Nailing it.

16 Feb

Soooo….last year at Easter we went to the Canadian Championships in Calgary, Alberta.  I really wanted my nails to look nice and, because my nails have almost always peeled and peeled nail areas don’t hold on to polish, I caved and got acrylics. And they looked gorgeous. And since they put gel polish on them, they looked gorgeous for quite a few weeks.

And then they started to come off and then I had to deal with the fallout. Yuck.  Again. Enter our good friend Mr. Google (or maybe she is Ms. Google.  We don’t really know.) Since then, I have found good, bad and indifferent sources of information about how to manage nails.

If you spend any amount of time doing this, you will find a couple of sources cited all the time. Makeup Alley is one of them. Their message board dedicated to nail care does have nail care tips, but generally at the moment it is a nail art board. Ask questions and they will give you quick, friendly and very helpful information, but the majority of the daily reading is nail art “spam” (which I think means, “show polish and manicure”) photos of NOTD (nail of the day) and lots of discussion of the many, many, many colours, brands, sales, wish lists etc. of nail polish. But not an easily searchable resource.

Loodieloodieloodie is the improbable name of one of the best resources online for all things nail related.  Along with many gorgeous photos of her magnificent nails, “Loodie” gives wonderful tutorials on all sorts of nail issues. And she is a self-proclaimed “geeky scientist” so she explains why acetone is not the enemy of nails (that would be water) and other great stuff. But she is no longer actively blogging.

So I have learned some stuff in this quest and I will share it with you here. Today’s tips are about products.

1 – base coat.  I bought base coat. It didn’t help!  BUT.  There is a thing called ridge filling base coat.  Guess what – it not only fills ridges, it also sticks to peeled nail areas.  Bam! Game changer. As soon as I tried this stuff, things started getting better. I have 3 brands now and haven’t formed a firm opinion of which is best. Stay tuned.

2 – 100% acetone. Best thing ever.  You need it to remove gels, but it is also quicker and easier to use for removing any kind of nail polish.  And yes, you can use the stuff from the hardware store if you really want to go the cheapest route. Add a bit of water and glycerine and you have a knock off of a pricey brand of moisturizing polish remover. Instructions from Loodie.

3 – Quick dry top coat. I bought top coat. It helped, but I often messed up the polish before it dried. Putting the top coat on very soon (2 – 5 minutes after the last coat of polish) helped, but I would still get dents, dings and even sheet marks the next morning in spite of doing my nails many hours before going to sleep.  Quick Dry Top Coat.  Sally Hansen in the red bottle.  Another game changer!

My nails are still peeling and they are not yet at a place that I consider photo-worthy. But they are a nice length and they hold polish for 3 – 4 days at a time. Yay!


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