Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How To: Long Natural Nails

Since I grew my natural nails out to the same length I used to keep my fake nails I've been getting TONS of questions. I created a video, but for reasons we will not get into I removed it from YouTube. Onto my routine!

Filing and Maintenance

To be honest with you, I do not file my nails very often anymore. I find that it shreds my nails, and promotes breakage. But if I do need to file I use a fine grit nail file.

When you file you need to file in only one direction, not in a sawing motion. This is why many people have splits, cracks and peeling. That sawing motion is tearing the free edge of your nail and making it weak.

Glass or crystal nail files are excellent for natural nails!

I push back my cuticles once a week (or every other time I polish my nails) with a cheap-o cuticle pusher.

Don't clip, cut or trim your cuticles. They grow back faster if they are removed this way. Pushing them back lasts longer!

Polish Procedure

Here I will outline step by step what I do when I paint my nails:

Step 1:
Remove polish with regular acetone nail polish remover. (I do not feel it is necessary to use any 'nourishing' polish remover as I do not feel it works)
Step 2:
Push cuticles back
Step 3:
Put down two coats of Nail Magic Botanical Nail Strengthener.
Step 4:
Use two-three coats of desired nail lacquer.
Step 5:
Two coats of Nail Magic Top Coat, or Out the Door Top Coat.

Making your nail polish last isn't always about the quality of the nail polish. A lot of the staying power is all in your application technique. Even coats and a good top coat can help tons.

Other Info

I do not want anyone to think that my natural nails come easy, because they don't. It's a lot of maintenance. I'm very careful to keep my hands out of treacherous situations and I keep them manicured all the time. I believe that the amount of product I keep on them is a huge factor in why they are so strong. Don't get me wrong, they certainly have broken before, and they chip from time to time, it's the nature of the beast.

China Glaze nail lacquer has nail hardeners in the polish. That's one of the main reasons I use it so much, it's like a double whammy of strengthener for my nails.

My nails have always been garbage. They used to flake, peel, and break off like shells crumbling. So that's why I work so hard to keep them maintained.

I used to wear gel nails, for about a year to a year and a half. I did my own, and it ruined my nails. December 2009 is when I started my quest to have my own healthy nails.

I have blog posts about my favorite top coats, and about the Nail Magic Botanical Nail Strengthener.

That's all folks! If you have questions please feel free to message me on Facebook, or email me!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Manicure of the Day

Alright! So, I painted my nails a totally plain color last week. As plain as neon yellow gets, but in terms of designs and whatnot, it was plain. Until I got bored. I taped off my tips and painted them with the black crackle from China Glaze, Black Mesh.

And then I took it further.

I added Konad! Woohoo! I love this, it's totally 80's. It reminds me of acid washed jeans and off the shoulder t-shirts.

This is Konad plate m57 with the black special polish. I have to say that this is the funkiest manicure I've rocked in a while, and oddly enough, it really got no attention.

Left hand

Right hand
As my tips start to wear it looks more and more retro, dirty, and grungy. I just love it! :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Manicure of the Day - China Glaze Crackle: Lightning Bolt

More Crackles, I know, I'm kind of beating a dead horse. Oh well!

Lightning Bolt! I like that name, it's fun. This is layered over Flip Flop Fantasy and is a little lighter and more coral in real life.

I have to say, that out of all of the crackles, this is my least favorite. It cracks just fine, but I dunno. It's one of those "What can I use this with?" colors. Besides black or grey.

Maybe it was just the wrong color combo for me. At any rate, I didn't feel like I could use anything but a thick-ish coat of this, otherwise it was just not opaque enough.

This picture is a little more color accurate. I don't have much more to say about this. If you like white and think that you would like this, go for it! This isn't really for me, but I won't give up on it yet!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Manicure of the Day - China Glaze Crackle: Cracked Concrete

Holy alliteration!!
Anyway, I have only a few more crackles to show off and I used the black over a really fantastic neon pink (Pool Party) but like my last post the crackle polish cracked and separated my base color, and it looked like utter garbage. I chose not to share it because it was really that bad. 

On to Cracked Concrete!
I used this over 5 Golden Rings from a holiday that was released forever ago. It's a nice soft glittery gold, I thought it would be an interesting combination.

Cracked Concrete is a medium gray and applies the same as the rest of the crackles. At some points I felt like I was using way too much but it's probably because my base color is so light.

This picture is a little more color accurate. It's not my favorite manicure, but it's different looking.

I think that this is a fun color, but it stumped me a little bit since I didn't know what to pair it with that wasn't black or white. To me the most usable colors are the black, pink, and purple. I haven't used the white or the blue yet, so we shall see!