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A Slice of Magic
The name was inspired from the manga "Beauty Pop". Koshiba Kiri's catchphrase, "I'll help you guys add a little magic", reminded me that anyone can become beautiful, with a touch of magic~

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

#12 - Nail Polish

OO ok. 2 months is a longgg break.
I couldn't really think about an topic to write about... since stuff I thought of were mostly... things which... aren't easily explained in words.
A video or a demonstration would have been more effective in conveying advice.

Nail polish is still... cosmetics sooo.... I guess I'm going to talk about it.
I'm not a nail polish fanatic or a 'pro', -my left hand is still unable to paint designs nicely on my right!!-
But... hey, I think I have some advice to share. Especially with people who just started painting their nails.
sooo... let's go!

1. Base Coat
What is this magical thingus people insist on putting on before color coats?!

Basically, it's just a thin layer of, usually, clear polish which will act as a barrier between your natural nail and the color coat.
say what?
Ok, that means, that it's supposed to help you prevent your nails from changing color, especially if you wear nail polish often OR use really dark colors.

No. This doesn't mean that your nails will definitely become yellow or brown, eventually.
But if you change your nail polish color often and if you like using black or dark browns or something, you have a higher risk of your nails becoming discolored.

Well, that's the basic function of a base coat.
But, a base coat can have other functions, the most common would be to fill in the ridges of your natural nail, so that the color coat can form a smooth finish.
Another function is to help 'bond' the color coat better, so that there will be less lifting and chipping. At least this is what Orly Bonder Rubberized Polish Gripping Basecoat claims to do.

2. Top Coat
Is top coat a must?

Frankly, I would advise to use a topcoat.
It's wondrous, really.
If you left a fingerprint in your color coat, go over it with a topcoat, running the bristles over that spot until it smoothens out, then try to lift off as much of the extra topcoat you have put on there before it dries.
Voila, the nail is 'perfect' again.
At least until you try to open that can of coke you have on the dining table. *shrugs*

But yes, a top coat imparts a shine to your color coat, and we love shiny things. Yes we do.

Some top coats are better than others, and will help your nail polish last longer without chipping.
But let's get into that later.

3. One Thick Coat vs Many Thin Coats
Well... hey. Valid question.

We all have the experience of putting on the first coat of nail polish and... IT'S NOT EVEN!
Then we naturally want to MAKE it even.
So... we put on MORE polish, and it becomes this thick glob on our nails. Eww...

And then... SOME polishes are horrendous. The color is soooo thin, it might as well NOT be there!!
So we try MORE nail polish.

Well, can't say I've never done that. Haha.
But, one thick layer of polish takes FOREVER to dry and while it is drying... 80% of the time, we will blotch it up.
Ok, I will. Not sure about you, but just saying... IF it were me, I can spend the whole day doing that and still not be finished with my nails.

The benefit of doing thin coats is that it dries faster, and hence, we are LESS likely to blotch it up.
But then again, the downside... is you need at least 2-3 coats... to get the color there...

4. Well... FINE. How do you do thin coats?
T.T no need to get all riled up...

I'm no expert at this, but... first check your nail polish. if you think it's gone all gloopy, TOSS it out.
You won't be getting any 'thin' coats from that.

Ok, so now, look at the nail you are going to coat.
Is it 'large' or 'small'?
What kind of question is that?!

I have got to say, this comes with experience, after a while you will know whether you need more polish for which nail (based on surface area) and which nails you can get away with the regular amount of polish.

But to get the regular amount of polish, you will need to wipe ONE side of the brush, starting about 1-2cm away from the top of the brush OFF the mouth of the nail polish bottle.
That just means, scrape off the nail polish ONCE.

The you will turn the brush so that the part with the MOST nail polish will be in contact with your nail.

Position the brush so that it's ROUGHLY in the middle of your nail. No need to be exact here.
and paint a vertical stripe down.
Then go to the left OR right side of the stripe and paint vertically down again. Repeat until whole nail is covered.

IF for some reason, you didn't get enough polish on the brush to cover the whole nail, get more polish in the SAME way, start from the middle AGAIN, but work on the side that needs the polish more.

5. Ok, how long do I wait now?
This... even I am not exactly sure...

It depends largely on the nail polish you are using.
Some dry really fast, some... take forever.

Generally, I noticed... that you CAN paint another coat of nail polish over the last if it doesn't budge when you lightly run your finger over it.
BUT if you have >4 coats on it in total... the next morning, you MIGHT find lil crosshatch patterns on it from your bedsheets.

This is probably because, even though the layer of nail polish is dry, when you paint a NEW coat, the solvent in the coat will 'reactivate' the dried nail polish layer under it, somewhat.
This is why I said that top coats can be used to fix blotches, to some extent.

So the new layer of polish will dry since it's on top, but the layer underneath... well, it's not completely dry, but it's underneath, so it needs longer to dry.
and with every subsequent layer, this... problem gets a lil wee bit bigger.

Often I notice that if you managed not to blotch it up for ~4-5 hours, you shouldn't have much problems with it though.

6. Shit... the polish got EVERYWHERE. On my skin, and look a glob at the side of my nail.
heh, that happens.

Allow me to introduce the two most important tools to have when you are doing your nails.
The toothpick and the cotton bud.

Toothpick. well, cotton bud I get, but toothpick?!
No, I haven't gone off my rocker.

You know, when you've applied too much polish... very close to the left or right side of the nail... it sorta pools between the skin and the nail??
That thing is nasty. It takes forever to dry and since it's soo thick, it peels off VERY easily.

So. what you've gotta do is... while the polish is still wet, lightly run the tip of the toothpick in that space to remove the extra polish.
Wipe it off on a tissue or something.
Dip the toothpick in nail polish remover and wipe it off if you need to.
It really does help a lot.

As for the cotton bud, we all know how tht helps, twist the head to make sure the fibres aren't gonna come off, dip it into the nail polish remover, and use it as an eraser.

7. OPI. I heard OPI is awesome.
Not bashing on the brand, but OPI has some good points and... some not very good ones.

Everything here is personal opinion, so... take it with a couple spoonfuls of salt. A truckload if you wish.

I'm completely utterly in love with the brushes in OPI nail polish.
They are flat and wide.
What does that mean?
Fewer swipes to cover the nail.
It helps A LOT. Makes things easier.

OPI has a very LARGE shade range to choose from, they probably have 50 different kinds of nail polish for the same color.
You definitely will find something you like in there.

But... here comes the... not sooo nice part.
The polish... chips. A LOT.
Their top coat, isn't great, it STILL chips a lot.

My friend swears that Seche Vite Top Coat is miles better than OPI's.
I haven't tried that one.
So I can't say.

I hope this is helpful enough??


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