Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Makeup Tips and Tricks--Manicures

Since I’ve been asked by a few of you what nail polish I use, today’s post is all about nails—an episode of Makeup Mondays on a Wednesday!

I’ll preface this post by saying that I don’t have great nails to begin with—I’ve struggled with peeling for a few years (and I don’t tolerate a lot of polish brands), which has always made it a struggle to keep polish on for more than a day or so.  Last year I heard about a new type of product, a hybrid gel polish that promised two weeks of chip free-wear.  Intrigued by these claims, I went in for my first manicure—and was thrilled with the result (over two weeks of perfect wear—wow!)  I started getting regular Shellac and Gelish manicures, but after awhile, I decided that the expense was too much.  Right around that time I noticed that Sally Beauty was now selling both the nail colors and the UV lamp required to cure this type of product, so I decided to splurge and picked up a starter kit.  I found it fairly simple to apply at home, but I ran into issues when it came time to remove the product.  I’m rather impatient, and in my haste to speed up the removal process I ended up damaging my nails scraping and peeling off the color.  After about two months, I was left with very thin, weak, and sensitive nails, and I knew I needed to give them a rest.

So it was back to regular polish again—but luckily, even though I’d weakened my nails, the Gelish seemed to have almost completely resolved the peeling issues.  So, for those of you who have the same issue I did, you might try getting Gelish/Shellac manicures to see if that helps the peelies grow out!

My current fave products are made by Revlon—the “Post Trauma Nail Treatment” is an amazing base coat, and it has definitely helped strengthen my nails and eliminate the remaining peeling.  After removing the old polish and pushing back my cuticles (I use Blue Cross cuticle remover for this step), I start with a single coat, allow it to dry for a couple of minutes, and then apply two thin coats of color (Revlon Red, Love That Red, Fire and Ice, and Cherries in the Snow are my go-to shades—in the hair styling videos, I’m wearing Fire and Ice.)  Then, I apply a thin coat of Revlon’s “Extra Life No Chip” top coat.  I find that although this delivers on the promise of no chips, it takes a little too long to dry (did I mention that I can be impatient?)  So, I top this off with a layer of Seche Vite, which provides a glassy finish and dries in just a few minutes.  With this combination, I get a good two weeks of wear with minimal chipping or peeling.  And when it’s time to redo my manicure, it takes only a minute to remove the polish and start over—no more endless soaking and scraping!

Anyway, those are the secrets to my vintage manicure—I hope you find them helpful!
Amanda Lee


  1. Amanda, it's like you are looking right into my brain! I also had peeling nails, stress and diet related. My girlfriend got me hooked on shellanicures (I call them) and now my nails are much better! The expense is much and I also slowed down on it, but it was worth it in the long run.

  2. Thank you very much for sharing your experiences and tips, sweet gal. I tend to have a tricky time getting polish to stay chip-free for more than a couple of days, too, but can sometimes help combat that by applying a very thin clear top coat each evening before going to bed.

    Wishing you a gorgeous weekend,
    ♥ Jessica

  3. Great tips! I may have to look into the treatment and no chip top coat you mentioned next time I'm at the drug store. I used a fast drying top coat from Essie but I don't think it does much in the ways of protection. I have some peeling issues as well, but mainly can't get a my polish to last more than a couple of days, either. Frustrating, for sure!

  4. Thanks for the tips! I suffer the same peeling issue, and I (like a lot of gals, I guess)can rarely get my polish to last without chipping. I've been liking Revlon more, lately, especially since I found out that they don't test on animals. I'll have to try the base coat you mentioned!
    BTW, I just added myself to your "followers"...thanks for the great posts!