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Posts Tagged ‘Nails’

This month I’m participating in 30 Days of Thanks (#30DaysofThanks) by writing a blog post about 30 things I’m thankful for. To join in, go to the link above. The best part is, you don’t need to have a blog or even be on social media to take part in the project; you just need to be thankful. I can’t wait to see how my life might change by spending the 30 days in November giving thanks for things in my life — every single day.

Today I am grateful that I was able to take advantage of a fabulous Groupon offer for a much-needed mani pedi. Better still the nail salon was in my neighborhood, clean and bright, and offered excellent customer service. I’m so glad I found the shop; I’ll definitely go back.

I haven’t had a manicure or pedicure since my birthday in July, so today’s appointment was a real treat. And for $12 total (Groupon is AWESOME!), it was a fantastic deal. The only drawback was that the deal was for “express” mani pedi, so no massages. Still, my hands and toes look great, and that’s what’s most important.

I got the same color on my nails and toes, which may seem boring to some, but I like the way they turned out. It’s a vampy, dark-dark red and I had the nail tech add a glittery polish to the ring finger accent nail on both hands. Toes are all vampy red, no glitter. I’m not going to post a photo of my toes because even an over-sharer like me needs to have some limits (too many foot fetishists out there – yuck!).

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The blurry photo on the right captures the red tone of the glitter polish, which I love.

I’m thankful that I was able to treat myself, because pretty hands and toes make me smile.

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I’ve been buying more polish to keep up with my latest obsession – doing my nails. Last night I used OPI‘s DS Classic, which looks like a boring neutral taupe from far away, but when you take a closer look, little flecks of gold and hologram-like rainbowy colors are present. Here, see for yourself.

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Indoor artificial light.

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Indoor artificial light – trying to show the flecks/hologram.

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Outdoor light.

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Outdoor light, showing the flecks and hologram.

I really like this color because it’s a neutral with a kick. It isn’t seasonal, but I do think the gold makes it perfect for this time of year. It’s going to be in heavy rotation for the next several months, for sure.

What’s your latest polish find? Which color should I try out next?

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I think I’ve got a new obsession – my nails. Ever since my nails have been in such great condition now that I’m taking Biotin daily, I’ve become more interested in trying to become more of a nail expert.

In the past I’ve had gel nails, and was happy to have my hands look good and leave the “heavy lifting” to the professional. I’ve never been very good at filing, polishing, and caring for my own nails. But things are changing.

First I eased in with the Incoco nails, which I still love and plan to use throughout the fall and winter. But when I saw how well the accent nail that I’d polished looked, I figured I should try my hand (pun intended) at old fashioned polish.

I like the idea of changing my polish as often as the mood strikes. Plus, keeping my hands busy at night, when I tend to get the craving to snack, is an added bonus. And we all know that practice makes perfect. So, I plan on making NOTD a regular feature on the blog whenever I have new polishes that I’m trying out. If you have suggestions for colors I should try, please leave them in the comments.

I’d actually gone to Target to pick up a different polish (which will be featured later) and to pick up Seche Vite, a top coat that most of the beauty bloggers I read say is their holy grail product. And I have to concur – you apply it as soon as you’re finished with the last coat of color; the instructions say not to let them dry at all. Literally as soon as I was finished putting the final top coat on the pinkie nail of my right hand, my left thumb was completely dry. I was worried that doing my nails only a couple of hours before bedtime might risk getting pillow marks on my nail, but I was pleasantly surprised to wake up to shiny, gorgeous nails. I can’t recommend this top coat more highly, but more “evidence” of why later.

Now on to the topic at hand – Purple Yourself Together by Nicole by OPI (Target). I loved the color as soon as I saw it in the bottle. It’s a perfect, subtle purple (if purples can be subtle), with tinges of gold.

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I love the way the color turned out, and that it takes on different shades in differing lights, as you can see.

20120812-223704.jpg The yellow light of my dining room.

The bright light of my bathroom: (these shots show the shimmering properties of the polish)

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Natural daylight through my bedroom window:

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I love this color!  It goes so well with every color in my wardrobe, and I think it looks great with my skin tone.   It will take me from late summer through the fall and winter.

20120812-223512.jpg And to prove the staying power of not only this nail color, but especially of the Seche Vite top coat, these are my nails three days later.  I spent over 3 1/2 hours cleaning my house from top to bottom, in and out of water, with all sorts of cleaners, etc.  I’m not one to wear gloves, so I was amazed that they still look this good.  Sorry for the dark lighting, but I think you get the idea.

So my first foray into the world of polished nails was a success.  Inner health like taking my vitamins regularly have led to outer beauty.  I like taking care of myself this way, and I love that my hands can look so good with me as the manicurist.

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Remember last week when I wrote about the side benefit of Biotin being that my nails are actually growing? I’d used Sally Hansen Nail Effects for the first time and really liked the way they turned out. They ended up lasting well over a week, and could’ve gone longer, but I wanted to change up the color thanks to my newest find.

I really loved the ease of use of Sally Hansen strips, but I do find their selection sorely lacking for someone of my age group. To me, their patterns and colors are geared for a younger crowd.

So, I did a search and found out about InCoco Nail Strips. They got great reviews on YouTube as well as MakeupAlley, and their prices were competitive. Their sets are about $7.99 for 16 strips. Luckily, I can use 1 strip on 2 nails, which means I can get two manicures per set. Not a bad deal! I really love their selection of colors and styles, and find them much more sophisticated than the Sally Hansen strips.

I ended up ordering quite a few sets to save on shipping, and couldn’t wait for them to arrive. They got here much quicker than I expected, and I was excited to spend some time on Friday playing with them. Before I show you how they turned out, let me show you what I got.

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My nails will be looking great for the foreseeable future.

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“Mochachino.” A pink, mauve, brown color that will be perfect for fall/winter.

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The set on the left is a navy blue, the one on the right is more of a lemon yellow. I bought them to wear during Homecoming Week, when we get spirited and wear the school colors (blue & gold).

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“Strike a Pose.” This color is a dark purpley/ gray color that will be awesome in fall/winter.

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“Runway.” This one is a light gray, even though it looks similar to the previous color, it’s quite different in person. Another good new neutral for fall/winter.

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“Twilight.” I’m not sure if you can tell that it has a dual chrome iridescence of blue, green, and gray. This one was suggested as a good compliment to “Strike a Pose” and “Runway.” I could wear it alone, or as an accent color with the other two.

Now let’s get to the set and the mani I chose.

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All sets come with a sample (this one had two french manicure sample strips), a file, polish remover, and the actual strips. Not pictured: the nail stick used to push back the cuticles.

One thing I found out (the hard way) about nail strips is that once you open the package, they dry out, making reusing them impossible. But the genius packaging of the Incoco strips takes into account that you may want to use the leftovers for another mani. These strips come with a piece of adhesive foil to seal up any unused strips.

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And now onto the finished product. Since most of my choices were geared more for fall and winter, I was glad that I’d made one choice that worked for late summer. Who doesn’t love polka dots?
20120806-231254.jpg The accent nail on my ring finger is polish, and unlike last week’s terrible mani, the polish hasn’t chipped. A good base and top coat make a difference! (I may give polish more of chance now that I can see that the color can last longer than a day). These Incoco strips really have staying power. My nails look as good today (3 days later!) as they did the day I did them.

Three of my friends have seen my nails and asked me where I got them done. They were shocked when I told the I’d used the strips. It’s fun getting compliments on my natural nails.

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I love the way they turned out!

I’d highly recommend giving the Incoco nails a try. They’re easy to apply and make you look like a nail expert. I “liked” their FB page to hear about specials and limited edition strips. Fans also post their own photos of manicures, which can give you a great idea of the results.

Update: I took the following picture one week after I’d put the Incoco strips on, and I’m impressed with how well they lasted.  I wasn’t easy on my nails in the least, and they still look great, 7 days later.  My cuticles could use some help, but that’s another story.  I could have easily gone a few more days, maybe even another week, but I was in the mood for a change.

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As you guys know, I’ve been taking vitamins (lots and lots of vitamins) every single day since June 8th. One of the vitamins that I take everyday is Biotin, which is supposed to help promote hair growth. This will become really important once I start losing weight quickly after surgery. I am not ashamed to admit that I’m pretty vain when it comes to my hair, and losing it really scares me. Needless to say, the Biotin is one that I never forget to take.

But the other thing that Biotin also promotes? Nail growth!

My natural nails have never been nice. They break and split on the side, so I’ve always just kept them really short. Until now. The Biotin is making my nails strong, and they’ve been growing. Having nice-looking, natural nails is a sign of good health.

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My natural nails have NEVER looked better.

Not only are they growing, they’re all the same length, which is really something.

So today I found myself with a bit of time, and I decided to polish them.  Now I’m no Kenlie, who is an expert at doing her own nails, but I’m pretty proud of the way they turned out.  The accent nail, that pink camo one (which is called Booty Call – love!), is a Sally Hansen Salon Effects polish strip.  Have you seen those?  They’re like stickers for your nails that go on really easily and are supposed to last up to 10 days.  I’d never tried them before, but they were simple to use, and I liked that they didn’t need to dry, unlike the polish.  I wanted to be really careful not to get any bubbles or other nail problems, so I let each coat dry in between.  But I think the finished product was worth the extra time and effort.

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Not bad for an at-home mani by an amateur.

The thing that usually keeps me from polishing my nails is that they chip so easily.  Case in point:

Taken just a few hours after I polished them. Look at those nicks and chips. Ugh.

And what did I do to cause these chips?  I went grocery shopping.  Seriously?  I didn’t plant a garden, type a 10-page paper, or do the dishes.  I shopped.  This is why I hate nail polish – it never lasts on me.  And yes, I did use a base coat and a top coat.  If you have any tips for keeping polish from chipping, please let me know. 

I’m much too much of a perfectionist to have my nails looking like this, so I decided to put the Salon Effects on all the nails. I like the way the turquoise looks with the pink.  Very fun.

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Who knows how long this will last, but as long as it lasts the week, I’ll be happy. I’m also happy to report that because my nails are fairly short, I can use one strip on two nails.  Which makes these more affordable.  $8 for 16 strips is sort of expensive, compared to polish.  Doubling that makes the expense a bit more tolerable.  But really, not having to wait for them to dry and the fact that chips will be less likely makes them worth the extra money.

This whole new world of at-home manicures is kind of fun, so I’m going to head to Target tomorrow to buy more Salon Effects and some Essie polishes.  OPI polishes are my favorite, but I’ve heard good things about Essie too, and I think they’re a bit more affordable. I don’t think I’ll be a nail artist or anything, but I do think keeping up with my nails is going to be a fun nighttime distraction.  Bonus – you can’t give in to cravings while your nails are wet.

What’s your favorite nail polish?  Brand and color name, please.

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