Sally Hansen Color Foils came out with much fanfare when I was graduating from grad school, and I bought the set of 7 as a graduation gift to myself. (I skipped the silver, which AFAIK is identical to OPI Push and Shove.) These are a very weird polish that goes on looking like a normal polish, then gradually dry down to a very shiny, almost chrome-y finish. There are no true chrome polishes—anything shinier than this is some form of nail wrap or powder—but they are unexpectedly shiny when freshly applied. Weirdly, they are dulled by top coats, so they don’t last long, but overall it’s a fun, geeky effect.
I’m teaching a required undergraduate class this semester, and it’s definitely a different experience from teaching grad students. I find I worry more about being taken seriously when I have painted nails or don’t choose my work outfits carefully. It’s been a stressful semester, partly because I haven’t taught this class in seven years, partly because we’re still doing intro stuff and haven’t gotten to the fun content yet. Teaching can absorb an arbitrary amount of time, so it’s always a calculation when to cut off the time spent on it in order to focus on the things we’re actually, you know, incentivized to do. I try to put in enough time to be fair to my students but not so much that it’s unfair to me, but that’s not an easy heuristic to actually apply.
So… I dunno if I’ll go to class with really shiny nails or not, but ultimately that shouldn’t be a first-order consideration. On the other hand, that kind of thing has an outsized effect on people’s perception of you, which is dumb. I have had several students tell me over the years that I’ve inspired them to paint their nails, or explicitly that I make them feel okay about painting their nails. It wouldn’t be such a strong effect if I had more female colleagues, I suppose. Sigh.