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Tracking the Stores That Have Dropped Ivanka Trump

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Are Manicures Worth It?

Years ago when I worked in the food service industry, I remember priding myself on not being the “type of girl” to get manicures — a smugness that promptly dissipated after I finally got one for the first time and understood the appeal. For less than $25 and in less than 30 minutes, you get a relaxing hand massage and an unclumpy nail polish job that announces to the outside world “I’m an adult woman with money and a put-together outfit,” whether or not any of those things are actually true.

But there are many layers to unpack here, from the weirdness of having a stranger hold your hands to the questionable ethics of supporting an often exploitative industry (if you somehow missed it, please read the New York Times’ 2015 exposé The Price of Nice Nails). Not to mention the unfairness of feminine beauty standards; to maintain an un-chipped, perfectly polished manicure, you basically can’t use your fingers.

What I’m trying to say is: I see both sides. Some of us don’t want to spend a weekly $15+ on something we can do ourselves (or not at all); while others have woefully useless left hands. So, which camp do you fall under?

Here, four Racked editors debate all of the above: senior editor Meredith Haggerty and executive editor Julia Rubin fall in the pro camp, while director of programming Annemarie Dooling and senior editor Alanna Okun oppose; our beauty editor, Cheryl Wischhover, moderates.Cory Baldwin, shopping editor

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Cheryl: All right, so manicures. How often do we get them?

Annemarie: Never.

Cheryl: Never? Why never?

Annemarie: So, not only do I think it's a waste of money, but it feels really strange to sit in a chair and have a person do your nails. It feels very classist, and I don't know what I'm supposed to do with myself. Do I talk to them? Do I look the other way? Do I look at my phone? I'm just not sure what I'm supposed to do and it feels very strange. Also, it's, like, 20 bucks just to get your nails done.

Meredith: Can I counterpoint that? First of all, I will say there's a lot of caveats that I want to give before saying I'm pro-manicure, which is like, "Oh, manicure salons in New York, very awkward, lot of bad things going on!"

But as someone who doesn't enjoy a lot of beauty treatments or how awkward they feel, I really do enjoy the feeling of sitting down, giving my hands to a stranger, and not being able to use them on my phone, or just to distract myself in any way. I have some of my best thoughts when I'm getting a manicure.

The thing about it being classist is super-complicated, so I'm definitely not going to say that it doesn't feel that way, because I think it does. But when I'm getting a manicure, I'm thinking about how classist it feels, and my hands are not... I'm also thinking: This would still be this person's job if I wasn't here, and what does that mean?

Do I think manicures are bad? Kinda. Do I think our society is bad? Absolutely. But I like having my hands held by a stranger.

Julia: So I hate getting my nails done, but I get them done very regularly. I used to get them done weekly. Now I get them done every other week, because I have finally found a top coat that doesn't chip for two weeks (it's Caption).

I think getting my nails done is super boring — I actually hate the act of doing it. But I hate even more not having my nails done. I feel like I don’t look put-together if I don't have them done.

I also will say I've been getting them done in some capacity since I was in middle school. I have not had bare nails in like, oh my God... 15 years. So I feel more like myself with them done, and getting them done at a salon makes it more time-effective and also makes the polish last longer.

Cheryl: Have you ever tried to do them yourself?

Julia: I have, when I was younger, and now I’ll do it every once in a while. When the New York Times story came out, I was like, ‘Holy shit! I need to really look into where I'm going.’ During that time, when I was trying to research ethical salons, I tried to do it myself.

And I just can't. I don't have the dexterity, it doesn't look the same at all on my hands. It looks messy, and it doesn't last as long.

Meredith: If I do it myself, my right hand looks like I let a rude child do it.

Alanna: I never, ever have my nails done. I always have these short little awful stubs. And honestly, I kind of want to be the type of person who likes getting manicures! I’m actually a really terrible nail-biter and cuticle-picker. There have been, like, three times in my life that I've gone to a salon to get my nails done. And every time I've been so embarrassed and self-conscious.

Cheryl: Do you think painting your nails would prevent that, though? Has it in the past? And also, I just want to support you that, as a fellow nail-biter, nail salon workers — especially in New York — will totally judge you and make faces.

Alanna: I've literally had people just look at my nails and make that face, or turn to their friend and start saying something, which, you know, doesn’t feel great. But I will paint my nails from time to time. It stops me from biting for maybe two days, and then the second it starts to chip, that's just a new thing for me to do — peel it off in strips. Which is probably even worse, because it just litters the area under my desk.

Annemarie: I love peeling my nail polish off. That is sort of a gross thing to admit. But I just put it back on again after I peel it. I find the act of doing my own nails very calming. I do my hair at night — I put my hair up and then I do my nails, and it's a calming 30 minutes before bed where I'm not on my phone, not in front of a TV, and I'm just sort of relaxed and getting ready for bed.

Cheryl: Annemarie, you're definitely not opposed to having a regular manicure, because your signature is sort of your red nails. You're just opposed to going to a salon to do it.

Annemarie: Yes. It's not even the classist stuff that I mentioned initially, but it just seems like such a horrendous waste of money to me.

Read the rest of the debate >>
Racked Deal of the Day

There's a great Alexander Wang deal happening on Spring right now, with collection and T pieces marked down up to 60% off. Some highlights: The Lovisa pumps are $198, the Mini Prisma Envelope bag is $212, and this white Stretch Jacquard Midi Skirt is $84.

Of the 33 major stores that carry Ivanka Trump, 12 have distanced themselves from her brand.

Six years ago, Ivanka Trump started a fashion label. She was the daughter of a real estate mogul and had starred on her father’s NBC reality show; at that point, she had already launched a fine jewelry line. But the brand she debuted in 2011 positioned Ivanka Trump firmly in the retail world, with big names like Nordstrom quickly picking up her products. The Ivanka Trump brand successfully introduced footwear and accessories before it expanded into apparel a few years later. By 2015, it was a staple in stores like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Lord & Taylor.

When Donald Trump’s presidential campaign picked up steam in 2016, though, things got complicated for Ivanka Trump the person and, by extension, Ivanka Trump the brand. She took to the campaign trail in an effort to secure her father’s nomination — and eventual election — by appealing to Ivanka voters. Tension around the would-be first daughter reached a boiling point after the tape of her father bragging about sexual assault went viral in October, prompting shoppers to organize the #GrabYourWallet boycott of Ivanka Trump and every other Trump family brand.

Soon after Donald Trump took office, Ivanka’s label began seeing the ramifications. First, products started disappearing from Nordstrom’s site, and then Burlington’s, Belk’s, and Neiman Marcus’s. Retailers like Bluefly, which carried more than 300 products from the line, also began to minimize the label’s presence. T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s ordered Ivanka signage be moved to the garbage. Nordstrom confirmed it was dropping Ivanka, citing “poor sales” as the reason, while others have been even more vague, explaining that they constantly assess what to carry every season. Kellyanne Conway even got involved. It’s messy, which is why we’ve created an updatable tracker so you can follow who is doing what when it comes to Ivanka Trump.

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