I have never much been good at maintaining well manicured nails. Starting out as a chronic nail biter then heading into the medical profession where both color and length were frowned upon, my nails spent many years being neglected.
Under the best care and attention my nails are not hand model material. They are weak, ridged with a tendency to peel. I have overly healthy cuticle growth leading to extra skin around nail edges and dryness. (Thanks a lot sluggish thyroid!) I have tried a multitude of strengthening products, oils and supplements to no avail without impressive results.
I never felt the desire to commit to acrylics. Not to mention the fact that ole’ hamburger hands here can barely coordinate fine motor skills with short nails. Acrylics though nice looking, intimidate me.
There were short lived periods were I attempted regular home manicures but they never outlasted my daily rigorous hand-washing (hello medical field) and my hands looked as though a toddler painted them anyway. (Remember that part about my poor fine motor coordination? Couple that with lack of patience.)
When the gel/Gelish/Nexgen craze came around I gave that a go thinking that maybe I had found my thing. They ultimately peeled right off my fingernails, leaving me feeling underwhelmed and short-changed.
After that I fell into a routine with the nail powders or dip its. I enjoyed the longevity and the strength of my nails. However, the overzealous grinding and drilling that was a part of the powder removal further weakened my already flimsy nails. Eventually I decided to stop the nail powders.
I approached a manicurist that I knew and trusted about my nail dilemma and she discovered that the reason my gel manicures were not adhering was because I had oily nails. (Who knew?!) Once she discovered the problem, the solution was a simple fix by spraying my nails with alcohol prior to gel application. I was back to regular gel manicures. A routine I stuck with for a while. Finding that I could go about two and a half weeks before I started to look a little sloppy.
But the regular time commitment wasn’t an enjoyable activity for me. I often felt it was hard to relax and just sit when my brain was swirling with all the other things I could have or should have been doing in that few hours 1-2 times per month.
Recently, a besty of mine began praising the word of Color Street. I was skeptic at first. Nail stickers that are somehow magically polish? What is this madness? But after watching her use them consistently and learning how much money I could save I took the plunge.
I must say, Color Street products have made me a believer! The nail strips are easy to use once you get the hang of application and they are ridiculously cost effective. They offer a tremendous amount of color options from tame to glitz and run regular holiday and charity specials. They last about two weeks for me but I am hard on my hands and nails. The Color Street products have not altered or withered my nails at all. On the contrary! My nails are stronger than before!
You can see in the photo above the clear line where my new nail growth is undamaged since I stopped getting gel manicures. You can also see the overgrowth and dryness of my skin around the cuticles and the length I keep my nails.
Now I am living in my own version of Nailtopia!
Here’s my version of a full blown self-pampering manicure:
- Remove existing Color Street polish with nail polish remover.
- Soak hands in mild soap and scrub vigorously with nail brush.
- Trim nails and cuticles, file and buff.
- Wipe nails with Color Street provided cleaning pad or alcohol on cotton ball.
- Apply OPI’s Chip Skip. Let dry.
- Apply Dermalect’s Anti-Aging Ridge Filler. Let dry.
- Choose and adhere my Color Street manicure.
- Apply Seche Vive Instant Gel Effect Top Coat. Let dry.
- Massage coconut oil or shea butter on cuticles and into hands.
And pouf! My nails are gorgeous! This entire process takes me about a half hour. Of course if you are in a rush or if your nails are not as needy as mine you could skip a lot of the prep steps.
Below is my after photo. This is my Color Street polish strips applied, top coated and shea butter massaged into my cuticles and hands. I used two different sets of polish strips for some mix and match fun. My entire manicure cost me half of the price of a set of polish strips. The polish strip sets run between $11-$13 each.
P.S. Don’t judge me on my nailfie’s. I suck and I know it!
Here is my manicure 1 week later. Still looks great!
So my dolls, if you are looking for an alternative to the time and money commitment of regular dates with your manicurist and you are even the tiniest bit a DIY’er this could be a viable option for you!
Anyone else out there loving Color Street products? Share with me your nail routine.