FBFF: Perfectly Polished

Today’s Fashion/Beauty Friend Friday posts is about nails, trends we like, polish colors we can’t live without… anything.  Here are my thoughts on my nails, polish in general (check out how I store all my polish! Woah!), and more!

My Nails
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with my nails.  When I was a kid, I was a nail biter.   My mom was too, and we made a bet: whoever’s nails were the longest at the end of a month got a manicure.  I won, though now that I’m older, I find myself wondering if mom let me win.  Either way, we both stopped biting out nails, so technically, we both won!  I was blessed with very long nail beds, which inevitably makes my nails look longer, even if they’re cut short.

In the summer, my nails grow out beautifully, which I love.  They’re very strong, and I can generally keep them painted without a problem.  Polish generally lasts 3-4 days before it starts to chip, and then I remove it right away.  Then I give them a break from polish for about a week so they stay nice and strong.  Polish seems to make my nails break sooner than if I leave them unpainted, which makes me sad.  But if I give them a break from polish every so often, I generally have to cut them short and file them periodically, which is really nice–better than broken and splitting nails!

In the winter, my nails always get dry and brittle, breaking and splitting easily, which I hate.  My hands get very dry in the winter, even with lots of moisturizing, and that effects my nails of course.  It’s a combination of the cold and extra hand-washing.  I’ve tried lots of different remedies, but nothing really seems to work all that well, though coca butter oil seemed to help this year, but our winter wasn’t as cold as usual, so I’m not sure if it was the oil or the weather.  I do sometimes polish my nails for special occasions or when I’m in the mood though, and removing it at the first sight of chipping helps limit the amount of splitting.  But I prefer to keep my nails natural in winter.

I don’t get regular manicures or pedicures.  In fact, I think the last of either I had was 3 years ago for my wedding (and I had to redo my mani because my polish had bubbled like crazy).  Manicures tend not to last very long on me, so I have trouble justifying the cost.  Pedicures last longer, but I don’t like when they shave my calluses, so I feel like I can do what they do–exfoliate, file, moisturize, massage and polish–on my own, so I do.  I figure I save a fair amount of money taking care of my own hands and feet, and I’m definitely ok with that!

Fun Fact: When I was in high school, I painted my nails differently every day, and they always matched my outfit.  I painted them every night before bed, after laying out what I was wearing the next day.  Quite often I’d paint letters or patterns on my nails, or do different colors on different nails.  I also used to make a lot of my own polish, either by mixing different colors together, or even by adding food coloring to white polish (ok, I only did this once, so I could get yellow without going to the store… and it stained my nails, so I don’t recommend it).  None of my friends did any of this, so I suppose I was somewhat of a nail art pioneer.  At some point though, I stopped painting my nails… it was either because of cheerleading or my love for rock climbing.  Or both.  I don’t think polished nails were allowed for cheer, and rock climbing forced me to have short nails–I hated the sound of long nails against the grips.

When hubs and I moved into the house we’re in, I decided I needed to do something about my nail polish situation.  At our apartment, every bottle of polish I owned was tossed in a drawer in the bathroom.  When I packed everything up, I went thru and tossed out dried up polishes, ugly colors, and most of the cheaper polishes I had and kept only the good stuff.  Then I went on the hunt for a storage situation–the bathroom in our house doesn’t have the same storage the apartment bathroom did.  I found it in a cigar box from Goodwill, of all places!  To help in identifying the polishes, I dabbed a bit of each color on the top.  There’s a sliding piece of wood at the top (for a thermometer and a humidity gauge, which weren’t there when I got the box) that I need to remove, but it requires a saw, and I haven’t quite gotten up the nerve to find one and hack it up.

As you can see, I still have a fair amount of polish, and somehow I always seem to find colors to add to my collection.  Some of them are trendy, while others are colors I come across and rather like.  Sometimes, I buy new polish for an event, because I feel like the right polish, along with makeup, can really make a look complete.  And I did recently buy a color because it reminded me of one of the colors I was a big fan of in high school–yay 90’s!

Here are some colors I’m a huge fan of right now… I can’t get enough of them!

From left to right (going off the bottom part of pic): China Glaze “For Audrey”, Nicole by OPI “OMB!”, ORLY “Oui”, ORLY “Au Champagne”, Revlon “Siren”, Wet ‘n Wild Megalast “Private Viewing”, Essie Luxe Effects “Shine of the Times”, OPI Designer Series “DS 012”, China Glaze “Blonde Bombshell”

I wore “For Audrey” for my birthday, and love it for summer.  “OMB!” was just one of those fun colors I had to have–so eye-catching!  “Oui” I bought and wore for New Year’s Eve and is my go-to party polish now!  “Au Champagne” is my go-to summer polish when I want a little pop without an over-bright color (plus it makes me look a  little more tan, haha).  “Siren” was a good way to sneak the 2012 color of the year (Tangerine Tango) into my look without buying too much orange.  “Private Viewing” is nearly a perfect “manikin hand” color for me, as it matches my skintone very well.  “Shine of the Times”, OPI’s “DS 012”, and “Blonde Bombshell” are great for statement nails or just adding a little shimmer over a solid color.  The only one I forgot to include in the pic above is Revlon “Whimsical”, which I love!

Nail art is trending like crazy right now, and I love it!  I wish I had more time to sit and do my nails, but when it comes to nail art, I have a hard time with it.  First, I tend to ADD out the second that final coat goes on my nails.  Suddenly, I have a ton to do… I have to pee, then I have to make a snack, then I need a can of soda, and then the dog wants to play, then my shoes are uncomfortable and need to be taken off, and then… well, you get the idea.  Nine times out of 10, I mess up at least one nail!

The other problem I have with nail art is that I have a (very slight) tremor, which makes painting fine lines a little bit of a challenge for me.  I used to be able to freehand a French manicure, but as I’ve gotten older, it’s gotten a little worse, and it’s hard to keep my hand steady enough to manage a clean line.  And messy lines bother me.  So for me, I usually end up doing solid nails and going with a statement nail, or switching up colors.  I haven’t yet tried ombre nails or anything though… I may for an event coming up later this month though.

I have a great nail inspiration board on Pinterest that has a ton of nail art ideas, as well as some tips for keeping hands and feet soft, and more!  Check out my mani/pedi board here!

So what about you?
Do you keep your nails painted regularly?  What’s your favorite nail color?  Are you a master at nail art?   Or are you a no-nonsense person when it comes to nails?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Want more?
This is a two-for-one post.  Not only is it FBFF day, but it’s Nail Files Week 27 too!  Check out other FBFF posts over here at ModlyChic, and the Nail Files linkup over at Fabulous But Evil here!

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