Friday, June 17, 2011

Reader Request: Tools of the Trade (Lots of Pix!)

My friend (in real life, too!) Carol of Love and Lunch Money asked me via a comment:

Reading your posts are so fun. I am actually thinking I want to start polishing my nails......

Okay Obi Wan of polish, what is a girl with NO polish to start with??

Sounds like a blog post to me. A "starter kit" for those of us noobs who want a basic starter set that is affordable and (sorry) conservative to semi conservative with the color choices.....
So I went through my essentials and here's what I think every person needs to have the foundations of a good manicure.

I swear by pure acetone now. You can get this particular brand at Sally Beauty Supply. It will last the average polisher a long time. I, on the other hand, seem to be using a lot of acetone! You can use non-acetone also. If you're going to soak your nails in acetone to remove glitter or fake nails make sure to rub Vaseline on your cuticles to prevent drying and irritation.

I bought one of those dispenser bottles, the one with the metal top that you push down and it come up to the top, at Sally Beauty for $11.50. It is way cool! It's great for nail clean-up before laying down the top coat. I can dispense the acetone and dip my clean-up brush with no mess and no fuss.

Use a base coat before laying down a color. It helps the polish stick to the nail. I was lucky and got Essie's Fill the Gap! on clearance at Trade Secret for $2.00, no lie! I also use CND Ridge Out. If your nails aren't ridgy I've heard great things about Orly's Bonder. Orly's readily available at Sally Beauty Supply.
This stuff is AWESOME! Nouveau Cheap reviewed in April and I found it at Rite Aid. If you ding your nail while polishing have Instant Smudge Repair handy. Miss G. has some great before/after shots of Nutra Nail in action.
I just bought this Sally Hansen cuticle remover gel today and it's pretty good! I saw my healthy nail where the dried skin was on my nails after just a couple of minutes. Never trim your cuticles! and never let a nail tech nip them. I've done that and paid for it with painful hang nails and multiple Hello Kitty bandaids. The remover box says to use it once a week.

(Ah jeeze, I'm all out of order)
Seche Vite is my go-to top coat now. I have Poshe', OPI Rapid Dry, and CND Speedy as back-ups but SV is great! I can do my nails an hour before bed and I don't sheet myself. Buy it at Sally Beauty with your Beauty Card and pay about $7.00 to $8.00. Word of caution: Seche Vite will evaporate and and become goopy. I found Seche Restore at Trade Secret but I know you can find it online cheaper. I paid $9.00 for the Restore.

One product to avoid? This piece of crap. I tried to use it today but it's as though the nib is too rigid. Grrr. I'll try it again. Perhaps I'll trim it down for creating those beautiful manicure I see on other blogs.

Carol also asked about polish. That's such a personal thing! If you want conservative I personally think Essie's the brand to run with. You can find Essie at Walgreen's, Target, and Rite Aid. It runs $8.00 but wait for a sale and you can get buy one/get one 1/2 price. I don't have a lot of Essie but I'm pleased with their wear. Sally Hansen has some pretty-yet-conservative colors with a variety of price points, from $1.99 to $8.00. Drug stores will run specials on SH and you can find coupons.

Anyone else have any helpful hints for a polish noob?


Carol said...

WOW!! I just saw this. Thanks Hermione! I may have to get this stuff tomorrow and try a Sunday afternoon mani..... I will post pics!!



Hermione said...

Glad I could help!

Carol said...

Okay, I did it! I bought the stuff, and some pretty polish. K picked a sparkly red, because she said it was pretty like me.... awwww

I will blog about it and post pics....

Thanks H!!

Hermione said...

Oo, let me know when you post it! It'll take some practice polishing with your non-dominant hand but trust me, you will learn. I used to suck at polishing my right hand but now I think I'm better at it. I'm more careful and that helps keep my right finger celan-up to a minimum.

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