From my nails to yours//Tiffany

 

My real life nail situation.
My real life nail situation. I know it is a mess, but I am a girl on the go.  I wanted to show you what my real life is.  Busy, hectic, and filled with beauty.  I am not 100% sure on actual nail polish bottle count, but its over 250.

 

 

So, just in case you did not know, I am OBSESSED with nail polish.  It is one of the things that Kim and I first bonded over.  We would talk about colors and collections for hours and obsess over what we needed and what we really needed. What colors would complete our souls and if the half shade difference between two colors really made it that different. The answer is yes, always yes.

I have done my own nails for a while now.  I want to say I started doing them on my own about…8 or 9 years ago.  It took me a while to get a good technique down, and an even better system.

I do the same thing every time I do my nails.  Steps 1-whatever, and it gives me good results.  My own nails last about approximately  10 days and I do not use gel.  Sometimes they last a little shorter or I can go a little longer, but I HATE long nails.  I err on the side of very short, sometimes too short nails.

I wanted to take a moment and walk you through my steps.  Introduce you to my system, if you will.  It does take me some time when I sit to do them.  I could speed it up, but I find it to be relaxing and take my time.  In all honesty, I would rather take a few moments to do them right, rather than spend time fixing them later.

Nail Polish Routine:

  • I clip or file first to get the shape that I like. My nails tends to end up a squoval (square and oval) shape.
  • Then I  buff.  I am dedicated to the Ulta 4-way Buffer Block. This product has been in my arsenal for years.  I like the dedicated 4 sides, and I use all of them.
    • Side 1-Grit: I go over my edge to make sure they are the length I want
    • Side 2-Buff: I use to buff away any jagged pieces or any imperfections that are raised or bumpy. This side has some texture to it
    • Side 3– Polish: I use to smooth out my nails and clean them up.  This side is softer
    • Side 4-Shine: I just run over my entire nail and edge to shine it up.  Super soft spongy side

It can seem like a lot of steps and time consuming, but it only takes me a few minutes.  The more involved part, for me, is the shaping.  If I go to long in between manicures I have to roll my sleeves up and get in there.

After my nails are prepped and shaped, I slap on this beloved product:

Butter London Cuticle Exfoliate

**This is one of my allllll time favorite products: Butter London Melt Away Cuticle Exfoliator. My cuticles are a struggle, they always have been.  They grow like weeds and have a mind all of their own.  It took me years to find a products that was easy to you, super effective, and gentle!  There is no harsh stinging, terrible smell, or hours wasted waiting for it to work. Butter is also 7 Free; which means they do not add:  formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP, toluene, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, or xylene to any of its nail formulas.

**Take the brush applicator( yes its a brush, just like their polishes) and sweep it around the nail beds on all your fingers.  Let sit two minutes. While it is still on, I push back my cuticles and gently clip any excess cuticle that needs to be removed.  Voila! Done!  No bleeding cutcles, no overly clipped skin, no damage! Woot woot!

**Next step I use a little dollop of cuticle oil and rub that in. Once that has absorbed I wash my hands and slather on a good hand cream.  Lately it has been a combo of the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream and my Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter( read about it here).

**My hands are now hydrated, prepped, and pretty; I take a file and gently buff a few ridges into my nails.  I know this seems counter intuitive to what I mapped our earlier, but here are my thoughts.  When my nails are overly smooth, my nail polish will not adhere to it well.  It lifts and or chips much sooner; so I take a few seconds and just GENTLY buff my nails. I am not looking to buff anything off, just create a little texture on my nail.

**Next, I soak up some nail polish remover ( I am currently loving the Zoya Remove+ Nail Polish Remover… I ordered huge bottle on Amazon for $8). I swipe over each nail to ensure I remove any outstanding hand cream or debris that has settled in. Again, this just help to create a better wear scenario for your polish.

Now I am ready to start polishing:

**I have gotten into the habit of using OPI Ridge Filler first.  I started using if after a time I aggressively removed a set of gels that I had on; which I eneded up ruining  my nails. ( Come on, I know we have all done it and regretted it).  I continue to use it just because i find that it helps my wear time.  The opaque white color of it helps get a better color payout from the actual polish and it also helps to prevent any staining.
Ridge filler and Base coat

  • **I let that dry for a minute or two before I apply my CND Stickey Base Coat.  These two products  are a match made in nail polish heaven.  I have been using Stickey for about 10 years, and I LOVE IT.  It creates a “stickey” layer that helps adhere the color to the nail.  I put this on TOP of my Ridge Filler to create a strong base for my color of choice.

 

  • **Next up I apply 2-3 coats of the color of my choosing for the week.  I try to apply thin coats ( the thinner the better, thick polish is just begging to come off).  Depending of the size of the brush applicator, that will dictate who many swipes you needs to cover your nail.  DO NOT forget to cap your nail, drag the tip of the brush across the tip of your nail to help prevent any future snagging or chipping.  I also let dry at least 2 minutes in between each coat.

 

 

  • Butter London Top Coat**My final step is to put on a coat of the Butter London Hardwear Shine UV Topcoat.  It is HIGH SHINE, QUICK DRY, and LONG WEAR! Everything I ever wanted in a topcoat.  No need for a lamp to cure it, just apply it to nails and nail caps.  I live for the shine this gives my nail!  Sometimes when you have a quick dry polish, you end up sacrificing shine, and vice versa for a shiny top coat. I love this stuff.

That is my regular nail spiel.  However, every now and then I add in CND quick dry drops, but I generally find this topcoat is fast enough.

 

 

I hope I was able to give you some tips or inspiration for any of my fellow nail polish lovers!  It took me a bunch of trial and errors to get a good system going, but I have had a lot of success with these steps.

Just to be clear, I am NOT a certificated Nail Technician(for that level of expertise, my blogging partner Kim should be your go to nail guru.  She does FABULOUS nails!) I am just a girl who loves polish and fun colors.  I wanted to share with you my thoughts and techniques I have found over the years that work for me. Find what you like and don’t be afraid to shake it up and change your application.

When I do my nail, I post my color scheme on Instagram #midnightmani.  Please Like, Comment, and Share!  We love to hear from you.

Halloween Nails
Halloween Nails with Butter London Gobsmacked and China Glaze Ghoulish Glow which glows in the dark

halloweennails3

 

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