The 10-minute Mani

One of the biggest obstacles to giving myself regular manicures at home used to be the drying time.  As a working mama, I usually end up doing my nails around 10pm in the evening, not long before I’m ready to pass out and smudge my fresh mani all over my sheets.  Ugh.  So, that was all resolved when I found and tried the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat.

Sally Hansen Insta Dri, http://chicinacademia.comSally Hansen Insta-Dri, ~$4 (Photo: Chic in Academia)

The mani above was done late at night (wearing Revlon’s Vixen), and was dry within 5 minutes of applying polish to my last nail! A total 10-minutes spent doing my nails.  AH-maze-ING.

Another one of my secrets for a successful manicure is the use of a product I would have never imagined using for my mani’s: The Honest Company’s Healing Balm.

Honest Company Healing Balm, http://chicinacademia.comThe Honest Company Healing Balm, ~$12 (Photo: Chic in Academia)

It belongs to my 18-month old, so I usually tote it along with his diapers and wipes.  In the absence of my usual hand lotion one day, I decided to use this instead and noticed that it absorbed really well, wasn’t super greasy, and kept my cuticles super soft!  So, now I use it before cutting my cuticles, and then often to keep my hands soft and non-ashy or dry. 😉

Finally, I can’t end this post without telling you about my two favorite polishes.  I am, by default, a red-polish wearer.  It works well against my olive-toned skin and is simply a classic, timeless color.  My FAVORITE of all-time is the Deborah Lippmann “Lady is a Tramp” pictured below:

Deborah Lippman "Lady is a Tramp", http://chicinacademia.comDeborah Lippmann Nail Polish, $18 (Photo: Chic in Academia)

A second Deborah Lippmann favorite is “It’s Raining Men”. Both great red hues.

Another favorite is a great color all-year round, in my opinion.  I purchased this one pictured below at Gus Mayer in Birmingham, AL last summer, and have loved it since.

Chanel Eastern Light, http://chicinacademia.comChanel “Eastern Light”, $27 (Photo: Chic in Academia)

White or light-colored polishes can be tricky to apply, and can often end up looking streaky on one’s nails.  Or, if too ‘white’, appear like you applied Wite-Out to your nails!  No bueno.  This one goes on smoothly and only requires two coats to look perfect.  The Sally Hansen Insta-Dri also works well over it because it’s a clear top coat.

Now, I realize the polishes I have mentioned are all über expensive.  Mind you, they are not polishes I buy every week.  I *maybe* buy one every year, but will typically put them on gift wish-lists for my birthday and Christmas.  That’s how I received the Deborah Lippmann polish!  My mother-in-law was super thoughtful and bought one for me after reading that it was one of my faves in one of my very first Chic in Academia blog posts.

When I DO purchase frequently, or purchase a color that I’m uncertain of, I stick to Sinful polishes.

Sinful Nail Polish, http://chicinacademia.comSinful Nail Polish, $2 (Photo:

At $2 a bottle, you can feel free to try on new colors, without feeling guilty for spending an exorbitant amount on a single bottle.  My favorite red from the Sinful line is “Go Go Girl”.  Simply love it.

Anyhow, don’t you love how deep this post was??!  You must wonder, on occasion (or perhaps always, haha!), why I limit my posts for Chic in Academia to fun and frilly topics.  Well, part of the reason I do is because it’s my form of brain candy.  It’s fun and boosts my endorphins!  Seriously though, I have contemplated writing some ‘academia’ themed posts like “What to look for in a mentor”, “How to maintain work-life balance”, and “Things I learned as a graduate student/postdoc”.  So, if there is enough interest, I will write them and others!  But for now, I will continue to provide you with fun posts like these.  “Let them all [read brain candy]!! 🙂

Until next time!  Stay chic!

8 thoughts on “The 10-minute Mani

  1. jenn aka the picky girl says:

    Academic here too, and I’ve just discovered how wonderful painting my nails can be (I was a biter for years). I love the Morgan Taylor polishes. They’re owned by the same company as Gelish, but they seriously last so much longer than any other polish I’ve found.

    I’m super eager to try Deborah Lippman, though. I’ve heard good things.


  2. Hope Amm says:

    I’m all for fun and frilly! It helps with the outside work sanity. Although given your academic success, your advice would certainly be helpful.


    • Chic in Academia says:

      Thanks so much, Hope! I think for now I will continue to keep them separate and instead invite you to my new office for a cup of coffee and chat soon!! We’ve both had a great deal of success this past year!


  3. Me says:

    I love brain candy! I struggled with the issue of ‘should I put up more serious posts’? I did for a while, but I regretted it. I started to get linked to from University websites, which was great, and I got a tonne of academic followers – but then I felt weird posting things about babies and so on, when clearly a lot of people were only interested in my academic experiences. Then again… I felt when I posted academic posts, all my home friends / other followers were bored.

    Another thing that concerned me was how other academics saw me. When things were great – grants coming in, papers flying out – my blog was a nice sideline. When things got difficult in academia for a patch, I felt that colleagues would read my blog for the academia, see the other posts, and start to think ‘well.. of course… Lekki is more into being a Mom than being a successful Scientist’.

    I ended up separating my blogs and lost most of my readers 😦 Now I am so busy it is hard to build up the readership again. Of course, ymmv and you may be more of a trailblazer than me! This is just my 2c. The sad thing is you deal with old fashioned, sexist, judgmental people out there – you have to accept that your next study section may have read your blog, and they may bring it into their judgement of you if you have actively combined work and other posts. My person feeling is that if you have kept the two separate then the reviewers will too. It is up to you if you are comfortable with that. I don’t think there is a right answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chic in Academia says:

      I think you’re right. It’s been a great way to decompress, and a super fun thing to create! You’re advice is well received. 😊 Thanks so much for being a voice of reason!


    • Chic in Academia says:

      Sorry for the delayed reply! I somehow missed your comment! I usually add another coat of polish and some top coat. It gets me through at least a week that way!!


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