Friday, April 12, 2013

On Nails

If you follow me on Instagram, you may or may not have noticed that I've been sharing snapshots of my manicures a lot more recently. This is really down to the fact that I've been enjoying playing with my nails a lot of late. Nail polish is one of those things that doesn't have to cost a lot and can last quite a long time. So my collection, though whittled over various international moves, is a decent size, and my ability to be totally cool with miniature bottles in the trendy shades means that I can have a lot of variety and not worry about what to do with the 3/4 bottle left when I realize that I can't wear pastel green every week for a year.

This all started last March about a month after I'd gotten engaged. My nails had been broken and split and short and gross and I knew I'd be doing a lot of hand-showing so I had gotten some (as it happens, rather crappy) extensions. I decided to treat myself to a proper manicure at a proper nail salon (Nails, Inc.) and had the extensions removed and the nails underneath prettied up. 2 things happened: I remembered how much I love fun color on my fingers, and I fell for Nails, Inc. polish.

OPI GelShine High Maintenance / OPI Bubble Bath // Revlon Cherry Crush / Milani Gold

Flash forward to the summer. I was back in the US and prepping for the wedding. I was bound and determined that I would not be having fake nails on my wedding day. My mother has always worn her nails long. Mine have always snapped off (in the years since I stopped biting them, anyhow). But I babied them a bit and then I discovered Shellac/GelColor/Gelish/etc. - I was hooked on gel hybrids! A few salon manicures and then I purchased the OPI GelShine kit from Sephora. Totally worth the price, I might add. On my wedding day in October, I got a manicure with regular polish (OPI Bubble Bath) on my lovely, natural nails. They looked fabulous. Then I slapped on GelColor the next morning before we headed off on our mini-moon to "protect" them.

All these months of gel hybrids with little in the way of a break left my nails a bit weak, though. By wintertime, they'd nearly all just snapped off as the weather changed and their brittle state was more obvious. I was bummed. I just stopped painting them (which always leads to me overall neglecting them and not helping them grow - it's a lose/lose situation). But one day I pulled out a bottle of my favorite old Revlon red and I was back in the game. (This also meant {another} holiday season filled with glitter nails a la Barry M. - I love Barry M).

Sally Hansen Petal Pusher with Milani Gold / OPI Pompeii Purple with Barry M. silver glitter //
Rimmel Pop Apricot / Nails, Inc. Portobello under Edinburgh feathers

Since February, they've been happily growing (and breaking sometimes, but being babied back to health/length) and I've only occasionally worn GelColor or Gelish hybrids. I got the Nails, Inc. spring/summer mini set a few weeks ago and have been loving the colors. My nails are so much healthier such that I have to trim them down sometimes - something I'd never have dreamed of a year ago.

OPI GelShine High Maintenance / Nails, Inc. spring/summer set // Nails, Inc.
Hampton Court Palace Gardens & Edinburgh feathers / Nails Inc. Royal Botanical Gardens under Brighton feathers

In the end, though I enjoy makeup, I think nails can be even more expressive. Especially these days when there are so many options in terms of color and finish and texture. Even when I'm teaching, no one bats an eye to me having "Ruby Slippers" red glitter nails, but I'm not allowed to dye my hair pink. So it's a way to be a bit fun and sometimes funky in a more subtle (or perhaps just less immediately obvious) way.

Anyone else a nail polish lover? Do you do at home manicures like I mostly do or are you a salon gal? Keep it simple or try something different? Do tell!


Sammy said...

I have a friend who is obsessed with nail polish, I am pretty sure she has more bottles of nail polish than most salons haha

I def go to the salon, I am not talented enough to do it on my own but I use the shellac nail polish. It doesn't chip but it's not as unhealthy as using the "Pink&White" or acrylic. I can't wait for summer for colorful pedicures!

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