Beauty, nails

Manicure Essentials: Buffing Blocks 

When people think of manicures, they think of nail polish. But a perfect manicure has a lot more steps than just the base coat, polish, and top coat. To achieve an even, lasting manicure, it’s important to shape the nail and buff it too.

Buffing blocks like the one seen above can be purchased in any drugstore or grocery store, and they can greatly enhance the wear time of a manicure. Following the steps on the buffing block to resurface the nail can remove unevenness which will allow nail polish to better adhere to the nail. Just a few extra minutes of buffing can give you a lot of extra wear (days even!)

Do you routinely buff your nails? What’s your most essential manicure step? Be sure to let me know in the comments section!

Thanks for reading!

-XO Tiffy

Want more of me? Add me on  Instagram / Twitter.

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Beauty, nails

Sally Hansen Color Therapy 

My manicure preferences change a lot. Sometimes, I want really bold pops of color. Other times, I just want a sweet, feminine neutral that won’t show chips so easily. It’s hard to find a natural-looking pink shade that is kind of sheer instead of opaque. I feel like I’ve searched everywhere, and finally I’ve found one that’s nearly perfect: Sally Hansen Color Therapy in Rosy Quartz. This product can be purchased at Target and similar retailers for about $6.

I’ve been so pleased by how feminine and sheer this pink shade is. It makes my nails look natural but polished and professional. I like that I just need one or two coats to get my desired look. It’s also shiny enough that I don’t always feel I need a top coat. Overall, I’m very pleased by the aesthetic of this product.

That being said, I don’t love how long this one takes to dry. This product contains argan oil to nourish the nails and fix existing nail damage. I think that’s great, but it also seems to take well over an hour for this one to dry completely (and I suspect this oil is to blame). If I don’t allow it to dry for at least this long, I know I’m still at risk for smudges and gouges to the polish. Sometimes, I’ll use a quick-dry top coat to speed things along. That seems to help significantly.

Have you tried this polish? Did you like the sheer quality or were you disappointed that it wasn’t more opaque? Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comment section!

Thanks for reading!

-XO Tiffy

Want more of me? Add me on  Instagram / Twitter.

 

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Sally Hansen Double Duty Base & Top Coat 

When doing an at-home manicure, it’s so important to use a base coat and a top coat. The base coat will protect your nails from staining if you’re using a dark color, and it will create a nice, smooth canvas for the nail varnish. The top coat will add some shine to the manicure and will extend the life of the manicure by preventing chipping. Recently, I was walking around Walgreens and I found the Sally Hansen Double Duty Base & Top Coat for only $4, so I thought I’d give it a try.

I loved the concept of this product: why not simplify and have just one bottle that can do both jobs? Unfortunately, this one really fell flat for me.

My biggest complaint about this product is that it takes FOREVER to dry. Every time I used this product, I would try to be as patient as possible and let it dry for over half an hour. However, hours later, I would find strange smudges on the polish. I am not completely certain how this happened, but my theory is that the topcoat re-softens with heat, so you’re susceptible to smudges again after a hot shower or blow drying your hair or doing the dishes.

This has happened to me with other top coats as well, but it doesn’t happen with all of them (The Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat and the Seche Vite top coat are two of the best, in case you were wondering).

I was pleased with the level of shine that this top coat offers, but it did not seem to harden the nail or prevent chipping. I frequently still had same-day polish chips, which is just not manageable.

In terms of how this performed as a base coat, it was okay if you applied just a thin layer. It did smooth the nail and, even with very dark polish, there was no staining on the nail bed.

Overall, I was very disappointed with this product, and I won’t be repurchasing. However, I think this might be okay if applied to the nail by itself. After buffing the nail, this would add some shine to enhance a natural nail. It’s also an okay base coat, but I would not recommend this as a top coat over nail polish.

Have you tried this product, or do you have a favorite top coat? Be sure to let me know in the comment section!

Thanks for reading!

-XO Tiffy

Want more of me? Add me on  Instagram / Twitter.

Beauty, nails

Sally Hansen Cuticle Massage Cream 

Recently, I’ve been trying to take better care of my hands, especially the nail bed region. My cuticles get so dry and tear easily, so I wanted to try a product just for them. I ended up selecting the Sally Hansen Cuticle Massage Cream. This product is available at most drugstores and online for just $5.

First off, this product smells amazing. It’s fruity with top notes of apricot. That was definitely my favorite thing about the product. Other than that, I was a little disappointed. The formula felt so stiff, which surprised me. I was definitely expecting something creamier. As it was, it was a bit hard to use since you kind of have to dig in to get the product out. I suppose it wouldn’t be as difficult if you just wanted to rub your fingertip over it and use the light residue. That would definitely make the product last longer, but you also wouldn’t get as much moisturization power that way.

The product just didn’t moisturize as much as I had hoped. I’ve used cuticle oils in the past that worked much better, so maybe I should go back to that instead of using a cream like this one.

What do you use for your cuticles? I’d love to know! Feel free to tell me in the comment section.

Thanks for reading!

-XO Tiffy

Want more of me? Add me on  Instagram / Twitter.

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Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-On Manicure 

Fake nails have come a long way since I was in junior high. When I started a new school in 8th grade, I wanted to stand out more than anything in the world (which was difficult with the rigid uniform). I decided to wear acrylic nails for about six months. I changed them every week and struggled with the messy glue and the constant frustration of nails falling off at the worst possible times. It was absolutely ridiculous, and it did a lot of damage to my nails, but I’m also still proud of younger me for holding on to my individuality. The other day, I was shopping and saw these Broadway Nails imPRESS one-step gel fake nails. They were on sale and I felt filled with nostalgia, so I decided to give them a chance. These retail at most drugstore and grocery stores for between $5-8 depending on the kit.

I was actually very impressed (no pun intended) with these nails! The application was super easy. You just have to remove your existing nail polish if you’re wearing some, wipe your nails with the included alcohol swab, peel off the tab on the back on the gel nail, apply it over your real nail, and press down thoroughly (making sure to also press on the sides). Since there’s no dry time, this actually was faster than a traditional manicure, and the best part was that there was zero mess! Since the adhesive is pre-applied, you don’t have to struggle with tiny tubes of sticky glue that goes everywhere.

In terms of size, there was a great variety. Each kit includes 30 nails, so it’s very likely you’ll find nails that align almost perfectly with your cuticles. It took a while for me to get used to the look (it has been 13 years since I was 13 and last wore fake nails) but they kind of grew on me from an aesthetic perspective.

These nails lasted 5 whole days before one fell off, which I thought was great since I worked with my hands every day, did a lot of typing, washed dishes several times, unpeeled many tangerines, and more throughout the work week. I’m right-handed and it was really only the nails on the right hand that were loose at day 5. Had I been gentler, they probably would have lasted even longer. I was impressed by these, although it was honestly a relief when I was able to remove them. They were long enough to get in the way and slow down my typing which I did not enjoy. Also, rolling coins at work was super frustrating when I was in charge of banking.

Overall, I could definitely see me use these for special occasions. I can apply them quickly and be certain that they will last through big events. For the price, these are such a great deal, and they come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. I’m really glad I gave these a try!

Have you tried these one-step gel nails? What did you think? Be sure to let me know in the comment section!

Thanks for reading!

-XO Tiffy

Want more of me? Add me on  Instagram / Twitter.

Beauty, nails

Blogmas Day 21: Instant Nail Polish Remover Wipes 

It’s blogmas Day 21 and this day’s advent calendar panel revealed something I already received from an earlier day: the Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover Wipes. These can be purchased in a box of 10 wipes for $5 which is not cost effective for nail polish remover.

I do like the texture of these wipes, but it just doesn’t justify the cost. I do find it interesting that they have white peach extract though. While it definitely smells like normal nail polish remover, there is still a hint of peach too  which is kind of fun.

Thanks for reading!

-XO Tiffy

Want more of me? Add me on  Instagram / Twitter.

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Blogmas Day 17: Sephora Nail Polish 

Welcome to Blogmas Day 17! Today’s little goodie is pretty cute: a tiny bottle of nail polish. I love this wine shade, but unfortunately it isn’t on their website.

The nail polish is really nice. It’s very opaque and one coat goes a long way. It also dried pretty quickly which is always a plus. Overall, I like the nail polish and I bet I can get at least 3 or 4 pedicures out of the bottle even though it’s small.

Thanks for reading!

-XO Tiffy

Want more of me? Add me on  Instagram / Twitter.

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Blogmas Day 8: Bamboo Manicure Sticks 

Its’ Day 8 of Blogmas! Today’s goodie from my Sephora advent calendar was this collection of bamboo manicure sticks. Now, I couldn’t actually find these on the Sephora website, but these are something that you can get at pretty much any drugstore anyway.

Bamboo manicure sticks are super helpful if you do your own manicures. The tips are shaped perfectly for removing excess polish from your cuticles and from around the tip or under  your fingernail. These are really the easiest way to make your manicure look perfect. I know it is tempting to use one of your other nails to scrape off wet nail polish that gets on your cuticle, but more often than not you’ll just end up hurting the polish on that nail too and then you have two messed up nails instead of one. These bamboo sticks are super precise and let you clean up a messy manicure without using the nails themselves.

Thanks for reading!

-XO Tiffy

Want more of me? Add me on  Instagram / Twitter.

Beauty, nails

Essie Nail Polish 

The other day, I was in Walgreens, and I noticed that they had a few essie nail polish colors on clearance, so I bought two of them! I went for a dark pink and a bright red because these are shades that I use all the time.

Essie nail polish will typically set you back $8.50 per bottle, which isn’t terribly expensive, but it’s still way more expensive than my favorite brand Sinful Colors (which you can get for $2). I remembered trying this brand several years ago, but I couldn’t remember how I felt about it. I wanted to give it another try because this is such a popular brand.

Unfortunately, I really hated the formulation of these nail polishes. First, I found the brush to be way too narrow for my liking. I much prefer a broad brush, but you might like this product if you prefer something very narrow. I also disliked the texture of the formula – it was almost too sticky and it was very difficult to apply. Now, to be fair, I did get two clearance bottles, so maybe they were so old that the formula was starting to go bad? In any case, they ended up looking kind of gloopy and they took forever to dry.

I think I’ll be sticking to Sally Hansen (they have broad brushes) or Sinful Colors (they have a very smooth formula that is easy to apply and dries quickly).

Have you used this product? What did you think? What are your favorite nail color brands?

Thanks for reading!

-XO Tiffy

Want more of me? Add me on Snapchat (tiffyrenee82) or Instagram or Twitter.

Beauty, nails

Be a Little Sinful 

I tend to go in phases when it comes to nail polish. I’ll spend weeks with very neutral polishes and then I’ll just need a burst of color. I’ve also found that it’s just not worth it for me to pay a lot for nail color. I work in a library where I’m constantly touching things, so my polish chips pretty easily. I also have very soft, brittle nails naturally, so that doesn’t help at all. While I love brands like China Glaze, OPI, and Essie, they just don’t last any longer for me than drugstore brands (even when paired with a base coat and top coat). Because of that my very favorite nail polish brand is Sinful Colors, which can be purchased at nearly any drugstore or grocery store.

I love the amazing variety of colors in this collection. You can literally find anything you’re looking for – and most of the bottles are only $2. That’s a price that just can’t be beat. There are a variety of finishes from ultra sparkly to very matte, and it’s incredible how quickly they dry. Multiple times a year, they’ll run special promotions where they debut new themed shades (similar to the promotions that OPI runs), and right now they are collaborating with vlogger Kandee Johnson on a special collection that I love because it contains a whole lot of sparkle!

Now, if you have fabulous, strong nails that hold color well and you find that more expensive brands genuinely last longer for you, then I completely understand if this won’t be your new go-to brand. But this is still a great brand if you just want to try out a new or trendy color. For instance, I found a teal recently that I just wasn’t sure if I could rock, but I figured that $2 wasn’t too risky, and it has ended up being my favorite spring pedicure look so far this season! So, next time you’re in Kroger or Walgreens, just check them out and see if any of the shades stand out to you.