Friday, April 1, 2016

Golden Tips Manicure

Hello Everyone!
I am sorry that it has been so long since I have posted.
What could you possibly have been doing to stay away from us for so long you may ask.  Well......  My husband participated in Louisiana's Grid Iron.  Which is apparently the longest, continuous running Grid Iron in the nation.  And I met the governor!!!!

 Then, it was Easter and I had to carry on some family tradition.  I inherited my great grandmother's cast iron lamb mold and it is one of my most prized possessions. I decided that it was finally time to put on my big girl panties and try to make a lamb cake. The first goal was for the cake to actually rise and make a three dimensional lamb. (That's harder to do than it sounds, you can just ask my dad.)   The second goal was for the head and ears to stay on the cake.  This was also not as easy as it sounded because I had to make certain that the lamb survived for a 30 minute drive to Easter dinner. Seven hours of prepping and baking to make this little guy.

But the lamb was a success and I am very proud of my first try.  Next year I may try to make more decorations so that the lamb can lay down in a bed of flowers.

And today is my birthday!!!!  (No foolin'.)  So I took off work today, promised my co-workers that I would not do any work at home, and decided to spend the day doing things that made me happy.
So I woke up late and had breakfast.
Then I went shopping at Marshall's for a little while. (I love Marshall's!) Where I got myself a new lunch tote bag and some kitchen towels.  Aren't these the cutest?!?!

Then I did some yoga and had some lunch.  The dogs tried to participate in the yoga.  They're very good at downward dog.

And then I decided to give myself a manicure.  I love going to the salon and getting my toes and nails done.  It is one of my greatest pleasures in life.  But sometimes, I don't want to drive out in a thunderstorm or I do not have the funds to afford to pay for a manicure, so I do it myself.
Doing a manicure yourself is actually a great way to save money if you get your nails done.  If you don't get your nails done, doing your nails yourself can be the ultimate in self pampering.  I love do various types of manicure designs, so I thought I would show all of you the frugal femme way to do a manicure.
You should do this while watching a movie.  Personally, the girly-er the movie the better.  Today, I chose Bridget Jone's Diary.  What ever you do, don't plan on doing anything with your hands for two hours.

Equipment needed:

nail file/emery board (I like glass nail files because you put them in the dishwasher and they last forever until you drop them.)
buffer file
cuticle trimmer
cuticle pusher
custard bowl
warm water
dove dish soap (or dish soap of your choice)
clean towel
cotton balls
nail tips
nail polish remover
hand lotion of your choice
nail/cuticle oil
base coat
nail polish (rose gold and turquoise)
gel top coat

I know you're thinking. Dang, that's ALOT of equipment, and it is. But, most of it you probably already own,  and, those pieces that you may not own (like cuticle trimmers or a cuticle pusher), you can get by purchasing a manicure kit.  (You can get kits from between $6-$20 on eBay.  Or they make great stocking stuffers, so they are good items to ask for when people ask what you would like for Christmas.)
I did not include nail clippers or anything to actually trim your nails on this list.  The reason is because I am focusing mostly on the decorative part of doing a manicure. You will need to make certain that your nails are the length and the shape you want before you start your manicure.
Also, this post assumes that you have had your nails professionally manicured at least once. If you have not, get it done and carefully watch what they do, this will make it easier for you to know the correct way to do the steps when you are doing them for yourself.


1.  Remove all existing nail polish you may have on your nails.
2.  File your nails to the shape and length you prefer. I personally like my nails to be kind of a squoval shape but you do what looks good on you and what you prefer.
(Some people like to file their nails after they have soaked them. I do not prefer that, but it may work better for you.)
3.  Place warm water and Dove dishwashing liquid in a small custard cup.  Soak the tips of your fingers in the warm soapy water until your cuticles are soft.  I like to soak mine until the tips of my fingers are almost starting to prune.

3.  Using the cuticle pusher, gently push down on your cuticles.  Gently is the key word here. Let the instrument do the work for you.  You will have a tiny collection of dead skin near the bottom of your cuticle bed.

4.  Carefully trim the dead skin with the cuticle trimmer.  Be very careful.  Some salons advise filing your cuticles and not using a trimmer so that you don't have to worry about cutting your cuticles and making yourself bleed, but that doesn't work for me. DO NOT over trim.  When done correctly, you should not feel the skin that the trimmer is removing as it is already dead. There should be no pain and no bleeding.  Again, I cannot stress enough, be gentle when you do this.

5.  Brush the tops of your nails with the buffer file.  After this, you may have to do some trimming of your cuticles again.

6.  Brush on cuticle oil. (I like Essie Apricot oil.)  Allow cuticle oil to soak for about five minutes.

7.  Rub hand lotion into hands and lower arms.  Let soak in for about five minutes.
8.  Thoroughly wash hands paying particular attention to the nails. If you have a nail scrubber, now would be the time to use it.
9.  Wet a cotton ball with nail polish remover and wipe it across every nail.  This will remove the last of the oil from the cuticle oil and the lotion.
At this point, if you didn't want to do a fancy manicure, you could put on clear coat of polish and call it a day.  But, we are going to do a fancy manicure, so continuing on....
10.  Brush a base coat onto all of your nails.  (Yes, you have to do this.  This will make the difference between your manicure lasting a few days and your manicure lasting a couple weeks.  I personally like to use Essie's Fill the Gap.)

11. After the base coat has dried, brush on your first coat of your main color nail polish. For this manicure, I used Chanel's Azure.  (Yes, I like to use pricier nail polishes. This is one of those times where cheaper is NOT better. I like Essie, OPI and Chanel.  I find that cheaper nail polishes do not give the same look as a salon manicure, so I spend the money on the higher end polishes.  Because this is a splurge for me, I do not allow myself to go crazy with the amount of nail polishes that I have, meaning that I do not have any more than 12 nail polish colors at a time. This is also another good item to put on your Christmas list for friends to easily pick up for your or, you can purchase it on eBay and save money.)  Brush on at least two coats nail polish.  Make certain that you pause through each coat so that the nail polish is dry before you apply a new coat.

13.  Once nail polish is completely dry, put on the nailene perfect tips on the tips of your painted nails as a template. (You can hand paint this if you would like, but the tips make it so much easier and they are only $0.99 at Walmart, so why wouldn't you use them?)
14.  After the templates are placed on the nails, paint your nail tips with the accent polish.  With this manicure I used Essie's Penny Talk.  As soon as you are done, carefully remove the templates.  If  you wait until the nail polish is dry, some of your accent polish will come up with the sticker template when you try to remove it from your nail.

15.  Let your nails dry completely and cover with clear coat. I LOVE the new gel coat top coats that do not have to have the light to dry.  I got my Dior top coat when it was the only brand to have a clear gel top coat, but I would advise getting the Essie Gel Top Coat instead. It does just as well and it is WAY cheaper.    The trick to gel paint is to make certain the brush has what seems to be an over abundance of paint and putting a blob of paint on the center of the nail.  Then carefully spreading this with the brush. If you try to do thin coats, it ends up with brush strokes in the polish.

16.  Once top coat has completely dried, use a q-tip dipped in nail polish remove to clean around the edges and to clean up where-ever you may have put polish that you did not intend to put polish.

VOILA!!!  A beautiful manicure that people will swear that you got done at a salon.

And, also, because it is my birthday, as a present for the ladies, I pose a question:  Why can't our president look like this?

HE is the real, honest to God, current Prime Minister of Canada.  Amazing.

Well, that is all for today.  I hope you had a great April Fools Day and I'll be back soon!

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