nail repertoire

I've fallen in love with painted nails. In my early years of waitressing and such, nail polish was a giant "no"...and after that I stuck strictly to conservative french manicures. Now that I've been in grown-up world for some years, I've opened up to deliciously punchy colored nails. But I'm sooo over fighting the battle with chips.

Are you with me? No matter how careful I am about drying time or daily coats of clear protector...the chips are pervasive and unpreventable. When I heard rave reviews about SH's Polish Strips (the word is they last chipless for up to ten days!), I hauled my lil' rear to the store and picked up "Raise Your Glass", then settled on my couch and tried to make the magic happen.

The magic never came. Giiiirrrrl, I was out $8 and lookin' like a hot mess. It seems I'm destined for coats of polish and daily damage control. So, I've been makin' lemonade and switching my colors every few days. Here's what's in my polish bag:

Kennebunk-port by OPI (seen here)...a deep red + merlot that works with most anything
The Thrill of Brazil by OPI (seen here)...punchy and flirty: think foxy 50's secretary
Eiffel for This Color by OPI (seen here)...dark, dark purple with a hint of shimmer
Vacation Time by Sinful Colors (seen here)...sweet and rosy, a perfect fallback

But, my new favorite overall is The Next CEO by OPI (in the photo above), a really warm glittery gold. This hue isn't disco-ball glittery...it would be grown up enough for the workplace, but still fun to wear out with the girls. And bonus: three days without a chip. Yay!

Do you have a polish fav? Or any time-tested tricks for keeping a manicure fresh for days?


  1. I'm so sad that you had a bad experience with the SH nail polish strips, cause I LOVE THEM! I wonder what went wrong with yours? I've bought two boxes of them and they've lasted for at least a week with no chips, which is kind of miraculous! I even did my friend Heather's nails with them the other day and she is smitten, too! Do you still have the other package (they should come with two little packages per box)--if so, I urge you to try again! :)

    I pretty much never get my nails done at the salon, but I'm heading that way soon, because my friend Jessie told me about Shellac. Have you heard about it? It's a special polish that they apply and then put your hands under a lamp and it allegedly lasts for weeks! Jessie's hooked. I popped into a nail salon last week and asked about it--haven't tried it yet but totally going to soon. :)

  2. First off, LOVE that you actually linked back to pics with you wearing the colors!

    Unfortunately no tried + true tips but I can share one of my fave colors - OPI We'll Always Have Paris - love!!

  3. I've avoided polish for years because I hate chips. But about 4 weeks ago I decided I wanted colorful nails. In that time I've discovered I can get 3-4 days before the chips set in - but only by breaking the rules. No bottom coat or top coat, just 1-2 coats of polish which I carefully let dry.

    On mean it seems like the more layers that go on, the more likely they are to chip. I've had the best luck with a dark grey Essie polish.

    I'm planning to give the Shellac treatment a try soon - I hear it is long lasting.

  4. so cute!! i've gotten OPI's Bubble Bath a few times and liked it - it's very subtle but with a light pink hint. the best part about the chips - they aren't as noticeable! but i do love the colors you mentioned!

  5. i giggled because me and you are the same with our nail polish history ;) as waitressing and my last job of working with dogs, it just wasn't practical or sanitary to have pretty painted nails. When i worked in the news business, i always got my nails done and spent a fortune to maintain them but now i have neglected them entirely. (never my feet though, my pedicures are my ONE needed splurge on myself during primping dates)

    but now i think i should give my nails some love, inspired by this post! i am in LOVE with OPI's Texas line, but of course! ;)

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  7. I think I'll have to check out Vacation Time and The Next CEO in person. They look lovely! I've recently fallen in love with Essie nail polishes. Right now I have Fishnet Stockings on my fingernails and Mink Muffs on my toenails. But lately I only wear clear polish, if any at all, since my job is a manicure-killer :(

  8. i think the strips sucked for you because it was your first time with them!
    my first time i chipped them like no other, but once you get the hang of putting them on evenly they're great!

  9. Unfortunately, I have no advice on keeping nails chip-less. I painted my nails on Friday (French manicure, because I'm still obsessed with that...) and they've been chipping since yesterday (Sunday).
    Personally, I love French Manicures - I just think that look "neat" if that makes sense :) Plus, they keep me from biting my nails - I don't know why because I'll continue to bite with any other polish on.
    <3 Kiersten

  10. DUDE! You MUST try Shellac! I am 100% obsessed with it and will probably get it done every 2 weeks for the rest of my life. It's a perfect chip-free manicure (no acrylic, no tips, no buffing) that last until it grows out and you have it removed. I'm pretty much crazy over it. The only bummer is limited colors, but until I try them all I won't be bored. It's worth the price and fantastic!

  11. YES. I rarely ever paint my nails because 1) I bite them and nail polish unfortunately doesn't stop me and 2) because I'm lazy about removing the nail polish. It takes so long to put on and chips off so easily that I feel like it's not worth my time.

    I love painting my nails though because before they chip they look really pretty.

    A week ago I actually painted my nails and it's high time I remove the polish. Four of my ten nails are looking to be in terribly poor condition.

    If anyone has any tricks I'd love to hear them. I've considered getting a french manicure (my favorite!) from a salon for graduation but my real nails don't seem long enough to warrant it and getting fake nails does so much damage to the nail that I lean away from it.

    I'll have to look into this shellac thing everyone is mentioning...

  12. I loooove fun nail polish! Especially OPI and Essie.
    My tried and true manicure routine is one coat of Seche clear base, two coats of nail color, then one coat of Seche Vite top coat. It is THE BEST.

  13. OPI's Smokin' in Havana-- a sassy red with a bronzy/orangey hue. For a fun throw-back red, I love "I'm Not Really A Waitress" and my all time favorite summertime pedicure color-- "Melon of Troy".


  14. I'm new to painting my nails since I stopped biting them late last year... I still haven't applied my polish perfectly! something always smudges, chips, or bubbles, the most annoying of them all. still, I try to push forward because if I don't have something on my nails, they will break and crack and flake and it's not pretty! and ruins all my hard work of not biting them.

    for Easter, I picked up Sally Hansen's Gentle Blossom. it is kind of a minty pale green, maybe closer to sea foam. it made my nails look very much like Easter eggs :) the application isn't perfect but from afar they look just fine!

  15. Same here little lady! I've been all about it. I went years without. It's hard to manage, like you said, and I wash, wash, wash all day. But, I've been keeping up with it, daring new colors and having a blast. I did a bright, pearly pink today. Eep!

    I use a top coat. But, I hear that a bottom coat is a must. The oils from the natural nail are supposedly what cases the chips. Hmm...

  16. Ha i love nail polish! the tragedy is the Army is separating me from this love. People always ask what i am excited for when i get out of the Army and i say " i can wear nail polish EVERY DAY of the week!" they then roll their eyes... im glad you understand :)


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