Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Which one is not like the other?

I have been waiting to "unyellow" my nails.  I'm going to continue to be secretive about why, but I want to show you why I prefer to buff versus other options, such as lemon juice, backing soda, peroxide, etc. 

First let us take a look at the horror that is my yellow nail bed ... you might want to get a waste basket just in case you start to regurgitate at the sight.

There are uglier pictures here.

Ewwww ... there are no words.

DUDE ... I love my buffer.  The transformation is just wowza!

I personally love my square buffer that I showed here and here.

As I have discussed in previous posts, buffing should be done in moderation.  If your nails are thin you may want to just skip it altogether or be very light handed and use a very high grit strength buffer. 

My favorite buffer has a grit strength of 400 - 600.  There are even higher grit strengths out there and should be used for thinner/weaker nails.

The results are amazing.  

Look at that ring finger!

I can never achieve results like this with lemon juice, peroxide, etc.

My hubby said, "Oh look, now your nails don't look like you've been smoking for 20 years"

... jerk ... then I scratched him across the face with my newly stain-free nails. 

Bonus picture: OPI - Bubble Bath (2 coats)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cherry fight!

One of the most memorable and fun times I remember as a kid was going to "pick your own" fruit at an orchard.  They take you out on a big tractor and like Peter, you pick a peck of pickled peppers ... except we usually picked strawberries and cherries.  And by "pick" I mean shove as many into your mouth when no one is looking and then the rest go in the basket.   

China Glaze - Bing Cherry

How amazingly beautiful is this polish?  It has a really pretty hue very reminiscent of Bing cherries and so the name is quite perfect.  The thing I like most, however, is that it has a very delicate shimmer that in my mind mimics the skin of cherries. 

I love food inspired polish names.  It combines two of my favorite things. :)

Lamp light


This polish is like heaven to apply.  It's very pigmented and  just glides on the nail.  This is two coats.

Indirect natural light

Picking cherries was always really fun.  At some point my sister and I would tire of the "picking" and a pit spitting fight would ensue.  We would leave the farm covered with crusty cherry bits from head to toe.

Aside from the fruit, the orchard had an animal farm with goats that would chase you for corn feed and then horn you if you didn't give it to them promptly.  

Have you ever picked your own fruits or vegetables at a farm?

Next time you eat cherries pelt the pit at a loved one and see what kind of fun follows. :D

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?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dirty Crabs

Eating crabs is a dirty job, but someone has to do it.  This weekend, that lucky lady was me.  Yay for my belly, nay for the mani.  Normally when I participate in this activity it is hell on the nails and hands.  I end up with micro-cuts and acetone has no mercy.  Furthermore, the wetness makes my nails obese.

If you are on the west coast, or in other parts of the world, you are probably looking at this picture and wondering, 'why is she excited about eating muddy crabs?' 

photo credit

The deliciousness on these blue crabs is a seasoning mainly well known in Maryland and the surrounding regions of the U.S.; it's called Old Bay.

Have you ever tried Old Bay?
If you ever get the opportunity ... try eeet!

The crab says hi!

Then I ate him, he was delicious.

It's too bad the first time I get to show you China Glaze - Heart of Africa is with all this muck on my hands.

How is this? Oh woops, still dirty.

I promise to show you Heart of Africa properly in a future post because it is GORGEOUS, not to mention a fantastic fall color!

Do you see the terror?!  My nails are so fat.

I showed my engorged water logged nails once before in this post

Once I cleaned up, the mani was a bit scraggly, but doable ... um except then this happened ...

 Peeka boo, I see you!

Mani ... dead. 

What do you think ... save them for later? 

The hubbie tried to fit them on his fingers ... ROFL.

I've never had Dungeness crabs so I am super jealous of the Cali girls, BUT blue crabs are delicious and worth all the mess, cuts and a dead mani. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Grape Flavor

Why is it that artificial flavors never taste like the real thing?  Some of the worst imitations have to include grape, watermelon, and cherry.  Don't get me wrong I love cherry flavor, it just never tastes like a big bowl of Bing cherries.
photo credit

This leads to my Nail Of The Day:
China Glaze - Grape Juice
3 coats

*eye roll at my camera*
The color of this polish is not blue, really it's purple, but this picture does show how deep, rich and sparkly it is in lower sunlight.

Normally my grape juice does not include sparkly glass shards, but I won't lie, I like China Glaze's take on grape juice.

In full sunlight.  The glass flecks are so shiny!

Purple! The color is a more deep in reality.

I did three coats for the full mani, but here I am showing what it looks like at one and two coats.

I could have stopped at two, but I feel the color looks much more rich at three.

3 coats

Indirect light.

This picture is more color accurate than the first picture. 

photo credit
The absolute worst artificial flavor ...

... BANANA ...

... but they are so cute though!

I love real banannas ;P

Lemon has to be my favorite fake flavor.  I love sour things! :)

What is your favorite flavor of hard candy, least favorite?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mama Mia! That's red alright.

Red is classic, but I always feel strange wearing it on my nails.  Maybe because it feels a bit loud or a bit scandalous or maybe because it can stain easily.   Either way I achieved it with this mani ...

China Glaze - Italian Red

I would say this is a warm toned red, but definitely not dominated by orange.  I really like the way it looks against my warm skin tone even though the picture is a bit over exposed and makes my skin look really white. 

The formula was a sweet sweet jelly.  I did two coats and loved every minute of it.  Although the pictures show some visible nail line, I
1. don't care and
2. couldn't really see it in real life. 

The hubs really liked it, so that's always nice to hear. 

Indirect light

Again, every time I wear red I am always reminded of Jennifer from the two fat ladies ... click here ... they make me hungry.   

Anyone want spicy garlic wings? ...

I shoved my face full of these last weekend ... mmmmmm

Back to the nails.  OH the stains .... shield your eyes!

Although I did a double coat of base it still stained a bit.   However, this is nothing compared to what Rodeo Fanatic did.  More on that another time. 

Do you ever feel like a hooker wearing red?  What is your favorite red?