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It’s December! What are you waiting for? Get some red polish on those nails! It’s a great way to ring in the season. There are so many gorgeous reds out there. Half the year I wear light polish because it’s easier to maintain. In fall and winter, I switch to bright or dark polish and deal with the maintenance the best I can. I hear that synthetic nails can really stretch your manicure, but I’m already high maintenance. I think I’ll stick with my natural nails and do my own manicures.

My secret for maintaining a manicure

  • Thin coats.
  • Lots of time between coats.
  • Take the polish over the tip of the nail and get color on the edges.
  • Dabby, a shiny topcoat I use the morning after a manicure. It’s the toughest top coat I’ve every found. I touch up the tips several times with polish followed by Dabby.

How I got my red nails

I made plans to see a movie last week with my friend Julie. I arrived early, so I strolled through the Nordstrom cosmetics department to kill a little time before meeting her at the theatre. I hadn’t taken two steps when I saw Julie standing in the Chanel department.

I sashayed up to surprise her. “Finding everything okay?” I asked. “Look away!” she said. “You’re not supposed to be here!” She shooed me away and I waited for her in an aisle.

We’re not usually gift-giving friends, so I was speechless a few minutes later when she handed me a tiny black Chanel bag trimmed with ribbons. Put a bow on her head and Julie is, herself, an early Christmas present to me. Inside was a Chanel nail polish in 473 Coromandel—the same color of the screens that Coco Chanel used to cover her walls. My first bottle of Chanel polish! We’re both Chanel fanatics, so Julie knew she had hit the ball out of the park. Just so you know: I’m not in the habit of buying Chanel for myself, so this is a real treat.

The secret of friendship

Julie and I have been friends for over 30 years, bound together in ways that often seem cosmic to both of us. We can go for weeks without seeing each other. When we finally get together, one of us will show up ready to share some insane discovery with the other—only to learn that we both have discovered it independently. We seem destined to mine much the same territory, together or apart. And yet, we’re such different people. We’ve always listened to each other, but we’ve never tried to solve each other’s problems.

What’s on our winter docket?

She swaps golf for knitting. I swap golf for sewing. We’ll see movies together. And in January, we’re taking a girls’ adventure trip to Louisville to the Frasier History Museum for Diana: A Celebration, an exhibit that shares the life and humanitarian work of Princess Diana. If you can swing a trip to Louisville, this exhibit promises to be a thrill.

What gets you psyched up for the holidays? What are your favorite polish brands and ways to maintain a manicure? I’d love to hear from you!

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.