Here is the second installment of A Look Inside. You can see the first one here.
The next couple will be getting to the meat and bones of my addiction: the products themselves.
I wanted to show the products I use every time (or most of the time) I paint my nails.
So let’s start with the beginning…
Since I paint my nails every Thursday, I always start by removing my nail polish from the prior week. I usually clip my nails every other week, because I have a tendency to cut them a little too short or jagged. I like to clip them after I’ve removed the polish so I can get an idea of how much I should take down. (I have been known to clip my nails with polish still on them. It’s like a second manicure! But I only usually do it when one of the nails breaks.) Nail polish remover isn’t something I’m stingy about. I like to go for more soothing kinds, but I’ve used acetone Cutex, which really helps remove polish quickly, especially with rough glitter polishes.
I suck at clipping my nails, so I usually have to file or buff parts to even things out.
I recently purchased this 7-in-1 filer/buffer and it is quite awesome. It was less than 2 dollars at Rite Aid. Steal!
And finally, before the fun begins, Essie’s Protein Base Coat. I have tried quite a few base coats, which is an oft-overlooked but super important part of an at-home manicure, especially if you do it as consistently as I do. My nails were in terrible shape before I picked up this base coat. When my polish would chip, it was often because a part of my nail was breaking. I am happy to report that this hasn’t been an issue since I picked up this base coat. It’s magical and I highly recommend it!
Onto the middle process.
These are my favorite items to have around me while I’m actually painting my nails or doing some nail art.
No matter what, you have to keep some cotton swabs nearby. I use them to clean up when I paint outside the lines. Which is almost always.
I bought the toothpicks, makeup sponges, and reinforcement stickers specifically for nail art.
The toothpicks are great for dotting. The sponge can be used to make a gradient (I’m still working on this).
And the reinforcement stickers are great for isolating spaces to make cool shapes and use different nail polishes on one nail.
Finally, my extremely messy striper/dotting tool. I don’t use the brush anymore.
But the dotting tool is great, and I’d love to pick up a couple more of these in different brush/dot sizes.
Finally, the end process.
My end products. Essie makes some great base/top coats. I won’t be straying from these two any time soon. Good to go! is an excellent top coat. Everything stays nice and even, it dries fast, and it has excellent shine. Before I started using the top coat, I purchased the
Nicole by O.P.I. Drying Drops. They are amazing. And the duo is hard to beat. I used to mess up my nails so often (I can’t help it, I’m impatient), but with these two products, I don’t have to worry beyond 30 minutes of being careful. Which is better than all dang day and night.
So these are my favorite products/must-haves. I highly recommend every product I’ve listed here.
Questions are welcome!