Friday, June 20, 2014

Racing Stripes and How I Do My Nails

I know it's been a while since I posted about my nails. Don't worry, I didn't lose interest! Losing interest is a serious problem with me, so I don't say this in jest!

Right after I did my Harry Potter inspired nails there was a bit of a catastrophe involving a crocheted afghan that I was trying to pull up and a 75 pound German Shepherd who laid down on it at just the wrong moment. The casualties were two nails on each hand that were bent backwards or ripped. It was brutal and quite painful!

Dramatic reenactment. 

It also wasn't pretty. I had to cut my nails super short and I've been waiting for them to grow a little before I did anything other than just keeping them protected.

Now that they're longer I decided to celebrate by treating myself to a new polish. It cost a whole $1.98 at Rite Aid!! Woo!



The base color is three coats of my new Sinful Colors 1106 Cinderella, a light blue with a bit of a pinkish hologram. I probably could have gotten away with two coats, but three looked better.

The racing stripe was done by taping it off with nail tape and painting on a dark blue from Alessandro International. The Alessandro was a gift from a friend and didn't come with any identification, so I'm not exactly sure what color it is. I couldn't find it on their site so it's probably from a past season. (This is the closest I could find on their website.) Update: I contacted Alessandro International and they looked it up for me! The color is 77-160 Blue Lagoon.)

I used my normal OPI Natural Nail Strengthener as my base coat and followed up with two coats of OPI Top Coat for protection.


Now I want to take a few minutes to talk about my technique. Step-by-step his is how I do my nails. (Your results may vary!)


  • First I remove the polish I already had on. Cheapo polish remover and cotton balls. If it's glitter polish I will press the cotton ball onto my nail and wrap it in tape. 
  • Then I file my nails and trim them if they need it. Usually at this point I use a buffer to lightly buff out the ridges I get. 
  • Once every couple of weeks I will apply cuticle oil, let it set for a few minutes, and then gently push back my cuticles.
  • I'll also take a minute and clean under my nails with one of those hook things that are attached to my nail clippers. 
  • Then I go and wash my hands and scrub my nails with a nail brush. I want to be sure my polish has a nice clean nail to stick to. This is also when I gather all the polish colors I plan to use. 
  • The first thing I apply is my base coat on all ten fingers. I've been using OPI Natural Nail Strengthener, but when I run out I'll probably try something new. Having a base coat really seems to help my polish last. I don't recommend you skip this step. 
  • Drying time. Luckily the base coat seems to dry quite fast.
  • Now I paint one coat of my base color on my fingers, but not my thumbs. I use my thumb nails to clear any over-paint from around my nail. If I paint my thumbs now the polish will just get smudged at the tips. 
  • Drying time. I make sure the polish doesn't feel tacky any more before I add any more polish. The way I tell is by touching two nails together. If they feel like they stick, they're still wet. 
  • If it's needed I add the second coat. I've found that the less expensive polishes need more coats. The expensive stuff is usually great with just two coats, the cheaper stuff might need three or more. I make sure they're dry between coats.
  • More Drying. This is the part that takes the longest. The more coats of polish the longer it takes to dry. Usually I do this at night, after the kids are in bed, when I know I have hours to watch television and surf Pinterest. Not doing my thumbs also makes it easier if I have to use the bathroom or scratch an itch! There are times where I go to bed before the next steps. If I do I always wash my hands again before I get started. Just in case there is anything that transferred to my nails in the meantime. 
  • This is when I do any artwork or decals. After my base coat is completely dry. Obviously this step is optional.
  • Now I do my thumbs, after all the rest of my nails are mostly finished. 
  • While my thumbs are drying from the base color coats I start doing the top coat on my other nails. Again, I've been using OPI Top Coat but will probably get something different when I run out. Just for the sake of experimenting. I do two coats because I have weak nails. First I paint the underside of my nails (when they're long enough to go past the edge of my finger) then I paint the tops. I let the first top coat dry fully before I add a second. When the polish is dry on my thumbs I do any matching nail art and finish up with the top coats. 

It does take a few hours for me to do my nails, but I usually do them on a evening when all I'm doing anyway is watching T.V. with my husband. Luckily he doesn't seem to mind the fumes! I'd say 90% of that is drying time. 

I think the process is worth it. There are a lot of steps, but doing it this way ensures that I get at least a week out of my polish. Sometimes more. I could just slap a couple coats of polish on in 5 minutes, but then I'd get bubbles and chips. Since I have to see my hands all day, every day... Well, I want to look at something pretty! 

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