I love painting my fingernails! And as strange as this might sound, I think of my nails as an accessory. One I wear everyday! So I figure they might as well be colorful. 🙂 I’ve been doing my own nails regularly since middle school, so I have the whole process down to a science. It takes me about five minutes and usually lasts a good 5-7 days. Not bad for hands that do a lot of dishes!
People have told me so many times over the years that they don’t paint their own nails, because it takes too long and then doesn’t even last. But I disagree! It’s like anything else: the more you do it, the easier it gets. And I have some products to recommend that make the process so much quicker. I’ve found that the right products are the secret to making the polish last.
A few years ago one of my photography clients introduced me to CND polishes and products. She was a nail tech, and at the time, CND only sold to professionals. So she hooked me up with some some polish and a few other products, and I’ve been using them ever since. Before that my go-to polishes were OPI and Essie. But now I always use CND Vinylux or Sally Hansen Miracle Gel. The Sally Hansen polishes have a thicker brush, so I like the application process with those, but the CND Vinylux lasts a little longer for me.
An at home manicure with the gel polish I use will NOT last as long as a gel manicure from a professional. We aren’t baking layers of gel onto our nails, so naturally, it’s not going to stay put for the same amount of time. But for me, that’s okay. I don’t want to go to the salon every time I need my gel polish removed. I’ve tried everything to get that stuff off myself and always end up peeling it off my nails. Yikes! And doing my nails myself saves me a lot of money. I do visit the nail salon sometimes for pedicures but mostly just for special occasions!
My manicure process is so simple. I file my nails really short, because I think they look better short when they’re painted. (Definitely a personal preference!) And I don’t ever bother with a base coat. I just do two coats of either CND Vinylux or Sally Hansen Miracle Gel. My favorite colors are greys, black, blues, and sometimes bright white. Next I apply one layer of the gel top coat. (I’ve found that it doesn’t matter if I mix and match the color from one brand and the top coat from another.) Then I use my secret ingredient!!! CND Solar Speed Spray. This stuff is AMAZING! It dries my nails completely in 10 minutes, tops. I just spray it on and let it sit on my nails for a few minutes, and they dry crazy fast. Once they’re dry, I apply this cuticle eraser to smooth the skin around my nails. This gives them more of a clean, salon manicured look.
That’s it! After this, my nails are all set for about a week. I hope these products help motivate you to try doing your own nails too!