sneakerhead first manicure why Mens grooming sneakers
Highsnobiety / Julien Tell

First and foremost, I’m a sneakerhead. That means I dress from the ground up, thinking about how to match my outfit to my sneakers and not the other way around. This obsession comes at a price. Always preoccupied with my kicks, I sometimes forget to take care of myself in other ways. So when I got my first-ever manicure a few weeks ago I had no idea what to expect.

I was preparing to film a video on how to clean your sneakers (which you can watch below) and the type of filming involved meant a lot of closeups of the shoes and my hands. A colleague jokingly mentioned I should get a manicure to ensure my fingers would be presentable, so after getting permission to expense one, I made an appointment and ventured into the great unknown (to me, at least) that is men’s grooming. To be honest, had I not gotten it paid for by Highsnobiety, I would have never gotten my first manicure — but I’m glad I did.

The next day, at ISLA Berlin, a nail studio that doubles as a streetwear store, I got a basic manicure, which included filing my nails, trimming my cuticles (the skin at the base of your nails), and attending to the damaged and broken skin around my nails that I frequently pick at. They also applied some cuticle oil that was supposed to nourish and moisturize my nails and the skin around them.

Admittedly, I felt a bit stupid at first. I thought it was an unnecessary use of time and money. I bite my nails, always have for as long as I can remember. After getting the manicure and realizing how much of a difference simply caring for your nails and hands makes, I was converted. I didn’t bite my nails for an entire week because of how good my nails looked.

On a superficial level, all the manicure did was clean up my nails and make them more presentable. But on a deeper level (and I know this sounds ridiculous), it restored a sense of pride in my appearance. Instead of my kicks or outfit, though, I was proud of how my hands looked.

I’ll definitely be going back to get a manicure more often now, both for aesthetic reasons as well as for general grooming and wellness reasons. I honestly never thought I would get a manicure, but I did and it’s changed my outlook on grooming as a whole. It’s made me more open to other types of self-care and it’s something I would recommend to everyone to try at least once.

You might not be able to get it expensed and might not even enjoy it as much as I did, but taking care of yourself and your nails is, even if just once, is never a waste of time.

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