Review of Beauty Big Bang Cuticle Nipper

Hello! Sorry for disappearing, but life has been crazy, and it’s hard trying to stay on top of a written blog. Definitely find me @finepolish on InstagramFacebook, Tumblr, or Twitter if you want to keep up with all my latest designs!

Today I want to show you an item that I’ve been meaning to get for the longest time that is a necessity for a good nail care routine: cuticle nippers!

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These cuticle nippers from Beauty Big Bang come in a reusable vinyl pouch.

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There’s information on the back of the card along with a bar code for the item. The tip of the scissors is covered with a protective plastic cover.

Yes, I know, everyone says you shouldn’t ever cut your cuticles and only push them back, but while I wouldn’t recommend doing this every time you do your nails, sometimes you get dry bits of skin around your nails that need to be removed. I usually try to trim these bits with either nail scissors or nail clippers, but neither tool does the job as well or efficiently as this!

These nippers are as easy to hold and use as a pair of pliers. The nippers have a default open position, so you only need to squeeze the handles together to cut your target. The handles have just the right amount of tension so that you don’t need a lot of strength to do the trimming, but they don’t immediately close together in your hand.

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What is extra appealing about the tip is how the cutting edge stays flush with your surface, allowing you to trim closely with precision. Care must be taken that you don’t cut into your living skin because the edges are sharp. As the instructions say, clip away small amounts at a time and do this in moderation. It is possible to get an infection if you clip away too much skin, causing an open wound, so please be careful!

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The nippers should be positioned this way as you trim away dead skin.

It is easy to clean away the clipped debris when the tip is open.

 

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View of the cutting edge.

These nippers are made of durable stainless steel and have a beautiful rainbow chrome finish, and can also be used for cutting decals and striping tape, so they make an excellent addition to your nail art toolkit.

 

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this cuticle nipper SKU: J6517TM (retail price is $8.39 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code CHRISS will get you 10% off your order, and Beauty Big Bang offers free worldwide shipping. Happy polishing!

https://www.beautybigbang.com/products/1pc-beautybigbang-rainbow-stainless-steel-nail-cuticle-nipper-cutter-plier-clipper-scissor-dead-skin-remover-trimming-manicure-nail-art-tool

Check out their deals for Black Friday and their Christmas sale at the link below!

https://www.beautybigbang.com/pages/snowsale

10% off coupon code: CHRISS

Review of Born Pretty No Smudge Top Coat

Have you ever finished a manicure only to find that your top coat smudged all your hard work by making the colors bleed into each other? I’ve had this happen a number of times, and it’s extremely frustrating when it happens! Enter the world of no smudge top coats.

This top coat is from Born Pretty and comes packaged in the brand’s elegant cream and gold box, instantly making the item feel luxurious.

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The ingredients list is the same for every bottle of polish from Born Pretty, so I’m not sure what makes this top coat work so effectively.

The bottle contains 6 mL of crystal clear top coat and features an easy to handle brush. 6 mL isn’t a huge amount, which is a shame because you’ll want to use this top coat for all of your nail art!

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Continue reading

Review of Born Pretty Water Based Base Coat

Today I’m reviewing a water based clear polish from Born Pretty Store. If you’ve ever worked with nail foils, you will know that people swear by water based top coats to finish off their manicure. Foils are known to shrink and crack when virtually any top coat is applied, ruining their beautiful finish, so I jumped at the chance to get this product when I heard the words “water based” in the formula because I was curious to see just how effective it would be.

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Born Pretty Water Based Base Coat comes in a box labeled with the ingredients on the back.

This must be their generic box because the list looks identical to the one they use with their other polishes.

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For comparison, this bottle and box photo comes from my review of their metallic flake top coat.

As for the formula, it’s clear and on the thinner side but not runny. It smells a little bit like a mix of ammonia and some sort of cleaner, although I can’t put my finger which one. It comes in a 9 mL cylindrical bottle with a good sized flexible brush that can easily paint most nails in 1-2 strokes.

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Review of Born Pretty Peel Off Gel Base Coat

As a nail art blogger, I find that it’s hard to commit to wearing the same polish for an extended amount of time. The durability of gel polish is virtually lost on me as I usually end up taking it off within a day or two. And if you like to swatch gel polishes? You’ve got to be kidding me with that removal process!

This handy gel peel off base coat from Born Pretty Store will make you want to use your gels polishes again. Not only does it cure like a regular gel, but it makes removing your polish afterward super easy instead of spending lots of time soaking and scraping!

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On the outside, the bottle looks like a normal soak off gel base coat, but it really does allow you to peel off your polish afterward!

The bottle holds 10 mL as stated on the outside. This is comparable to most gel polish brands, and you only need to apply one coat for it to work its magic.

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The back of the bottle lists the ingredients. Oddly enough, the “instruction paper” from the directions is nowhere to be found.

I used one layer of base coat over clean nails and cured it for 30 seconds with a LED lamp, and this seemed to work. The formula holds up well and isn’t too runny like some other Born Pretty gels, and the brush was easy to manipulate.

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This base coat is crystal clear and applies smoothly.

When I first tried this product, I still had acrylics on with a layer of gel top coat cured over the acrylic, and there were varying degrees of success with the peel off process.

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A layer of the base coat was applied and cured on top of my acrylic nails.

Continue reading

Review of Ya Qin An Top Coat and Nail Art Problem #6: Streaky Nail Art

A few months ago, I saw a post on Instagram regarding a top coat that doesn’t smudge stamping.  I can’t remember which company released it as I can’t find the picture now, but I was intrigued by how you could brush on coat after coat of the stuff without fear of smearing your nail art!  So lo and behold, not long after that, I found a mysterious product listed as “1 Bottle 18ml Nail Polish Nail Printing Anti-stamp Dedicated Isolation Oil Brush Pure Color” on Born Pretty Store’s website that sounded like it fit the bill.

http://www.bornprettystore.com/bottle-18ml-nail-polish-nail-printing-anti-stamp-dedicated-isolation-brush-pure-color-p-27001.html

I took a gamble and got the product despite the lack of information on it, and it turns out that it did exactly what I thought it would do!

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Ya Qin An top coat for stamping and nail art.

The bottle is a generous 18 mL size that will last you quite awhile.  By comparison, Seche Vite comes in a 14 mL bottle, and most standard bottles of nail polish contain 15 mL of fluid.

I love that the bottle shape is basically a big cube.  The width makes it stable and less likely to be knocked over, not like I’ve ever done that

I can’t read Chinese, so I can’t help with the translation of any of the labels below.  Maybe one of you kind readers will be able to lend a hand?

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I’m guessing that this label lists the ingredients.

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The top of the cap has this sticker on top.

The formula is nice and crystal clear.  It is definitely not any kind of oil, as the initial description mentioned!  It has a slightly fruity chemical smell to it.  I wouldn’t say that it’s very offensive or overly strong, but it’s not unscented.

I’ve used it for several stamping manicures so far and liked what I saw.  I was able to brush over the same area multiple times without the stamping polish streaking.

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Also topped off this damask print manicure with Ya Qin An top coat.

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Ya Qin An top coat over school uniform plaid nails.

You can see that there wasn’t any smudging in the above manicures.  By contrast, this is what a nail with Seche Vite top coat looks like.

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Yikes, that blue color streaked, and that was with one brush stroke of Seche Vite!

I do have to say that despite the streaking, Seche Vite dried faster and shinier than the top coat by Ya Qin An.  But what good is that if the nail art underneath streaks and ruins all your hard work?  So for that alone, I think Ya Qin An deserves a 5 diamond rating.  You might have to sit around for another 5 minutes to make sure that everything dries completely, but you’ll have the security of knowing that your stamping efforts paid off.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this top coat (retail price is $11.96 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off the regular priced items your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/bottle-18ml-nail-polish-nail-printing-anti-stamp-dedicated-isolation-brush-pure-color-p-27001.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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How To Repair a Broken Nail

Oh, the humanity!  At work, a bunch of things fell off a tall shelf onto me, and in my efforts to protect myself, I broke a nail.  This one was a bad break because it extended into my nail bed, making it pretty much impossible for me to just cut it off.

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Yikes! This was a painful break.

Obviously I couldn’t repair it right away, so I had to protect it with a bandage until I could get home.  If you’re way too lazy to do any of the steps that I’m about to describe below, you can take a larger fake nail and tape it over your own nail so that it keeps objects from pulling the nail off by accident.  You would be surprised at how important nails are at protecting your fingers and how much it hurts when the break catches onto something it shouldn’t have!  So yes, splint your finger until the break grows out long enough to cut it off, or…

YOU CAN REPAIR IT YOURSELF!

All you need are a few items that you probably already have or can easily acquire.

  • Scissors
  • A tea bag
  • Nail glue (or Krazy Glue in a pinch, although I haven’t tried that)
  • A nail buffer (optional)

I forgot to number the photos in the picture below (sorry!), so follow the outer left rim of pictures with the steps listed underneath.

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  1. Start with a bare nail.  Remove the moisture from your nail by either swabbing it with alcohol or acetone.
  2. Use nail glue to seal the crack where the break is.  Let the glue dry completely before proceeding.
  3. Cut a small piece from the tea bag that is big enough to cover the entire area of breakage.  Some people prefer to empty the tea and save the filter just for nail break repairs, but I don’t break my nails often enough to justify keeping that around.  You can discreetly cut along the part of the bag that is folded over at the top near the staple, and you will still be able to use the tea bag for a nice hot beverage later.
  4. Apply the tea bag patch you just cut out in step 3 over the break and glue it into place.  Be sure to cover it completely with the glue.  Let the glue dry completely before adding a second coat of glue over the area.
  5. Use a nail buffer to smooth out any bumps the glue may have left on the surface of your nail.  Don’t over buff or else you will end up removing the patch and will have to start over.

I conditioned my nails with some coconut oil after buffing the surface to bring moisture back.  You can also use olive oil, cuticle oil, or plain lotion, but the idea is to keep the rest of your nail healthy while the break grows out to the point where you can cut it off.  You can definitely paint your nails as normal, and it will look like nothing happened, but do be careful when using acetone to remove the polish as this will also remove some of the glue.

My nail is repaired for now, but the nail bed underneath is still tender.  The nail itself feels hard and strong, though.  Now it’s going to be a waiting game while my nail grows out, but I’m glad I didn’t have to settle for a oddly shaped nail in the meantime!

Happy polishing!

 

Nail Art Problem #4 and Review of Polish Mixing Balls

If you’re like me and have a large nail polish collection, you’ll inevitably have several bottles of polish that you haven’t used in such a long time that the color has separated from the formula.  Some people think that at this point, you have to throw out the bottle, although sometimes you can fix the problem by shaking the bottle for minutes on end.  But what if I told you that there is a product you can buy that will save you the hassle of all that?

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Stainless steel mixing balls to the rescue!

I fondly remember my mom shaking a bottle of nail polish in preparation to do her nails and hearing the metal balls inside the container go clickety-clack against the glass.  Some polishes come with these mixing beads already, but not every bottle has them, and therein lies the problem of getting the formula back to normal again once the polish separates.

These little ball bearings are such a time saver because adding one ball to a bottle will mix the polish to its original consistency within a minute, and they are cheap, too.  You can find the link for the product at the end of this post, but $2.90 will get you 20 of these balls.

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They arrive in a little zip-sealed bag from the merchant.

The balls are fairly small.  The website claims that they are 5 mm, but they are more like 4 mm in diameter.  They do have some weight to them so that they can cut through viscous nail polish easily.  It should be noted that they aren’t perfectly round and have scratches on them and have more of a multi-faceted surface, but they perform the job they need to do just fine.

Glitter polishes tend to settle and separate more than other ones because of the weight of the glitter being heavier than the polish formula, so it wasn’t hard to find a bottle that needed mixing.  I tested the blending capabilities out by putting a ball into Meet Me At the Disco by Sephora by OPI below.

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Left: Separated polish before mixing. I actually shook the bottle a little before taking the photo to listen if there was a ball inside already from the manufacturer (there wasn’t), but you can see that the polish is still pretty separated. Right: After adding one mixing ball to the bottle and shaking it for less than a minute, the polish looks evenly blended.

I also had a bottle of crackle polish from Sally Hansen in Antiqued Gold from when it first became popular years ago.  I thought this bottle would definitely have to be tossed- the pigment would hardly move even when the bottle was inverted, and I had tried to shake it back to normal before without any luck.  But lo and behold, I added just one of the mixing beads to the bottle, shook it for under a minute, and everything returned to normal!

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Behold, the magic of ball bearings! The top photos are what the polish looked like originally, and the bottom photos look like I bought a brand new bottle from the store, but all I did was shake the bottle after the addition of a single bead. If you’re wondering about the difference in the caps, I couldn’t open the bottle because the crackle design was shrink wrapped around the handle so that the plastic overlay would turn instead of opening the bottle, so I cut the film off.

I wasn’t so sure that the formula would be any good even after mixing it, but it still crackles after all these years!  Score!

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Close up view of my nail with the freshly reinvigorated bottle of Antiqued Gold crackle polish by Sally Hansen.

I’m not into creating my own polish colors, but adding a ball to a bottle of clear coat and adding different kinds/concentrations of glitter to it would make for a fun DIY project.

Also, if your polish has become too thick, you can add a few drops of nail polish thinner to it along with a bead and kick the formula back into usable condition again.

It’s safe to say that I highly recommend these little metal balls.  I never thought I would get such joy from such a little purchase!  I would add one or two to all of my bottles of polish, but I would need a few hundred more!  They are definitely worth the price, so why not buy a pack and try them out?

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing these stainless steel polish mixing balls (retail price is $2.90 USD for 20), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/20pcs100pcs-nail-polish-mixing-balls-stainless-steel-beads-glitter-polish-p-15225.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com/

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Review of Temix B49 Peel-Off Base Coat

I’m always trying to find alternatives for acetone nail polish removers.  Anyone who has worn a glittery nail polish knows how painful it is to try to take it off when you’re done with your manicure.  When I saw that Temix had a peel off base coat, I wanted to try it out.  After all, they made such a wonderful stamping nail polish that I thought this base coat could be the answer to my prayers.

The bottle itself reminds me of those little polishes by Ciaté.  It’s only 7 ml, which is about half the amount you would get in a full sized bottle of nail polish, but it looks very cute.

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B49 base coat by Temix.

The actual base coat is a slightly cloudy translucent color that goes on clear.  It smells great, which is a surprise.  I can’t really place the odor, but it has a sweet fruity scent.

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What the base coat looks like over bare nails. Please excuse the slight discoloration on my nails- they got stained from some polish awhile ago and are still growing out.

The sad part is that most of the writing on the bottle is in Chinese, so I don’t know what it says or what the specific instructions for use are.  If anyone else can translate the text, please leave a comment below!

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The backside of the Temix bottle is all in Chinese. This could be a listing of ingredients or the instructions for use, but I have no idea as to what it says.

I proceeded to use the base coat like any normal one- I applied one coat to clean nails prior to painting them with nail color and topcoat.

I found that the base coat had great staying power as I had my manicure on for about a week before attempting to remove the polish.  Anyone who has used Elmer’s School Glue as a base coat knows that you can never tell when your polish might slide off your nail, so this was a pleasant surprise.

To begin the removal process, I took an orange stick and tried to pick at the corner of polish closest to my cuticle until it began to lift.

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Picking at the corner of the polish to try to peel it off.

The polish initially lifted off ok, but things quickly took a turn for the worse as I ran into spots that wouldn’t budge.

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This was all the polish I could peel off, and despite really trying to pick at the center section, I could not remove any more of it.

I tried to do the same thing with my other nails and ran into the same problem where the top middle part would not lift off the nail.  Even worse, when I did get the polish to peel off, layers of my nail bed peeled off with the layer of polish.

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Eek! That damage to the nail on my middle finger was not there before I applied my manicure.

I had to resort to using my usual cotton pads and acetone based remover to get the rest of the polish off my nails.

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After removing all traces of nail polish, you can see that my nails were damaged during the peel off process.

I really wanted this product to work, so despite the nail damage, I decided to give this base coat a second chance.  This time around, I applied two coats of Temix B49 before applying nail color and topcoat.

Again, the polish stayed on my nails very well for the week that I kept the manicure.  I didn’t have any chips or wear on the polish, so it functioned like a regular base coat although it was starting to lift on one of my nails on my dominant hand.

For removal, I did the same thing that I did the last time: I started at the cuticle and pushed at the layer with an orange stick until it lifted from my nail.

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Looks a little more promising this time.

The polish lifted away more easily than the first time, and I almost was able to pull away the entire layer of polish in one piece.

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Peeling off the polish. Note that the layer does not look like a single stiff piece as it does when using school glue as a base coat.  Some sections (the parts that look milky white toward the tip of the nail in the picture) had a bit of stretch to them as the layer peeled off.

I still had difficulty peeling off the polish in some areas.  I can’t figure out why I had this problem.  Maybe the tips of my nails are too dry, so the base coat really adheres to them, but I was really hoping that with two layers of base coat, I wouldn’t have any issues.

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These remnants of polish could not be peeled off. My nails look even more damaged after this round of base coat compared to the first time around.

Again, I had to use acetone to remove the last bits of polish from my nails.

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My nails after using Temix B49 for a second week in a row. I’ve never had so much nail damage in my life!

What was also annoying was that parts of the base coat couldn’t be removed by the acetone that easily, either.  Talk about staying power!  Even though my nails looked free of nail color, the surface of my nails was somewhat sticky in some spots.  I presume this tackiness is also what makes the nail polish last so long without chipping.

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If you look closely at my index fingernail, you can see the remnants of base coat that did not come off with acetone. This part looks shinier toward the tip of the nail. Of course, the nail damage is a horror by itself!

Bottom line: If you want an easy way to remove glitter polishes but don’t mind it lasting a day, try using the school glue method.  If you want to have a longer lasting manicure but don’t mind the risk of damaging your nails, you can use Temix B49 instead.

I was highly disappointed in this product.  I’ve never heard of having to apply two coats of base coat prior to painting my nails, and it still didn’t allow the polish to peel off in one sheet.  The extra time that it took to even try to peel the polish off plus having to clean off the excess with acetone anyway defeated the purpose of buying this base coat.  The damage that my nails suffered as a result is easily covered up by another manicure, but no nail product should ruin your nails as a result of using it.

Diamond rating: ♦♦◊◊◊ (2/5)

The only reason I’m not giving it one diamond is because there is something fun about peeling off your nail polish, and it worked pretty well as a normal base coat.  Plus the smell was nice.

If you are interested in purchasing this nail polish (retail price is $7.03 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/transparent-nail-polish-base-coat-healthy-rapid-easy-peel-nail-polish-p-20784.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com/

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EDIT: 6/25/16:

I’m going to change my rating on my initial review because I have found that if you apply lotion to your hands prior to using this base coat, any nail polish applied afterward does peel off.  In fact, it comes off so well that it only lasts for just over 24 hours before the polish starts falling off during normal activities!  Do exercise caution if you decide to use this base coat because your manicure won’t last, but you will get some very satisfying intact pieces of polish as a souvenir.

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My peelies from this base coat as seen on my Star Wars manicure. Now I can save them forever!

I’m going to upgrade my rating slightly now that I know I have to moisturize my nails prior to using this.  Let me know if this works for you in the comments!  I’m still taking away a star because my manicure didn’t last very long at all.  Happy polishing!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦◊ (4/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this nail polish (retail price is $7.03 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/transparent-nail-polish-base-coat-healthy-rapid-easy-peel-nail-polish-p-20784.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com/

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FAQ- Secrets Behind A Long Lasting Manicure

Do you complain about any of the following?

My nail polish keeps chipping.
My nail polish peels off.
I can’t get my manicures to last more than a day.

Have I got a post for you!

One of the top concerns that my friends have about DIY manicures is how to make the polish last.  Not everyone has the money to drop at a salon to get their nails done (*cough* especially me), but people claim that their polish comes off way faster when they do their nails at home.  Stop the madness!  This does not have to be the case!  Here are some tips and product endorsements that may make your life easier.  I’m not getting paid to represent any of the companies or products listed in this post, although hey, I’m open to that happening!  😉  But this is what works for me.

  1. Start with clean, dry nails.
    I can’t emphasize this step enough.  Your nails can’t have any oil or residue on them if you want that mani to last.  If you’ve ever had acrylics done, the technician starts by filing down your nail.  Do you know why?  Because filing will take away that top shiny layer that has your skin’s natural oils all over it and will help the acrylic stay put for a longer time.  Same thing goes if you look at a lot of those gel polish pre-wipes.  Most contain 90% isopropyl alcohol which again serves to dry the nail out and strip away any oil on the surface.  Everyone knows that gel polish lasts a long time.  So…
    What should you do at home?  Wipe your nails down with a cotton ball soaked with either pure acetone or 90% isopropyl alcohol.  Forget those special blends of polish remover that have moisturizers or are non-acetone.  If you want the polish to stay, you want to dry out your nails as much as possible first so that your base coat will adhere to your nail bed better.
  2. Use a base coat that dries to a rubbery finish.
    And yes, I would highly recommend using a base coat!  Seeing how porous your nails are going to be with all the natural oils stripped off, you’re going to want a protective layer between your nail and the polish unless you like having stained nails.  I’m not saying that every polish will stain your nails, but if you happen to get one that does, you’re going to be seeing the remnants of that color for a long time if you don’t keep painting your nails.As for what has a rubbery finish, I tend to use Bonder by Orly a lot when I want something to last.  I’ve also had another nail art enthusiast friend recommend Stickey by CND Colour, although I don’t have first hand experience with it.  Both of them have a slightly rubbery, sticky finish, and this is what is going to anchor your polish to your nail bed.
  3. Paint no more than 3 coats of nail polish color onto your nails.
    Thick nail polish is not your friend.  Unless you’re using it for stamping, I would either toss the bottle or add some nail polish thinner to it prior to painting your nails.  Thick nail polish will trap air bubbles in the formula from when you shake it up to mix it, and those bubbles will surface when you paint your nails and won’t look cute at all.Also, the thicker the coat of polish on your nails, the more likely it will crack and chip off.  You want to use as few coats as possible so that the polish will remain somewhat flexible on your nails.  If you can even get away with one coat, more power to you.  2 coats is pretty standard.  3 is pushing the limits.  4 is hot mess territory.
  4. Run a coat of polish along the edge of your nail after you paint it to help prevent chips.
    Chips will almost always start at the tip of your nail, so it helps to seal in the layer of polish by wrapping the color around the edge.  No need to actually paint it on- just swipe your nail against the side of the brush.
  5. Seal in your polish with a good top coat.
    Don’t try to skip this step!  Not only will your polish look nice and glossy, but it will often help to dry your polish faster and keep the color from wearing off too quickly.  My personal fave is Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.  I use it on practically all of my manicures and pedicures.  It helps bond all the layers of base coat, color, and top coat together, smooths out any weird imperfections (like brush strokes and clumps), and sets quickly.  I tend to do a lot of my manicures at night right before bed, and I have never woken up with a smudged manicure.  This stuff is magical!  Just make sure you also coat the edge of your nail the same way you did in step 4.

And that’s it!  My pedicures last a month without any chips and no reapplication of top coat with that method.  The polish might be able to stay on longer than that, but I don’t know because I usually have to cut my nails at that point.  😉

My manicures could probably last just as long, but I’ve never tested it out because I’m always trying to find an excuse to paint my nails again.  But here’s an example of a manicure I did last summer following the steps above.

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Floral manicure featuring Suzi’s Hungary Again! by OPI and acrylic paint.

Because I thought this mani looked pretty, I decided to keep it for awhile.  After a week, I brushed on another coat of top coat to revive the shine, but I tried out Freedom Polymer Top Coat by Julep (get your first box of polishes free through the link) for the first time that day.  Julep says that you can also cure this top coat with a regular light to add additional protection, so I did that, and 13 days later…

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13 days of looking beautiful and chip free!

You can see the nail growth by my cuticles to show that I wasn’t faking the number of days that this manicure lasted.  There was a little bit of wear at the tips just from everyday living, but everything stayed intact.  I would have kept going, but my fans wanted to see a new manicure.  😉

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The tried and true top coats and base coats mentioned above.

Let it also be said that if you really want your manicure to last, don’t abuse your hands.  Try not to pick at things with your nails or use your nails as tools.  You can also wear gloves when you do the dishes if you’re really concerned about keeping your polish looking pretty.  For the record, I do none of those things.  😉

I hope this helps solve your manicure and pedicure problems!  Let me know what works (or didn’t work) for you in the comments below.  Happy polishing!

Nail Art Problem #3 and Nail Aid No Rub Gel Remover Review

As annoying as it is to have charms fall off your nails before it’s time to change your mani, trying to get the darn things off when you want to take them off is just as bad!  Do I even have to mention glitter polish?  The struggle is real.

If I know I’m going to change my look up quickly, I’ll use the Elmer’s School Glue trick so I won’t have to deal with loads of acetone.  Don’t know about it?  It’s when you paint a coat of Elmer’s School Glue onto your nails as a base coat, let it dry, and then apply your polish (preferably in a thick coat) over it.  Depending on how much you wash your hands, the manicure you do over the glue can last, at worst, a few hours or maybe 2-3 days at best.  To remove the polish deliberately, use an orange stick to gently lift up a corner of the polish, and the whole thing will come off your nail lickety split.

When it comes to using rhinestones and studs, my intention is usually to keep them on my nails for as long as possible, but removing them is such a huge pain.  Whether you use polish or nail art glue to adhere them doesn’t make much of a difference- the suckers sometimes don’t want to budge.  Your only options are to either keep scrubbing away at them with nail polish remover and cotton balls or soak your nails in acetone, either in a dish or with the foil/cotton ball removal method.

But one day, while cruising the nail art section at Walmart, I found this product:

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Nail Aid to the rescue!

Could this be the answer to my problems?  I hate having to soak my nails in dappen dishes full of acetone, and I’m too lazy to prepare foil and cotton balls, so maybe a gel remover is the ticket to freedom.

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Instructions for use.

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Inside the magic jar lies a pink gel.

So let’s try using it on the rhinestones from my Sunflower/Black Eyed Susan manicure.  Warning: graphic, ugly pictures of nails lie beyond this sentence.  Proceed with caution!  You have been warned.  😛

I dipped my nails into the gel one at a time.  I probably could have just placed dollops of the gel right on top of the rhinestones because I already took off the surrounding polish, but that would take more effort.

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Gel remover on top of nails. I’m strangely in the mood to have a chocolate chip cookie after seeing this photo.

The instructions say to wait 4 minutes before attempting removal, so I sat around, awed by how cold my hands felt with gelled acetone on my nails.

After 4 minutes, I took an orange stick and pried each rhinestone off.  They certainly were not going to budge if I only used a paper towel to wipe away the gel, as is recommended in the instructions.  I can’t say that they all came off easily- some rhinestones came off without any issues while others required a little strength.  I know my nail beds could potentially get damaged from doing this if the polish isn’t totally softened, but I’m not planning to use any charms for quite some time after this manicure.

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After removing the rhinestones, lots of residue remains. At least the rhinestones came off!

After trying to wipe away the excess gel and polish with a paper towel, I washed my hands with soap and water.  The gel feels very slick when you try to wash it away, and it takes a little effort to make sure all the residue is gone.

I still had some nail polish on my nails, so I needed to go back and remove what little remained with nail polish remover and a cotton pad.  But Egad!  Something managed to stain my nails!

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All gone… except for some mysterious lingering rings where the rhinestones were.

I have no idea what caused that, but the stains will be covered up with a new manicure soon enough anyway.  😉

I’ve tried using this product with glitter polish in the past, and it did a reasonable job of taking off most of the glitter.  Is it better than the foil method?  In term of ease of application, most definitely!  In terms of clean up?  Not really.  What time you save in applying the gel gets added at the end when you try to wash it off…  and that’s if all your polish got removed the first time around.  I’m sticking to using Elmer’s School Glue as a base coat for ease of removal of glitter polishes.

In terms of using this for removal of nail art studs and charms, I would definitely use this again.  The gel stays put and doesn’t drip, and it manages to loosen the charms up enough so that you can remove them.  After that, it’s not a big deal to clean up the polish residue.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦◊ (4/5)

If you want to find out more about No Rub Gel by Nail Aid, please visit their website at: http://www.norubgel.com/   Definitely go to Walmart to buy it rather than purchase it online if you have a choice.  It’s much cheaper at Walmart, although they don’t see it online.  Good luck with the nail art removal process!