My mom has this habit of slipping me cash when I leave her house after a visit. This started in high school or college, when I would leave home for a play rehearsal or work or whatever, and she would run out the door after me with a five dollar bill "in case you need a pop or a magazine or something." She still does this, sometimes with a ten or a twenty due to The Inflation. So I told her how I'm all a-twitter over nail polish lately and when I left my parents' house this morning she handed me a ten dollar bill "to buy some nail polish."

So yes, I made a bold and now somewhat false statement that I wasn't going to buy more colors until I tried all the ones I own. But I can't disobey my mother.

In order to make the most of my $10 windfall, I stopped at the dollar store, hoping I might find something sort of weird, and lo, I discovered a treasure trove of Maybelline Express Finish matte polishes from the 1990s. I never had these polishes the first time around, but I did have a bottle of something called Matte Maker, which rendered any polish non-shiny. I have always been kind of sorry I got rid of that stuff, although you can of course buy similar formulas now.

Eff why eye, this nail polish thing is not entirely a recent development, it just represents the awakening of a long-dormant strain of beauty product obsessing. In college I was always a sucker for eyeshadow. Circa 1996 it was tiny hair clips and fake henna tattoos, and then it was lipsticks, then hair products. And I bought my share of silver glitter nail polish -- aspirational beauty for the post-millennial possibility of space travel, I guess -- for Y2K revelry. And then somewhere along the line I ditched most of it.

Anyway, I think for a while I kind of got in a rut with my look and I've been addressing that in a number of ways, and one of those ways is that I'm having a good time with some ridiculous nail polish colors. And yes, I feel like kind of a dipshit even saying, "my look," but you know what I mean. Or maybe you don't, which is fine. I am having a good time. This is a good summer, which sounds weird for someone who got laid off two months ago, but I guess you just never can tell about how things like that are going to work.

Dollar store treasures

So here are my antique Maybelline nail polishes, a mid-1990s time capsule of sorts. I got Matte Grey, Matte Ruby, Matte Sapphire and Matt Grape. I may try them at some point soon, or I may save them for fall. Fun in a bottle!

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