Sunday, January 29, 2012

Eww ... gross ... I hate you.

Not cute.  Do not adjust your screens.  This is not a broken nail.  Rather a really ugly curving to the nail.  I wish I could beat it out of me, but that simply doesn't work.  How is one supposed to deal??

As much as I want to walk around and constantly straighten it out against hard objects ... like this ... that is just unreasonable. 

Just in case I have not convinced you of its ugliness ...

<----- LOOK *barf*

What is worse than a wonky nail? ... Nothing comes to mind.

All is not lost.  Here is that same nail ... less ugly.

What the what?!?

How is this possible?  How can we get the wonk to relax?

There are a couple of steps you can take to remedy the situation, but keep in mind the end result is not permanent. DARN IT!   

The most effective solution is to use a combination of moisture (in the form of water) and oil/balm/waxy products together.  I have mentioned previously, long and constant exposure to water is not good for the nail layers.  I have several posts on "fat nails" and why it can weaken the nail plate layers and cause problems, i.e. splitting, peeling.  However, since there are times you simply cannot avoid water ... unless you're dirty ... you might as well use it to your advantage!  You can use unavoidable water exposure to help un-wonkify (<--O.O new word) your nail beds.  After your nails have been submersed in water, one good thing you can do for them is moisturize them with your favorite cuticle oil/balm/cream/lotion or wax containing product directly after the exposure.  Not only will this help seal in moisture, but it will also help keep the wonkiness at bay for a bit longer.  If you continue to add oil/balm/waxy products every few hours it will keep the nail less wonky.  I have found oil makes the results lasts longer than lotion.  Like I said, it's not permanent and takes effort to put cuticle oil on every couple of hours, but hey, it's either that or the weird wonk.

In summary: Constant moisture is like a Valium for the wonk.

Of course there is always that nubbinizing option ... but that makes me cry.

Do you know about the wonk, have the wonk?  How do you deal with the wonk?

Edit: Two other helpful posts on how to make a nail less wonky with filing can be found here and here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A lazy week for my nails

What happens when you combine pretty nail polish with laziness ... a mani that just wont die.

Day 1
Revlon - Pink Chiffon

3 coats, maybe 4. Perhaps it was the coffee talking, but I had some issues with streakiness.  Still the color was just so calming.

Day 1

After a little top coat everything was golden ... no pink.

Day 1
Under warm light.

 And then I bought Revlon - Popular (aka Revlon - Starry Pink) and thought it would be a perfect compliment.

Day 4

Son, I was not disappointed.

1 thick coat topped with top coat.

Day 6

At some point I started noticing the dreaded regrowth at the cuticle *shudders*, and some tip wear.

Day 6

Also some chippage on the thumbs.

Day 6

But honestly the wear was only visible in macro mode.  That combined with how pretty it was and my lazziness ....

I slapped on some top coat and called it a night.

Day 7

However, the next day I could not ignore it any longer ... the regrowth was taunting me ... very loudly.

Mani Dead.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Je ne sais quoi

Some polishes just have IT, you know that little bit of something special.

Here is one I adore:

Great googly moogly!

Isn't she a bute!

Essie - Urban Express


I'd like to thank a Long Island dusty for this one.  Yes, they have more to offer than interesting accents and duck feet nail tips.

I have another Essie that is also very pretty like this ... well not quite.

Essie - Moda Scoota

HOT.  Espeially in the evening under dark lighting.

This is during the day time.

I'd like to thank my Grandma for "leaving" this one at my house. ;)

A comparison of the two.
Left: Moda Scoota
Right: Urban Express

Left: Moda Scoota
Right: Urban Express

Dude! That copper shimmer!
Left: Moda Scoota
Right: Urban Express

 I just love how the copper shimmer shows up on the nail!

Left to Right:
Moda Scoota, Urban Express, Moda Scoota

Even more comparisons!
Left to Right:
China Glaze - Roxy
Essie - Urban Express
Essie - Moda Scoota

Left to Right:
China Glaze - Roxy
Essie - Urban Express
Essie - Moda Scoota

Roxy seems to have a bit of copper shimmer herself, very pretty!

The comparisons don't end there ...

Left to Right:
China Glaze - Unplugged
China Glaze - Roxy
Essie - Urban Express
Essie - Moda Scoota

There is another Essie that I want to compare Urban Express to ... Wrapped in Rubies.


Anyone own Essie - Wrapped in Rubies?  How do you think it would compare?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mystery Solved!

I think ...

First, let me remind you of the mystery:

I really did not do justice to this polish in the last post because it was a quick and dirty swatch.

So, let me try again.

Dang mama, that is hot!
Just a touch of duochrome.
Yes, all those pictures ... necessary. 

I'm thinking it is OPI - Nutcracker Sweet. 

The duochrome comes out very easily.

How about a comparison?  I have a similar color, or so I thought.

Left: OPI - Nutcracker Sweet
Right: China Glaze - Here's Looking at Hue

Similar base color, but not really any duochrome in the China Glaze.

Unless you consider beige and beigier a  duochrome, O.o
I tried to make China Glaze - Here's Looking at Hue more duochrome like by layering it with Sally Hansen - Luminous Peral .... meh.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Don't be a square ...

Then again, why not?!  Go grab your favorite nail file for shaping and try it!  I have a long series on nail filing and shaping and am starting to do the video versions.  Here are the posts from the past:

X-Files Post and Video
Nail Shape and Balance Post
Taking Down Nail Length Post
Shaping the Free Edge - Square and Video
Shaping the Free Edge - Oval and Video
Shaping the Free Edge - Squoval and Video
Sealing the Nail Plate
Buffing out a peel

Video: How to file your nails into a square shape

My YouTube Channel

Hugs to Arlyn ... it's a start ;)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Help Please!

*In my best Robert Stack voice* ...

This is a true story, from the files of Unsolved Mysteries.  What you are about to see is not a news broadcast.  Join me.  Perhaps maybe you can help solve a mystery ...

During my epic haulage week, I came across this OPI in a crusty shop in a shady part of town.  It had an interesting duo quality I couldn't resist.

The only problem is, it wasn't wearing its name tag.

The bottle was sporting a smooth silver cap covered in plastic wrapping with "Odessa" written on it, kind of like the bottle here. But the bottle is from OPI.  It has a number engraved in the glass ... 56641148.  Perhaps this isn't really an OPI color after all though.

Beige , pink, shimmer.

There is definitely some golden and green quality to it as well.

It's opaque in two coats.


If this is an "Odessa" polish, where are they hiding them because I want more.

I'm stumped.  Suggestions?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Trind Nail Balsam

A while ago, I was given a bottle of Trind Nail Balsam to review.  Before I go into that, I'd like to say a few words about the company.  I first heard of Trind from one of my readers about 8 months ago, which prompted some late night searching for nail care stuff and beyond.  I must say after many months of communication with the company and the president (US Chapter, Trind Nail & Hand Corp), I have nothing but utter respect and admiration for their products and philosophies on nail care.  I have had amazing conversations with the president and find myself totally smitten with his knowledge, commitment and passion.  I have so much love for nail care that meeting someone with the same passion is enthralling.

I first became interested in the Trind Nail Balsam after reading that it was a moisturizing product you could apply right before nail polish.  This is a bit surprising because normally we aim to remove dirt, oil and other grime from the nail surface before polish application to get the best polish wear.  I was a bit skeptical, yet not totally enraged because after all I put glycerin in my acetone and don't have much problem with polish wear. 

~$13-19 for 0.3oz/9mL

The consumer website can be found here.

How I use it:
The product comes with a brush.  The Balsam smells flowery and fresh; it has hints of the perfume Sun Moon Stars ... to me.  At first I noticed the scent a lot, then I guess I got immune.

I shake the product well, then apply a thin layer to each nail.

I have gotten quite good at taking pictures with my chest and chin no?

Allow the product to soak in for about 2 minutes.  It will look wet.  Sorry my nails are a bit yellow; that situation was remedied here.

I massage any excess into the nail and cuticle.  The product penetrates really well and leaves the nail and skin nicely hydrated.

The nail surface does not feel sticky or dirty, just hydrated.

Now I am all ready for base coat and polish without having to further prep the nail with alcohol or acetone!

In terms of polish wear ...
I don't remember ever having any problems with polish wear.  As an example, I remember wearing

China Glaze - Stella

for about a week while I was at a conference and it looked flawless.

This product does not contain oil which probably helps with proper polish adhesion. 

So what makes this stuff so special?  A few key ingredients:

I don't know about you, but I first heard of liposomes when I discovered Prostrong.  They had a moisturizing product they included with the accelerator that was pretty great.  Later they made it pink (using Red 33) which I have an allergy to and our relationship ended real fast.

Liposomes are really neat little things you can read about here.  Simply speaking they are fatty sacks filled with, well with whatever you want to fill them.  They can vary in size. 

What is most important is not that this product contains liposomes, because many do, but about the quality and quantity of  the liposomes.  You can be sure you are getting high quality liposomes that allow moisturizing ingredients to penetrate the nails and provide real moisture.

Normally we are accustomed to hearing about biotin as a vitamin/supplement taken internally.  It is metabolized by the body and delivered ... well everywhere.  However, in this product the chemists have specifically formulated it to stay on the nail.  An exact amount is stabilized and its delivery is controlled on the nail bed.  Does that mean no pimples?!?  That could be a plus.

I love this stuff as I have mentioned in this post.  It has the capacity to increase the hydration levels in the skin and has exfoliating properties.  Read this if you want more info.

Simply speaking, this is a moisturizer.  More fancy ... this is a provitamin of B5.  It can absorb water from the air and is an emollient. 

Helps retain the moisture in the nail bed.

Overall thoughts: 
What a great little product!!  The winter months bring me a lot of trouble with dry skin and nails.  I need all the help I can get in the cold weather.  You can be sure I will continue to grease up my cuticles extra hard with oils and balms while I'm wearing polish and apply this Balsam under new manicures.  *Don't forget to wear gloves when it gets cold outside to protect your nails from the lower temperatures and wind!*

Trind has many other fantastic high quality products from nail hardeners to nail colors.  Solveig from Nailin' It! has had fantastic results with Trind Nail Repair.  Have you tried any of the Trind products? Thoughts?

*This product was provided by the company for review*