Friday, 31 October 2014

Manicure Truths From A Non-Expert

One of my manicures as seen on my Instagram page

Hey there!  Hope you are all well.  As someone who has always enjoyed maintaining the health and look of her nails, I figured it would only make sense to write about my learnings regarding the topic of manicures.  Over the years, I have read many a blog claiming to know the "tricks" or "secrets" to a long-lasting, easy-to-do manicure.  After trying most of these suggestions, I now know which ones are true and which ones are definitely false.  Here are my findings --

Rounded tips prolong a manicure | So very true!  If you want your nails to remain chip-free for longer, shape them so that the edges are rounded with no sharp corners.  Nails that are square tend to get chipped sooner due to corners being exposed to wear and tear.

Applying a base coat will help nail polish adhere to nails better | In my experience, I cannot confidently say that this is true.  I find that adding a base coat plus two coats of colour then a top coat only thickens the manicure, causing the polish to bubble and take longer to dry, thus increasing the risk of accidental dents or imprints.  Nail varnish also has a tendency to chip or peel off easier if it is too thick.

A good top coat will provide longer-lasting nails | Yes! But I must emphasise the "good" part.  Many nail professionals advise you to use a fast-drying top coat.  Having tried this myself, I find that these products only serve to harden the outer layer of polish, leaving nails prone to dents if accidentally bumped.  Also, the quick-dry variety doesn't give nails the gloss and enduring shine that slow-drying top coats do.

Nails will set instantly if sprayed with cooking oil | False! This supposed breakthrough tip found on many modern blogs is, with want of a better term, complete hooey.  The first time I read about this, I was so excited that I immediately tried it out.  You can imagine how disappointed I was when I realised it wasn't true.  The science of it makes sense - newly applied nail polish is sticky to the touch, so spraying a non-stick oil on top will make the surface slick and hence less likely to smudge.  It doesn't, however, dry nails completely as claimed.  Nails will get dented and ruined if you go about your business even after spraying with cooking oil.  It's just a fact.  Sorry.

Nails will set instantly if plunged into ice water | Another false tip.  As mentioned above, yes the outer layer of your manicure will harden slightly, but this doesn't completely set it as a whole.  Again, sorry.

Thin layers of polish will last longer | Hell yeah! Two thin layers of colour applied with two minutes between coats then left to dry naturally for 30 minutes before a thin layer of top-coat, is by far the best way to ensure a long-lasting manicure.

Roll don't shake | So many blogs advise you that it is better to roll a bottle of polish between your hands as opposed to shaking it, before application.  I can honestly tell you, that it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever.  Shaking is said to make polish uneven and harder to apply.  I have yet to experience this.  If anything, I find that shaking the bottle loosens varnish, especially if it has been sitting on the shelf for a while.

Here's hoping you have found my personal experiences helpful to your own manicure journeys.  One more suggestion I'd like to make, has probably been the most effective strategy for me, and that is to paint your nails before bed.  This is so they have overnight to dry completely.  Of course you will need to ensure you sleep with your hands exposed so as not to get imprints and smudges in polish.  I have successfully done my nails like this for years and can confidently say that it works!

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