A couple of weeks ago I dedicated an entire Saturday to pampering … massage, pedicure, manicure … a day of relaxation. However, on that very day I made a decision: no more manicures outside of my home.
I had complete buyers remorse. In the past couple of years I have perfected my Sunday night nail routine and anyone else’s work on my nails dulls in comparison. I’ve also perfected it to half an hour with no smudging after the top coat. Two things happened immediately after leaving the spa:
- I smudged my big toe in the grocery store, because I am a clutz
- The nail polish on my hand nails bubbled and lost their shine … I ended up taking off the polish two hours later and repainting at home
Was it the product? Possibly. I won’t call anyone out here, but the reasons above were the reasons why I stopped using a particular brand (if you are one who gets frequent manicures I’m sure you can guess which brand I’m speaking of). I won’t deny that I’m not a nail polish snob. I’ve simply spent too much money and spent too much time waiting for my nails to dry only to smudge them three hours later.
Why is my particular nail routine such a big deal to me? Because I feel like this is one beauty process I’ve perfected that I won’t have to abandon with a busy work schedule or busy family schedule. It’s one beauty regimen that doesn’t take too much energy or effort that makes me feel beautiful. Call me vain? Nah, call me happy and content.
Like I said I keep my routine to about half an hour (or less sometimes). I am an Essie girl through-and-through. I start by removing any excess nail polish with Zoya 3-in-1 formula (Birchbox find), which has a top pump i.e. spill proof. I then clean up my cuticles and file to a short/medium length.
Because I am a nervous picker my cuticles really take a beating (ever want to know if I’m feeling anxious about something, take a look at my hands). I use Essie’s Apricot Cuticle Oil around my cuticles when they are looking particularly rough and it tends to soften them up pretty quickly.
Because of my clutzy nature I do one of two things regarding keeping nail polish off my cuticles: I either prevent it happening all together, or have another technique I’ll talk about in a little bit. I once read on a Pinterest pin about all the wonderful uses of Vaseline, including, keeping nail polish off of your cuticles. If I’m not short on time I’ll sit using a pointed beauty q-tip and rub a little vaseline around my cuticles, careful not to touch my nails. This DOES keep nail polish off of the skin around your nails.
I use Essie “first base base coat” prior to any color. Provides an amazing surface for an even color and dries quickly so I don’t have to wait to apply color.
Next I add a colored polish. I have a wide range of colors that are my regulars, lately it’s been corally reds like Essie’s “too too hot”. Other weeks they’ll be what I call wedding colors like “blushing bride” or “waltz”, those soft pinks and whites. I wait about 5 minutes before applying a second coat.
Essie’s formula is really thin, which is why some people aren’t fans of it. For me this is actually the draw. The color is concentrated enough for me, and I prefer a formula that will not get lumpy over time. I give it another 5 minutes before top coat.
If I didn’t use the Vaseline technique the other one I have I do after color and before top coat. I use an angled eyeliner brush, tap it in a little nail polish remover, and sweep it along my cuticles. I’ve seen Sally Hanson tools that do the same thing, but this is far cheaper over time.
Once I feel the color has set for the most part I apply Essie’s “good to go!” If you take only one thing from today’s post, go get “good to go!” I paint it on, wait about 5 minutes and I’m good to go, no joke. If I do this before bed I don’t have to worry about a big smudge when I wake up and the shine lasts for days. I took these pictures 2 days ago and my nails look the same today.
What beauty regimens have you perfected over the years? Help a sister out! Like this post if you are an Essie girl too. xoxo ‘n lols, crystal
**As a reminder this blog is not currently sponsored and we have no affiliations to any of the brands listed … Crystal just really loves Essie … for real.