Monday, August 29, 2011

Come here, I want to cut you!

I used to watch Ricki Lake back in the day.  I remember this one episode was about bad ass girls in gangs.  They were so bad ass they carried razors in their mouths 24/7 ... ya know in case they had a hangnail.

On occasion I will get a nasty hangnail.  In today's post I will show you how I take care of it.

The hangnails I get these days are different than the ones I use to get when I first started caring for my nails a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away.  The kind of hangnails I used to get were from dry skin.  Also their location is somewhat different now too.  They would either start at the cuticle (eponychium) or on the skin right near the cuticle called the proximal nail fold (see the second picture for these terms).  These types of hangnails can be taken care of with a regular moisturizing routine (2-3 times a day) using your favorite moisture delivery system.  I have several posts on the importance of moisture.  You can visit them here, here, and here.   

Now they look more or less like this:

Please excuse the stainage.  I will be taking care of it soon.  For now, let it soil your eyes. 

Actually this is a continuation of stainage I got from China Glaze - Italian Red that was further enhanced by China Glaze - Rodeo Fanatic.  

Thank you China Glaze! <=== SARCASM 

Pictured here is a recent hangnail.

I don't have too many hangnail issues from lack of moisture these days because as I have told you before ... I am slightly obsessed.  When winter rolls around things can get a little tough, but I do what I can.  Nowadays my hangnails appear after I use cuticle remover. 

If you are not familiar with my earlier post on cuticles please visit this post.  In the mean time, I will continue to use my hubs ugly stumps for demonstrations purposes.  Yep, I'm still holding a grudge.  

The point of cuticle remover is to remove the "true cuticle", not the eponychium, however since you are putting the solution near the eponychium it too will do its chemically business there as well.   Perhaps I leave it on too long or get a little rough with the towel action ... as seen in this video.  

Either way, I will get the hangnail on the eponychium as shown in the first picture.  

I seriously wish I was taught to carry a razor in my mouth, because that would be some interesting self defense skills that could double as hangnail resolution.  However, a better tool for the job is the ...

Cuticle Nipper

This picture shows my jaundiced finger nails wearing 3 coats of OPI Bubble Bath.

You know what makes me laugh ... my mom calls them NEEEEPERS.  I freaking love her for it.  Every time she's looking for them, I pretend I don't know what she is talking about just so I can get her to say it over and over.  <3

There are many kinds out there and generally speaking the sharper they are the better.  These kinds of tools can be on the pricey side, but are much better for hangnail removal than say a razor you hide in your mouth or a nail clipper like I have seen being used on YouTube quite often. 0.o

The sharp pointy slanted end allows for a more precise and accurate removal of the hangnail without tearing the eponychium (which is live skin) further.  Since the eponychim is live skin you want to be careful when you are cutting anything in that area as a deep cut can cause a wound that may lead to bleeding and possible infection ... if you are a dirty girl.  But seriously be careful!

It may be a good idea to reserve nippers just for the purpose of cutting skin; avoid the temptation to clip nails (or other hard things) so that you can keep them as sharp as possible.  

This picture shows the finger after the hangnail was snipped.  

With continued moisture and perhaps a little AHA cuticle cream this area will smooth out and be glorious again! 

Do you get hangnails? How do you get rid of them?

More importantly ...
Do you know how to hide a razor in your mouth?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Polish Expires?

Nope ... negative ... maybe?

I was rummaging through my Mom's polish bin.  I came across a seriously old polish.  Do you remember when Cutex made polish?  Yea, a completely forgotten fact.  I don't think they are doing it now, but maybe they should.  I urge Cutex to pick up the beakers again and start mixing! ;)

This polish is over twenty years old, my guess is ca. 1990.  The bottle had a price sticker from Ames.  Remember those stores?  My Mom used to work there in the early 90's and she bought it on clearance for $0.99.

Are you ready for this?

Cutex - Sparkling Amethyst
2 coats.

You know the most amazing thing? Not one drop of thinner was necessary.  When I first opened it up, it was a bit gummy at the neck.  I gave it a good shake and it returned to a completely normal consistency.

It applied very smoothly, but polishes with this type of pigment usually do.

The color itself is not that fantastic, very 90's, no?

It's definitely frosty, but not too bad.

Myth busted?  Perhaps.

Does this polish work?  Yes, but I could imagine a polish "expiring" in terms of:

1. Color - Color can fade or change over time due to exposure to the sun or other factors.  Perhaps the color I observe in the bottle now was not the original color when it was manufactured back in the day.

2. Formulation degradation - Polish contains compounds that are comprised of long chains of molecules called polymers.  Mainly, these resins provide strength and flexibility to the polish coating.  Can these resins degrade over time?  Perhaps.   If the polymers are breaking would this change the polish consistency?  Maybe.  I guess it all depends on the inherent physical properties of those smaller chains.  Whenever I come across an old polish that is really thin (that was once normal) I always think this is the reason, but I have no idea, just theorizing here.  If the resins are degrading then the integrity of the polish could be compromised because the strength and flexibility may have diminished.  I would think this would be an important factor with regard to polish wear.    

Is old polish safe? I don't know, but my fingers haven't fallen off.  Have yours?  Some people worry about bacteria in polish.  I can't fathom how they would survive in the solvents.  For example, isopropyl alcohol, present in many polishes, is used as a solvent, but is also a well known anti-bacterial agent.  BUT, I suppose stranger things have happen.  There are bacteria here on earth that thrive in sulfuric acid.  Interesting fact, but I doubt there are any bacteria in polish.  Regardless, let's use commons sense ... if you experience some sort of reaction, then it would be a good idea to discontinue use.

This makes me want to start a tag.  Do you have anything really old?  Rummage through your, your mom's or your grandma's stash and see what you can find!  I would love to see it :D

Monday, August 22, 2011

Crapity Crack

I am not a fan of crack of any kind.  Crack is Whack.  Whitney was right.  When the trend came out I wanted to slit my wrists.  I am currently holding my breath until it ends.  The look reminds me of open wounds.  I have seen attractive crack in pictures, but in real life it looks like an infested wound.

So, when my sister told me she wanted to try it, I one, gave her the death eye, and two, said "ugh, fine I'll get it for you."

After seeing a whole lot of crack in the last few months I at least knew which one I wanted to get her.  I finally came to a decision after seeing this post on Addicted to Polish.

Okay, I know this is a gift, but I have to make sure it's "safe" right?  If anything she should feel like royalty.  I can be the equivalent of a royal food taster.

First a big thank you to Another Botttle of Polish?! for the base polish ...
Color Club - Give Me a Hint

She has some of the best color combinations my eyeballs have ever had the pleasure of seeing.  Visit her blog for some seriously great eye candy!!

Color Club - Give Me a Hint
2 coats

A dusty purple with taupe leanings. My pictures make it look more purple.  It looks more taupe in the sun.

Now let's do some crack ...

Sorry for the crustiness! I was seriously just "tasting it".

La Rosa - Seaweed

1 coat on each finger, but I varied the thickness of the coat. 

More crust!

Seriously no clean up, sorry.

Since this was my first time, I didn't know what to expect.  My first few applications, pinky and ring fingers, got a thick coat, which cracked into thick pieces.  The pointer got a pretty thin coat and you can see it cracked into finer pieces.   

I hope this crack satisfies my sisters hunger for crusty infested looking fingers.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nail spam of the blue, purple, near naked and fall variety

China Glaze - Raggae to Riches

China Glaze - Grape Pop

A dark blue that doesn't look black ... yea!
NYC - Pier 17

OPI - Bubble Bath ... Um yea hi sexy nails.
Just 2 coats.

Essie - Masquerade Belle  ... SV thank you for giving me convulsions. 

Revlon - Valentine ... Rawr!

This guy has a rusty quality to it. The copper color that you see on the inside of that light reflection actually dominates. 
Freaking awesome.
Essie - Urban Express

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Polish that lasts!

I am going to start a new series now that I have finally finished the hardener/treatment series.

This new series, as the title implies, will be about how to make polish last in terms of wear. The big caveat to this series is that everyone is different and has their own nail issues. That combined with different polish formulas can be a crap shoot in terms of nail polish wear. Furthermore, the way you treat your nails before polish application and during the mani all helps to contribute to the wear and tear of the mani. So, I can give you a few general tips, but finding the right base, color, top combo will be your job :) Aside from that, these are my opinions and experiences and may differ from yours, what ev's, let's all learn from each other.  As always feel free to comment, judge, be constructive, etc so that we can have mani's that last ... at least when we want them to.

On to the meat of this post ... EYE CANDY at the bottom ;)

First a few general points:

1. Nail polish adheres best to healthy nails.  This means if there is some damage on the nail plate (i.e. peeling, flaking, cracks, true cuticle, prior buffed spots etc.) the polish will most likely chip, peel, or whatever, there first.  Proof of this can be found in the following posts, Sally Hansen - Sweet Tulip and Buffing out a peel.

2. If you have a peel you can either ignore it and have your polish lift there earlier than anywhere else or take care of it.  How you ask? There are two options. I am sure different people have their own nail fixes, but for peeling these are mine:
a.) file down the nail past the peel.
b.) buff that baby out!  *NOTE:  Occasional peeling occurs and you can buff it out as a quick fix; however, consistent peeling is a sign of either improper nail and cuticle hydration or incorrect treatments.  Buffing these peels on a regular basis will not improve nail health and can cause weak nails.  Ultimately you must find what is causing the peeling and treat it accordingly.  I have a few important posts dealing with this subject.  The nail treatments/hardeners series can be found here.  Please don't forget to moisturize often during the day and read through these posts:

I - Moisturize your nails please ; an alternative here.
II - Moisturizing nail polish remover post and video
III - Example of products, methods with Video

3. The more physical work you do the more stress you put on your nails and polish.  Ideally, we would all sit with our feet up and hands untouched, but for most of us that's not really an option. Therefore, when you are doing certain tasks (i.e. going to open a door or drawer, turning on lights, etc.) approach them gracefully, keeping in mind that jabbing your hand in places could
a.) ruin polish
b.) break nails.

As redonkulous as it sounds, you could pretend like your nail polish is still somewhat wet and proceed with tasks as such.  Obviously this is a bit extreme, but hey obsessions are just that.

House work is best done in rubber gloves, or pushed off onto a significant other. The chemicals and the labor are hard on your nails.  If your hands must be in water for long periods of times without rubber gloves, try to moisturize ASAP.

4. Do not use your nails as tools.  Not only can this chip polish, but also promote nail peeling. 

With that out of the way, we can proceed to step 1:

Prepping the Nail Plate for Polish

What do we need to do before applying polish?
Nail polish must be applied to clean and dry nails. You will often find this printed on the back of many bottles of polish. So, DO EET!

Why clean?
Oil, dirt or whatever filth present on the nail plate prevents proper adhesion of anything.

Wipe the nail with acetone, isopropyl alcohol, or go wash your hands with soap and water.  Let dry.

The next post will stress the importance of base coat.  So many base coats, so little time ... *sigh 

Until then how about some eye candy? In spam form ...

Hard Candy - Beetle

Um yes you're pretty ... yes you are.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Holy crap live T.V.

Okay it's only online T.V., but still I just about had a heart attack after this interview.

*keels over from the stress*

Monday, August 8, 2011

Part time position available!

I'm going to preach for a second ... then a video ;)

One of the most important aspects of taking care of your nails is moisturizing the nail AND cuticle.  Moisturizing the nail beds is fairly self explanatory, but recently I realized there is some confusion as to why we must moisturize our cuticles.  Yes, part of the reason we moisturize our cuticles is because we don't want them to look to' up from the flo' up.  More importantly however, the root and matrix of the nail is located right below the cuticle, slightly under the (proximal fold) skin.  Lets review the nail.

My lovely husband volunteered his tremor hands as specimens in this earlier post.  Let's continue to mock him.

At the base of the nail is your "cuticle". As I have discussed already this cuticle is actually made of two parts, the 'true cuticle' and the 'eponychium'. Underneath the proximal nail fold is the root and matrix, i.e. the heart of your nail.

Because the nail root is near the cuticle, moisturizing the cuticle creates the moisturizing environment needed to keep the nail flexible from the very start of its growth cycle.  Eventually your nail will fully grow out from cuticle to tip having been moisturized the entire way up.  It takes about 6 months to grow out a nail fully from root to free edge.

Since many of us keep our nails painted at all times, it becomes even more important to moisturize the cuticle since moisturizers can not penetrate through polish to moisturize the nail bed.

Keeping the nail and cuticle area consistently and frequently moisturized will promote a healthy nail bed, which will allow you to grow healthy nails at any length. When a nail plate balances both hardness and flexibility peeling and breaking can be prevented.  I previously talked about the importance of moisturizing the nail and cuticle in this post and also an alternative here.

As I said in my first moisturizing post, there is no "right" moisture delivery system.  It's up to you to choose what is "right" for you.  The only real rule is to use them ... consistently and frequently.  Seriously, moisturize like it's your job!

The follow video goes into a few options, but it is in no way the end all be all, just random stuff I grabbed around the house.  I also go into what I prefer and how I do my thang!

If you are looking for a cuticle oil recipe head on over to For Me It Works.  This chica has such lovely nails because she too is a stickler for MOAR MOISTURE!

For you ladies that can't stand greasy fingers this may be a viable option.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Involuntary AB workout

Have you ever woken up in the morning and your ab's were sore, but you didn't remember why?

48 hours before ...

I was feeling super lazy one night, I mean to the point where I was starving hungry, but still had zero motivation.  Like the grown mature woman that I am I curled up in a ball in a small corner of my 500 sq. ft. apartment and started to whine.  The hubs finally noticed and came over to check what all the hub bub was about.  He picked up my my limp body and asked, "what's wrong with you"?  "I'm hungry, can you make me food?" I said in a slow slurred speech to of course emphasize my lifeless energy ridden body.

I guess I really must explain.  Part of my laziness was from the fact that I had no idea (or food for that matter) about what to make for dinner.  Earlier in the evening I even asked for advice in the matter.  I pleaded, "what should I eat?"  He made no attempt at a decent suggestion.  I often used to ask my mom this question when I was growing up.  Sometimes she would get so frustrated at my rejection in her food ideas that she would eventually explode and scream out, "what do you want from me, HERE (shoving her forearm in my face) take a bite of my arm already!", or something to that effect.  In my opinion, most every meal has to be something I really want to eat; otherwise, what's the point of eating?  I don't want to waste the calories on boring meals.  Anyway, back from that tangent ... all this lead up to my extreme behavior in the corner.

Of course like a good husband, he finally came up with a suggestion I had not thought of.  "Hey we have that polish sausage in the fridge!" Oooo, nice, I was totally excited, "can you fry that up for me?"  And so this was to be my dinner.  I know, WTF, right.  Well, then he made a second suggestion to accompany the sausage, "hey you want a peanut butter sandwich?"  hmmm interesting combo.  I mean totally off the wall; who eats sausage with a peanut butter jelly sandwich?!  Weird, but the sweetness of the jelly and the saltiness of the sausage sounded reasonable.

I scarfed down the deliciousness, but couldn't finish all the sausage, it was so damn greasy.  I went to bed thinking, 'damn that was one greasy polish sausage'.

You know sometimes you have those dreams that meld with reality?  Well I had a dream I kept waking up from my slumber because I was really nauseous.  Well in reality I finally woke up in the middle of the night not feeling so hot.  Ugh, I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but that shit was just not happening.  There is only one way to get rid of that feeling; visit my friend Ralph.

The old Russian standby on quick an easy regurgitation involves one simple ingredient ... warm water.  I will spare you the details, but I gulped down my fair share and several yakking sessions later, the yakking ceased and I was finally able to go to bed. Obviously the lack of sleep and bodily dysfunction meant there was no way I was going to work the next day.  I got to relax, let my body recover and of course paint my nails.      

China Glaze - Rich and Famous
1 coat

Klean Color - Pink Holo 134
2 coats

 In the sun and slightly blurry for your viewing pleasure.

Indirect sun.

Wearing these KleanColor Holo's makes me feel like I have acrylic on my nails.  They feel very thick and protected. I'm loving their thick jelly formula.

And so the very next day I woke up and my abs were sore and I eventually remembered it was the yakking session that gave me the impromptu ab workout. Thanks hubby for feeding me bad wiener!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pass The Pint

Olivia from The Unknown Beauty Blog decided to start an off topic series known as Pass the Pint.  In one particular post she listed 5 random non-beauty items she likes.  What a fun idea!  I forcefully invited myself into her post ;)  

Here are a couple of things I LOVE, that are completely unrelated to nails. 

1.  Seltzer water – at this point I am addicted and aside from coffee and tea, it’s the only thing I drink.  My sink water tastes like chemically feet, not my favorite flavor, so seltzer water has presented itself as a great alternative!  Oh boy here comes another immigrant story ... when we first came to this country coke was like … well … coke.  Everybody wanted a hit.  The family would buy a 2 liter bottle and it was gone the hour it was cracked open.  You snooze, you loose.  Seltzer water gives me hydration and fizz without the sugar and other nasty boo kaki they put into it these days.

*Ignore the random alky in the background.*

2.   Pens – OMG I love pens and pencils.  No, let me clarify, I am very picky about my writing implement.  The implement heavily determines how pretty the writing will be.  Writing utensils put me in a certain mood.  I especially love long thin implements with fine tips.  *uh, that’s what she said, wait what?*

Considering, I was seriously obsessed with handwriting as a child this is no surprise.

3.  Eating deliciousness – All we could afford when I was growing up was hot dogs and that bologna with the red plastic around it.  I can’t remember how many times those strips ended up in my gullet.  I’m guessing this is where my food obsession began.  Now my days, and particularly weekends, are planned around the phrase “hey what are we going to eat.”  

pic found here

4. Laughing – one of my favorite pastimes.

5. Laughing louder – After love there is nothing better.  Wrinkles from the sun … curse them, wrinkles from happiness … count me in!

To celebrate 4 and 5, I am passing the pint to a few ladies that make me laugh (with a little bit of pee).

First if you have not read Olivia’s Blog … you should.  Not only is it informative, but she makes my side hurt on the regular.

1. Polished Pirate – She has a nail blog, but also a hilariously funny random blog called Your Mom’s Face.  I mean really, this story is a prime example … click here.  Keep a change of panties close.

2. Nefertiti Wore Red – Nail blogger with a fantastic sense of humor.  Brings me joy to read.

3. Worse than a meat dress – I met this little lady on the MUA nail boads.  Cassie and I have had some deep AND meaningless conversations and she simply cracks me up.  Her blog explores health and beauty products and the ingredients we constantly expose ourselves to; makes you think and laugh.  I miss you! <3

There is no responsibility with this tag.  Just giving you love <3