Top Coat Showdown Part 2 – Durability

People seemed to like and appreciate my first edition of Top Coat Showdown – Dry Time. So I decided to do round 2 – Durability! In other words, how easily and quickly do these bad boys chip? Since in the first edition, the Sally Hansen took so long to dry, I have taken that out. It has been replaced by KB Shimmer Top Coat which I received as a press sample.

Now it’s not fair to throw KB Shimmer into the mix without assessing the dry time in some way. I didn’t do it as scientifically as I did the first round, but I did touch check it in comparison to the others multiple times.  I can tell you the KB Shimmer Clearly On Top is definitely in league with the others. It passed the touch test just as quickly as the others. So, if you’re in the market for a new quick drying top coat, you should consider KB Shimmer among your selections.

Another warning about this post…since I’m testing durability, I have to wear this mani for more than one day. But I love doing nail art every day! Therefore, I decided that my right hand would do the testing. That way, I can continue to do art on my left hand. :) The only problem is…my right hand isn’t nearly as pretty as my left! LOL Also, it’s much harder to cleanup and photograph since I have to do all the work with my non-dominant hand. So I hope you can forgive a little polish that’s out of place and weird hand poses. :)

From Pinkie (Right) to Pointer (left) here are the top coats I’m reviewing:

  1. HK Girl
  2. KB Shimmer
  3. Out the Door
  4. Seche Vite

Here are pics from day one – just about an hour after I applied the polish. I put Seche Vite on my pointer AND my thumb because it wouldn’t be fair to just have it on my pointer. That is the finger that always chips first since I use it the most. Therefore, I’ll average out the chips between the pointer and the thumb as the real test of SV. :)



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FAQ’s: How to Care for your Nails and Paint them Every Day

I frequently get asked how I’m able to paint my nails every day. People are always worried about how much time it takes and the damage it might be doing to my nails.

Well there are easy answers to both those problems!! I was explaining all this to a colleague at work and she said, “You just changed my life.” Now I don’t expect this post will change everyone’s actual LIFE, but I do hope it will help as you’re getting into nail art and nail care.

First, let’s start off with how to take care of your nails. You could be the best nail artist in the world, but if your nails and cuticles are in bad shape, nothing is going to look good. There are three easy, peasy ways to make sure your nails are in tip-top shape!

1.) Eat right. I know, I know. This advice is given as a solution to nearly every problem in the world. But it’s so true! If your body is starved for proper nutrients, it’s not going to invest energy into building strong nails. It’s going to just try and stay alive! Eating a well balanced diet with good protein and lots of fruits and vegetables WILL make your nails healthier in the long run.

2.) Moisturize your cuticles! It’s no surprise that my favorite product is Bliss Kiss Pure Nail Oil. It’s inexpensive relative to other brands, smells great, is an indie product, and the owner is super nice. That’s all win-win-win! To see what a huge difference it made for me, click here. There are many other products on the market that also do a good job, but I like Bliss Kiss Pure Nail Oil The key is to find something that works well for you and then, use it often!

3.) Nails are jewels, not tools. Don’t use your nails to pick at things or use them as tools. Protect them! If you’re serious about keeping them long and healthy, you need to do right by them. Wear gloves when washing the dishes or cleaning. Don’t use them to pry things open!

Now, let’s talk about actually painting your nails on a daily basis. People are always so impressed that I paint my nails every night. The thing is, the entire process barely takes me over a half hour! That’s it! That includes removing the old polish, painting, AND drying time!! Wowza! That really is no time at all! There is ONE product that makes this quickness possible: An excellent top coat. I use HK Girl Top Coat. You can buy it here.

That’s it. In my experience, the base coat and type of polish doesn’t make that big of a difference. The top coat is what really makes a mani dry fast or not. There are others on the marked such as Seche Vite, that can also work well. My only complaint with Seche Vite is that I would get terrible tip wear (where the polish retracts from the tip of your nail) within a few hours. I don’t experience that with HK Girl, so it’s my few favorite.

Hopefully this post answered a few of your questions! If you have any more, please feel free to ask in the comments! I promise I read them all! :D

Abstract #GoHawks Mani

All right! Last Seahawks mani, I promise! It’s just…I live in Washington so it’s CRAZY up here! There is Hawks stuff everywhere! So, it has affected my nails. :)

Used for this mani:
Orly Nail Armor Base Coat
Konad Special White
L’Oreal New Money
Formula X For Sephora Omni
HK Girl Top Coat
Vivid Lacquer Stamping Plate VL009

Click Pictures to Enlarge