Monday, February 17, 2014

The Busy Mom's Mani

OPI A Woman's Prague-ative
(3 coats)
from the Spring 2013 Euro Centrale Collection

I understand how hard it can be to find the time to pamper yourself with things like manicures. But over the years, I've developed a method that allows me to do a home mani in a short amount of time right before I go to bed. The secret is the fast-dry topcoat- my nails are completely dry by the time I hit the sack, and I don't get sheet marks at all! Start to finish, a mani takes me less than 20 minutes. Who doesn't have 20 minutes to pamper themselves?

And my secret to pretty nails? Always keeping them painted! It adds strength and keeps them from breaking.

So without further ado, here are my favorite nail products, shown in order of use for the perfect salon-quality mani. For all products, I start with the pinkie of one hand and continue on to the other hand before I move to the next step. And there's no need to let the coats dry in between steps- just start with the same nail each step.


1. Sally Hanson Instant Cuticle Remover. To have a long-lasting mani, you've really got to prep your nails. Removing cuticle overgrowth is a key step. I apply this all around my cuticles, wait a bit (you can wait longer that it says), then use the thumbnail of my opposite hand to push back/scrape the cuticles. I typically do this twice. Find this at drug stores and mass-market retailers like Wal-Mart and Target.

2. Orly Bonder. This rubberized basecoat overrides any oily residue on your nails and gives your polish something to stick to, another secret of a long-lasting mani. Find this at Sally Beauty.

2.5. Apply your favorite shade of polish. I'm a firm believer that if you use the right base and top coats, any brand of polish can work. Some of my favorites that vary widely in price are OPI, China Glaze, Sally Hansen and NYC.

3. NYC Grand Central Station. This is my new HG topcoat... it works just as well as the pricy Seche Vite, but it's only $2! You know I love a bargain. Find this at drug stores and mass-market retailers like Wal-Mart and Target.

4. Poshe Cuticle Care.  Keeping your cuticles neat and free of hang-nails is another secret to making your manicure last longer. This product is fabulous and I massage this into my cuticles twice a day to prevent hangnails and prevent cuticle buildup. Find this at Ulta for around $9.

5. Nail Polish Remover Dip-It. I change my polish pretty often, and this little treasure makes it quick and easy. Inside this tub are plastic bristles that really help scrub the polish off. Find this at mass-market retailers like Wal-Mart and Target for around $3.

Photobucket

Now, if you are trying to remove a glitterbomb polish, that's another issue, and you'll need to visit this post on my nail blog to see the trick for that.

Do you have any nail products to recommend to me? I love trying new products and would love to hear about your favorites!

Did you know I love nail polish so much that I've got a separate blog just for my nail polish reviews and pictures? Visit me at http://www.manicuremommas.com/ if you like nail polish as much as I do!

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39 comments:

R.S F said...

Hi, great post! I'm a mom and I LOVE to do my nails! My big problem is that I always forget to take it off. It drives me crazy being at work and looking at my nails, only to think "How did I forget to take this off AGAIN!?". I am going to look for the remover you recommended!

www.quarterlifecents.com

Sarah Arrow said...

I love the orange in your first photo, where can I get it? My polish is always chipping, but nothing feels as good as having your nails done :)

Donna@MummyCentral said...

A bonder is a great idea. I'll definitely be giving this a try. Even at my least glamorous, I feel so much better with my nails done.

Sasha said...

Hi Sarah! The polish is OPI A Woman's Prague-ative. I love it too!

Seven Springs Homestead said...

This is great, I will need to show this to my daughter. She is our girly-girl in the house. I might even join her on this pampering session. Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer said...

Oh, I like this. I have eight children and fight for every minute I can get. I struggle to keep it looking good for longer than a day. I'm going to try a topcoat like you suggest.

Erica said...

Wow! I just wish I could paint with my left hand. My right hand always looks like my three year old helped me!

Erica
We Three Crabs

Jessica said...

I'm going to have to get some cuticle cream. I get hangnails really bad and break down and go to a salon about once a month to get a mani. It would be really nice to be able to prevent them in the first place.

http://maypopshop.com/crochet/ said...

I love the OPI A Woman's Prague-ative polish in the photo as does Sarah (and you, of course)! I am a mommy to "fur-babies" and wife. If my nails don't look good I don't feel good. Thank you for sharing your process for the perfect manicure. I would have never considered painting my nails before retiring. Now, I know it is possible!

Deb Clem-Buckert said...

I am oh so lazy. If I'm going to get my nails done, it's at the salon. Thanks for sharing your favorite products. I'll share with my teen who loves to do her own nails.

Margarita @ WestCoastMama.net said...

I cannot keep my nails painted at all! They always chip and peel and it frustrates me - I always have a pedicure though ;)

Angelica Astry said...

Oh great post! I love doing my nails too but hate how the nail polish never lasts long, definitely going to try some of your secrets!!

MomMaven said...

I have so much trouble painting my finger nails, though I do my toes all the time. I've pinned this post to my "Pretty Nails" board so I can look up the products you mentioned.

Debbie Williams said...

One thing I do for myself is to get my nails done at a salon. I love pretty nails and I just can't do them justice by myself.

annette @ A Net In Time said...

my current only use for nail polish is as a threat to my son to stop chewing his nails (works for about a week). And two to colour code locks for my rabbit cages.

Other than that I don't use nail polish. My sisters would find this information useful though. :) I'll pass it along to them.

Brittany said...

"Who doesn't have 20 minutes to pamper themselves?" lol. me. I don't. I have a teething 8mo, an overactive 4yo, a house that is a mess, work to do, a house to clean, blogging to keep up with... If I had a spare 20 minutes, I'd be showering or napping. Also, I haven't painted my nails in years because they always chip so fast with as much as I wash my hands throughout the day. I do like to paint my toes in the summer though.

Gina said...

I recently let my daughter paint my nails before a date night with my husband. She's 13 and actually very good at painting nails, but I wasn't allowed to look until it was over. The whole process took about 20 minutes and consisted of several layers. In the end, I was left with nails that any teenage girl would have been proud of :) AND, it took about the same amount of time to remove it! (when I got around to it several days later) I'll be looking for the remover you recommended!

andrea k said...

You have such pretty nails! I love OPI products and Rejuvicote as a strengthener. Good for you for taking time to pamper yourself and for not pushing expensive products! I love that your nails look so wonderful without $40 polish!

Reveal Natural Health said...

This is a great post! I don't spend time doing my nails and, because of that, I am continually disappointed in how they look. Thanks for some easy steps that just might make me start doing that one small step to make me feel prettier. :)

Lisa DB Taylor said...

Beautiful. I should really take time to do my nails. It's something I've let go over the years. Call me inspired :-)

Clarinda said...

I need to find some natural nail polishes. I always get headaches from the scents of the polish. But I love painting my nails.

Yona Williams said...

I must admit..I don't paint my nails as much as I should, and if I do, it's mostly in the summertime.

However, I will most definitely be on the lookout for that Orly Bonder because I think I'd do my nails more if I knew that the paint wouldn't chip so quickly.

Also, I've had that nail polish remover in a jar thingie before (the one with the sponge), but never saw one with bristles...I need that too.

Stephanie @Crayon Marks and Tiger Stripes said...

I really need to take the time to pamper myself. I haven't painted my nails in forever. But I feel good when I do!!

Marysia Maciocha said...

I hate doing my nails, I much prefer to go to the beauty studio :) I'm helpless ha ha ha

Becky said...

I am so bad at working on my appearance. Nails are such a simple and easy thing I could do, but I never know what brand is best. Thanks for your list of products (especially the quick dry stuff)!

Sheila R. said...

I used to do my nails all the time. Now I have kids and housework... if I find a free moment to myself I'm normally working on my blog! I would love to start doing them again though!
Sheila
SeeSheilaRun

Anonymous said...

I always have my toenails painted and am always looking for a good topcoat-thank you for your suggestion!

Stacie said...

Love that color! Put's me in the mood for summer.

Thanks for the tip on cuticle remover. I think I've been using it wrong since I never let it set.

Carmen said...

I absolutely love all things nail polish. Thanks for the information about the binder. I will be picking that up on my next nail run. I love doing my own nails and changing my colors each week. Thanks.

Jim said...

I wish I had advice but reading this post makes me a little glad I'm a guy and don't need to worry, as much, about my nails. :)

Abigail McDonald said...

Although I like to keep my toes polished in summer, I rarely do my fingernails because I am so hard on them and it never lasts. However, after reading your post I realize that maybe I'm not spending enough time taking the proper steps. Thanks for these tips! I always like looking my best. :)

Diana Marie said...

Thank you for this post! I was just complaining about my nails!

ana said...

I wish I was able to keep my nails nicely painted all the time. I seem to struggle with keeping a manicure up for more than 2 days. Then my nails peel, crack, break and look horrible so I don't even want to bother. I will have to try the keeping painted trick!

Lindsey said...

I'm a big fan of nail polish too, but I have been reading some negative things about the chemicals in nail polish, so I'm going to have to do some more research. I hope to find a good product because I love the look of painted nails!

Bobbi Parish-Logie said...

I know you said this was fast and easy, but it sure looks complicated to me. :-) I know it would be easier if I got into a habit. I think using the bonder and top coat would be the secret to a great looking polished nail. Thanks for the advice! ~ Bobbi

Charity said...

I always keep my nails painted. My "me" night consists of having a couple glasses of wine, painting my nails, and watching my TV shows.

I also have a polish remover like that, and I love it! I am going to try out that bonder. My favorite nail polish is Sinful Colors because it's only $2, so I can get tons of different colors. I am really into the accent nail trend, where you paint one nail a different color or use a glitter topcoat.

Natasha said...

My polish always chips within a day or two and then I really don't have 20 minutes every other day to do my nails in the summer when I'm working nonstop. But I will check out that Orly basecoat -- maybe that is exactly the step I need for lasting nail polish.

Also, when I get my toenails polished back home, I can put my shoes on with no problem after an hour... but now that we are living in Hawaii for a few months, I find polish takes 4-5 hours to set completely...weather conditions make a difference!

Meg C said...

I have no suggestions for you, but I will certainly take some of yours! I definitely need to invest in a top coat and primer.

I grew up playing violin, where flashy nails were a big no-no. I still haven't gotten into the habit of keeping my nails painted, but I'd like to try!

Anonymous said...

I love keeping fresh toes, but I rarely do my fingers. I have been doing my toes and my toddlers toes once a month. It is quick and she loves it!

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