So I really like nail polish. I mean really, really like it.
Buying new colors is kind of an addiction at this point. On top of that, I’m a nail perfectionist. I put a high premium on neat application, full coverage, and lasting color.
See, the thing is, I haven’t always been crazy about painted nails. When I was a teenager – the age when I theoretically should have been sooooo into painting my nails – I actually really hated it. Or rather, I really hated (and continue to hate) chipped nail polish. It just drives me crazy. Even the most minor chip, the kind that may only be noticeable to me, irritates me to no end. Add teenage impatience and the inability to wait for nails to dry completely to the mix and you get smudges and a girl who just cannot be bothered.
This antipathy to painted nails held until my mid 20s, when Rachel’s BFF (and surrogate Brockman sister) Annie introduced me to the most amazing product. I was admiring her nails at the beach one summer and asked her how she managed to keep them looking so good. She gave a rave review of Revlon’s No Chip Top Coat, claiming that two coats of the stuff on top of her color of choice meant she could do pretty much ANYTHING – wash dishes, cook, arts, garden, crafts, whatever! – without risking flaked polish for at least a week.
Well, with such an incredible endorsement, I had to try this wonder product for myself. I went out and bought a bottle as soon as possible and haven’t looked back since. It truly is magic. In fact, that gateway polish made me not only a passionate nail painter, but also a Revlon devotee from that point forward. [Seriously, I could write an essay about Revlon polish vs other brands, and the comparative merits of Revlon’s own different lines. I will spare you all, and suffice it to say, that I think their classic polish is best.]
This wondrous product, combined with increased patience in my older, more mature years, means that I can paint my nails now without smudging them immediately or worrying about inevitable chips. Of course, as I am a nail perfectionist, my nail-painting process is quite an undertaking, involving several steps and quite a bit of equipment/product.
I’ll spare you pictures of every step of what is (admittedly) a rather boring process, but I will give you run down of the step-by-step.
Step 1: Trim and file nails, push back cuticles.
Step 2: Apply a quick rub of moisturizer over nails and soak in warm soapy water for a few minutes.
Step 3: While lotion is still wet on fingers, trim cuticles where necessary. Wipe off excess lotion with nail polish remover. Be thorough! Any residual lotion or water will interfere with the nail polish when you apply.
Step 4: Apply Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat. While this is not the same wonder product as the top coat, it is very helpful as a base layer and it does dry VERY quickly.
Step 5: Apply nail color (finally!).
I like to do at least two coats of color. That’s usually enough but every once in awhile, I feel like I need a third coat to really get the full coverage I like – especially with lighter colors or metallics. I also always start by applying a little polish on the tip of the nail to give it extra coverage. After all, that’s where a chip is most likely to happen…and I don’t think I need to repeat how I feel about a chip (I hate them).
Step 6: After waiting for approximately 5 minutes for the color to start to dry and set, apply two coats of No Chip Top Coat.
Step 7: Patiently wait for your nails to dry. I like to wait at least 45 minutes before I do anything that requires especial dexterity.
I know that sounds like a lot of work and lots of steps and lots of sitting around doing nothing. I will grant that my nail painting process is definitely a exercise in patience, but I don’t mind spending an hour or so on my nails every couple weeks or so. I put some mindless TV on and just zone out. It’s strangely relaxing. And I just looooove having neat, bold nails as a result.
The pictures for this post were taken last Saturday morning as I painted my nails before heading to a friend’s wedding. I chose to get a little creative with two different colors: black and sparkly silver. Or to call them by their appropriate names: Knockout and Rich (don’t even get me started on the fun of nail polish names!).
As I mentioned in the nail stickers post, I am not hugely into nail art because it’s time consuming, but I have embraced the one-nail-in-a-different-color trend to a certain extent. And on Saturday I went as far as asymmetrical hands! Living on the edge, folks. On. The. Edge.
So, how have they held up this week? After all my claims about Revlon’s AMAZING polish, I am sure you are all dying to know.
Welllll, here they are today, six days later:
You can see that the polish is starting to slightly pull away from the nail beds, and if you look reeeeeally closely, you can see some cracks in the polish (especially on the thumbs). But significant chips? Not one in sight. Pretty good for Day 6, amiright?
What about you? Are you into nail polish? What’s your favorite brand? What’s your application technique? Or are you all about the professional manicure?