But first of all...pretty picture to share. OPI's Sand in My Suit from the South Beach collection (spring/summer 09) - a very nice neutral. I love nail polish names - color tagline - "Can you 'bare' this nude front shade?" Too funny. I've been digging pale colors for the last few weeks, for some reason - maybe wanting springtime.
I do love to do my nails, but I don't like having to do them every day. My twin sister, Heather, (not identical - she looks like a very cute version of Claudia Schiffer) called today to get a specific step by step instruction on polish application to prevent peeling. So here are my basic tips on how to polish your nails and make that mani or pedi last. If you want a more complete mani/pedi at home see Ji Baek's book, Rescue Your Nails, which I have told you, I think is fantastic. But this will give you my quick method for polish change.
Step 1 - Take off your current polish. (duh)
Step 2- Wash hands well.
Step 3 - Moisturize and let it sink in for a few minutes.
Step 4 - and this is the MOST important step - just before you polish, swipe your nail beds again with polish remover. You could also use rubbing alcohol or vinegar. Basically you just want to make sure there is no residual dirt or oil on your nail. If there is, your polish will peel like crazy. Heather asked about acetone vs non-acetone (she was getting info for a friend). Here's my take - acetone is harsher but it does the job quicker. As often as I change polish, I use non-acetone strengthening remover. But I do have acetone for that last pre-polish swipe because it is magic.
Step 5 - Base coat. Everyone has a favorite. My personal favorite is Sephora by OPI's Nail Hydrator ($9). This stuff is perfect for my dry, peeling nails. It's the only thing that saves them. None of the strengthening formulas that I tried before worked. This does. I am a big fan. Yes, I should wear gloves more often when doing dishes, but usually I am just too rushed. This compensates a bit.
Step 6 - Color. 2 coats. (3 if it's Essie - I have such issues with that brand, but they do make a few of my favorites.) We'll save colors and brands for another post because I could go on for days. Of course it is my blog and that's what it's for....
Step 7 - This is actually the 2nd most important step. It could be the most important, but if your nail beds aren't free and clear of oil (step 4), nothing will help. Enough blabbing... Top coat. I swear by Seche Vite's Quick Dry Top Coat ($10). This stuff seriously rocks. It is the absolute best top coat I have ever tried in terms of longevity and chip resistance. It has the fantastic added benefit of being quick dry, so your nails are good to go in no time at all. Your nails look so so so glossy and it wears like iron. If you are smart enough to remember to refresh your top coat every few days, your mani/pedi will last even longer. I need to remember that more often...
Do you have any favorite products or techniques to share?