When I was a teenager and lived with my parents, we used to have a manicure come to our house every week to do our nails.
In Brazil that’s very common, as this type of service tends to be pretty cheap.
And the whole processes included:
- Remove old polish with acetone
- Clip and/or sand the nails as/if needed
- Soak your finger tips in warm soapy water to soften the cuticles
- Push the cuticles so they’ll detach from the nail and be easier to cut
- Cut the cuticle with nippers
- Paint the nails
- Use cuticle sticks with a bit of cotton slightly wet with acetone to finish and remove any polish that went on the skin
As a vain teenager I used to like having my nails done, but I used to hate (and I mean really hate) having my cuticles removed with the nippers. Maybe it was the manicure fault, that she was not so skilled and would always cut more than needed and hurt me.
After a while, I started doing it myself. It was a bit better as I was more careful with my own fingers but still not great.
Then I sort of gave up.
Having the nails painted was sort of cool, but never something I really, really couldn’t live without.
So I lived without it for many and many years.
In the past 15 years and until a couple of weeks ago I remember having them painted twice: for my own wedding, and for my brother’s wedding.
For my brother’s (7+ years ago) I even did it myself before my mom would try to drag me to a manicure, as to protect my cuticles.
But that ‘abstinence’ was mostly for the coloring part.
I did try several times to take care of nails and cuticles, by using cuticle creams and nail fortifiers.
My nails are very thin and weak and can break for anything. That’s why I have always tried fortifiers. The thing is that every time I tried, they would indeed get harder and stronger, but would also start to peel. And a peeling nail seems to me worse than a thin, weak one, so eventually I gave up on the treating too.
Until a few weeks ago, that is.
A few week ago, a friend was going to Brazil in vacations and my mom took the opportunity and asked me to send some nail polish to her. But it wasn’t any nail polish, it was one from a specific brand and specific color. I gotta tell you: it wasn’t easy to find.
That made me spend quite some time walking around nail treatment aisles in drugstores, and on this exercise I sort of looked at a few fortifiers.
Then I found one that looked like would help me, as it claimed to make nails harder, stronger and also to stop peeling. Yay. I bought it! And also bought a cuticle cream.
On the same subject, but on different people, my daughters, who are 5 and 3, are all into make up and nail polish (not sure who they inherited that from… maybe grandmas????). So sometimes I do need to go and buy nail polish for them.
Mix it all up: the came back of treating my nails with the nail polish buying for family members, I must confess I got a bit excited about it.
After all… you know… if you’re there anyways applying some fortifier, why not have a second coat for color…
The color didn’t happen immediately. It may have taken me about 2 weeks, maybe 3, to start adding some color, but I did!
So far I have used 3 different colors: 2 from Mineral Fusion that I bought recently for myself and 1 from O.P.I. that’s about 7+ years old (remember I mentioned my brother’s weeding? yep… that very same one. Still good! Amazing!)
In chronological order of usage:
Of course, being lazy as I am, the process for me doesn’t really look much like the one above. It may take a few days actually: I remove the old one one day, apply the fortifier the next day and may add some color the day after… No finishing with a stick at all. So they don’t look as nice as professionally made nails, but they’re not bad either.
And today I have golden nails.
Wait! Not just me! My daughters too! Hands and feet! To a total of 60 golden nails in the household (I don’t think my husband would like to make it 80, though…)