How to Grow Strong and Beautiful Nails

Having fabulous looking nails is easy. You can either go to a salon and have your nails done by a professional nail technician or learn to do it the right way and have it done on your own at home and at your own convenience. Either way, you still have to spend some time to do a perfect manicure or pedicure. Nonetheless, however long-lasting the SNS dipping powder you use on your nails, the day will still come when you need to have your nails done again.

Nice hands on white towel

Constantly exposing your nails and your hands to some nail polish products, especially a nail polish remover, may cause your nails to become brittle and weak in the process. So, how do you keep your nails strong while keeping your nails beautiful?

Let us show you how.

1. Keep your hands out of the water

Frequent hand washing and exposing your hands to water will over hydrate and expand your nails with the water that they absorbed. However, the nails will contract as the moisture dries up or evaporates. This leaves your hands and your nails drier with each exposure and causes your nails to chip or break easily.

You can use hand gloves if you would need to wash the dishes, or do things that will require you to use your hands. Make sure, however, that the gloves that you are using are thin and big enough that your hands will not sweat as this will also allow moisture to sink in the pores of the skin and the nail bed.

2. File your nails properly

It is not just how you file your nails, but the kind of nail file that you use to shape your nails will define how your nails will look and feel after you have your nails done. It is best to use a fine grit cushion nail file (grit grade 180 and higher) as this is gentler on the nails. File in one direction and gently instead of back and forth as this will weaken the edges of your nails. It will also cause your nails to rip, break, or tear easily.

3. Use nail paints that are chemical-free

Chemicals that are added to any nail polish formula such as the toxic trio (toluene, phthalates, and formaldehyde) can damage your nails. Fortunately, there are organic nail polish formulas that are made to be vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free. These nail polish brands (OPI gel polish, Kiara Sky, SNS) are just a few of the many available in the market that won’t strip your nails and skins of their natural oils.

4. Nourish your cuticles

You don’t need to trim your cuticles. When preparing your nails for a manicure, use a wooden orange stick to gently push the cuticle back. Pampering them with nourishing oils will also them moisturized. You can use natural moisturizers, cuticle creams, and balms to repair the cuticles and the nails. The cuticle is part of your nails so you need to look after its health to keep your nails grow strong and beautiful.

5. Have a nail polish holiday

Your nails also need to rest. Having nail polish on your nails for quite a long time will eventually damage your nails even if you use the safest available nail polish products available. It is not actually the nail paint but the constant exposure to the chemicals that may be used in the removal process that can make your nails to become brittle, thin, and dry. Give your nails some time to rest in between a manicure or a pedicure.

6. Prefer a healthy diet

Eating healthy is a sure way to keep your body (that includes your nails) free from radical damage. Incorporate foods that are rich in magnesium, vitamin D, antioxidants, fish oil and coconut oil.

7. Keep your nails short (just not too short)

This is the easiest way to keep them from unintended tension from accidental pressure. Shorter nails are also easier to manage.

8. Take Biotin supplements

Biotin is the only natural supplement that has been tested and proven to be effective in strengthening the nails. Though it is non-toxic and has no known side effects, you still need to consult a doctor if you intend to do so.

Starting to see unsightly changes on your nails? This could be the time to do one or more of these tips to bring the life back to your nails.

Cupcake Polish Group Customs

Group customs are pretty popular right now in the indie nail community. There are a lot of them I have admired even though there is no way I could afford to buy them all. When I saw Sara, the maker of Cupcake Polish, announce she was doing a group custom duo I was pretty excited. Cupcake Polish makes some of my favorite holographic polishes and I was even more excited when I saw the inspiration photos for the duo.

Sarah created two awesome and super saturated shades for the Cupcake Polish Lovers Facebook group. Both have incredible formulas lots of depth. I wanted to wait to post this to allow some time for current group members to purchase the customs before I posted about them here. But don’t worry! You still have plenty of time to purchase these.

#Skwad

Cupcake Polish #skwad

#Skwad is a super saturated cool toned fuchsia. It leans cooler toned than my photos show but my macro photo is closer to the actual color. The formula does lean a bit on the thicker side which is pretty typical for Cupcake Polish. However, it is still very easy to work with and is fully opaque in two coats. Top coat helps to bring out the holographic in #Skwad as well as the hint of gold shimmer. The gold shimmer looks a lot stronger in the bottle than it does on the nail and even though I’m a big shimmer fan I’m okay with this. I feel like a strong shimmer would take away from the beautiful bright color in this case. I do want to give a heads up that you’ll want to wear a good basecoat with this. My nails are a bit porous right now due to a bad experience with a sticky basecoat (That’s a story for another post.) I had a bit of temporary staining on the skin and nail with #Skwad so just take your usual stain blocking precautions and you should be fine.

Supersonique

Cupcake Polish Supersonique

Supersonique is a super vivid cool toned purple. It reminds me of a slightly darker and more saturated version of Lilac You Mean It.  If you have Lilac You Mean It you will still be fine having Supersonique because they are different enough to not be dupes. Supersonique leans more on the indigo side than Lilac You Mean It does but is still very purple. This has a pretty similar formula to #Skwad and was opaque in two coats. The holographic in Supersonique is more intense than #Skwad and it has turquoise blue holographic sparks in it that stand out especially when you topcoat it. Again, you’ll want to watch out for staining with this one, especially if you have porous nails. I had purple tips for a few days, but ags I said, my tips are a bit damaged due to that crummy sticky basecoat incident. Basecoat is your friend! Just might want to avoid the sticky variety for these because the pigment doesn’t need any help sticking.

Overall Impression

I really love these two polishes a lot. Oddly, I think I slightly prefer #Skwad which is funny because I was positive Supersonique would be the obvious favorite for me. Since I’m a terrible enabler I think you should really get both. I really love it when Cupcake Polish does these bright colors and it’s nice to have a bright that isn’t a neon. Both polishes benefit from having a glossy topcoat worn over them but  topcoat also intensifies the color. I don’t mind that topcoat does this but it’s something to be aware of.

You can only purchase these polishes through the Cupcake Nail Polish Lovers facebook group. They are available until July 14th so hope to it if you want them. I highly recommend them especially if you are a fan of bright, super saturated, nail polish like me. If you could only pick one which do you think you would choose? Or are you like me have no self control when it comes to polishes like this?

CrowsToes Nail Color Indian Summer

CrowsToes is a not a new indie brand by any means but is simply new to me. Shimmers are starting to come back which makes me very happy and I love that CrowsToes has some offerings for folks like me who still love multichromes. I have bought a handful of polishes from them s I will be showing them off gradually instead of doing one big post.

CrowsToes Indian Summer

First up is, arguably, one of CrowsToes most popular multichromes, Indian Summer. At first I didn’t really think I needed Indian Summer because it looked a lot like ILNP’s Cygnus Loop. The two polishes have the same color shift and do look pretty similar. I think Indian Summer may be slightly more saturated. The biggest difference I found is Indian Summer has a much stronger magenta shift between the royal purple and red. It still has that royal purple, magenta, red, to copper shift to it that Cygnus Loop does. If you have Cygnus Loop you may be able to skip this one, unless you are a multichrome nut like me. If you wan more of that magenta shift between the purple and red you’ll want Indian Summer.

Indian Summer had a smooth, easy to use, formula that dried fairly quickly. There are a bit of brush strokes when you first apply the polish but most of them disappeared once the polish was fully dried. Topcoat will also help to smooth out those remaining brush strokes. Just for reference’s sake, my photos were taken without topcoat so you could see the polish in its natural state.

It took 3 coats for Indian Summer to be fully opaque on its own. Like with other multichromes you will be able to get it opaque in one coat. Sometimes I find adding the black base is more work unless you have a really nice one coat black polish. Some people say black base makes the color shift in multichromes stronger. I have not noticed that personally but it’s worth a shot if you want to save on polish.

This was the first time I have really been happy with my photos of a multichrome polish. I’ve found multichromes to be in the top three polish finishes to photograph because it’s not easy to capture the color shift and to capture the full spectrum of color shift takes some serious acrobatics with your posing and lighting. I’m disappointed I wasn’t able to capture the copper shift. It’s definitely there in person if you angle your fingers the right way. You are going to mostly see the royal purple, magenta, and red shifts.

I have been really pleased with the turn around time and customer service from CrowsToes. I have made two purchases from their website so far and both times my orders shipped in a timely manner, I received shipping notices and tracking. Everything arrived well packed and I liked that rubber bands that matched he caps were included for each polish. The smooth, short, caps were a bit difficult to open. However, CrowsToes is switching over to matte caps which I’m pretty happy about since they will be easier to grip.

What do you think? Are you happy to see makers still making multichromes?

 

Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer June 2016 Releases

Here are the June 2016 releases from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer. Julie, the maker of Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer had to push the release of these polishes back to July. However, I doubt any of us mind because these polishes are well worth the wait.

This release will consist of a mix of preorder and “first come, first serve” polishes. Today I have the new Siren and the BEGL in the Destination Duo with 6Harts. These will release on Thursday, July 7th at 3:30pm EDT. Excited to see them? Here we go!

Siren’s Poolside Daiquiri

This lovely addition to the BEGL’s Sirens is a bright strawberry pink with rose gold flakies, neon pink to blue shifting flakies, and silver ultra holographic glitters. This polish was opaque for me in two coats and application was a breeze despite how much stuff is in the polish. The polish does dry a bit textured so you will want to topcoat it. I didn’t notice any bumpiness or anything out of the ordinary, just typical micro glitter texture. Topcoat will also help the glitters and flakies stand out better and really sparkle. This is a warmer pink with just a drop of coral to it. I really love the name because the polish reminds me of drinking fruity frozen adult beverages in the shade.

This polish will be available on the BEGL website for preorder on Thursday, July 7th at 3:30pm EDT and will sell for $12.00 USD. If there any overpours they will be available for sale at the end of the month.

Pining for the Pass

This polish is part of this month’s Destination Duo with 6Harts. I really love these Destination polishes because they are inspired by a photo and place. For this month’s the inspiration photo for the duo was taken by Courtney at Lolo Pass in Montana I really dig it. It’s not a picture you would typically pick for a polish inspiration and I really love how creatively it was interpreted.

I received the BEGL in my press release package. For those of you who love those olive type greens this will absolutely be up your alley. Pining for the Pass is a pine green polish with red to gold shifting flakies, bright gold flakies, and clear ultra holographic flakies. I really liked this one and it’s a color combination we don’t always see. It makes me think of sunlight sparkling through the spaces in between leaves on a tree. The red to gold shifting flakies create a strong shimmer effect in the polish with flecks of gold and holographic. It’s nice to have something different and this really does make me think of a hike through the woods.

The formula on this was a bit sheerer and like a true jelly. This will be a 2-3 coat polish depending on application. Honestly, even if you have a slight bit of visible nail line you will really have to strain to see it because there’s so many flakies in this polish. Like the Siren, this dried slightly textured and needed a topcoat.

Pining for the Pass will release with a polish from 6Harts called Rock of Ages. I didn’t receive that polish but Rock of Ages is described as a medium gray polish with green, color shifting, and dark gray micro flakies along with a small amount of micro glitter. You’ll want to check out the BEGL Website as well as the 6Harts website for photos. The duo will also come with bonus glitter packet full of coordinating glitters in various colors and shapes. They are meant to be worn with the polish for nail art purposes but not meant to be mixed in with them.

You will be able to purchase this month’s destination duo from both BEGL and 6Harts websites. However, be aware that 6Harts does not ship internationally. The duo will cost $20 shipped domestically and $20 shipped with a prorated fee for international customers.

Overall Impression

Both of these polishes are really lovely and have excellent formulas. It’s important to note that bEGL’s polishes do run a bit on the thicker side and you may need to add a couple drops of thinner if you prefer your polishes to be thinner. I have never had a bad polish from BEGL and they are well worth having. Which of the two polishes draw your eye the most?