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Nailing it Part III – Paint Nite

19 Mar

Or day…day is actually better. You get more drying time and that is good. The down side of daytime nail painting is that you are likely to have tasks that need to be done shortly after the nails are dry. So really, it is all about planning.  There are web pages and videos galore explaining how to actually put brush to nail, but the planning is important.

  1. Assemble your tools. Polish, polish thinner, polish remover, cotton, orange sticks, q tips etc., etc. Having it all together before you start makes the whole experience nicer.
  2. Check your stuff.  Have you got base coat, main colour, quick dry top coat? Is the polish gloopy? Make sure you thin it before you start. Will you be doing clean up? (ummm…yes, you will! If the pros need to do it, you sure will.) Have your polish remover and tools (a little brush works well, but orange sticks or a cut off q tip sticks are also great) ready to go. Pour the remover into a small container and make sure it is nearby but won’t tip over. Some tissue or a small scrap of fabric is good for wiping the brush or stick.
  3. Pee. Yep – nothing like getting all the polish perfect then needing to head to the head! While you are there, put your hair up if it is long.
  4. Glasses. Gotta be able to see.
  5. Light. Here is where daytime helps. Better light makes any paint job easier.
  6. Podcasts, Netflix, computer whatever. If you have something to do all lined up and you don’t need to use your hands to get it ready, you are more likely to keep your nails nice.
  7. Coffee, tea, wine, chocolate. Get it ready to go before you start and in order to have the best results, try to refrain from indulging until the job is done. Especially the wine.

Nailing it, part II. Care and feeding of…

27 Feb

In Grade 8 we had a sewing teacher named Mrs. Lyons. When she was expecting her first baby we wanted it to be a girl so she could name it Karen. And her middle name would be Feedingof:-) I think it ended up being a boy.  Too bad.

Basic nail looking-after is not hard.

  1. Wear gloves when you can. Water is really rough on nails. I have my hands in water a lot at work and I can’t always wear gloves. But I do when I can.  And although at least one person online wears gloves sealed with elastics while washing hair, I’m not willing to go quite that far. But we do have a hot tub which I indulge in regularly and I now hold my hands out of the water as much as possible. It looks a bit like I’m praying .
  2. Get good files. Finer grits are easier on the nails and good files work faster so shaping is not so tedious. I am searching for a good Czech glass file now, but the higher quality emery boards I picked up recently are already a vast improvement over anything I have used before and I like that the grit is printed right on them. Just like sandpaper!
  3. Use cuticle remover and good tools. I’ve been told by aestheticians that I hardly have any cuticle, but it still makes a nice base for polish if that little bit that grows up the nail is gone. Orange wood sticks and cuticle stones are great. And no soaking before doing cuticles! Because water.
  4. Oil your nails. There are many brands and DIY versions of nail oil. Figure out which you like and go for it. Mine is a closely guarded secret of mostly olive oil, some grape seed oil, jojoba oil, a couple of drops of tea tree oil and one Vitamin E capsule. Put it on your nails and let it soak in. If you have time, do it several times. If you are going to put polish on, wipe the nail with alcohol so the polish will stick. Oil your cuticles and under the nail daily – several times if possible. You can do it while you are binge watching something on Netflix.
  5. File carefully. Again, many sources for “how to” on filing. If you like video, try loodieloodieloodie’s Youtube channel, or for text and photos, go to her blog.

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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