What steps do you take when applying polish to your nails?
- I always start with freshly washed and dried hands (or feet!).
- I gently push my cuticles back and clean up any hang nails.
- I swipe the nails with nail polish remover for a good grip of the nail color to the nail.
- I apply one coat of base coat unless it’s a red color nail polish. I apply two coats at least in that case. Some other shades can stain too, not just red shades. I let it dry for a few minutes, just enough that it’s no longer wet to the touch.
- I apply an even coat of the polish on my nails with as few strokes as possible. I start by covering the middle of the nail from the base to the tip of the nail. I then quickly apply polish the same way on the two sides of the nail. If the nail polish color requires a second coat, I let the first coat dry until it’s no longer wet to the touch. Note that drying times vary between brands and finishes of nail polishes. In my experience, glitters and metallics dry much faster than nail polish with other finishes.
- I cover the whole nail with a top coat once the last layer of nail polish is dry enough to not cause “drag” on the nail.
- When it’s fully dry, I apply moisturizer on my hands. This is a must to keep the cuticles moisturized and healthy. I use cuticle oil as needed.
What are your favorite kinds of nail polish?
My favorite color is red and the types of nail polish finishes that I like are glitters, holos, and shimmers. I usually stay away from cremes as they do not appeal to me, but lately they’ve seem to have been multiplying in my collection! I use to only have a few cremes in my collection and it has to be a color that I really like or something that I use for layering.
What are your favorite brands of nail polish?
I am open to using all brands of nail polish however the brand that dominates my nail polish collection is China Glaze. The brand that started my love for nail polish is OPI. My first and favorite polish is OPI’s Smitten with Mittens from their 2009 Holiday Wishes Collection. I am also fond of Mattese Elite, Milani, Nubar, Orly, Sinful Colors, Zoya and my latest discovery: Del Sol. I tend to fall in love with whole collections from a nail polish brand too such as Milani’s One Coat Glitters and Jewel FX , Nubar’s Sparkles, and Zoya’s Flame Collection. How can I forget one of my top 3 brands of all-time, Deborah Lippmann? Pricier than most brands I love, but so worth it!
Where do you shop for your nail polish?
I have purchased from nail e-tailers such as Sally’s, head2toe, 8ty8, Transdesign, Zoya, Nubar, and VNS. I have also received items from a giveaway from Overall Beauty and others have been provided to me for review. There are many nail e-tailers out there. You just have to read reviews on them to check them out before you make a purchase. For retail beauty supply stores, I go to Sally Beauty Supply or ULTA. I have also purchased nail polish from chain drugstores such as CVS and Walgreens. Certain brands are only available in certain retail or online stores. Other retail stores, such as your local grocery stores or national chains like Target and Walmart, also carries nail polishes.
Why are most of your swatches just of one nail?
A reader of mine, George, asked me this a while ago. It’s usually my middle or index finger. When I started this blog, I was comfortable only showing the nail on either finger because 99% of the time the nail length is different for all fingers. My pinky finger tends to be the short one at all times and it’s because I get a tear on that finger many times more than any other finger. This also enabled me to continue swatching if either nail broke and had to be filed short. I don’t like pictures of my nail when it’s short. In some swatches they are and that means both my middle and index finger have suffered a break or tear. :( Eventually, this just became a habit of mine even when all 4 fingers are relatively the same length. It also has become an identifying factor of my blog to some extent for my readers. There are so many other blogs sporting 3 or 4 fingers for swatches, so why not just one? I also initially felt that I wanted to keep a uniform look along with my close up shot of one finger, so I just did it for all shots. No one has asked me directly except for George and a few fellow bloggers. I have posted all fingers before, but it’s very rare. For comparison photos, you can bet that you’ll see more than one finger from me.
You will see some terminology in my polish posts that you may not be familiar with. Here is a small breakdown of the most commonly used ones. If you notice that something is not here but mentioned in a post or if you have something to add to this list that relates to the content of my blog, feel free to email me at email@example.com what it is and I’ll gladly add it.
chrome – nail polish finish that is mirror-like or like aluminum foil
creme – nail polish finish that is smooth and not glittery or shimmery at all
drag – refers to the occurrence of applying a layer of nail polish or top coat over a layer that has not dried enough for that (it “drags” the layer underneath)
duo – short for duochrome, nail polish finish that changes between two different colors depending on the angle you are looking from
enamel – another term typically used for nail polish; also see lacquer or varnish
foil – nail polish finish that has the look and shine of aluminum foil, but scattered instead of linear
franken - short for frankenpolish, it is a nail polish color created by mixing different nail polish colors and/or pigments such as mica
frost – also often referred to as pearl or satin, nail polish finish that is shiny like satin but often has the problem of streaky application
glass fleck – nail polish finish that is packed with glass or diamond-like glitter, usually has more glitter than shimmers but the glitter doesn’t really look like the glitter in common glitter nail polishes
glitter – nail polish finish that is packed with glitter which can come in different sizes, color, and density
gradient – a nail polish application technique where one uses several different nail polishes to create a gradient look
holo – short for holographic, nail polish finish that has a holographic effect (which is also known as the rainbow effect) when light hits
iridescent - nail polish finish like a duochrome but the different colors are not as distinct as duochromes and they are usually sheer in nature
jelly – nail polish finish that gives off a jelly look
konad - refers to Konad plates used in creating various designs on nails
lacquer – another term typically used for nail polish; also see enamel or varnish
lemming – refers to a want of a particular nail polish
mani – short for manicure
matte – nail polish finish that is dull (can be achieved on non-matte nail polish with a matte top coat)
metallic – nail polish finish that reflects the look and shine of metal colors
neon – refers to nail polish colors that are really blindingly bright
pedi - short for pedicure
sheer – refers to the opaqeness of the color rather than the nail polish finish
shimmer – nail polish finish that have a shimmery look, almost like very fine glass flecked effect
skittles – refers to when one has a different color on ever finger or toes (like the candy Skittles – rainbow colors!)
stamping – refers to applying designs onto one’s nails by using stamping plates
suede – nail polish finish that is napped and has a velvety look; amazing shimmer shows with a layer of top coat
vampy – refers to nail polish colors that are dark and mostly red in color
varnish – another term typically used for nail polish; also see enamel or lacquer
VNL - short for visible nail line, refers to the nail line being visible still after nail polish application
water marbling – a nail polish application technique using water to create a marble look on nails