Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Look mom I can see through my nails!

Do you know what happens to my nails after getting water logged?  Aside from getting fat ... they get invisible.

I see London, I see France ... I can see down your underpan.... wait no ... my nails get clear and I can see right through them.  

Sorry for the yellow nails.  I'm waiting for something ;) and until then enjoy my jaundiced finger nails in all their glory.

So after an hour or two of shoving my face full of wet crabs my nails got pretty see through.

That's the natural response nails have when they are submerged in moisture for long periods of time.  They are actually not too bad this time.  After a long hot shower or bath they get much worse.

I think the thumb was the worst.  Had I left my thumb soak any longer all of the white part would have disappeared.

This scenario gives me an opportunity to make a good point ...

... at this stage your nails are soft, pliable, weak, and more likely to tear.


Avoid filing, using your nails as tools, and polishing.

If you are thinking to yourself ... "wait a minute, we want the nail to be flexible, this is perfect!"  Unfortunately, the nail is a bit too soft at this stage.  Imagine wet paper.  Nail hardness is NOT balanced with flexibility, therefore the nails are not as strong as they could be.  Be gentle to avoid tearing.  I avoid all filing until ...

... they are back to this stage.
Don't worry though, they will always go back to the original solid color once they dry up.  It's now safe to file.  Other cautionary measures for your nails are discussed here

I think I had base coat on at this point so they are a bit more shiny too.  *still yellow as hell :(

Sometimes I just get holes in my nails ... weird.  But again, it always goes back after it dries up.   

Because nails behave this way I seriously dislike "wet manicures", which involve soaking the hands in soapy water at the start.  You will see this in some nail salons and YouTube video's all the time.  I hate it (I know those are strong words) and find it to be dated and very (old) textbook.  There are other, better methods out there.  Although soaking has some advantages, like making pushing back cuticles or removing the true cuticle easier, it introduces an inherent weakness to the nail during the manicure process that I just would like to avoid, hence prefer a "dry manicure".  I know some people actually prefer filing after soaking, but unless you have extremely thick nails that are difficult to file, I would avoid it.  Those who have extremely thick nails would benefit from lower grit strength files to take down length.

If you visit a salon and they don't know what a dry manicure is ... run.  I'm just saying ... why would a normal consumer know what that is and a professional not? 

Do you notice your nails get clear?  Do you prefer to soak your nails at the start of your mani?


  1. I notice that all the time :) But I never knew exactly why that thanks for this post! I myself prefer dry manicures, because of the reasons you mentioned :)

  2. I get this too and I always wondered why. Except my nails don't always go back to white..but they do get smaller, and harder...?

  3. I always file before putting nails into the nail soak... >.>

  4. Know what comes to mind when I think of "wet manicures"? Those Palmolive commercials back in in the day, featuring Madge the manicurist!! LOL!! Like you, I CAN'T STAND wet manicures.....ewwww! My preferred method is to push/clean up my cuticles while they're still pliable after a hot shower, apply a moisturizing cream everywhere, wait until everything is dry and toughened up a bit, then file gently later on. I've seen the transparent phenomenon before on my nails as well, and wasn't sure if it was normal or not....thank God for you, my keep us from doubting our sanity! Love these posts!!

  5. Soaking is better left to history, like those Palmolive commercials mentioned above.

  6. I always wondered why my nails do that! Now I know; thanks! =D

  7. My nails do the same scaring thing! They lose the curve, become thicker (but softer) and partially transparent. I've learnt not to file them when they are in that awful condition. So far I've had my nails done just once: baaad experience a couple years ago. I prefer working with cuticle remover on dry fingers, then quickly use water and soap + soft brush to remove remains. I save the "soaking treatment" just for my toes!

  8. All of the salons I have been to soak nails first. I have decided to quit getting manicures at salons, for the most part. Maybe once every six months I may break down and let them touch my nails. Sometimes its nice just to get the massage that comes along with the manicure ;)

  9. My nails always turn clear after they have been in water for long. That's I wear gloves for anything I can. Even when I take a bath I don't let my hands soak in the water.

  10. I never really realised what caused those clear parts! Yay for learning *does happy dance*.

  11. My nails get clear when they are soggy, and I never file when they are wet! Partly because they get fat as well, so when they dry they get all wonky if they've been filed in the wet stage. I also never shower or bathe without polish, doing that just feels like extreme sports to me! O_o (My life is boring, ok! ;))

  12. @Tera I too have started keeping my hands out of the water while i am in the tub (I wear gloves for dishes, cleaning, anything where I may be routinely submerging my hands in water! I know someone who wears gloves to wash their hair...errm...) I actually pulled out my Blue Cross Cuticle remover the other day to do a pedicure and thought of you Loodie!

    Keep up the posts, LOVE THEM!


  13. Yes my nails do this too and in the past I didn't know better so sometimes I filed them like that. And I think that those clear parts appear where my nail is peeled and thinner than the rest

  14. Yeah, I notice my nails go clear and then I turn my fingers over and notice my finger pads have turned to raisins! Go figure, nails swell but fingers have shrinkage like George Constanza.

  15. mine go clear all the time. but for some reason, i never put the two together lol. and i never file "wet" nails. mine get so flexible that i could fold it back on itself (not that i do). so if i do soak, i prefer to do so after my usual manicure procedures

  16. thanks for posting! I have noticed this before and never put two and two together with the water hahaha

  17. great post. how long would you recommend waiting after soaking before polishing?

  18. Very informative, I have noticed that and I never know why, Knowing that, soaking for a manicure just doesn't make sense.

  19. I too get clear bits in my nails and they get fat too. pretty annoying. and my nails are stained like yours :( I used to try buffing them out but I've figured why weaken them when I hate them bare anyway (I've got REALLY short nail beds, like the white starts not at the tips of my fingers but like 5mm in! they look ridiculous -__-)

    oh and talking about soaking before filing, I got a really awful manicure recently :(
    I do mine pretty well myself but I thought I'd go in for a treat. biiig mistake hahah.
    the woman soaked my nails then filed them! I was like "Um, aren't you supposed to do that when they're dry?" and she was like "nope"
    and SAWED back and forth, leaving flakes and stuff and they weren't even well shaped, some were round some were square. she didn't rinse off the cuticle remover & did a terrible job at painting them (I paint them better myself! even when I'm drunk lol) it was a really bad experience! sad thing is I actually went to a good looking place and spent $60 bucks - not too too much, but you'd expect it to be good! guess that shows a good looking salon and higher price does not guarantee a good job.
    I couldn't speak up at the time (I find it so hard to do that!) so instead I sent them off a real bitchy email when I got home :P
    that turned into a bit of a rant but oh well :)

    by the way I love your blog and videos! I've learnt so much, so thanks :D

    1. OMG! I'm not the only one with short nail beds! Hooray! My nails also don't start at the tips of my fingers. What does this mean anyway? Is this normal?

  20. Wow, interesting....

    Have to laugh, after I took a shower this morning, I looked down at my nails to see if they were transparent....and I had polish on...duh!! lol!

    I don't know what I would do without you and your nail insight!! And of course your humor, that's the best part!

  21. I always thought it was stupid to soak your nails before a mani! I never do that! And yes, my nails get naked when wet too! I hate that!

  22. Mine do this, too! And to think I thought I was "special." :) No more salon manicures for me, but I do love my pedis. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I honestly think of you every time I notice how beautifully my nails have recovered from my previous life of "acrylic crime." <3

  23. @Theodora R. - Me too!

    @Elizabeth Life and Polish - Mine definitely get thinner and harder too.

    @Rachel Marie - yay! :) - Ha! Man thank goodness for Youtube. Those commercials are hilarious. She put their hands in a bowl of all soap, hahaha. Madge needs to put down the cigarette, she sounds like a man baby!

    @KarenD - I concur!

    @VijiiS - yay!

    @maisenzasmalto - I agree, I love my cuticle remover. :)

    @Arlyn - I totally understand though, sometimes you just want to be pampered.

    @Tera - Gloves are my friend too. haha, if I take a bath I always try not to submerge my hands.

    @Deborah - *gives you a gold star*

    @Solveig - You are so right, I plan showers around mani's to avoid naked nails in the shower, lol.

    @KJ Callaway - Awwww, and now next time I pull out my blue cross I will think of you! <3

    @Lendoxia - YES, I totally agree with you. It's like the water finds our nail weakness's!

    @Olivia - ROFL *replays clip*

    @nirfreak03 - yes, I know what you mean about the nails being really bendy. Mine used to be like that too.

    @Jacki - :D

    @Lindsay - If my nails have been soaking for a really long time, I personally like to wait until they are not clear or have regained their shape back, which is usually 15 - 20 minutes or so, but if I only just washed my hands, only a couple of minutes.

    @♥beauxs mom - Exactly. My nails are not naturally strong, so if I can avoid damage, I will avoid the soak.

    @bridget - That mani sounds just awful. I hate when they leave nail bits. I mean really, do they not see it or are just like, "oh f it, who cares". :( no bueno Damn it $60?! Do you know how much polish I would love to acquire with that money. I'm glad you told them you were unhappy, even if it was indirectly.

    I'm so happy you like the posts! Come back soon :D!

    @Angie - ROFL :P

    @Fingers - Aside from making people feel pampered, soaking is almost as devil like as the metal nail file. :P

    @Sinead - haha, but you are special ... to me <3

    I am so happy to hear that! Everyone can have beautiful nails without "enhancement" ... a little hard work and a lot of moisturizer and bam! perfection :D *hugs*

  24. Yep, mine go see thorough after a long session in the bath...or with the dishes in the sink. They ages to dry out again. They also widen at the tip and I look like I've got a jersey shore manicure (the duck-billed platapus look). They whiten up and curve up again when dry though!

  25. oh dear...happens to me too...i thought it was like that because i never let them grow before(i was a naileater..that's history now)and later on as the time passed by and those things were still there i thought i had fungus or something...i was starting to worry...but here you go and poof!my problem is solved!thanx!!! :)

  26. @Ash-Lilly - LOL yes they totally look Jerseyish!

    @Anonymous - Mystery solved! :D

  27. Thanks for the insight - my nails do this to the extreme, and they also flare-out and go completely flat at the merest hint of water, which is both unsightly and rather uncomfortable! It also can take a very long time for them to return to normal which is totally frustrating!!

  28. Would you happen to know why may nails are see through when their dry? (I never get to see my nails when wet because i always wear polish and i only get to see my naked nails between manis.) Thankz

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