Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lent Manicure... My Very Naked Nails and Nail Care

I am a dork, and don't have a lot of control of my dorkiness. So I couldn't resist the Lent theme of depriving myself of a manicure today. Of course that isn't going to happen for all forty days. I'll have to give up something else instead, possibly vacuuming.
Anyway, I thought today would be a good chance to give you a looksy at my natural nails. My purpose for this is to show you that my nails are not ideal. My nails have ridges. They split by just looking at them. My nails are so thin you can see every speck of dirt that gets under them. Despite my thin, weak nails, I still do my best to maintain them. The little things I do add up to make them just healthy enough.

Your phalanges are showing! That's something my dad would say to us when my sisters and I were young. Starting to see where the dorkiness comes from?

I have always had thin nails and I have learned to deal with them. I have accepted that I will never have really long nails. I don't exactly want them long but it would be nice to know I could grow them out if I wanted. It would also be nice if they weren't SO bendable. I've tried a number of products to help transform my nails into beautiful, strong, thick claws, to no avail. Even in my pregnancies I've never seen any improvement in my nail thickness or strength. I'll take some Biotin when I remember to, but during the times I've been consistent I don't notice a difference.

So while there never seems like there is much I can do to help transform my nails, here are two things that make a big difference for me:

  1.  I don't do dishes. Yep, just like my favorite red OPI shade that I wish I still had a bottle of. Doing dishes destroys my nails and my hands.
  2. Wearing nail polish. With a base coat, couple coats of polish, and top coat, my nails are much more protected and rigid. Even removing my polish with pure acetone ( I do about 70% of the time) doesn't seem to nullify the benefits of wearing polish regularly.

Products I currently use most frequently:

Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme: This is my nighttime hand cream. It's not one I would wear during the day because it's really thick and oily. For those same reasons, I like it for bed. The scent is really pleasant and natural, something else I really take into consideration when I'm going to sleep.

OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener: Again, my nails haven't been magically transformed by any specific products. Since I need a base coat anyway, I feel it's better to have one that has some benefits to it. As a base coat, it works well. As a nail strengthener, I think it slightly improves my nail health. For the last few months I've used it with every manicure, with the exception of when I'm swatching multiple polishes, in which case I use Elmer's glue for quick removal.

OPI Avoplex Nail and Cuticle Replenishing Oil: This is another nighttime product for me. Since it's an oil, it's a little messy. I'm not super consistent about applying it every night, mostly because I'm already wearing hand cream. I usually remember if I've just done a manicure right before bed. I occasionally use it in the afternoon after I've finished a manicure, when I know I won't be taking photos of it for a while. It also has a very pleasant and subtle scent.

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream: This is the product that I use most often. It absorbs really quickly and isn't messy so it's great to use throughout the day. I typically apply it once or twice a day. If I'm swatching multiple polishes, I will use this after each one. Cuticles can look nasty really easily in photos. This cuticle cream is great for photos because it isn't shiny and makes the cuticles appear healthy quickly. I love the lemon scent in this product, even if it does make me a little hungry.

So there you have it. The true identity of my nails. What nail issues concern you the most? Are there any wonder products that have changed your life?

Also, not being Catholic, I've never felt compelled to join in and give something up for lent. Maybe someday. Do you celebrate Lent? What have you given up?


  1. Yay! I don't do dishes either :)
    the most difficult thing for me is cuticles! People say you shouldnt cut them ..but if i dont they get overgrown... so i dunno! And the sally hansen cuticle remover gel that i have doesnt work at all on me. So i kinda hafta trim them since pushing them back doesnt really work

    1. Oh, good, I'm not the only one. :) I know, cuticles are a pain. Once they get jagged enough I'll cut them but I try to just let them be. Once they are gone, they never come back! :(

  2. Hey your naked nails are not bad at all :)

    1. Why, thank you! I was really surprised they looked as good as they did, compared to usual.

  3. Another great post, Em! I nearly spit out my toothpaste at your vacuuming joke.

    Isn't it funny that we so often want what we can't have and don't care for what we do have? You work so hard to have healthy, strong nails and you paint them so beautifully. I have thick, hardy nails that I could probably grow out pretty long if I wanted, yet I almost never paint them and I prefer to keep them short.

    1. Thanks Melanie! Yes, the grass is always greener... Except I don't think you'd actually want thin nails ;)

  4. This post was just too fun to read. This blog makes me so happy. Thanks, Emiline!


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