Daily Blog #12: Freestyle Week!

Hey!

We made it to week 3 of this daily blogging challenge! *woot*

Ok, I’m just going to talk about nail polish since that’s the last thing I talked about and I was all giddy about sharing more.

[WARNING: This is a loooong post. I had no idea I’d write this much about nails. Clearly, I have a problem! lol]

I started doing my nails heavily a few years ago. Like I mentioned, I had never been into doing my nails as a teenager, mainly because I couldn’t due to cheerleading. But also, whenever I did my nails, they just never came out great. My left hand would look amazing (since I’m right-handed) and my right hand would look like a toddler painted my nails. Yuck. Not cute. So I didn’t bother most times. In college, I still didn’t get into it. I would, however, paint my toenails during the summer because I have cute toes. 🙂 #bragging #nothumble

I started getting into painting my nails because I got into reading more about beauty and fashion. I was seeing all of these great nail polish trends and was like, hey I’m going to paint my nails. So I did. And with practice, I can paint my nails like a G. *nods head*

Here are some of my favorite nail enamel/lacquer/polish brands:

L’Oreal – LOVE L’Oreal. For a drugstore brand, they have really great colors. I try to find unique colors and they tend to have the most unique ones. I think Revlon has some pretty great colors too, but I like L’Oreal the best because:

  1. The consistency of their polish is nice. Not too thick, not too thin
  2. The BRUSHES! YES. The brushes are rounded, which makes it SUPER easy to paint your nails.
  3. The polish lasts pretty long. I’ve had bottles for a few years now and they are still close to perfect consistency

OPI – I wish I could love OPI more, but that $8.50 price is not cute. BUT, they have a wide variety of colors, which is awesome. I like that you can get them anywhere now, not just in Sephora or Ulta. They last a LONG time. I have several bottles of OPI that I bought in 2010 and they are PERFECT. They are nowhere near goopy/thick. I do wish, however, they would get the rounded brushes like their little sister brand, Nicole by OPI. I don’t really care for Nicole’s colors, but they have the rounded brushes which I love.

Sinful Colors – Do you like polish on a budget? Get this brand! SC is usually $1.99 in most drugstores, but I’ve seen it as high as $2.29 (thanks, NYC!). SC is a great brand. They have a broad range of colors, but nothing super unique (kind of a bummer for me). Most of their colors are basic, with several shade variations of reds, blues, greens, etc. If you like simple colors, this is the brand for you. They’re like the American Apparel of nail polish! *lol* Oh, and the BEST thing about SC is that their polishes are ‘3-free’. Meaning, they are free from formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). Don’t know what the heck that is? Read this. Essentially, they are free from those three toxic chemicals that can cause issues when constantly inhaled and used. If you are being conscious of chemicals, this is the brand for you. Also, SC is one of the few 3-free brands I’ve seen that are this cheap! There are other 3-free brands, but they typically run in the $10+ range. Even if you aren’t environment/health conscious, these don’t have a strong smell (due to lack of those chemicals), so these are good if the smell of nail polish bothers you.

Revlon – I like Revlon but for one reason only: Revlon’s Quick Dry Base Coat. I DO buy their polishes, but this base coat….girlllll you betta get some of this!! lol!

Do you have problems with your polish lasting and you use a base coat? If so, try changing your base coat to this one! I started using this on a whim. And lo and behold, it turned out to be awe-some. “Pro” tip #1 – When painting your nails, always use a base coat. You want one that’s “sticky” to the (light) touch when dry. Why? Uhh, so your polish will stick to it, silly! 🙂 Yes, you need a base coat if you want your nails to last. The purpose of it is so your polish will have something to adhere to. But, check your base because not all of them are created equal!! Some simply act like a clear coat. You don’t want that. Touch your base coat about a minute and a half after you’ve applied it. Is it sticky? Yes? GOOD. If it’s not sticky, it’s probably not going to do much good for you. Switch to one that’s sticky. Oh, where can you find one that’s sticky? REVLON. Get it! Thank me later. 🙂

Ok, I have MORE brands that I have love/hate relationships with:

1. Butter LONDON: 

What I LOVE:

a. LOVE THE COLORS! Do you like unique colors? They’ll have it. I seriously have a list a mile long of the colors I want from this brand. [FYI: Deborah Lippmann also has very unique colors, but you will pay $18 for them!]

What I HATE:

a. The PRICE. $15. UGH. UGHHHHH. WHYYYY!?!

b. The consistency does NOT last. I have 4 bottles of BL. Two of them went to goop city after about 6 months. The others followed suit after a year. No, I take that back. I still have 1 bottle. It’s hanging on for dear life. But it’s not looking pretty.

Basically, while I love, love their colors, I don’t want to spend $15 if they aren’t going to last me at LEAST two years. Yes, if I’m paying that sort of money, I need two years. OPI is damn near $9 and I’ve had ALL of my bottles (I have about 6) for 5 years. All of them are like new. I love BL’s colors, but man, they sorta suck. :-/

2. Essie:

What I LOVE:

a. I love their colors. They have a huge range, similar to OPI. They have a few unique shades, but overall they are pretty basic. I mean, Essie has like 20 different pinks. That’s crazy. Ok, maybe not 20. But she has a huge shade variation, maybe even more varied than OPI.

What I HATE:

a. Consistency sucks. I have 4-5 bottles and all of them separated within a year. Now, while I don’t like that, they are still usable, unlike BL. But, it still speaks to how they’re made if they’re separating. And it’s not about storage because I store all of my polishes together, so it’s not like my Essies are sitting under a heat lamp or something. Now that I think about it, Essie is the only polish I have that separates! Even my cheap Sinful Colors don’t do that!

b. Price. I don’t mind paying the $8.50-9.50, but not if they’re going to separate like that. That’s not cute. OPI doesn’t do that and it’s the same price.

Finally, some polishes that I will not buy ever again because they just suck: Wet n’ Wild and Sally Hansen. I know Sally is a “respected” brand, but I have never had success with their polishes. They get really gooey pretty fast on me AND they’re like $5-7. Nope. Again, it’s not the price. I don’t mind that, but I’m not paying $5 for goop in 3-4 months. That’s not cute. WnW…well, they’re just a cheap brand. If I need cheap, I’ll go with Sinful Colors.

I know I’ve used some other crappy brands, I’ll have to look at my collection to jog my memory.

Finally, finally, some tips!

1. Base coat – I talked about this above. Use it. Seriously.

2. “Wrapping” the polish – If you’re used to getting your nails done, then you’ve seen the nail techs do this technique. To get your nails to last longer and look like you had them done, “wrap” (paint) the polish onto the tips of the nails. Essentially, paint the top edge of your nail with base coat, your nail color and then your top coat. Your nails will look 10 times better AND last longer. Yes, this requires extra work. If you don’t have the time, thennnnn, don’t do it? But if you have a special event coming up and don’t wanna shell out the cash to get them done, then doing this trick will make your nails look pretty great!

3. Top coat – Duh. You need this in your life. Not only do you get the shine, but you seal in all that hard work! My recommendation? Seche Vite Fast Drying Top Coat. Get IT! For real, this top coat is BOMB. It dries your nails in about a minute. I’m not kidding. I paint my nails before bed all the time now because of this top coat. Before, I’d paint them and wake up to messed up nails. Not cute. Seche Vite solves those problems. You get that great nail salon shine AND they dry fast as hell. 😀

Few things to note about SV:

1. It is STRONG. Like, use in a ventilated area type strong. I’ve been using it for years and I’m not used to it. It’s stroooong. Now, if that’s not your cup of tea, try Revlon’s Quick Dry Top Coat. It’s strong too, but not as strong. It also dries almost as fast as Seche…almost. Pretty damn close.

2. Seche Vite is $9.99. It is worth it.

3. You’ll have to purchase this at Ulta or order online from Ulta if you don’t live near one. SOME drugstores will randomly carry this though, so definitely check your CVS, Rite Aid, etc. I randomly found it at Rite Aid a few months back. Usually, I get it from Ricky’s (in NYC) or I order it from Ulta. It’s a must have for me, so I will hunt.it.down. ha!

4. You need to also buy the Seche Vite Restore. This is a liquid (same size as the top coat) that literally restores your SV Top Coat to it’s original consistency. One of the downsides of SV is that it gets GOOEY! Lord, does it get gooey! You will HATE it. But then you get the Restore. You put 3-4 drops of Restore into the top coat, roll it around between your palms and presto!! It’s NEW again! Why don’t all polishes come with this amazing liquid?!! So you must buy the Restore if you buy the Top Coat. Yes, that means spending almost $20, but you will thank me later for your beautiful nails that you did yourself! 🙂

Ok. That’s all she wrote! Until next time!

-t

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