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The problem with instagram, is found in the root ‘insta.’  It is so immediate, it has become a quick and easy way to post my manicures.  But I really miss writing.  So, I will continue to post on instagram, but will try to get back to the blog.

Okay, so… I am still in a strange ‘my nails won’t grow’ stage.   I am trying a few things, if I am successful, y’all will be the first to know.

On to some manicures…

 

Lay It on the Lime and Carnival Cotton Candy!

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Okay.

I am bummed.

I waited months to write a post about how I got my nails to be long and healthy.  I was feeling for lack of a better word – superstitious about writing such a post.  I mean, I was seriously concerned if I wrote something about this topic, all my nails would just crumble.

Well, only two crumbled.  Both index finger nails got horrid breaks!  What really makes me nuts, I had just read an article on Ana’s website about what to do if you break a nail.  Her best advice, don’t wait to get a broken nail – go ahead and purchase what you need to repair a nail before it breaks!

Yes, that was great advice.  And now, I do have not one, but two Orly nail repair kits.  I tried just using nail glue, but it did not do the trick.  So, the next few weeks I will coaxing some length out of my index finger nails.

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Here is a shot of my poor little index nail.  On the bright side, this is the nail break I have had in months!!

So, I babying my index fingers.  I have gotten much better about wearing my gloves to do all housework and even wear gloves when I am at work and I have to open boxes.

Anyway, on to my manicure…  I started with that lovely bright white polish, OPI’s Alpine Snow.  And then I added two great Nicole by OPI colors – Lay It On the Lime and Carnival Cotton Candy.  Now, Cotton Candy is from the Carrie Underwood collection and Lime is from Nicole’s Summer 2014 collection.

Both colors are very rich in pigment, and when I added a base coat of white polish, it really made the colors POP.

Of course the clean designs are all due that patron saint of nail art junkies everywhere –    Linda of Linda’s Vinyls!

I used my regular chevrons and the new right angle vinyls.  Very cool indeed.

Keep my little ole’ index finger nails in your nail prayers!!  They are hurtin’!

 

KBShimmer – In Bare Form

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I love KBShimmer Nail Polish.

I mean, I love KBShimmer like I love diet Coke, donuts, brand new comfortable socks and three days off in a row!

Since this collection was released, my eyes has been on In Bare Form.

As y’all know, I really enjoy a good nude polish.  You are also familiar with my constant hunt to find nude polishes that don’t make my fish belly white skin, even more white and fish belly-ish.

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Enter… In Bare Form.

Holy Holo Batman!!

IS this not just too delicious?

This beautiful nude holographic shade is killing me!!  First, the superior formula makes the application effortless.

The skimmer is this kiss of pink vanilla – over this rich beige tone.

This will not be the last time you see this color!!

Go to their website and check these polishes!!    KBShimmer

Pink Polka Dots with At Least I Pink So

bottleonly   Another pink polish…

I cannot help myself. Admitting you are helpless over your addiction is the first step.

The second step is right to Ulta.

There is a blogger (and she posts on instagram as well), everyone knows Tam of www.ohmygoshpolish.blogspot.com.

Her account is amazing!  Her name is Tam, and she is the author of ohmygoshpolish.blogspot.com.

 

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While some of work is way to advance for me, she does include many simple but really interesting and different designs.

Tam did this design on a cornflower blue nail, with white stripes and polka dots.  She came up from this idea from a mug!

I started with three coats of At Least I Pink So.  If you don’t mind VNL, you can easily get away with two coats.

I used Alpine Snow for the stripes and dots.

 

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I enjoyed this manicure, and it was easy to do!!

If you are like me, and been living under a rock and not heard of Tam… go check out her work on her blog or on Instagram!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga-Then-Yogurt

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I love white polish… but not just any white polish.

For instance, I love OPI’s Alpine Snow, I would never paint all ten digits and leave it plain.  The white is just too, flat and bright.  It reminds me of a paint primer.

But I love white polish with a hint of another hue to soften the brightness.

 

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Polishes such as, OPI’s My Boyfriend Scales Walls, are not only perfect for nail art, they can still be wore all on their own.  I have Yoga-Then-Yogurt, Nicole by OPI to this list.

OMG!  I adore this polish!

It was so easy to apply, which is an amazing feet of creamy white polishes!

Wow!

Let’s add something to this lovely canvas…

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As we say in my house… whaaa- chaaaa!

I used two colors, one by China Glaze, At Vase Value.  And Sinful Colors… the name has fallen off, so I have to guess the name is Why Not.

I used by go to nail art tool, Linda’s Vinyls and use two chevrons diagonally on my ring finger.  And use one straight vinyls on my index.

I added some dots, and here we are!

 

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I added a few single chevrons to my thumb nail, I really like the design!

Many of my customer noticed this manicure!

I enjoyed it, but man, it was hard getting that bright blue off my nail and cuticles.

 

Simply Pure™ hydrating nail oil – IS THE BEST!!

Okay, I have been thinking of writing a post about growing out my nails.

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This is a photo from December 2013, the photo below is from last week.  My nails are longer AND my cuticles look so nice (not to mention my photography skills have improved).

Right about the time I took the photo to the left, I wrote an entry which I stated a more accurate name for my blog would be elizabeth breaks her nails.

I have done some serious research and experiments on trying to get my nails long and healthy.   I think I have finally found the program that works for me!

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I have dry and brittle nails, that love to peel and flake.  Before I came across products that worked for me, my nails used to love to break at the quick, or would right at the top due to flaking and peeling.  My dry skin makes for dry and crusty (ewwww! but it happens!) cuticles.

First, lets go over everything I did try:  nailtiques, formula 3, Nailtek, formula 3, Nailtek Hydration Therapy III, Nailtek CITRA 3, Seche Vite Perfect Nail Recondition, Mango Oil and lastly, and most expensive – T.I.P.S. Nail Strengthening Conditioner (nail oil).

Okay, after tons of money, time and patience spent, I finally came across the holy grail of nail education and information… http://www.nailcarehq.com/products/

If you go to Ana’s site, it explains everything you need to know about growing healthy nails.

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Pure™ Nail Oil – this is what changed my nails.  My cuticles were better within 24 hours.  And then, a few weeks later, I noticed my nail no longer were breaking at the the quick.

Now, my nails were still flaking at the very tip, so I was not getting the legnth I wanted.  So I went on face book and wrote a message to Mr. Nail himself, Doug Schoon.  I asked him for suggestions, once he realized I had super dry skin, he suggested warming the oil and doing a little warm oil treatment to my nails.  WOW!  It changed everything and fast!  Within a week my nails were not flaking… and before I knew it…

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I had to start trimming my nails!!

I buy Ana’s nail oil by the vat!  Well, I buy it by the four ounce bottle.  And considering it lasts me for months, the $44.99 I spend is a bargin!

I use the oil two ways, first, whenever I change my polish, I give myself a mini hot oil treatment.

After all the polish is removed, and any cuticle grooming is finished, I scrub my nail with a nail brush and mild soap*.

I drop my nail oil pen in a cup of hot water for a few minutes, then I apply the oil to my clean nails.  Sometimes I wrap my hand and sit for thirty minutes to let the oil soak in, sometimes I only do five minutes.

I also I try to apply the nail oil everyday, at least once a day.  I try to for more.

I will write another post to sum up my other tips, but if I did not start with Ana’s oil, it would all be worthless!!

* side note: mild soap, this is very important if you have dry nails!  So many ladies wash their nails where they wash their dishes and use their dish soap as hand soap.  THIS WILL DRY OUT YOUR NAILS!  Your dish soap is designed to break down OIL  – this is great if you are cleaning a greasy frying pan!

When doing my manicures, I wash my hands with baby soap.  It is very mild and gentle.

 

 

Gradient Struggle continues…

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I do not know why I love this color combo, but I do!!

I started with two coats of OPI’s Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around.

Then I added Nicole’s Lay It On the Lime!

I did one finger with chevrons, and the rest of my digits I simply tried another gradient.

 

 

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Some people loved this manicure, others… not so much.

But I loved it!  I love the colors, my gradient still needs improvement.

I will do this again and it will be better!

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I just adore Maybelline’s Color Show Polka Dots in Clearly Spotted.

This topper can be worn a million different ways!  I have used it over every color polish – pink, white, lilac, blue and now, nude.

 

 

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I started with essie’s spin the bottle.

This polish has been described as a “semi-sheer nude.”  Which is why I like it so much!!
It is a nude, but not a boring sheet nude

 

 

 

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After two coats of spin the bottle, I dabbed some Clearly Spotted on the tips of my nails.

I thought this was a nice, nude polish to wear after my extra colorful Zoya block manicure.

 

Zoya’s Tickled Collection

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One of my favorite instagram posters is @jarynails.  She does excellent manicures!

One of her post really blew me away, it was a block manicure done with all the Zoya Tickled and Bubbly Summer 2014 Collection.

I did my own tribute to @jarynails, except I only used the cream collection – Tickled.

I started with Zoya’s white polish in Purity.

 

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Then I took out my favorite nail art tool ever – Linda’s Vinyls!

I don’t mean to toot my horn, but I loved this manicure!

 

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I took pictures in my light box, then in the morning, I took a few shots outside.

This manicure is time consuming, but pretty easy.  All you need are your vinyls, a dry white nail and a little patience.

Sadly, the last ingredient is the one I am usually lacking!!

 

It’s a Gradient!!

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I really love essie’s urban jungle!  I have worn it more than a few times and it is quickly becoming a favorite neutral for me.

I decide to add something to my plainly polishes nails, I really wanted to use a different color.

And I think I found something that was a little different from my usual.

I decided on essie’s van go, and Zoya’s Wendy.

 

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After I completed my chevrons, I bravely tried to do another gradient!

The gradient actually worked!  I am doing nothing different, but for some odd reason, my gradients are finally looking as if at least a middle schooler did my nails, rather than a preschooler.

Whoo hoooo!!