Just can’t quit those Acrylics!

giginails2If you’re like me and tried to go back to natural nails only to endure months of thin, weak, brittle nails with chipping nail polish that just made you crazy, well don’t despair, you can still rock your acrylics in an updated, natural way….I do!

Gone are the days of those thick fake looking Pink and Whites! The key to getting great results starts by finding yourself a talented experienced nail technician, who really knows his or her stuff,and is current on all the latest nail art possibilities. I’m so fortunate to have found a brilliant nail tech who knows how to properly use the drill to sand down the acrylic overlays just the way I like them…..thin and natural! Not many nail techs do this correctly, most apply too much pressure, sanding down too deep with the drill bit, causing serious damage to your nail. I still believe filing alone isn’t enough and is too time consuming. A combination of filing with a hand file and sanding with a drill will yield the most natural looking acrylic nails.

Another thing I like, is having them use a UV gel topcoat. It dries in three minutes simply by putting your hand under a UV light….then you are dry, shiny, and good to go!  However, there are dangers to exposing your hands to these UV lights long term. It’s a hefty dose of UVA rays as if your hands are in a tanning bed! So I have learned to wear sunblock on my hands before exposing them to the UV lamps. Another thing you can do is purchase a pair of UV protective white gloves with the tips removed specifically for this reason pictured here. That way your topcoat can cure while giving the rest of your hand some kind of sunblocking protection.

Happy Nails!UVgloves

It’s all about The Nails!

my mani2I have been wondering for decades when the nail part of the cosmetic industry was going to get hip.  Great looking manicures are all the rage!  This photo is my quick mani!

I have always been one to experiment with colors . . .  I started doing “reverse french” manicures in the mid 80’s.  My manicurist at the time told me “it isn’t supposed to be done this way.”  Says who?

I also used to have acrylics back then.  I started really listening to my body about 10 years ago when acrylics simply wouldn’t adhere anymore.  It was like my finger nails were telling me to stop and let them do their thing.  Well, I did.  I started doing  my own nails and really taking care of them.  Here are some tips if you do your own (or recommend to your manicurist . . . and you know that they sterilize all their tools, right?) . . .

One, for shape, file a little rounder if your fingers are short and on the stubby side.  File more square if you have long fingers.  The round nail gives the appearance of a longer finger, the square a shorter finger.  It’s a simple illusion.  A short nail is in and is sometimes referred to as a “sport length”.

Two, use a base coat.  Really important as I experimented over the years and found more yellowing when not using a good base coat.  I personally still use Nailtiques 1 and 2.  Number 1 for maintenance and number 2 for the winter months when my nails tend to peel from being too dry.

Speaking of dry . . .  metallic and frosted colors are more drying.  Here’s one of my secrets . . .  use a regular “flat” color as the first color coat then add a frosted/metallic for the second coat.  You get that sheen and it’s better for your nails this way.  It’s also fun as it’s like creating your own custom color!

Three, after a shower or bath, gently push back your cuticles if you remember.  They are soft at this point and push back easily.  You should never cut them!  Cuticles are a barrier to protect the surrounding skin and developing nail.  Bacteria can easily enter the base of the nail and that cuticle is there to protect them.

Zoya is one of the safest nail polishes out there.  BTW their top coat, ARMOR is THE BEST top coat ever! Thank goodness many other nail polish companies have started to formulate without the harmful “toxic trio” . . .  toluene (can irritate eyes, throat, lungs, damage the nervous system and potentially harm an unborn child), DBP (dibutyl phthalate) potential reproductive harm, and formaldehyde a known carcinogen.

One more thing, if you can . . .  eat almonds and walnuts (great for your body anyway!).  I have noticed that my nails are stronger and grow faster as I eat a handful of raw nuts daily.  Have fun and rock a cool mani!