Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Off and on and off again ...

I am getting to be a pro at removing acrylic nails, fo' sho'! I got a new job a few months back and was bummed that my natural nails (that I had kept up beautifully for 4 months) weren't holding up to some of my job duties. Ripping and tearing and splitting ... so frustrating and painful when they would peel from below the fingertip line. Bandaids weren't cutting it to protect them from further damage, so I put the solar nails back on.
And now they are off again.
I missed being able to paint my nails each week and the cost for upkeep was getting ridiculous (especially when the acrylic wasn't lasting as long as it should have).
So here is my quick tutorial to help you remove the acrylic without damaging your natural nails to much further:

You will need the following supplies (I purchased these at a local beauty supply store that is open to the public, costing a total of $21 for everything) ... nail clippers, 100% Acetone Remover, multiple nail file blocks in various levels of coarseness, cuticle oil, and a ridge filler (preferably one that also strengthens)
  • Cut off any remaining tips and shorten nails to desired length with nail clippers.

  • With a very coarse nail block (I used a medium), sand over the tops of your nails to remove any sealants or top coats.

  • Soak your nails for about a minute in a bowl of 100% Acetone.

  • The first layer of acrylic will start to get gummy ... scrape this layer off (I used my thumb nails to do this - you could also use a wood cuticle stick)

  • Soak again and repeat for several more layers.

  • Here's how I keep my nails from being absolutely ruined ... leave a thin layer of acrylic on your nails!!

  • Take your coarse file block and sand over the tops of your nails to smooth ... then use your finer sanding block ... then your finest block to buff your nails to a naturally smooth surface.

  • Your cuticles and fingertips will be very dry from the acetone treatment. Apply your cuticle oil and massage into skin. Push back cuticles at this time if needed.

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water, cleaning your nail surfaces thoroughly.

  • Buff nails again if needed and be sure you don't have any snags.

  • Apply one to two coats of the ridge filler as your base, and paint nails with desired color. Ridge fillers tend to be a natural color, so you can even get away with using just the filler and a top coat for shine.

This process took me about 20 minutes (without painting a color). Each time I give myself a manicure, I will continue to buff off the remaining acrylic until it is gone. This keeps a protective (but very thin) layer of strength over my nails until they have had time to strengthen on their own.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

20 Questions

A few months ago I answered 20 Questions for Helen at Just Nice Things, and she posted my answers on Friday!

So fun to see! Thanks for featuring my answers Helen!

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Thursday, October 21, 2010


Okay girls ... I am slightly embarrassed. I had a very brief moment of weakness after I got a new job a few months ago and I put solar nails back on.
Now I am taking them off again.
I know - what in the world was I thinking?!? I was having so many issues with my natural (and weak) nails breaking and tearing while doing what my job duties required, and I wanted reinforcement. I am so over all the maintenance (and cost!!) of the solar nails, so I went to the local beauty supply store and got the necessary products to remove the acrylic once again. I will post a step-by-step guide within the next 2 days on how I removed my nails with as little damage as possible. Stay tuned!!
In the meantime ... how gorgeous are the colors that Sasha and Smoochiefrog have been posting?!? I am loving the Orly Out Of This World, Essie's Aruba Blue, and Sally Hansen HD in DVD colors!!! The SpaRitual colors are so amazing for this fall and winter seasons and Zoya's Valerie is absolutely stunning!!

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NOTD: Orly Out of This World

Orly Out of This World

This is from the Cosmic collection and is described as "a deep purple base with shimmer flecks of violet purple and green gold".

My light was not all that great this morning when I took this shot before work, but I think you can still see how gorgeous this is. I don't think the "green gold" flecks are that apparent, but it is still beautiful.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

NOTD: Deborah Lippmann Ruby Red Slippers

Deborah Lippmann Ruby Red Slippers

Although the effect of this polish was gorgeous, I have to tell you first that removal of this, like Marquee Moon, was a big fat pain.

I used the scrubby tub that I usually use for glitters, and it got the base polish and smaller glitter off just fine.... but I was still left with large silver hex-glitter pieces stuck to my nails, and no amount of time in the scrubby tub would remove them.

I had to use my thumbnail and scrape them off. That can't be good!

Krystal at Polish Galore used a coat of black underneath, so that may be the way to go to make removal easier. Anyone else tried that and had good luck?

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

NOTD: OPI Chile O Caliente

OPI Chile O Caliente

This shade was my years-long HG pedi color, and I still love it! It's definitely one I reach for over and over during the summer.

I am still testing out Nubar Diamont as my topcoat, and it is a new love. I understand the formula was changed, then changed back. Anyone know how I can be assured I will get the oldest formula if I order?

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

NOTD: Sally Hansen HD in DVD

Sally Hansen HD in DVD

This was absolutely gorg, especially in the sun, but it most likely needed 4 coats and I just did 3. Or at least I needed to do an additional coat on the tips in between full coats....

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Monday, October 11, 2010

SpaRitual Fall 2010: Imagine Collection

SpaRitual explores a dazzling realm of color with the NEW Imagine Collection for Fall 2010. Rich, atmospheric hues that are on trend for fall combine with transitional shades and unexpected foil effects to create a collection that is a true catalyst for creative expression.

I received three bottles from the new collection to review.

Living in the Moment - Cashmere Mauve Creme

A World of Compassion - Dusty Periwinkle Creme

Dreams Becoming Reality - Cool Blue Turquoise

This was my first experience with SpaRitual and I am so impressed! These colors applied like butter and were almost opaque in one coat, although I went ahead and applied two coats for swatching purposes.

I thought all three shades were absolutely gorgeous and as the press released stated, very on-trend. My favorite was World of Compassion, and I think the dusty periwinkle suits my yellow undertones so well.

Other shades in the collection:
Endless Possibilities - Midnight Plum Creme
Unconditional Love - Peach Shimmer
Health, Wealth, & Happiness - Huey Blue Shimmer

Practicing a philosophy that a beautiful environment inspires beauty, SpaRitual Nail Lacquers and Elixirs are Vegan and are free of DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde resin.

The Imagine Fall 2010 Collection lacquers are available for $10 each online at skinstore.com and skincarerx.com.
Disclosure: This collection was sent to me for review purposes.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

NOTD: L'oreal Femme Noir

L'oreal Femme Noir

This is one of the shades from the new limited edition L'Oreal Midnight Muse collection (Nouveau Cheap has pics of the full display). I recently purchased it at CVS.

This is gorgeous- hopefully you can see the deep wine shimmer- love it!

I also am trying out Nubar Diamont as my topcoat- I had a brand-new bottle that was about a year old, and I heard they recently switched their formula (and switched it back?), and I got curious since I had never tried it.

I painted my nails last night before bed, and did quite a bit of paper shuffling at work today, and I have the tiniest bit of tip wear on my middle finger- that's it!

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