Saturday, January 26, 2013

Breathable Nail Polish For Devout Muslimahs

Someone has come up with a 'breathable' nail polish that is thrilling Muslim women because now the devout, conservative ones can color their nails. Apparently, they're not supposed to wear nail varnish because it messes with the whole idea behind pre-prayer wudhu (ritual ablution) whereby every part of the body (hands, arms and face) must be washed, and ordinary nail polish covers the nails. Not a good thing. I'm wondering, however, why devout muslimahs would even want to polish their nails.   It seems a tad hypocritical that these women, who probably wear the hijab or possibly even the niqab, would even want to call attention to their hands. Isn't that the point of dressing modestly- I'm here, but don't look at me.  But, it seems, they're itching to paint those nails, and before this innovative new nail polish came onto the scene it was a major pain in the butt.

Muslim professor Mustafa Umar explained on his blog The Evolution of Ideas that there is 'nothing intrinsically wrong with wearing nail polish,' the real issue is that this substance forms an impermeable barrier over the nails preventing water from getting underneath.

For years, women have been required to either remove and reapply polish for prayers every day, or wait to wear it during the week they have their period - when they're not allowed to pray.

But, Mr Umar said, 'this usually indicates to another person that a sister is undergoing her period, which can be very embarrassing for others to know.'

The urge to wear nail polish on a regular basis has become so strong, however, that some women have taken to to wearing stick-on nail polish that can be easily peeled off.
Remove the polish 5 times a day? Wow, that's dedication. And  stick-on nail polish?  Who knew.

So, step in Polish Inglot Cosmetics with their new permeable, breathable O2M to save the day. Apparently, you can even find it at Macy's here in the U.S.

The O2M polish uses a polymer used in some contact lenses, which allows oxygen and moisture to penetrate to the nail.

A student of Mr Umar's actually tested the product's validity by painting one swatch of regular polish and another of O2M's enamel onto a coffee filter, placing a clean coffee filter underneath.

When the polish dried, she squeezed drops of water onto each swatch, and waited ten seconds.

The filter beneath the standard polish was dry, as was the backside of the filter it was painted on. But it easily soaked beneath the O2M polish, and even wet the second filter - proving it is in fact, breathable.

That's pretty darn ingenious, actually. But I still want to know why a niqab-clad woman would want that attention.

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