until 14 too, and then it was only limited to lipstick, eyeshadow and powder. I think I might’ve owned one blush and that’s about it. I’m kinda glad, too, that I had to wait. I knew girls in school who were wearing eyeliner in 4th grade (!).

  19. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    Thanks, girlfriend 🙂 We’ll see how long they remain lookin’ nice…I think I might’ve chipped the polish off of one of them already, whoops!

  20. Karen says:

    Hi Tekoa,

    I agree. I’ll be sending any future Elle/El Bebe to the zoo and the science museum. Oh, and to dance or karate class (whatever s/he likes).

  21. Karen says:

    Hi Jessica,

    Good observations… does anybody remember having this much marketing aimed at us when we were children? Or has this been a recent evolution that I missed because I don’t have kids?

  22. Karen says:

    Christy Lee,

    Wow, that’s web site is a lot of stimulus. And a lot of pink.

  23. Karen says:

    Hi Lilian,

    Sounds like you’ve been having fun. A full social calendar is always a good thing.

    Yeah, my nails looked really hot for about a day. I work with a lot of paper and am always handling books so now I’ve already got a chip or two, boo.

    Ah, the SJ Flea Market! I haven’t been there for years. The had some bomb ass corndogs back in the day…oh boy, I think my stomach just rumbled. 🙂

  24. Karen says:

    Hi Hillary,

    I noticed the same thing about children’s shoes, too. I saw young girl a few weeks ago wearing wedges. The kids don’t really dress like kids any more. I remember lots of pastel colors, t shirts with animals, and overalls (Osh Kosh))…now you can walk into J.Crew and get khakis and button up shirts and trench coats for a five year old.

  25. Megan says:

    So let me just say… that I was a tomboy when I was little…and I so would not have been in on that trend. My neices however…who are 7(almost 8) and 4…are little mini-monsters…but not quite that bad yet. I swear the 4 year old…has as many shoes as I do…She loves shoes…and right now is going through a phase where she will only wear skirts and dresses. Right now her favorite shoes are hot pink cowboy boots with these LED stars on the side that light up in different colors as she walks. She just knows she is cute when she has those boots on. I agree though…it’s probably not healthy self-esteem wise…and will likely turn them into self-entitled divas…which the world already has too many of. BTW I heard Paris Hilton is coming out with a new reality show where 20 girls live in a house and compete to be her new BFF… I have no comment on this… LOL Just sharing what I heard.

    So I do my nails regularly… typically every other week…on occasion I will go three weeks. BUT I don’t really like to go out for mani/pedi’s much. First off I’m a perfectionish and I’ve had a couple bad experiences where I felt like the mani or pedi was rushed and that I could have done a better job. Secondly like two years ago one of my coworkers ended up with a HORRIBLE infection around her toenail from getting a pedi and they clipped her cuticle too close and the instruments had not been properly sterilized. Her toe swelled up like the same day it happened…she ended up on antibiotics etc. It was not cute at all. So when I do go get mani/pedi’s I ask them to rewash the basin resterilize instruments…or I bring my own instruments. I know I know…it’s a little paranoid… but seriously she got a NASTY infection.

    That color is really pretty. So with the Shu polish do you find that it chips easy? Does it need a topcoat? I normally use OPI and then Seche Vite top coat for a clear glassy shine. I am always looking for ways to reduce steps and I love nailpolish that doesn’t chip!!! 🙂

  26. Megan says:

    How ironic that I misspelled perfectionist. 🙂 I feel like I always write book-long comments…where everyone else writes like two lines. Sorry for going on so much… 🙂

  27. Glosslizard says:

    Yeah, that’s why I hardly ever polish my nails! They just get thrashed so fast!

  28. LaurenIvy says:

    I’m so glad we’re talking about manicures! Lately, it seems like my polish chips easily. And not little chips, like, a whole coat will come off like it’s an acrylic! It seems like it’s just OPI colors, but can anyone explain/help me out?

  29. Megan says:

    LaurenIvy – this just happened to me the other day for the first time…I used a new OPI color and within one week one whole toneail the polish had peeled right off…and then on another toe on the same foot like 3/4 of the polish peeled off all at once. I thought that maybe I just didnt get the nails clean of all the cuticle oil or something and that maybe that caused it not to bond well…but maybe it’s the polish. I never had that trouble before though.

  30. Karen says:

    Hi Megan,

    I sort of want those boots that your niece owns, LOL. And re Paris, I hope one day that she stops by and leaves a comment or two, ha!

    The Shu polish doesn’t chip if you use two coats. I put a third one on yesterday just for the heck of it and then a few hours later when it dried one nail chipped. I think 2 coats are optimal. I didn’t put any Seche Vite on it (I love that stuff too, it’s heavenly) either; if I did I know it definitely wouldn’t have chipped.

    If you’re looking for shortcuts there’s this kick arse product that OPI makes. They are these drops that you put on your nails right after you finish your top coat. The drops make the polish dry faster! I can’t remember the name of it right now but when I get home I’ll check my manicure stash.

    And I love your book comments! Don’t you ever stop them! 🙂

  31. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    I hear ya. I can’t help but stare at my fingers those when they’re all dressed up with polish. I feel so grown up, LOL!

  32. Karen says:

    Hi LaurenIvy and Megan,

    I haven’t used OPI in years. Maybe they reformulated it? If you can, get your hands on some clear top coat – Seche Vite is the best!

  33. I definitely don’t upkeep my nails like I did pre-tykes. It’s not in tip top shape but at least my face looks good, lol.

    I think the makeup parties are harmless as long as there is parental control enforcing and leading the girls to understand about self image. The makeup doesn’t make us who we are and confidence doesn’t like in a bottle of foundation (although it does help sometimes:)) Hah.

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