Men Wearing Nail Polish, Fad or New Trend?

Nail polish and wearing nail polish has always been a bit one-sided. Something women did all the time and guys well they shied away from it because it might make them seem less cool. Thinking it might make them less of a guy or possibly thought of as gay. Not so, but you know how things go. Fast forward a few years and we got rockers, actors all wearing nail polish, usually black and usually on their fingernails for all the world to see.

Now I have been doing research on this very subject because it fascinates  me and well because one very nice guy brought to my attention that he wears nail polish not on his nails, but his toes!!

Everyone has a reason why we start doing something. One guy’s reason was because he happens to be a runner and black and blue toe nails are just ugly! His wife covers hers ( she is also a runner) with nail polish and  after a bit he started. Now you can read more about his thoughts in the article I have now in the side bar there. Take get a chance  and read his article that he so thoughtfully wrote for me called Nail Polish for Men? Its  one’s guys point of view on this subject..

Now think about it, today men can order anything they want off the web without some women behind a counter making strange faces at him because he says the nail polish is for him not his wife or girlfriend.

I guess I have a issue with closed minded people. I had lots of emails from other men that I can’t share here because I said I wouldn’t  but most say they are just normal men, who just happen to like how nail  polish looks on their toes. One guy has been wearing it for over 25 years! And other told me he wears it but his wife doesn’t care for it, but she agrees that self expression with nail polish is a lot easier to get rid of then say a tattoo.  And the bottom line is, really, it is just another way of self expression… I think I would rather see a guy with nail polish on his toes after a pedicure then some of the body art I have seen.

Now we have another one guy’s point of view on this subject  who even has been kind enough to let us use his picture!

Mark's Toes

Mark's Toes

This is from a email that Cindy of BB Couture received and as been kind enough to send it on to us:

Hi Cindy,

I figured I would take a moment to let you know a little about me. I’m a handsome 48 year old (but look very much like a young 30’s) clean-cut light complexion nice looking black male, I was born in long beach, California. I was once married for 14 years, I have no children, i have no current girlfriend and I’m not gay! I love some feminine things that women do and I love women!

My favorite celebrity is Hugh Hefner. I’m a very open minded guy and I love to talk. I’m very serious about my feet and wearing nail polish and I’m about to get my nose pierced with a small diamond!. one of my goals is to walk hand in hand with a lovely lady down the Venice beach boardwalk with sandals on with my toenails perfectly polished for the world to see!

And Cindy, don’t ever be afraid to ask me anything, even if it’s personal, because I want you to know me as a person and I’m very interested in getting to know you as a person and business person.

From time to time, I do wear the french pedicure and I am very open to wear any foot jewelry or any color of nail polish!……and I love your nail polish Cindy, it’s very lasting and goes on so good.

After I have these upcoming photos done and sent to you, I would be very interested in meeting you personally Cindy…. and I thank you for your compliment on my toes, you have good taste lady!.. Mark If you would like to contact Mark  his email address:

What Mark is talking about is Cindy of BB Couture is coming out in August a set of nail polishes with men in mind. It will be called BB Couture for Men.

After reading that and reading Nail Polish for Men? You can see its two different type of men who just happen to enjoy nail polish.

What is about men wearing nail polish? Are we as women afraid it will make our manly men less manly?  Now I happen to be very opened minded and feel what ever makes you happy, then do it along as it stays within the law and the law of good taste.

Truth be told its not a gay thing, (I even checked on this fact) Shout to my best bud A. Diva! I had a chat with her about this very subject and she filled me in on this misconception. Not a gay thing!    Today everyday straight  men are going to get pedicures done because they have found out why women enjoy them so. Not all men are into colors of nail polish, lots just want to wear clear or not at all.

Now here is a quote from a email from my buddy Jake who happens to be helping with the creation of BB Couture for Men:

Jake's Toes

Jake's Toes

When you talk to guys about wearing nail polish, I think it depends a lot on the guy.  If you are intending that you want to interest the most men with the least amount of ‘alienation’ , then I would suggest the following colors in medium to darker shades: gray, black, brown, green and blue.  Silver (actually platinum – not chromy-silver) is a color that I really like too. Some guys like to wear purple and red, but most don’t.  Very few like to wear pink.  And surprisingly, many say they like glitters, but those are usually the closet wearers.
The new mattes coming out are definitely not considered as feminine as gloss finishes, so yes, this is a good way to introduce men to nail polish if they haven’t tried it before.  I have read many comments on some nail blogs that women like the way matte looks more ‘masculine’ and tough.  There is always the matte finish topcoat too (by Orly, Zoya and OPI) to change a glossy polish to a matte.  I have heard that Zoya’s works and looks the best of these.
All in all, guys have preferences just like women, only we tend to make decisions for different reasons.  We (most of us guys anyway) are not trying to attract a male who likes bright flamboyant colors.  We’re just wanting to spice up our look a bit and add some interest with color.  Anything that will look decent and not ‘loud’ will usually work for men.  Think about how this works with men’s clothing vs women’s.  Guys typically prefer to wear less-bright colors often while women love to wear something that stands out – and it looks good on them!
I am curious to see how this new direction for your marketing ideas will turn out, Kim.  It should be very interesting!  Thank you for asking my opinion.
Now I want to open this up for discussion ladies AND men… what are your thoughts about men wearing nail polish? And from the guys.. would you?
PS: If I step on your toes, or you don’t care how I am looking at this subject, please let me know that as well. I just want to hear what everyone else thinks.. and you can’t hurt my feelings, I have children!!

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  1. Hello. I’m a 31-year-old straight male from the Midwest. I’ve loved nail polish since I was a kid. I’d see my mom’s toes and her painting my sister’s toes and thought that it was for everyone until my mother told me it was just for women. That didn’t stop my from liking how color polishes looked on hands or toes. So I began to do my own with colors I thought were great when I was in High School.

    I’d use whatever colors were around at the time and sneak and do my own toes. When I got to college I decided that I’d buy my own nail polish and paint my own toes. I was so nervous when I bought my first bottle. I thought the store owner would judge me. He didn’t, but in my mind I felt he would. I bought blue since it’s my favorite color. I haven’t gone without my toes being painted since my sophomore year in college. I then started to tell my friends and show them. 99% of them loved the idea and were surprised that a man could paint his toes that well.

    My only thing was dating and finding a woman that would be open minded enough to be ok with me having my toes done. I’ve since had multiple dates that were ok with me painting my toes.

    • Thanks Kurt for stopping by and leaving your story. I am hoping that you do find that right woman for you that is ok with you getting your toes done. Next time why not just ask her if she would like to go get pedicures done together? That might really help.

  2. I guess what it all boils down too is a continuation of gender stereotyping, and all the bias that comes with it. our sisters have made great and deservedly so strides getting bias against them down to a dull roar. unfortunately as men that courtesy has not been extended. if I were to maintain old values that espoused real women wear dresses and skirts and always stockings for appropriate dress, do all the housework, can’t be a policewoman I would be derided beyond belief, and rightfully so. I find I am well trained not to think like this, but unfortunately our culture, both women and men continue to cling to a belief system that has no basis in reality, but one created by media, movies and marketing. this or that is for boys and girls, and we are indoctrinated into this early. that our girls can and should be free as possible to live their individual life in the happiest way for them is a step in the right direction for all, I just hope we can make that possible for all. nobody has to be forced to like what anyone else does while hurting no one, but they have no right to make the other person feel terrible or ostracized because of that. just my 2cents on the matter. thanks.

    • You got it right on the nose! Its all due to what is thought of as a stereotypical guy. And it just seems that no matter what that mind set is very very slow to change. Thanks so very much for stopping by and leaving your thoughts. 🙂

  3. I’ve experimented on a few exes of mine… mostly painting their nails while they were sleeping… my most recent boyfriend even let me keep it on him for some weekends… but he got caught a couple times by my friends and didn’t let me do it much after that. I’ve always really been turned on by guys in nail polish for some reason and I wish I could find someone that actually liked it too!


  4. I’ve worn nail polish on my toes for a few years or so, but I’ve never taken the step to show them off publicly. I’ve had all different colors on my toes, from reds to blues to glittery pinks. My wife doesn’t really seem to care either way, but I’ve always been too chicken to go out in public with my painted toes.

    In fact, I’ve always been somewhat envious of women who have nice nails (finger and toe) and how they can flaunt and enjoy their beautiful nails in public, but I feel like I must hide my toes (and/or fingers if I do them) in shame or be labeled “less than manly”, or be otherwise ridiculed/judged.

    I’ve also always wanted to go to a salon to get a mani/pedi, as I see all other women do, but I’m afraid as soon as they take my shoes off and see my (already) painted toes, the ridicule will begin. Don’t even get me started about going in to a salon and asking for a full set of acrylics!

    Why do women get to have such beautiful nails, but us guys “aren’t allowed”, just because we’re male? Women can wear just about anything a guy wears, but god forbid if a guy wears even one thing that may be construed as “slightly feminine” for fear of being considered “less than or not a man” by both fellow men and women?

    • Jay, I suggest you read my blog, and several other blogs out there by men who paint our nails. There are several of us blogging about it and I think you would find that you CAN go out in public with your nails painted, and you CAN get pedicures without being ridiculed. We all use to feel that way too but found it was all in our head. Sure, they got a slightly funny look on their face the 1st time, but now they talk to me like any other customer and NO ONE makes fun of me while getting a pedicure. Times are changing my friend. My blog is titled “It’s OK for men to have painted nails in public”. Good luck,

  5. Hi as a male I can understand that some men will hide there nails.I have been going to one of the best nail tecs around and I have once a month a pedicure and my nails are the french painted but in Shelac I work in the car trade and everyone knows I have painted toe nails and I allways go opened toed when not at work and shopping I only nice comments.Derek

  6. 57 years old and after my first pedi last year been wearing polish on my toes and fingers. tried color, like it on my toes, but my wife too concerned about what others think, so I do clear gloss on my toes, like the shine, and my hands are matte. color on my hands would look trashed very quickly because I’m hard on my hands.

    5 coats usually on my fingernails. sally nail strengthener, then ridge filler, basecoat, instadry topcoat and the orly nails for males matte on top. let me tell you, even as rough on my hands as I am, this combo really protects them. I built a screenporch this weekend and if I hadn’t’t had the coats of protection on my nails they would have looked awfu. but afterward they looked great, and I’m a professional office worker in work life.

    I can usually go 2 weeks with a touchup on my hands before they grow out enough to redo. I’m really glad, as a man, for a MSN’s life, to have discovered the benefits of nail protection.

    there are so few products or practices that are specifically for one gender or the other. the rules make no sense and are artificially thought of as the right thing. mainly it’s marketing that teaches us that it’s that way, but they only do that to sell stuff. it’s nonsense.

    • OH my gosh you have such a point there!! Marketing can make things worse. Nail polish is nail polish, it doesn’t have a gender why should be just for women?? 🙁

  7. Hi, my name is Tony a 55 year old male and I’ve been painting my nails at home but take it off when I leave. I’ve always love the french nails on women and would love to have it done on me. But worried about what people would say. I just got back from Laughlin and I bought and the kiss glue on nails. I painted them light pink and they really looked good. I know people noticed but no one said anything. I hope I have the guts to go have it done??

    • Having your nails done look better than the stuck on nails can, but you have to have some one willing to listen and here you out that you want them to look as natural as possible. The problem with the French Tip Nails look is it doesn’t look as natural as say a simple sheer pink or nude might. Having your nails done is a big step so why not start with your toenails instead of your fingernails? That way no one sees them but you and you can see if you really are ready to take the a big step. Good luck!

  8. I have been wearing nail polish for about 10 years now. On my fingers I use nude beige or just a top coat. On my feet, I use just about any color that fits my fancy at the time. I love it. It really makes my feet look good. I get some stares but to date, no one has said anything negative. So, I encourage any man to try it. I think there is too much negativity about this. Men need to break the barrier and do it. It will start people thinking differently over time.

  9. I am 31 years old I started wearing noil polish and getting pedicures about 3 years ago it all started with a car wreck where I blacked out I was the only car involed, with not having a car for awhile I did alot of walking and I am on my feet alot at work my feet started to hurt really bad and my nails where starting to spilt. when I got cleared to drive agian I went and got a pedicure the nail tech asked me if I wanted any polish I said no thank you then she said about you try black and I said ok will try it and now my toes almost always have polish on them I have worn almost evrey color out their I just started wearing pink after one of my female friends said I should do it for spring time, but I really like wearing purple it looks really good on me no matter how dark or bright it is I even wear purple with glitter. I really liked this post and thought I would share my story into polish

  10. I started by wearing clear-coat and have since experimented with numerous colors, finally settling on a muted pink. Yes; I’m gay, and my dates think it is so sexy. I also love to wear lipstick when I go out clubbing at night. Along with eyeliner, bronzer, etc., it makes for a very polished look. BTW, the best lipstick brands won’t smudge on your cigar. What is fashion for if not to have fun and look your best?

  11. Hello. It had never entered my mind to have my toenails painted until I met my girlfriend of just under 2 years. We’d been together maybe 2 weeks and were sitting in her room one evening. She was just about to start painting her toenails so I offered to do them for her. I’d never helped a girl paint her nails before. After I’d finished she said now she wanted to do mine. I let her, its not like its permanent. So she painted them a dark red colour. She told me they look nice and to be honest I had to agree. A month or 2 later she asked why I won’t wear jewelery, fingers, wrists or neck. I explained that its not very practical with the work I do, construction work using power tools. So she went out and had an ankle chain made for me and got me a toe ring. This year she got me a toe ring for my other foot. So now I wear my toes painted all the time and have jewelery. I’ve had dark red, light pink, glittery blue, fuchsia (favorite) and at the moment bubblegum pink. I love the way my feet look now. We’re in our late 40s. Pictures available if you want.

    • hi terry, I would love to see your photos, absolutely

      i am in my early 50s and this summer i have started using more visible colors, pink, white and orange, I think I will continue this trend until I finally can use any colour I want

      i have been every where with my toes exposed, beach, swimming pool, walking on the street, at the market, and I am quite surprised that nothing extrange happened, I was afraid it would be different, but it seems the problem is more in our minds than in others eyes, at least here in my country, Spain

  12. I just read this because I was a tad curious how many men actually wear nail polish and thought that I could share my views on it. I am a straight 21 year old and I love to paint my nails. I have gotten pedicures and MANicures before and I just did my hands a couple of days ago. I do it because I just like the way it looks and I think its fun. I do all kinds of colors and I have gotten a few compliments from women who applaud my courage and tastes. I really think men should wear nail polish on their fingers and toes if it makes them happy.

    • I know what you are talking about. I go to a Beauty supply place and get all my beauty supplys there. The Women there help me pick out colors and other things.
      It makes me Happy that I am adding alittle color to my life.
      I am going to the Post Office today with finger nails polished and a smile.
      Plus a splash of lip stick.

      • I was surprised how helpful and accepting the sales person was at my local Trade secret. She always wants to see what I am wearing on my toes. She loves to talk polish and show me her nail art. Kim the owner of Overall Beauty has been wonderful. I have a lot of fun wearing color on my toes openly.

  13. Further to my post of August 22, and regarding painting your toe nails: I am still in the process of stopping picking at them. They are virtually nonexistent. I think manicured and painted toe nails on a guy would be better than my disgusting nails!

  14. I am a straight man who is married. I started going to a manicurist to help me stop nail biting. The way I stopped was to take a serious interest in the health of my nails. Now I have a natural french manicure-mainly because that’s the way my nails grow. They are not over the finger tips, but they go appear long because of the white tips. I apply a clear base coat regularly, followed by a matte top coat. So I regularly wear nail polish, but it has been to strengthen my previously bitten nails. However, I would never wear a color on them-its too weird for me.

  15. I am a guy and have been getting a professional pedicure every two weeks for many years. I live in Southern California and wear women’s open toe sandals 24/7/365. Whenever I’m not a work, my polished toes are on display. I get a lot of compliments from women on my colors. I have tried all colors, but now exclusively wear the feminine colors like red and pink. Red and pink really look the best on my very white skin color. I am currently wearing OPI Dutch Tulips but I also love to wear OPI Big Apple Red during the fall and winter months. Pedicures are so relaxing and I love going to the nail salon and chatting with the nail techs and other customers. Sometimes my wife and I go together to the nail salon when our busy scheduled permit. Guys should not be afraid to show off their pretty pedicures because after all, women have been borrowing from men’s fashion for years.

  16. Im really glad that came across this site. I ve gotten pedicures for years, and sometimes clear polish. Ive always wanted to add some color to my toes. Im getting a pedicure and some waxing next week. I think I,ll a light pink.

  17. *sorry 21 year old my num lock was off*

  18. I am a year old, i wear polish. if im not just wearing plain black, i am kinda odd and wear multiple neons on each hand

  19. Wow… so many of these comments mirror my feelings… especially Mark at the beginning. I love painted toes, and my wife of 26 years will do mine on occasion. (Last time, they were hot pink after the whole J Crew catalog silliness.)

    I haven’t gone out in sandals with them, but seeing these comments, I just might start. My toes look so much better in polish that I hate the way they look without it. My biggest obstacle is my wife. She’s fine with me having polish around the house, but very worried about reactions in public. To be honest, I wish I had been born a generation later. People are far more accepting of guys in their 20’s that blur gender lines than one in his early 50’s.

    Thank you for this page. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

    • Wow Bob thanks so very very much for leaving a comment! One of the guys that is my biggest fan for nail polish and in fact makeup as well is in his 60’s!! I think the fact that your wife is becoming ok with it is a major step in wearing it out. What I would do is start with a light color before going with the darker colors. That way you can see if there is any reactions. Most of the guys tell me that when they wear it and they get stopped it usually by a guy wanting to thank them for doing it. Another guy told me when he goes to the beach he is seeing more and more guys wearing nail polish. So it is closely getting worked into what is ok for guys that wasn’t ok for guys a few years ago.

  20. I’m for it! I vote yes! & thanks for the idea!

  21. Hi, I come to this page time and again, and I see I am not the only one doing it.

    I think it would be great if we could turn this into a forum talking about men wearing nail polish, where we could share our experiences, and help other men doing the same without fear.

    We all men know most of us love this stuff, but most of us don,t dare doing it. If we could manage to help others to do what we do, we could see sooner than later this as not a rarity, as it is still today.

    Posting photos or videos will be great too.

    So, what do you think?

    I don´t know if overallbeauty could help us doing it, but if they can, I vote for them to be the host of our opinions.

    • Hi, its not something I ever thought of doing, but I think I will look into it. I am not sure what it would take to set up a forum and I would for sure need people to keep the spammers out.
      Let me think about it, and thanks.

    • There are many groups on flicker devoted to men and nail polish. I find it a good source for checking out colors and seeing what other guys wear. They also have discussion topics.

  22. Just do Joe! No really, just get it over with, you sound like a child!, which you are totally not!, and you a still married! Thats to be commended, but getting back to your toes my man just take those socks off, & get bold, say what you need to say. Did you read my comment!?, how it was for
    Me first? So tell us how it went I so wanna know!

  23. I’ve been married to a beautiful woman for almost 10 years. She continuously has her nails done, both finger and toe. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen here without polish on her hands and feet. For whatever reason about a month ago I decided to paint my toes. To my surprise I really liked it. However, I would only keep the polish on during the day while she was at work. Occasionally keeping it on overnight but always taking it off the next day. Since then I’ve painted them several colors until I found one I really liked, beige. I’ve had beige on for four days now and don’t have any plans on taking it off any time soon. My dilemma is I’m afraid of what she’ll say. One of these days, hopefully soon as I’d love the freedom of walking around bare foot, I’ll tell her, well actually show her and see what she says. I really hope she is OK with it!

    • Wow thanks so very much for stopping by and telling us your beautiful story. There are many men who wish they could wear nail polish freely..

      • After a night of drinking too much my wife was giving me a pedi. I had her to paint my toes red. She had always told me that I had great feet. Well when I saw my toes painted I realized that she was right. I went with her last night to have a pedicure and in observence of St. Patricks Day I had my toes painted green! I had three ladies take my picture. Its such great fun, and I do like it. I’m 48, Black Belt, Harley Rider. One of the ladies at the salon was talking to my wife about it and my wife told her that HE’S ALL MAN. So for those wondering its not a gay thing. I’m just a man that likes to do everything to make himself look good. btw you ladies can’t have all the fun. LOL. TY

        • Thanks Jeff!
          That is a great story.. and it how lots of guys find out just how much fun a pedicure it. A guy needs to take as good of their feet as a girl does, so why not more guys have pedicures done? It just takes one time and boy can you get hooked on them!

  24. About 5 years ago my wife and I were invited to a friends wedding. My wife wanted to get her hair and nails done before the event. We had seen a new salon that opened near us and they were offering deals on their services.
    I took my wife there and I waited while they worked on her. The place was not busy at all and a nice Asian lady who was a nail tech came over and started talking to me. She said she would give me a free manicure for bringing my wife in. I told her no thanks so she said how about a pedicure. I had seen what they did to my wife’s feet and I thought it may be nice so I agreed. When she was about finished she came over with a bottle of blue polish that was about the same color as the shirt I was wearing. At first I protested but she was such a nice lady I didn’t want to be mean or anything. She applied the polish and it made my feet look great! My wife was a bit taken aback but later she said it did look good. I have been coloring my nails ever since. My favorite colors are blue brown gray and black. I stay away from glittery polish and reds or pinks. One time I had them painted silver and a friend started giving me grief about my painted nails and I told him they were “chrome plated”!