To describe Bag Lady’s nails as the nails of a beet farmer is to insult the noble beet-growing profession.

Her nails’ utter haphazard raggedness is only highlighted by the fact that it seems like every other woman she encounters on a daily basis has the most fantastic, bedazzled, polished, tipped-to-perfection hands ever.

Shopping Siren included. It’s rampant awesomeness, is what it is.

So for you, dear ladies, a high-five, or rather, a ratty, five-fingered salute, is due.

To Bag Lady and everyone else in beet farmer territory, let’s work on our nail game.

To that end, BL and SS beelined to Sally Beauty in Auburn this week. We expected to make the beauty supply store the first of three stops, but we ended up going no farther because of the sheer perfection that is Sally’s nail section: tons of polish (both gel and traditional), approximately 10 billion tiny stickers and every emery board ever invented.

It was nail nirvana.

And we are happy to be enlightened.

• FingerPaints nail polish, 0.05 ounces, $5.19

Not only do FingerPaints win the prize for best nail polish company name ever, but it offers some of the most vibrant colors we’ve ever seen. Whether you want sparkly (Gogh With the Flow), bright (Hues Blue) or on-trend shiny (Titian Tint), FingerPaints has it. And this month, buy two and get a free top coat or base coat. Score! Cheaper than a manicure, so both your fingers and your wallet will thank you.   

• Cina Selfies self-adhesive nail art, $4.99

Think golden polka dots. Or the New York skyline. Or seahorses. (Except maybe don’t think seahorses. Unless you’re 6 years old or an oceanographer, then by all means.) A swipe of top coat will keep the tiny stickers on, according to Cina. Refusing to touch anything for the next month will make sure they stay that way, according to us. 

• Natural Nail Kit, $2.99

Includes a manicure brush, file, two cuticle sticks and an aromatherapy ball to drop in water for a hand soak. Use it yourself for Nail Care 101. Sally Beauty online suggests the kit can also be brought to your next salon appointment if you have any concerns about sanitation.

Note: If you’re actively worried about moldy, virus-laden, bacteria-covered tools, you might also try a different salon. Because ew.

• Mini Mani Moo liquid tape, 0.35 ounce, $12.99

One of the biggest pains in painting your own nails is cleaning up the sloppy spillover onto your skin. This liquid tape is designed to create a little barrier around the nail and peel away for clean lines when you’re done. Like painter’s tape, but for more sparkly paint.

• American Classics polishes, 0.5 ounce, $5.99

This polish line is all about laying down a good base upon which all fabulous nails can be built. Bag Lady was drawn to Hard to Believe for rejuvenating and hardening brittle nails. Could that be behind her hands’ recent haggard appearance? Her nails do seem to be chipping more easily. Does that mean she’s *gasp* getting old? Like, wicked old?

And suddenly this column takes a dark turn.

• China Glaze Chic Physique pre-glued fake nails, 24-count, $9.79

Pre-painted, pre-embellished, pre-glued. All you have to do is stick them on and look marvelous. For those times when pre-done is the only way you’re getting anything done.

• Gelish mini On The Go LED gel light, $34.99

For curing your gel polish. Includes a USB port for easy portability … for drying your nails in the car? At school? During the board meeting? We’re not sure, but we wouldn’t recommend anywhere other than, say, the kitchen table. A stationary kitchen table that is not in the middle of traffic or speeding down the turnpike, preferably.

Best find: Practice hand, $9.49

Need a way to test colors and all the new tools, techniques and polishes you’re bound to pick up trolling Sally’s? Look no further. It’s a faux hand but realistic as heck. So practice, practice, practice and maybe you’ll get to Carnegie Hall. With fabulous nails.

Think twice: So Easy Stripe ‘Em Tape by China Glaze, 10 rolls, $9.99

Tape. That you stick on your nails. As a decoration. It is shiny tape, granted, and colorful. But. Tape? We have to draw the line somewhere and we have drawn it here. At a literal line. If you need embellishment, go with some true nail art (Seahorses! Wait. No.)

Opt for any of the above that make your nails look less beet-up.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who will tolerate the painting of one paw but NO MORE) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected]

FingerPaints nail polish in Hues Blue, $5.19 at Sally Beauty. For colorful nails that won’t leave you feeling blue.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.