I love to paint my toe nails, always have. I won't wear sandals or flops with out painted piggies. I like that I can paint them and it lasts usually a couple weeks. Perfect for me because I'm not really a fan of the painting process, I just like how they look when they're done. This is why I never (rarely) paint my fingernails. They chip or flake off almost instantly. I'm always cleaning or washing something, my nail polish just never seems to have a chance, even if I use gloves.
While I was at the store recently I came across Nutra Nail, it's a gel nail polish that claims to get rock hard with in five minutes of application. And it's supposed to last longer than a traditional manicure. There was a $2 off coupon laying next to the kits so I grabbed one.
Application was fairy easy. I think I did 100% better the second time I applied. You start with a gel base, which reminds me of super glue. You swipe it on your nail and then brush on the gel color. The nice thing is that you don't have to be too exact with even application of the color because the gel base sort of helps spread the color around your nail. The problem I ran into was being exact with the gel base. Like I said, it's like super glue, so I found myself gluing outside of my nail bed until I sort of had the hang of things. Other than that, easy application.
I was able to go about five days without chipping of my nail color. Sweet! Reviews on their site said something about "being on day eight", but I didn't get that much out of it. I think I'm just too hard on my nails, I ended up cracking in place and that ultimately resulted in chipping. Five days in quite a while though compared to what I would get out of a traditional manicure, which would just be a couple hours.
The removal...this is what I don't like about the gel. You have to use an acetone-based remover to get the color off. I didn't think much of it the first couple times I used it but the most recent time I was taking the color off I noticed how dry my nails were getting from that acetone.
All in all, I like and will definitely use again, but I think Nutra Nails will be an occasional use, not an everyday thing for me.
Not wanting to use acetone on my nails again for a while I decided to try something new, Sally Hansen Salon Effects.
These things are pretty darn awesome! They are nail strips, so there is no real "polishing" involved. The nail strips are real nail polish strips, pre-measured so all you have to do is find the right size for your nail and put that baby on. Easy peasy.
Actually, there is a bit more to it, but it literally would only take you five to ten minutes to have a complete manicure done. And there is ZERO dry time. I sat and watched TV while I did my manicure. Here is what I did: shaped my nails, pushed back cuticles and then lightly buffed. Then the application process begins. There are 16 strips in the kit, so you go through and find which size works for which nail. And each nail strip also has two different end for the area around your cuticle, one more rounded and one more squared, so you can really find a good fit. Then you peel off the top protective layer and then the paperish backing and place the strip on your nail. I rubbed mine on really well and then folded over the top of my nail to cover the edge. Lastly, you use the included nail file to help remove excess nail strip. Voila! You're done.
I actually added a last step. I added a clear layer of polish to help protect and seal the edges in hopes of making these last longer. The package says up to 10 days. I'm on day five and we're looking good. I applied another coat of clear polish today and I'll probably continue to do this daily to get the max life out of the manicure.
Removal...you simply use nail polish remover. These will remove with non-acetone remover. Yay!
I don't think I'll use the nail strips all the time. They are about $8.50 at Target, so they're about the price of a higher end salon-type nail polish bottle. If you're like me though, you don't like storing nail polish bottles and you tire of colors quickly, so you end up with bottles you don't use and they go bad. These are a great solution. And I've heard you can get them at Ulta for around $7, so I'll be sure to check there next time. I'm hoping they have more of a selection in colors at Ulta than Target offered. Target seemed to carry a lot of the graphic prints but there are solids and glittery and metallics to choose from. Click here to see all they offer. These nail strips are definitely a great thing to have in the beauty cabinet for last minute manicures where you need to be out the door quickly.
P.S. They are great on toes, too!