Our beauty buyer and make-up artist, Jeannie Vincent, and her nails o’ the day!
Man, do I get lazy when it comes to my beauty routine. Most days, you’ll find me with my hair in a messy bun, nothing but eyeliner and mascara on, and with totally chipped polish on my nails. But I’m working on it! I even curled my hair…once…like last week? And the compliments I got made me feel all kinds of warm and fuzzy inside, so I decided I’d get a few tips from our resident beauty pro on how I could keep the good feelings coming. Unfortunately, much like New Year’s resolutions, I can’t guarantee I’ll follow through with the extended beauty routine for more than a few weeks. That’s why I’ve decided to share her great tips with all of you much more ambitious readers out there, starting with nails! They’re over the top popular right now. So without further ado, here’s Jeannie’s awesomely awesome answers to all my newbishly newb questions:
So I usually just put on…one coat of colored nail polish. What’s the deal with all those top and bottom/pre and post coats? Are they worth the extra dough?
Base and top coats are super important! It may seem like a waste of time and money (they are clear, after all) but they make all the difference in protecting your nails from staining, keeping polish on longer, and can even make your polish dry faster! Since I constantly have polish on my nails, I like to use a strengthening basecoat to keep my nails in the best shape as possible. Butter LONDON Horse Power is like Miracle-Gro for your nails. No joke! Use it for one month at a time (taking a month break in between cycles) and I’ll personally mail you twenty bucks if your nails aren’t longer and stronger. For a smoother finish, I like the Nail Foundation which is essentially like any primer you would use for anything from makeup to painting a house – it smooths out the surface of the nail, allowing your color to go on nice and evenly. Base coat also helps grip the color to your nail so you can avoid chips in between changing up your color. Now for top coat – when I say fast-dry top coat changed my life, I am dead ass serious. You can go high or low with these (some great ones at drugstores, but obviously the butter one, P.D. Quick, is super high-quality). Fast dry topcoat can be applied as soon as you’re done painting on your color, and will make your mani dry to the touch in 5 – 10 minutes, and completely dry in about a half hour. Yes, completely dry! As in, you can paint your nails less than a half-hour before bed and no dreaded sheet marks when you wake up! It’s truly amazing.
Help! Nail polish makes my nails totally unhealthy after a while. Any tips?
The reason your nails feel totally wrecked is lack of moisture – nail polish plus nail polish remover used repeatedly can totally dehydrate your nails, especially if you aren’t proactive about moisturizing. Definitely use hand cream (whether your nails are painted or not) and apply cuticle oil regularly. I promise you’ll notice a difference! The butter LONDON Handbag Holiday Cuticle Oil is amazing because a little goes a long way, it smells heavenly (think tropical vacation), and moisturizes so well you can spread it onto your fingers and hands after it has gone to work on your cuticles. Of course, there are lower end options out there, but as they say, treat yo’self. The more time, care, and attention you put into your nails, the better results you will get. Duh.
I know it’s just a matter of preference but…curved or pointed nails?
For me personally I rock somewhat of a combo—not too pointy (don’t want to poke anyone’s eye out, although I used to walk around looking like I snuck off the set of Sleepy Hollow) but not entirely rounded. Think almond shaped. When trying to determine the best nail shape for yourself that will be the most flattering for your hands, use your cuticle as a guide. Mirror the shape of the top of your nail for the tip and you’ll be in good…shape. But as for trends, never thought I’d be saying this, but square nails are actually making a comeback! Watch out now…
Best method for cleaning up your nails when you go outside of the lines?
Cleanup is made massively easier if your skin is hydrated before you start your manicure. Put on a little hand cream and really work it into your skin. This will prevent the nail polish from sticking to your skin and hanging on for dear life (which it does when you’re super dry). Make sure to use a q-tip or cotton pad with nail polish remover to clean your nail bed again before applying your base coat so your freshly applied polish doesn’t slip right off. After you are done with everything including top coat, dip a q-tip (pointy if you have ‘em) in nail polish remover and gently trace over any polish that made it onto the skin around your nails. Cleanup is important especially after you’ve taken time to perfect your at-home manicure skills! And don’t you dare post a pic of your nails pre-cleanup in Instagram…I’ll find you.
I tend to be very dark and stormy with my nail color choices. What are some good choices to lighten the mood for spring?
Pastels are obviously huge for spring but if that is too much of a jump, go alternative with stark nudes. The look is light and bright but less candy coated. Butter has a new collection of three shades of nude, light (Shandy), medium (Crumpet), and deep (Tea & Toast), made for varying skin tones. I love Floss Gloss Tanlines for a super fresh take on a nude nail—it’s rich in color and opaque in one coat, aka perfection!
My nails break easily so I usually have to keep them short. Any tips on getting longer, stronger nails?
Definitely Horse Power! (Mentioned above.) But any strengthening base coat or nail treatment will improve the situation. Also, everyday care and maintenance of your hands is important—moisturize regularly, try to wear gloves when cleaning or doing the dishes, keep a coat of at least something on your nails (that is a trick I live by – the only time I let my nails go completely naked is when I am giving them a deep moisture treatment). The more your naked nail is exposed to water, the more dried out they will get (i.e. I never take a shower with unpolished nails—the chance of snagging or bending is greatly increased when your nails are weakened and softened by hot water). Trust me! Try these few tricks and you will see a difference. Of course, your diet will contribute to not only your overall health but also the health of your nails, so a multi-vitamin paired with biotin or another growth stimulant will always help.
Check back for more great tips from Jeannie! I’m already tempted to buy all of her suggestions…whoops!