blog was the first place I saw the painted nails trend, and a post she did on her weekly ritual of painting her nails got me completely hooked again. Initially, I was painting them only occasionally. Several months ago, though, I got hooked on a weekly routine of painting my nails every Thursday night while watching 30Rock, Big Bang and Project Runway.
- I love the colors. Sometimes it's as simple as that. For as much black as I wear, I am always drawn to the menagerie of colors available in the nail polish aisle. I have a basket full of colorful bottles, and digging through them is deeply satisfying to the color-hungry part of my soul. Seeing a nice color on my hands every day is - as silly as it sounds - a little pick-me-up.
- It's a simple form of self care. The whole moms-neglect-themselves is a cliche for a reason. It's hard to find much time or money to do a little something special for yourself, and my weekly manicures help in that regard. I'm taking time to take care of myself, feel "pretty" and indulge in something that's a bit impractical and makes me feel good. We all need more of that, right?
- I can't multitask while I'm doing it. Aside from watching tv, I really can't do much else while I'm painting my nails or waiting for them to dry. After I finish painting them, I sit down on the couch and just allow myself to watch tv for the rest of the evening. I don't do dishes, fold laundry or work on the computer. This is pretty much the only time in the week that I just sit still. That's a beautiful thing!
Enjoy the tutorial, and find some way - even if it's not painting your nails every week - to do a little something for yourself that allows you to not multitask while you do it, ok?
- A nice, fine nail file - I picked mine up at a beauty supply store
- Target Brand Remover Dip-It Acetone (more on this wonder product in just a second)
- Sally Hansen cuticle remover gel - I've used this one, as well as the SH instant cuticle remover. I like them both.
- Sally Hansen Miracle Cure - for the base coat. This stuff rocks.
- Nail polish in your preferred color (re: brand, I love Essie for colors & staying power. I also love OPI. My favorite inexpensive brand of nail polish is the Sally Hensen Xtreme Wear, which totally holds its own for a less-than-$3 polish)
- Out The Door top coat - this stuff is what seals the deal (literally) on a long-lasting manicure. I found it at Target for around $3, but have had trouble finding it there recently. I know you can get it at beauty supply stores, it might just be a little more expensive there. LOVE this stuff.
- A good cuticle stick - I like my metal one, as opposed to the wood ones. It came in a little manicure set from Target
- Clippers - good for cleaning up gnarly bits around your nails
- Nail brush - It's freaky how handy this thing is. I hadn't used one before, but now adore it.
- Paper towels to protect your surface and use for quick cleanups
Sarlacc from Star Wars, and yes - I snicker and make 12-year-old boy jokes every time I shove my finger in it - but it works wonders and I'm sticking with it for the long haul.
At this point, I like to file my nails. I couldn't get a picture of this part, but it's pretty basic. Just gently shape your nails with the file. I've seen tips about filing only in one direction, but honestly couldn't get that down. Just don't go nuts and don't use too coarse of a file and you should be fine.
Once your cuticles are all pushed back and nails are filed, it's time to hit the sink. Again, I couldn't get a picture of this, but what I usually do is squirt liquid soap in to the palm of my hand and then dip the finger nail brush into it and scrub my nails pretty vigorously under the water. This removes the gel and the residual acetone (that can dry out your skin) and cleans up under your nails from filing. Dry your hands well after washing. You can then use your clippers to clean up any gnarly bits that are left around your nails.
*Disclaimer: Your manicure might not last all week. Depending on your level of activity and type of polish, you might have some chips. I'm not saying that your manicure will look exactly the same as it did when you completed it, but it should look totally acceptable if you're using these products and methods and aren't a lumberjack who doesn't wear gloves.