Monday, January 16, 2012


When I was a little girl I used to love painting fingernails with my mom. She always had a big tackle box full of colors. When we were very little they were always pink or red. I remember there was one called “A touch of Amber.” I was jealous there was no color called Erin so my mom assigned a lilac one to me, “Lovely in Lilac  Erin.” I was surprised to see that somehow I have this color in my stash over 20 years later! (it’s not the original bottle, I promise)


I remember the first time my mom had a blue nail polish. We thought this was crazy and absolutely wonderful. Soon the tackle box was full of fun colors and remained this way through junior high and into high school. I guess I always thought it was normal to have a big box of colors. I was surprised in college when a girl told me, “You should only ever wear shades of pink.” I guess I have held the opposite mantra (I only have a few pinks in my stash). I was also shocked recently to learn that other people don’t have a collection of polish like I do. I bought a few girls at church nail polish after I found out they each only had one bottle of pink polish and nothing else. I am curious now if I am the weird one.

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I think that while I used to relegate polish almost exclusively to toes, fingernail polish is pretty popular right now and I am lov-lov-loving it. Come on, even Justin Bieber has his own line.

Justin Bieber Nail Polish

Here are a few of my tips:

1. Basically, anything goes as far as color these days. But, if there were any rules I’d almost be brave enough to say my friend was wrong about the pink. Be daring and branch out a little. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Glitter, darks, greys/browns, mattes all seem pretty cool right now.

Try some pretty pastels. The Sally Hansen Xtreme wear “Mint Sorbet” below on the far left is probably the color I have received the most compliments on ever. So pretty, surprisingly. If you go green/yellow, try to find a color that is flattering to your skin so it doesn’t look fungus-ey.

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Black doesn’t have to be GOTH or EMO anymore. Dark purples or blues can give a similar look without being black. And add in some glitter. I love the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength “Black Diamond.” I also like the Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Umptempo Plum on the far right. Your mom may be intimidated but I think this is one of the coolest trends.

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Metallics. I think the gold is pretty fun! And I found this itty bitty bottle for about $1.

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And of course red is always classy and feminine. I think it you keep it a true red instead of a magenta you’ll stay away from grandma-ville. If you are feeling really brave pair it with some red lips to make your guy go wow. Something about red lips seems to attract guys.

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2. Keep it clean, girls. No one likes to see that cracked and peeling look. You can get away with it on your toes but please not on your fingers. I’ve found I can go about 3 days before it starts peeling. You can try to add on a few days by touching up the tips or doing a new top coat. But at least when you take it off, you get the chance to try another color.

3. I often don’t remember to do my nails until I am getting ready to go out. Unfortunately, this means I do it right before I run out the door and inevitably end up with a smear. Until I found this stuff, Onyx 3-2-1 Dry!


It comes out as a cold spray and you can see the polish literally hardening before your eyes. It takes you immediately past wet and tacky and into that almost set stage. Amazing. It is so much easier to come out smudge free, or faster to move on to a second coat without drying in between. I’ve seen it at Walmart for a few bucks. And I kind of like the smell.

4. Vaselline. I tried this tip yesterday and I think it worked. Use a Q-tip to place a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the skin around your finger tips to prevent messy smears.

This is what my nails normally look like—can you see all of the places I smeared onto my cuticles?


This is what they looked like after the vaseline trick, without any touch ups. Awesome and almost flawless. I was surprised and impressed.


Even without this trick, I say go for it, quickly swipe a few coats on and enjoy the color. Who cares if it is a little sloppy—does anyone look that closely? It takes me about 2-3 minutes to do a full set of nails. It takes practice but I don’t think it needs to take all day.

5. Don’t be afraid to layer. If your polish if kind of a dud color, add a few more coats for a brighter appearance or add a layer of glitter to sparkle it up. Remember what I said about being daring? I think texture is pretty cool right now. I’ve been wanting to experiment with some zebra print which I created myself above in just a few minutes with ART DECO polish which comes with a very small brush you can use to paint designs. I also like the idea of leopard print and I’ve heard painting crackle polish horizontally can give this appearance.

6. Keep your cuticles healthy and trimmed. I’ve never been good at this but I recently received a Sally Hansen Push N Trim cuticle trimmer and it is amazing. I’ve been using it on my husband’s dry hands and I can’t believe how well it works. Online it says it is only $3.50.

7. Nail polish can be expensive. I really like the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polish. It comes in fun and trendy colors, is a slightly smaller bottle, and costs about $2.50. Mini polish bottles can also be a fun way to add some new colors in without breaking the bank.

8. Have some fun! Paint your nails different colors of the same shade, paint one fingernail different, do some wacky french tips, whatever! Pinterest has some fun ideas.

Here are a few things I am still hoping to try:

OPI...Espresso..<br />Want some brown sparkly polish!

Opi Espresso. I really want a glittery brown.

Newspaper nails

Newspaper nails.

Anyone else into polish right now? What are your favorite colors or tips?


nathan n rachel said...

I need you to show me how to paint and take care of my nails. I would love to really learn! I noticed your awesome looking nails yesterday. They looked cool.

Marci Wittwer Butterfield said...

this makes me want to go paint my nails right now!! I need some new colors in my collection.

Tawnya said...

I am guilty of only having shades of pink in my collection. But now I feel a little more inspired to try something new. What great tips!

Erin said...

Let's have a party and you can try a few colors if you want.

Erin said...

Let's have a party and you can try a few colors if you want.