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Archive for the ‘Nail Care’ Category

Nail Polish Bubbles Ruins Lives: Three Preventive Tips So You Can Save Yours

This was not the look I was going for..

One of the most aggravating things to deal with when I’m putting on nail polish and really makes me feel like grrr is when I’m checking out my freshly done nail and see those tiny (or big) bubbles all over them. I hate having to redo my nails because of it! Especially when I’m trying to do something “fancy” with them and it’s actually turning out nice, and I have to start over a billion times (case in point).

A couple of months ago I was all ready to do a product review and just destroy the nail polish manufacturer. No matter  how many times I applied and reapplied their polish, I kept getting bubbly nails. I eventually gave up and went to another brand, yet the same irritating thing happened.


I came to the conclusion that perhaps it wasn’t the polish that was the problem, but me. Now I do know that some nail polish brands are just raggedy like that. I also know that you should make sure that each layer is fully dry before applying the next. Even so, I was still getting those horrific bubbles. I couldn’t pinpoint what I was doing to cause them, so looked it up.  A quick search revealed the culprits.

The three rules for preventing nail polish bubbles are:

  • Roll, don’t shake your polish before using.
  • Apply thin layers, not thick ones.
  • Allow each layer to fully dry before applying the next.

My problems were the shaking and thick layers. I’ve always been a shaker and applying thick layers was my standard cause one dip into polish was never enough for my long nails. What that left me with was colorfully bumpy nails that you could read like braille.

So if you’re having issues with nail polish bubbles, those three tips should help you eliminate the problem. If not, you can always mask them with a  swipe of glitter polish. 🙂



Seche Vite and Toluene: Harmless or Harmful?


*UPDATE* Please click here for current views.




After dealing with one top coat failure after another, I decided to investigate and compare top coats online before purchasing another one. I stayed up late one night scouring nail and beauty blogs, reviews websites, and forums for the best and long-lasting top coat out there. One name was ubiquitous: Seche Vite. Reviews from all over the internet lauded the top coat as THE best. Everything I read about it blew any other top coat I had ever heard of out of the water. Excited doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt to finally come across a seemingly perfect top coat. I was ready to run out and buy some at 1 in the morning, I was so thrilled.

The Holy Grail of top coats?

Wearing a satisfactory job-is-finally-done smile as I was about to close out the last website I was on, I read a final comment that smacked that smug smile right off my face. It basically stated that Seche Vite can cause birth defects and shouldn’t be used.

Uh, say what?!

After sitting back and muttering “ain’t that a bitch”, I wanted to find out exactly how and why this top coat was dangerous. Apparently on the back of each box of Seche Vite there is a disclaimer that states: “WARNING! This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.” I went to the store to check it out for myself the next day, and it did in fact state that on the back of the box.

Ok… Now what? What exactly is in this top coat that causes so-called birth defects?

Thinking I would find a quick answer in a few minutes that night, I actually spent a few days digging around to find an answer. I found that the deeper I looked, the more questions I had. I’ve narrowed down the most pertinent questions I had concerning toluene, and the best answers that I found. There are links at the bottom of this post if you would like further reading concerning this matter. It’s extensive!


Do You Base Coat?

Scanning nail blogs and reading articles in various beauty magazines, the one recurring manicure tip besides using a top coat is using a base coat. Applying a base coat prior to your nail polish is not only supposed to help your nail polish adhere to your nails better, which helps your polish last longer, but also prevents it from staining your nails.

I vaguely remember using it a handful of times when I was a teenager and found it to be an annoying process and an unnecessary extra step. Unlike using a topcoat, which benefits seemed obvious (shiny nails, longer lasting polish), the benefits of a base coat were somewhat dubious to me. The few times I did use a base coat, I can’t say that I experienced any noticeable benefits. I felt that it made my nail color peel off from my nails, and it took me longer to remove my nail polish. I wrote it off as a scam by the nail polish companies and the nail salons who were getting kick backs from them to get you to by more product (I was such a mini conspiracy theorist back in the day!) and quit using it.

After all my reservations and down right dislike, I started having second thoughts after looking at my stained nails.

It looked worse in person.

 A few weeks ago after some research, I gave in and bought  a base coat. So far, so good, but I will have a definitive review down the road. So do you use a base coat, and if so notice any benefits?

Do You Always Wear a Topcoat?

I can be pretty lazy when it comes to aspects of manicuring other than applying nail color. Depending on the polish I’m using, I hardly ever use a topcoat (or a basecoat for that matter, but that’s another story). I’m sure nail techs all over are clutching their pearls at my disclosure. For me, it’s just not that serious.

My reasonings are various. Either I don’t intend on wearing the polish for more than a couple of days so there is no point. Or the polish seems to be so glossy and long-lasting and I’m lazy and there is no point. Or the polish claims to have a built-in topcoat (which always makes me feel like I’m doing something good for my nail environment) and there is no point.

Get the point?

There are times that I do choose to apply. Like when I know that I’m going to be wearing my polish for at least a week, especially if I’m in love with the color and I want it to look really glossy. I also do this with really cheap polishes. The ones that require about three coats to even look decent and chip within a day (I’m looking at you China Glaze!). I always wear a topcoat in the hopes that it will make the polish last beyond a few days before chipping.

It never does. Sigh.

Do you think a topcoat is a must?

Why Won’t Hangnails Let Me Be Great?!

How dreadful...

They’re ugly, they’re nasty, and they’re foul. I’ve got a hangnail on my thumb, and it’s not pretty. It’s sore and annoying, and I want it to magically disappear just as magically as it appeared. This unsightly looking piece of dried skin jutting from my thumbnail is just horrific.  It’s not like this is the first hangnail that I’ve had, it’s just the first one that I’ve had in a long time. It’s ruining my nail look! Why is it here?! Why won’t it go away?! Why won’t it let me be great?!

I need answers.

Out of frustration and  agony, I started searching online to learn more about this cumbersome thing. You gotta learn to crawl before you learn to walk, and I had to figure out exactly why they show up before I could get to the point of figuring out how to get rid of such things in a timely manner. Timely manner meaning right now.

According to

“Those annoying little triangular splits of skinaround the fingernails are nothing more than dead skin. The skin in that area, which does not contain a good supply of oil to begin with, simply dries out.”

I wasn’t aware of that, but that certainly explains a lot. The article on continues:

Who gets them? They’re particularly common among women who have their hands in water a lot or who bite their nails. But, says Rodney Basler, M.D., an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, anyone involved in an occupation that dries out the hands is at risk. “The worst cases of hangnails [as well as chapped hands and hand eczema] occur in letter sorters. People who work with paper all the time get terribly dry hands because the paper actually absorbs oil from their hands. Often they think they’re allergic to ink on the paper, but it’s just the physical effect of oil being removed from their skin.”

I do wash dishes by hand at least three times a day, and I do wash my hands a lot.  Over the past week I have constantly used nail polish remover at least 50 times practicing over and over again water marbling, so I believe that may have contributed to my problem.

So what can I do now that I have the hangnails? Two recommended tips seemed appropriate for me:

Get a clip job. “If you get a hangnail, clip it short and clip it early,” advises Joseph Bark, M.D., a Lexington, Kentucky, dermatologist. “That’ll keep it from getting worse. Don’t do major surgery on yourself; just clip off the little tags of skin with small, sharp, sterilized scissors.”

Go soak. “Soaking in an oil-and-water solution, as you would when getting a manicure, is very helpful,” advises Dr. Basler. “I tell my patients to mix 4 capfuls of bath oil such as Alpha-Keri with 1 pint of warm water and to soak their fingertips in it for maybe 10 to 15 minutes.”

It seems that the likely conclusion to preventing hangnails in the first place is to keep the area around the fingernails moisturized. The article confirms that:

Make moisturizing a habit. To prevent hangnails in the first place, “moisturize your cuticles every day. Make it a habit, not something you do just when you get a manicure,” says Dr. Bihova. “Rub hand lotion into the flesh surrounding your nails to keep the area soft. For a more soothing feeling, warm the moisturizer over a pan of warm water, using a double boiler. Every time you apply moisturizer to your hands, take extra time to rub some into the cuticles.”

I’ve learned my lesson and I will make a habit of keeping the area around my nails moisturized throughout the day. I’m gonna be oiling and lotioning my hands up like crazy, cause hangnails are not the business. How do you deal with your hangnails?


Getting Sandal Ready Feet : My At Home Pedicure Routine

I don’t know about yall, but were I live it’s been hot for a minute. Like yesterday was 93 degrees. Texas hot.  Shorts, summer dresses, tank tops, and flip flops have been in heavy rotation in my neck of the woods. Honestly, I can wear flip flops year round. When I lived in Oregon, folks bragged about wearing flip flops in the snow. I wore them through all the months of continuous rain.
That’s just how we rolled.
Since the boots have been pushed aside and the flip flops are back, it’s time to take a look at the feet. I really don’t like people touching my feet, so getting a pedicure isn’t for me. That doesn’t mean that I don’t take care of my feet on my own. (more…)

Nail Polish Drying Sprays

Could this be the answer to my dreams?

How far can my impatience take me? That’s what I was asking myself as I was tempted for the second time this week to buy Onyx Professional 3.2.1 Dry. I even had it in my hand this time. I am down for anything that can cut my nail drying time in half. Or more than half really. I’m looking for a miracle! Even though I’m looking for some magical fix, I’m not sure I want to use something that is potentially harmful.

I have an issue with most things that come in an aerosol can. I can thank my lovely grandma for that. My grandma lived with my family for a while growing up, and I am still haunted by her incessant use of household sprays, like Lysol.  She didn’t just spray them, she pressed down on the nob and held it for what seemed like an eternity, until no more spray could come out. Then she would do it again! There would be an obvious thick haze of spray that lingered throughout the house for a while, and I’d be gasping for air and trying not to inhale the fumes.

I”m still traumatized.

With those fond memories still fresh in mind, I decided to read the label on the back of the Onyx can. In my opinion, if there is some type of aerosol that dries nail polish, then it must have something serious in it. Did I really wanna go down that rode again?  Two of the first ingredients that I noticed was butane and propane.

Say what?!

That is what they use to light barbecue grills and put in lighters and stuff. Not for me. Basically, I’m spraying chemicals onto my nails, and fingers all in the name of dryer nails. Those chemicals could be seeping into the pores of my skin and potentially cause all sort of problems. 

I decided to do some research. What I found is that pretty much any product that is sprayed from a can contains those two ingredients, such as cooking spray (gasp!), aerosol deodorant, hair spray, and computer cleaner. According to


“Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed the safety of Butane, Isobutane and Propane and has placed these ingredients on the list of direct food substances affirmed as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). Isopentane has been approved as an indirect food additive for use in the manufacture of foamed plastics.

The safety of Butane, Isobutane, Propane and Isopentane has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert (CIR) Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated scientific data and concluded that Butane, Isobutane, Isopentane and Propane were safe as a cosmetic ingredients under present practices of concentration and use. In 2002, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on these ingredients and reaffirmed the above conclusion.”

“As aerosols, Butane, Isobutane, Propane and Isopentane are greatly diluted in air when discharged and it is estimated that, as propellants, they would remain on the skin no longer than 10 seconds. Because they evaporate quickly, these ingredients, even in foam products would not remain in contact with the skin longer than 10 seconds. Such a short period of contact makes the absence of sensitization, phototoxicity, and photosensitization studies unimportant. Furthermore, exposure standards have already been set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and most of the substance is volatilized before it can come in contact with the skin.”

I’m not as wary of trying the spray after reading that. Especially if propane and butane are found  in items that I am already using, just wasn’t aware of. I’m still not 100% sure that I will purchase, but it’s still a thought.

Have any of yall used any nail drying sprays, and if so did they work?

You can find out more information about propane and butane and the article I read at


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