Friday, March 13, 2009

The Nail Files, Part 3

Basic polish application tips.

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?


Anonymous said...

Oh my I am going to use your instructions cute lady woman! Everytime I polish my own nails versus the nail spa I have to do them every other day. Yikes I have dirt left on my nails. LOL The last time I think I used top coat instead of base. LOL I was in a rush and doing them at my desk.
Your the greatest!

FabulousFloridaMommy said...

Thanks for the tips, Heidi! Do you find that so many layers end up being too thick? Everytime I use the multiple layer technique (base coat, polish, top coat) I end up with a really thick amount on my nails and they *dent* and peel anyways. Any advice?

Christina said...

Oh I love that OPI color. I am definitely going to have to try it next time I get a manicure.

HeidiG said...

Anon - Hope it works for you! Good luck!!

FFM - No, I don't find it gets too thick. You really want to be doing thin layers of everything anyway. For me, the Seche Vite is the most important layer because it makes the polish set so well so that it doesn't dent. If it's too thick overall, you may be putting on your color too thickly? I always have to fight the urge to glop it on to get coverage - but it really does better with the thin layers because they set up so well (and that's why I often have to do 3 layers with Essie). 3 very thin layers of color applied well are going to last much longer than 1 thick layer.

Christina - hope you love it. I really like it now, but think I'll like it even more in the summer.

shopaholicdiva1027 said...

I am horrible when it comes to doing my own nails and always ruin them in between manicures being rushed and skipping the steps that you mentioned here. I will try them and let you know how it works for me. Thanks heidi

A Bigger Closet said...

Your nails look great and that color is perfect! Mine never turn out as nice unless they're done professionally. :(

sparrowsandsparkles said...

pretty color! I appreciate the nail advice :) I also love that Seche Vite - it is the best top coat!

HeidiG said...

ShopDiva - it's amazing to me how much better mani's last if you just take a little more time to make sure it's done correctly. It's worth the extra time, trust me.

Bigger Closet - thank you. Just think, practice makes perfect. :)

S&S - Isn't Seche Vite the greatest? Love love love it.

gel said...

Interesting content.

Just wanted to share some information that may help busy professionals caught up with work and who have less time to maintain their nails. You can try out gel nails which are now becoming a hot favorite as they are natural looking even without nail tips and the best way for nail enhancement. Also, if you are allergic to those strong smelling chemicals which you can experience with acrylic nails, then you should use gel nails as these are odorless.

However, when you are planning on gel nail application, make sure you approach a nail salon or a nail artist who is well versed with gel nails and is properly trained and mastered in gel applications. This will save you from problems that can arise with improper gel nail applications.

HeidiG said...

Gel - Thanks for stopping by. Excellent advice. You are absolutely right - you really do need someone who knows what they are doing. I have never gotten artificial nails, but I have friends who love them. I can't commit to the upkeep - which is another extremely important factor, you have to be prepared to maintain them - and I honestly couldn't commit to the same nail polish color for 2 straight weeks.