It’s such a tiny thing to care about in the grand scheme of things, but I’ve started being kind to my nails again. I’ve been painting them, treating them, filing them and generally admiring them…and boy oh boy does it make me feel like I’ve got my shiz together. I love it.
My current mani sitch. I really don’t like pink and whites on me but I LOVE a contrast French tip. The nude is OPI’s Glints of Glinda from the Wizard of Oz collection (I bought it in the US years ago, but basically any peachy nude will do!) and the red is Barry M’s Bright Red.
When I tried stiletto nails last year, I LOVED knowing I had fiercer than fierce nails no matter how the rest of my outfit/face/life was faring. They weren’t practical in the long run (I literally lasted two weeks, as documented here) but I adored the time we spent together.
I spend my whole working day looking at my fingers as I type away and seeing pretty polished nails pleases me. Maybe I’m exceptionally basic, but as my hands have started their downhill transformation into old pruney sausages (thanks, inevitable passing of time) I’ll take any comfort I can in having long and strong nails.
I used to get Shellac quite a lot and I still think a decent gel polish mani is one of the ultimate indulgences, but they do sadly make my nails weak over time and I can’t afford to keep having them every two weeks at the moment as if they’re 100% necessary. They’re not 100% necessary, as I keep having to remind myself.
So I’ve started doing my own nails again, the way I used to before I discovered the joys of Shellac.
AND I AM LOVING IT.
The same Barry M Bright Red which my current tips are.
I enjoy painting my own nails and it’s been fun getting back into some of my old favourite colours which I’d neglected at the back of the bathroom cupboard. Plus they’re longer than they’ve been in ages at the moment, which is testimony to how strong they are. I’ll actually need to trim them back soon as they’re getting too long to type on my iPhone, a problem I haven’t had with natural nails for YEARS.
But putting effort into DIY manis has reminded me just how much I rely on three simple things…
- Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat – it is the ULTIMATE top coat for a high mirror shine finish. It makes an average polish look like a shiny gel and it makes polish last *so* much longer. I have bought bottle after bottle of this stuff since first being recommended it years ago and I wouldn’t bother taking the time to paint my nails if I didn’t have Seche Vite on hand to put on after. (£5.39 here).
- OPI Original Nail Envy – I could not be without this stuff and, like with Seche Vite, I’ve made repeat purchase after repeat purchase. No other nail treatment I’ve tried compares to this miracle potion. (£9.95 here).
- ACTUALLY HAVING TIME – Okay so this one isn’t a product, but I truly think there’s no point painting your nails in five minutes. Do it when they’ll have time to dry otherwise you’re just preparing to be frustrated when they smudge ten minutes later. I tend to do my nails after dinner in front of the telly, a couple of hours before bed. I try to pre-prepare as much as poss (making a drink and going to the loo before I start, getting into PJs so I won’t have to faff about taking off jeans with wet nails etc etc) which may seem a little too thought out, but it means my nails don’t smudge and undo all my efforts.
As for my mani routine: I file, apply two coats of Nail Envy, apply two coats of colour then one coat of Seche Vite. The best way I’ve found to check if the layers are dry enough before applying the next coat is to gently test the nail against your lip…then you won’t get a big fingerprint if it is indeed still tacky.
Paradise by Michael Kors, when my nails were diddy 🙂
If you’re trying to break a salon habit, I really recommend Seche Vite and Nail Envy. (Obviously I recommend lots of me-time to paint the nails too, but we could ALL do with more me-time, right?).
I’m trying to not buy any new polishes but I can see myself reigniting my obsession to find the perfect nude. Nudes and peaches, they’re my summer jam.
Any nude nail polish tips?!