By Kristin Hull
Gel Manicures: The Energizer Bunny of Manis
Believe it or not, one of the things that can help make a mom look stylish is having polished nails. I know, I know – no time, no money and it doesn’t stay on long so it’s not worth it. But there are new options out there now like CND Shellac polish which must be applied at a salon and lasts for about two weeks with no chipping or loss of shininess. It’s put on like regular nail polish except that in between coats, your hands sit under a special drying light. One of the best parts is that you’ll leave with 100% dry nails so no asking the cashier to pull your keys out of your purse. It doesn’t take any longer than a regular manicure but it does last longer. The only catch is that it either has to be removed at a salon or, if doing it yourself, you’ll need to put cotton soaked in regular remover on each nail and wrap it with tin foil to hold it on. After about 10 minutes remove the foil and cotton and the polish comes right off. I know this may sound troublesome but it’s no worse than getting a typical manicure. Even if you don’t make it a regular occurrence, it would be great for a time when you have a lot of parties to go to (around the holidays, graduation, etc.) or if you’re going on vacation. A word of warning, there are many “knock-offs” out there so make sure the salon you go to uses CND Shellac. I’ve tried OPI’s Axxium which is the exact same concept but it had to be removed at a salon and they scraped it off taking layers of my nails with it. They were weak and brittle for months. Click here to find a salon that offers CND Shellac. Pricing varies so be sure to ask.
Nail Stickers? Really?!
Another long-lasting mani option, Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips, may sound silly but believe me, I’ve tried them and they’re fantastic. Found anywhere that carries Sally Hansen products (like Walgreens or Target), these “stickers” are simple to put on and they last for weeks. Plus, there’s no drying time! They run about $10 each but that’s still cheaper than a regular manicure and they last longer.
Perfectly Buffed With the Swipe of a Brush
Another product by Sally Hansen that I love is the Natural Shine Clear Nail Finish. It’s perfect for moms who don’t have time or money to spend on manicures. It dries in seconds and makes your nails look as if they are buffed. There’s no shine, just really clean, healthy looking nails. It will start to wear off in a couple of days but because it is clear it will be hard for anyone to see unless they look up close. But you can literally have all your nails painted and dry within a minute or two so using it regularly is a breeze.
Fake Nails – Just Say No
On another note, let’s talk fake nails. I hope I don’t offend anyone but they are a no-no. They’re super thick, sit oddly on the nail bed and just look weird. So don’t do it. Ever. And while we’re at it, another thing you should never do is get a French manicure on your toes (so I guess that would be a French pedicure). Toenails, for obvious reasons, are meant to be short. Even if they are short and you have a little white strip painted on the ends it makes them look longer – like you haven’t cut them in ages. That’s just wrong.
Approach French Manis Carefully and Skip French Pedis Altogether
Right now, French manicures are out of fashion but I know some people are dead set on getting them. So, if you must, be sure that the white part is very thin (like in the photo above). And keep nails short. They shouldn’t be any longer the tips of your fingers. I’ve seen a few celebs starting to wear their nails long and pointy. Not really my thing but if you want to be a trendsetter go for it.
Have Fun With Color!
Lastly, let’s chat about color. I’ve become obsessed with nail polish in the last few years. I love trying all different colors (within reason, of course) – no neon green for me but I’m not afraid to wear sage green (here’s my favorite from Essie), teal (another great shade from Essie) or even black. (Note: Depending on your computer settings the colors may be a bit off but trust me, they’re really pretty.) If that’s a bit much for you consider a classic dark red like OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark for winter. And you know all those Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons you get in the mail? Well, they carry Essie so start clipping them and use them to buy polish.
The Quick Dry Solution That Really Works
If you’re like me and will often do your nails yourself, you must get OPI’s Drip Dry. It is better than any drying spray. Just put one drop on each nail and they’ll be dry to the touch in minutes. They won’t be gouge-proof but I’m a klutz and they’ve really been helpful in keeping my manicures from getting mangled before they dry. I even take the bottle when I go for professional manicures and have the technician put them on.
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