On The Quest for the Perfect DIY Manicure

All my life I’ve had trouble with thin, peeling and weak nails.  Usually, my index, middle and thumb nails on both hands were very strong but my ring finger and pinky nails were terribly weak.  A few years ago I smashed my right thumb in between the panels of an overhead garage door as I was closing it. This damaged the nail bed to the extent that now my nail grows about a third the thickness of my left thumb nail and breaks under the slightest pressure.  Every time I try to grow it out it get’s mangled and I have to cut it all the way back to nothing.


After a campaign for Influenster where I had the chance to try the Broadway Nails IMPRESS nails I decided I liked the look of the nails all of one length and nicely painted.  After all the nails came off my hubs said my hands looked mannish and that I needed to let them grow out some.   I resolved to get another set of the IMPRESS nails to wear to an upcoming event and try to keep them as long as possible.  By the time I finally did get a chance to find the press-ons I noticed that my nails had grown out quite a bit so I decided to try painting them myself. All of my nail polish colors were really old, gummed up or yellowed.  I threw out probably about 10 bottles.  

There were a few bottles of Mood Mania (no longer in business) nail polish that I hadn’t tried in years plus a few other unnamed mood/temperature controlled colors that I decided to take for a spin.  Right off the bat I had to toss out two of the Mood Mania because they were so gummed up and gross.  One of the unnamed bottles was gummy but I liked the color so much I had to look up if adding acetone would help thin it out without ruining it.  Turns out it would work and that you can even buy nail polish thinner at beauty supply stores like Sally’s!  I’m not sure about how using the nail polish thinner would affect the longevity of the nail polish, but I have read that thinning out with acetone will diminish it’s stick-to-itiveness and make it more prone to chip or peel away.  Thankfully, I did not have this issue when I used it, but this was only on one nail polish.  


Later that week I noticed an acquaintance of mine from church had her nails painted bright red and she mentioned they were all hers – not acryllics or gels.  This was a big surprise since I’d never remembered her having long nails.   She said months ago she had been looking for some kind of treatment to strengthen her nails and came across OPI Nail Envy.  She’s been using it ever since and has had the best nails she can ever remember having.  I thought about getting some OPI nail treatment until I remembered that I had a nail treatment in my cabinet that I’d never used.  I knew it was because it had formaldehyde and I was a little freaked out about using it, but then I checked the OPI ingredients and realized they were essentially the same, formalhehyde and all, that I decided to open the box and try out the product called Develop 10 Program.   It’s been two and a half weeks and my right thumbnail has grown a few milimeters without breaking, but I am not going to get too excited about the results for at least 4 to six weeks.  Why?  Because what is sitting on the nail bed right now has to grow completely out before I can truly tell if this stuff is actually working.


In the meantime I ran across an ad for Julep.  I took their style quiz and was determined to be a “Classic With a Twist”  I used the code FREEBOX at checkout when I signed up and was able to get two polish colors and one facial moisturizing/repair serum for only the cost of shipping –  $3.99.  I thought I was going to get a dark eggplant purple, but when I got the box I received a deep red color called Myrtle and a very light rosy pink with a shimmer called Zora.  Both are beautiful colors.  I wore the Myrtle for about a week then decided to try something a little more demure.  The Zora was not as sheer as I thought it would be, but I liked the opaqueness of it.

On my quest for the perfect DIY manicure I run into new problems –

  • How do I prevent staining of my nails?
  • Why does my nail polish bubble when applied?
  • How can I keep the polish from getting on my cuticles?
  • What’s the best (easiest, cheapest) way to do an at home French manicure?

So I figured I would share solutions I find as I find them and try them out.

3 comments for “On The Quest for the Perfect DIY Manicure

  1. February 23, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    My nails are very, very long but they’re also very brittle. I’ve been looking for something that’ll strengthen them, but nothing works. The only thing the somewhat works is, frequent hand washing and hand moisturizer.

  2. March 2, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    I have nails that break so easily, it’s so frustrating. I never have a problem with my polish bubbling but it always chips pretty much the next day unless I get the gel manicures

    • March 2, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Maybe I need to try gel manicures because I have the same problem with traditional polish.

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