I've been playing with my nails a lot lately. I use to dread painting my nails. I can't color inside the lines, let alone paint inside them. I hated the waiting time for nails to dry and then, it never fails. Just as you've finished painting the last nail...you have to go to the bathroom!
Well, I've spend the last few months devouring every piece of information that I could on nail polishes, techniques, accoutrements, tips and tricks...you name it, I've been learning it. I figured, if I was going to fall in love with all the pretty nail polish colors, I'd better learn how to apply them and how to keep my hands looking decent enough for display.
In my research I've learned a lot of new things. I've also acquired a lot of new things. Some of those things have been great new discoveries. Some of them have been wastes of time. Learn from my mistakes good people. And save yourself some money.
First I'll start with some products that I've just begun using. I've mentioned many times that I got gel nails about 2 years ago and when I took them off, my nails were horrible. I've been fighting to get them healthy again and trying so many different nail treatments my head is spinning. The latest nail treatment is the OPI Original Nail Envy Nail Strengthener. I've heard great things about it but the price is outrageous! Folks this stuff is $17.99 a bottle! I can't pay that for nail treatment products (but let a good lipstick for the same price come my way...). CVS always sends e-coupons and I waited until I got a 20% off coupon, plus my $5 Beauty Rewards AND a $3 ECB. That made this little booger $6.39. That's more like it. Now, I only picked this up a week ago, so I don't have a review yet. Y'all wait until it's been a minute and let me tell you what I think before you go run out and purchase it.
We all have nail polish remover. What I didn't have was this nifty bottle. This particular one if from Studio 35 Beauty (Walgreen's Brand $2.89). You just put your finger in it, swish it around and within seconds, the polish is gone. If you are my age, you remember the sponge ones that got gross and nasty fast. Well, this isn't sponge. It's like plastic bristles (or magic -- you decide) that are washable one the remover gets too gunky. I've been using it for about 2 weeks and I like it so far.
I've owned this bottle of Seche Vite (Sally Beauty Supply, $5.49 with Beauty Club Card) for a year and a half. I had only used it twice until recently. I had been using my holy grail Sally Hansen Insta-Dry but then a few YouTubers said that this was the bomb dot com so I pulled it out to re-try it. It's supposed to make your polish super shiny and dry in less than a minute. You can go to bed and wake up streak free! This stuff is good...but not better than my Sally Hansen (you go girl!). It didn't dry in less than a minute (Sally Hansen does) and I went to bed 20 minutes later (and then stayed up flipping through Instagram for another 20 minutes) and I still woke up with 2 nails streaked. This does not happen with my Sally Hansen Insta-Dry. I can go to the bathroom or fluff my pillows after 5 minutes with my SHID (too much? probably - let's stick with the full name). Anyway, the Seche Vite is nice and perhaps I'll use it on my toes. I paint them during the day most of the time. But my nails will continue to get the Sally Hansen treatment.
I picked up a tiny bottle of California Mango Magic Cuticle Oil (Sally Beauty Supply .25 fl oz $3.49 with Beauty Club Card). I have plenty of bottles and containers of cuticle oil but they all have the same problem -- they are oily. You can't do anything after you use them. You have wait (and you know I'm not good at that) before can touch anything and you wonder, did that really just do anything? Well this stuff is an oil that soaks in quickly and you can do things minutes after you use it. AND, I can see an improvement in my cuticles. I think it's worth the money on the soaking-in factor alone! Oh, and it smells delightful.
The last thing that I purchased was a new small concealer brush for cleanup. I mentioned that I can’t color inside the lines so what I had been doing was painting my nails and then waiting for the next 24 hours' wear and tear to correct my coloring outside the lines issue. I know, tacky but honestly – how many of you do that? Raise your hands! Don’t be ‘shamed! We’re here to learn. What I learned was so simple. I now take my small concealer brush, plop it in a small amount of acetone remover and just clean up the area around the nail. I’ve been moisturizing like crazy so the tiny amount of acetone I’m using should be ok. You can also use regular remover if you’d like but it makes a world of different in the way your polish looks.
So good people, I don't know if you've noticed an improvement in my Instagram pictures but my nails look quite a bit better. I still have a ways to go and lots more to learn.
What tips and tricks do you use when you paint your nails? What time of day do you find is the best time to do them? Are you still going to paint outside the lines and let time fix them or are you going to try the clean up trick?