Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm gonna live through my nails for a second

Dang, I seriously want need a vacation.  If nothing else at least polish can put me in that frame of mind for awhile.

Revlon - Tropical Temptation

Ahhh yes there it is.  Perfect color and a perfect name for my current needs.

It reminds me of Revlon - Make Mine Mango, except that I like it better.

This one is more peach pink, where as Make Mine Mango was more orange.  I would say the Tropical Temptation formula is somewhere in between a jelly and a cream.

This is in natural light on SHORT NAILS, lol thanks to THE FIASCO.

Oh and the long nail picture if you prefer :D

Base: Orly Ridge Filler x2
Color: Revlon Tropical Temptation x2
Top: Seche Vite


Kinda juicy in fluorescent light hu?

I hear a lot of complaints about Revlon formula, but I freaking love everything about it. 
I agree the formula can be on the sheer side (depending on the color).  Normally though I opt for either:

a.) 2 thick coats OR

b.) 2 thin coats with either
   ~undies OR
   ~2 coats of ridge filler
       (which is usually kinda whitish.)

Is there a polish that puts your brain on vacay?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Buff this mother out

Ugh, got a peeling problem?  Let's nip it in the bud ... without sacrificing nail length.

Here is a before shot of the peel. Click to enlarge.  You may not even be able to see this, but this is the best I could do in the evening.  I just couldn't wait till day time to fix it ... ya know how panic mode goes.

Here is a day time shot after buffing out the peel.  As you can see the peel is gone, but the buffing does create a weak area.  Polish will not adhere in this area as well and I will show proof of concept at the end.

Before the how to ...

First a disclaimer: 
Prevention is really key.  Your nails should not be peeling on a regular basis. If they are you need to evaluate either your health or your day to day nail activities.  Consider your moisture routine, filing techniques, do you use your nails as tools or inflict other physical trauma, and are you using the right treatment?

Before you run for the buffing block you should understand some people with very thin nails should just avoid it all together.  Buffing will only make your thin, weak nails worse.   Perhaps it would be best to take down the nail length instead.

As always, you need the right tools for the job. If you are NOT familiar with nail files and their corresponding grit strength you may want to check out ...

A few other less relevant posts, but still helpful:
Taking down nail length
Shaping the free edge - Square
Shaping the free edge - Oval
Shaping the free edge - Squoval
Sealing the Nail Plate 

Now for the tutorial ... in video form! :D
Again ... buffing is not evil.  You just have to evaluate whether your nail is a good candidate and then be gentle.

Files used:
220/320 grit (blue)
400/600 grit (pink)
~320 yellow buffing block
~600/4000 grey/white

Proof of concept.  The buffed area has chipped first (and a very large chip at that !lol)

Revlon - Tropical Temptation

If you want to see more proof like this see my wear test for Sally Hansen Sweet Tulip

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Me yapping about DermaNail again ... this time on YouTube

The blog review of Dermanail here.
EDIT: They asked me to appeared in one of their promotions here! :D

OMG and guess what?!?! I noticed a peel on my thumb yesterday, so last night I made a video on how to get rid of it!!! Yay! FINALLY! Okay so still I am slow and have to find time to edit it etc, but now you have something to look forward to! :D

Buffing out a Peel post with video!

YouTube Channel:

Monday, June 20, 2011


Misery loves company, so I have to subject your eyes too.

Actually there is nothing sad about this color.  It is freaking fantastic!

And loud ... like a crying baby.

China Glaze - Purple Panic (Neon)

Like most neons, this not only dries semi-matte, but is also really hard to capture.  I can't say this is dead on, but close.

This neon is more special than most.  Not only is it loud, but it also has secret blue/purple flash shimmer.


Flash shot!

Here is another shot with flash, but this time with some natural light mixed in too.

LOL if you click on these to make them bigger don't mind my crusty fingers, ewwww sorry.

These are all 2 coats with top coat.

Here is a shot in natural light.  You can't see the blue/purple flash and the base color is actually a bit darker and brighter.

How cute is my ring finger? :P

That was a recent pick-up line from my metro ride.  Yea no, you can't get my number.  WTH.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Skid Marks

Don't you hate it when you take off polish only to discover your polish has been working on an art project on your nail bed.  Here is what my polish has been working for the last couple of days ....

A masterpiece no doubt, but my nail beds are never this pink/red.  My nail beds are naturally pretty grey.  My mom is always asking me if I'm ill LOL.  Um, no mom sheeeesh.

I guess if I'm wearing darker colors no big deal, but eventually I need to straighten this business out, because every time I take off polish I frighten myself a little bit.

A few more pictures if your interested ...


Now what?  How do you deal with the stain-age?  I have a very standard way of dealing with these kinds of stains ...
Buff that Motha Out!!

First I need to preface buffing:
Buffing is NOT for everyone AND like all wonderful things, must be done in moderation.  Occasional buffing can be done on generally healthy nails.  I buff because I am a good candidate.  First, my nails are not super thin and are fairly healthy.  Second, I don't use a rough file nor do I use it manically.  Everything in moderation is okay (except high fructose corn syryp lol)!  Third, I have ridges that only buffing can eliminate.  Polish looks way better when I get rid of them.  In my personal experience, ridge fillers are not as good as light buffing.  Ridge filler instead gives me more problems than solutions (bubbling, crap dry time, extra steps with each mani, etc).  Lastly, I have found light buffing is more effective vs. other chemical treatments.

With that said, if you have thin problematic nails you can avoid buffing altogether.

What I do and use:
I love my buffing blocks and this is the baby I used to fix my stain-age problem.  The grit strength is about 400.

If you are interested in my Nail File Series, that can be found here.

Here is the before and after picture of the buffing and as you can see the pinky is no longer stained.

The technique:
Lightly run the block vertically from cuticle to tip.

What is your method of choice for skid marks? :P

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Loodie in Wonderland

Since glitters are a pain to remove they get a back seat in my world.  Yea that's right I said it.  However, I was in the mood recently and this baby had been laying untouched for a while.

OPI - Absolutely Alice

Can I just say I love this picture.

Why does the skin on my fingers look granny like lol?!

Anyway, blue, silver and gold glitter in a light blue jelly base.

I put on a layer of regular top coat then Seche Vite to smooth it out (for the most part).

Indirect sunlight

Look.  I love that there is way less gold glitter than anything else, it makes it special.

In the sun you can see the sparkle. :D

At the moment my one hand has long nails, while the other was stricken with shorties

So this is what OPI's Absolutely Alice would look like on long nails ...

... and then short nails.

Kinda neat that I can show you both at the same time :)

I will pretend that I play the guitar if anyone asks lol :D

Monday, June 6, 2011

Nail Hardeners - Nail Conditioning Treatments

OMG, can it be possible that this series is actually coming to a close!?!?! Praise the LORD.  Okay, well I make no promises really, because I am sure I will add subsections to it as I see fit in the future.  In case you missed this annoyingly long series here are the links:

Categories of Hardeners and Formaldehyde Based Treatments
Are Formaldehyde Hardeners right for you?
Protein Based Hardeners
Formaldehyde + Protein Based Hardeners
Formaldehyde or Protein Based Hardeners + Moisturizers
Fluoride Based Nail Treatments Part I  
Fluoride Based Nail Treatments Part II
Dimethyl Urea (DMU) based Hardeners - Similar to formaldehyde without allergic or over hardness problems.

Along with Prostrong's Fluoride Nail Treatment and good general nail care there was one other product that helped me eliminate that darn peeling problem. The product is called DermaNail. It's a conditioning treatment. It's not a polish or an oil, but a unique solution with a few interesting ingredients (more on that below).

I feel like DermaNail changed the condition of my nails on a very fundamental level with permanent results, but it was in NO WAY a quick fix.

This product takes time and dedication to work, like any nail care routine.  After all damaged nails have to grow out and as I have mentioned before it takes ~ 6 months for your nail to grow out fully from cuticle to tip.  Hence, I would give it at least this long to see if it works for you. Yea, really, 6 months >.<, now that's dedication!

This product is not well known and I myself happen to randomly stumble across it 10 or so years ago.  One day I was doing some serious Lycos searching for a magic bullet to fix my peeling nail problem.

Aside from all the claims on the box, what really got me was at the time they were giving it away as a free trial if you paid shipping and handling. Oh man I jumped all over that!

Furthermore, it came with a free gift ...

This is a great hand and nail cream.  I have to warn you though.  One time I put it on and an hour later was like "what the hell is that stink??" Finally I came to realize it was my fingers lol.  It has a unique smell, but IS great at what it does.

I like to leave these little stinky guys all over so that I always have some moisture within reach. 
How it works:
The ingredients in this product that do the dirty work are: butylene glycol (or similar) and acetyl mandelic acid.    The glycol is a humectant.  The chemical structure contains hydrophilic (water loving) groups which help retain water and keep your nails moist (like cake, lol).  The acetyl mandelic acid is an apha hydroxy acid which smooths out (almost like an exfoliant) the nail surface, which consequently prevents nail splitting and peeling.

Similar Products:
There are only two products that I have found to contain similar ingredients,  
1. DermaNail Nail Conditioner
2. NeoCeuticals Nail Conditioner

The bottle clearly warns that it takes at least 8 - 16 weeks to see improvement.  I definitely attest to that and then some.

How to use:
I have only ever used dermanail and followed the direction on the package (see picture above).

The product comes with this strange delivery system, that in my personal opinion delivers way to much.  Why not a brush? Maybe this is more cost effective?

Anyway, you slap this stuff on your clean dry cuticles (and nail edge if you want) twice a day (once in the day time, once in the evening). Then you avoid washing your hands for 1 hour afterwords.

The directions also suggest applying the Cutemol or your moisturizer of choice after you apply DermaNail. Great suggestion DermaNail! :)

Where to get this treasure?
I don't know why I do this, but whenever I come across something I want my first instinct is always, "how can I get this baby for free??"  So initially that is exactly what I searched for online.  To my luck and surprise the maker, Summers Labs, happen to be running a great deal for DermaNail: a free trial of the product, if you paid shipping and handling.  It was around $5 I think.  So my first couple of bottles I got for free.  Afterwords I started searching for it online.  The normal going rate at the time was ~$23 for 1oz.
(Note: 1oz. will last you about one year with continuous use.)

At some point I realized DermaNail did not require a prescription, but still could never find it in stores.  I, per chance, went behind a pharmacy counter and asked them about it.  They said they didn't carry it on the shelves because it wasn't that popular (obviously not many people knew about it), but they had some in the back or could order it for me.  The first time around I think I got the Wal-Mart pharmacy to order it for me and I only paid ~$15 for it.  I'm guessing this was the price the pharmacy buys it for because other times I had to pay ~$23.

Some time ago, I was running low and happened to have a friend that worked at a pharmacy.  Boy, I found out she could get it for ~$15, so hell yea I stocked up.  Now I have the army you see above, lol.

In terms of being cost effective, DermaNail is cheaper than NeoCeuticals. 

DermaNail ~ $27 per oz.
NeoCeuticals ~ $60 per oz.*

However you can probably find both cheaper by doing a Google search.

*Note: The company who makes NeoCeuticals nail conditioner has informed me that it was discontinued in the US so it is not available on their website; however, it looks like it may still be available for purchase online through other suppliers.

Problems, Side Affects?:

I have probably gone through 4 bottles (off and on) of DermaNail without incident.  Then at some point, only in the last couple of years of use, the skin around my thumbs began to split and crack, but the nail itself was healthy.  This was really strange and my only explanation for it was that I was not following directions properly (i.e. I was not avoiding washing my hands for 1 hour after DermaNail application) AND not properly moisturizing my nails.  However, I have no reservations about using this product again.

I haven't used DermaNail for probably almost two years and my nails are still in great condition.  If they ever started peeling or cracking I would jump back on the DermaNail band wagon in a heart beat. 

Is this product right for you?
I feel like this product would be great for dry, cracked, peeling nails. Obviously its a conditioner so how can you go wrong?!

Furthermore, I also think this would be a great product for very soft and peeling nails in combination with a hardener treatment.  I would however keep the treatments separate just to avoid too much chemical mixing.  First harden up the nail plate for a few weeks with Formaldehyde or Fluoride, then stop the hardening treatment and start DermaNail.

Lastly, this may be a good product for people with ridges or whose nails split at the ridges.  Because one of the active ingredients is an alpha hydroxy acid it has the potential to smooth out these types of nail surfaces and prevent the peel or split.

Overall, I think DermaNail is a great product to add to a good nail care routine as long as you are dedicated and follow the directions  :D

As always ... whether using this product or any other treatment, moisturize like a crazy and your nails will eventually shape up! :D

I have made a video review for this product here.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Disappointment makes for good frankening

This franken was inspired by my slight disappointment in Zoya's Ki. Well maybe disappointment is a strong word. Let's just say I had an expectation it didn't live up to.

Over 10 years ago I had this seriously delicious duochrome.  It was like Ki, but better.  The flashes were a deep dark green and a purple/brown/burgundy.  I don't even remember who made it.  It was either Naturistics or Sally Hansen.  I feel like Scrangie might have this old fart. *note to self, send her an email.

I didn't try to copy my memory of that polish, only see what I could do with Ki.

This is what I came up with.

I'm wearing underwear with this one.

L.A. Colors - Nuclear Energy

This is such a yummy purple jelly. I wore this alone for two weeks straight.  This is three coats in sunlight.

This is in natural light.

 Then a coat or two of the franken.

 I would say it looks like this most of the time straight on.  

BUT then as soon as you start maneuvering your hands we get some pretty color change and sparkle.

In the sun.
franken stuff

Again I suck at measuring anything to give you a true recipe, but here is what I used to make this franken

Scherer Chameleon - Blue Sky and Calypso
Zoya - Ki
Milani - 83 Neon Lites
Zoya - Yasmeen

Whatcha think?