No, I haven’t died – I’ve just been super busy! I’ve been offered a place at university for September which is going to mean a lot of changes in my life so my head has been all over the place. Still, studying up to date special effects make-up, proper prosthetics, wig making and a few other creative and useful things for four years is a very exciting prospect. I need to have an assessment of my disability for them to work out my support needs and options to be able to complete the course.
Anyway enough of me prattling on, lets get on with the nails! Yes that’s right, nails. Since I’m no longer at college under City & Guilds rules I can paint my nails with abandon. I’ve grown them back a bit, not too much as I still need to be able to paint, draw and of course do make-up but there’s plenty to paint now especially since I’m luckily blessed with long nail beds (which are now completely back to normal for my long term readers) even if I do have a horrific C curve.
I don’t think I did a bad job of free-handing the French tips considering it’s the first time I’ve done my own in over a year. I always paint them lower than the free edge actually goes to give the illusion of more length.
Just recently I’ve been using a peel off base coat which is a fairly new discovery. I’m quite taken with it as it means I can take off the polish without using remover and you get to be allowed to pick it!
- UNT Cosmetics; ‘Ready For Take Off’ (peel off base coat)
- Butter London; ‘Nail Foundation (regular base coat)
- Nails Inc; nail kale in ‘Westbourne Park Road’
- Essence; gel nail polish in ’44 On Air!’
- Revlon; ‘Sequins’ (pretty sure this was limited edition but it just gold glitter of various sizes in a base of clear polish.)
- Seche Vite (top coat)
I hope you are all keeping well, I do have a couple of posts planned including details of my visit to the first Manchester Make-Up and Body Art Expo and a couple of product reviews.
Anyone who follows my nail posts has probably noticed I haven’t posted a mani in a little while and I thought I should do a little update on why!
I have been dealing with something called onycholysis or nail separation on two of my nails which has meant that these two nails have been kept trimmed as short as I possibly can get them and I have trimmed my other nails neatly too.
Onycholysis has many causes including different types of infection (bacterial, fungal or yeast) or damage to the nail bed. I suspect that mine is caused by damage to the nail bed through the use of my manual wheelchair as I have not experienced any colour change of the nail or the production of any debris or exudate under the free edge.
While I am looking for signs of re-adhesion to the nail bed and keeping the damaged nails short and dry I have decided not to varnish them so I can see exactly what is going on and generally keep an eye on the situation. All I have been using is a bit of OPI Nail Envy. I might have to borrow someone else’s nails over the Easter holiday to indulge my nail art!
In other nail related news this week, having completed my final practical assessment I have passed my manicure unit at college with a distinction and that is all signed off!
I eventually came to a decision, I decided to try out some of the foil from Born Pretty Store as I haven’t actually used transfer foil before. I’m quite pleased with the result too. I added some little gems to certain points in the design to jazz it up a bit, each nail is completely different to the next but at the same time matches perfectly.
I had no trouble using either the glue or the foil from Born Pretty, judging when the glue was ready to go was quite tough because I chose a white background but I got there. As with most lash glues it starts off white and you have to wait for it to go clear and tacky before application. For my top coat I used Lottie London ‘So Gel’ to provide a slightly thicker layer around my gems and help prevent knocking them off as well as to give a good shine. It’s supposed to look like gel polish but to my eye it doesn’t it just looks like normal top coat, it does wear very well though.
This is my dominant hand which rarely comes out as well as the other but it’s looking pretty good with this method. If you want an intricate design like this but aren’t great at free hand painting or stamping I would definitely recommend giving transfer foil a bash.
I think I’ll try and do a slightly more seasonal mani next time though, this is very summery but the weather outside is absolutely frightful! It’s blowing a gale strong enough to bend the trees double.
I got a bit of a sale bargain at Sally’s so that’s what I’ve been wearing on my nails this weekend, the polish is ‘If The Slipper Fits’ from Morgan Taylor which was from their Cinderella collection. If you hurry you might be able to get one of the last few bottles but as this was a limited edition once it’s gone it’s gone!
And here it is again with more light so you can see just how sparkly it is! The flash created heaps of shadows behind me but really brought out that glitter.
Don’t forget you can now follow my blog over on Bloglovin’!
There’s nothing worse than chipped nail polish. It’s embarrassing, it’s unprofessional looking at work and if you’ve spent hours doing intricate nail art it’s down right heart breaking. So how can we extend the life of our manicures and prevent chipping? I’ve collected a few tips over time and thought I would put them together into a blog post.
Before applying polish:
- First ensure the nail plate is free of oils – some fragranced or ‘nourishing’ polish removers contain oils or glycerine that will prevent a fresh polish from adhering properly so do check the ingredients list. Wash your hands thoroughly with mild soap and water or clean the nails with a nail cleanser solution. White vinegar is a good household substitute for this if your remover is not a more ‘basic’ one.
- Filing your nails into shape using the correct technique can help prevent nail breakage which will prolong the life of your manicure, check out my post on how to file your nails for a full explanation of filing.
- If you want to push back your cuticles at home I suggest a hoof stick rather than an orange stick or other implement, the hoof stick is softer and you’re less likely to do yourself any damage. Never ever cut your cuticles! If your cuticles are a mess, see a manicurist.
- Gently buff the nail with a 4-way or block buffer to remove the shine – this dries out the nail plate slightly which improves adhesion. Don’t be tempted to use a nail file instead of a buffer, it will take off too much.
- Don’t shake the bottle of base/polish/top coat as this will form bubbles which will affect the look and life of the manicure. If the polish contains a mixing ball hold it by the lid and gently move the base in a circular motion. If there is no mixing ball rub it gently between your palms as if rolling a plasticine sausage.
Don’t be tempted to skip on the base coat. Base coat protects your natural nails from staining and is designed to ‘grab’ onto the nail plate in a way that polish its self is not. Apply a second coat at the tips and don’t forget to seal the free edge (do this with every layer, as illustrated below.)
Yes, I sacrificed a nail for you guys! The unsealed nail will likely chip or wear while the others will last much longer.
A good quality base coat is important. My favourites are Morgan Taylor’s ‘Stick With It’ and CND ‘Stickey Base Coat’.
Another brilliant idea I have to credit to a friend who plays wheelchair basket ball is using OPI ‘Nail Envy’ as a base and top coat. This has the added benefit of being good for your nails at the same time!
If you want to be really thorough, apply OPI ‘Bond Aid’ before your base coat.
- When you apply your colour apply two thinner coats rather than one thick one. This is more effective and less likely to peel off.
- Try to use as few brush strokes as possible on each nail, no more than three to cover the nail plate. The best technique is considered to be one stripe up the middle and then a stripe up each side of that to complete. Cap off/seal the free edge with polish as above.
- Avoid getting any polish on the cuticles, the polish doesn’t adhere to the skin as well as it does to the nail plate so having the edge of your polish on the cuticle will cause lifting and peeling.
- Leave the polish to dry properly before applying top coat. Polish takes longer to dry than either base or top, in fact to dry out completely it can take up to 24 hours! I’m not going to ask you to wait that long, but do try to wait a few minutes until the polish is firmly set and not merely ‘touch dry’. This will not only help the life of your manicure, it will also prevent you from accidentally ruining nail art with streaking or contaminating the clear top coat with bright colours.
A good quality top coat can work wonders or if you have the time you can set a special gel top coat such as Ciaté Geltox over your normal polishes. For regular polish top coats I recommend Seche Vite or try out my friends tip and use the OPI ‘Nail Envy’ as both base and top coat. Again, don’t forget to cap off the tip!
After they’re done:
- Wear gloves for household jobs such as washing up or cleaning, having your hands in and out of water a lot significantly shortens the life of polish.
- Stop using your nails as tools! Using your nails as tools not only causes chipping and peeling but can actually damage your nails themselves causing problems such as onycholysis (nail separation).
- You can apply another layer of topcoat every two to three days to help prevent chipping and re-enliven the shine. Even if you don’t cover the whole nail, do seal the tips.
- Avoid hand sanitiser. Alcohol based hand sanitisers ruin top coat, they also dry out the skin on your hands. Wash using a mild hand soap instead and follow up with a good hand cream.
- Regular application of a hand & nail cream or a nail oil will help keep your nails in good condition and prevent breaking and flaking and thus prolong the life of your polishes.
- If the very tip of your polish does chip or wears off, fear not! Gently file the exposed nail down to the polish and seal in with a new layer of top coat OR simply add a contrasting French tip and seal that in. Ta dah – brand new mani!
I hope this list of tips helps you make the best of your polish, if you have any other tips do add them in the comments!