See Sister’s Passion for Polish

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!).

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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.

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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:

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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?


6 thoughts on “See Sister’s Passion for Polish

  1. fixfabulous says:

    One could argue that gel is better ’cause it takes less time. But it also destroys your nails. And I too have been a Revlon devotee since Annie’s professed love… You forgot to mention how she has five children and still keeps her nails looking nice with this top coat!

    p.s. How do you feel about chipped nails?

  2. You all are hilarious! I miss you both! Thanks for the shout-out, Susanna! I do love that stuff and always ALWAYS make time for it. Skipping it means paying heavily with (GASP!) chipped nails within a day. (May it NEVER be!)
    I am very jealous of your nail polish collection and all of the fun, bright colors! You have inspired me to (try to find time to) paint mine tonight. I am also very jealous of your manicure routine which leaves your fingers even more gorgeous! That is one fabulous advantage to being single at 30! Having the time it takes to sit and make your nails look fabulous whenever your heart desires! 🙂
    p.s. I notice that your collection is almost totally (or totally?) comprised of Revlon products. Mine is mostly OPI, mainly because when I am looking for a specific color, OPI has had a closer match than Revlon, but I am always hoping to find a perfect match with Revlon, since I like their base and top coat so much! Last Easter I had to settle for a Sally Hansen fastdry something-or-other because it was the only perfect match I could find to my Easter dress. It was so disappointing. Looked fine that day, but afterwards… I even need to comment?! 🙂
    So anyway, I was just wondering…. Do you have enough experience with OPI to be able to compare it with Revlon in how long they last? Just curious. I do think OPI holds up well, and am generally happy with it…. But perhaps I just need to find a bigger Revlon distributor. My local Carroll County pharmacies or grocery stores are understandably lacking in variety. 🙂

    • zuni says:

      I do have a couple OPI colors. I don’t use them as often (obviously, given the ratio), and I haven’t used one recently, but I think they tend to last just as long. I prefer Revlon simply because I like to keep it in the family. And Revlon tends to be cheaper (esp in London). I find that Target usually has an expansive selection of Revlon colors.

      • good to know, i’ll check Target.
        Will we be able to see your perfect nails at the beach this summer?! I hope?!

      • zuni says:

        Sadly not. I’ll never be able to make a June week as long as I’m in this current job. I might make it to Maryland later in the summer, though. Not sure of my summer travel plans yet.

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