Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How To: make your at-home manicure last & tips for healthy nails

I'm a regular user of www.makeupalley.com and I always see nail polish reviews on most brands stating it only last people a few days before chipping. With the exception of some glitter nail polishes I own, I almost always get a week (sometimes more!) out of my manicure using mostly OPI, China Glaze, Essie and Sally Hansen. 

Now keep in mind that I'm not overly hard on my nails in the first place. From September to June I am a school secretary so filing, typing, and opening mail/boxes is the most stress my hands see. In the summer I relax and do makeup for weddings, special events, etc. But all year around I do my manicure usually on Saturday or Sunday and it looks great the entire week! After some thought, I believe its the products I use before and after my nail polishes as well as following some tips and tricks to avoid cracks, breaks, etc. I'd like to share some of those with the beauty world in hopes of maybe making your manicure last a little longer :).

First of all I always remove all traces of nail polish with Beauty Secrets Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover (can be purchased from Sally's Beauty Supply) and OPI Nail Polish Remover Pads (Lint Free)
Sometimes I have to use the soft side of a nail file to remove nail polish from the corners of my nails that I couldn't reach with a remover pad. Then I file/buff my nails and wash my hands very well with soap and water. If there's any natural oils or dirt on your nails the nail polish won't adhere as well. Then I'm ready to start with my polishes!

The first product I use is OPI "Nail Envy" Original Treatment. 
I received this as a gift. I didn't know what the hype was but now I can't live without it! This product has done my nails wonders - they are strong, smooth, long and best of all my thumbnail on my right hand stopped cracking (I've had trouble with that nail my entire life, it was always short from breaking right in the middle)! Its a great treatment but I've found it to be the best base coat I've ever used! The nail polishes - no matter what brand - stick to this like glue! I glide this on from cuticle to tip, let it dry then put on my colour.

To top off my manicure I use Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat
This is absolutely one of my holy grail products that I can't live without. Its fast drying, has a great super shiny finish and adds days onto my manicure. If I feel like my manicure is looking a bit dull throughout the week, I'll just swipe on a coat of this and it looks my manicure look like new again! I purchased this at Sally's Beauty Supply for under $10. It does sort of thicken up after a while but the bottle lasts me forever!

Here are some tips and tricks I follow to keep my nails/manicure healthy:
  • Always wash dishes, car, floors, the bathroom, etc. with rubber gloves (I mean, lets be serious not everyone has a maid to do these things for us!)
  • Every 2 weeks I give my cuticles a treatment and push them back carefully. This is way less harsh on your nails then trimming them with a cuticle trimmer.
  • Not use my fingernails as tools. For example, opening cans with a butter knife, use a toothpick or floss if there's something in my teeth, pick stickers off items with something sharp instead of the corner of my nail, etc. It keeps my nails from breaking as well as my nail polish from chipping!
  • File the tips of my nails equally and square. I find they are stronger with they are even across.
  • Drink lots of water and eat a healthy diet. Brittle nails can indicate poor nutrition. 
  • Not pick at my nails or cuticles.
  • Always carry a nail file for fixes (I find if I break a corner of my nail I'll want to pick and bite at it if I don't have a nail file)
Believe it or not, I was a nail biter until I got engaged in July 2008. I wanted nice nails to go with my pretty ring so I started taking care of my hands and nails. I got married in July 2010, and I've continued to keep my hands pretty and manicured ever since - to go with my pretty rings but also because of my hands always being on display in both of my careers.

Since I mentioned my wedding, I'll end this blog with a picture from our amazing day!

Hope some of these tips helped! Until next time...

Much Love,
A. Pink

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