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: Walgreens.com)

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!

The Mani-Cure

Disclaimer:  The following post is, much like the current state of my life, a bit disjointed.  So, I ask you to bear with me just this one time.

As some of my readers know, I lost my beloved Vienna just yesterday.  The title of this post therefore stems from a emotionally-exhausted attempt to seek some comfort, a ‘cure’ if you will, from something as simple as a ‘mani’cure.

My Beloved Dog, Vienna:

vienna

She was a sweet, sweet dog.  Loved to chase after squirrels.  Had an insatiable appetite. Loved to burrow under a doggie blanket before falling asleep in her doggie bed at night.  Loved us unconditionally.  Sigh, so difficult to write this just a day later.

Not skipping a beat, off to work I went today.  The morning was tough, but I managed to check some things off my list.  As lunch time approached, the tears were starting to overwhelm me.  Hoping to find something to take my mind off of the sadness, I left my office for a lunch break away from my desk.

There are usually two things that can make me feel comforted when away from my loved ones: a mani with a manicurist who is a good listener and comfort food…Mexican.

So, off to lunch I went.  In one hour, I managed to drive to the restaurant, eat my food (I ate it too fast to capture a picture of it, oops!), get my nails done, and drive back to my office. Pretty impressive, right?  I thought so!  Efficiency at its best. 🙂

Post-mani:

mani_insta

Often a manicure will eat up a large chunk of time, but over time and after numerous smudged manicures, I have identified two items that make for quick-drying, long-lasting, glossy manicure.

The first is this Deborah Lippman ‘It’s Raining Men’ polish:

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 4.18.23 PM

Or, another favorite, Sinful ‘Ruby Ruby’ polish:

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 9.24.37 PM

…and the second, a coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri:

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 4.22.13 PM

That’s it.  The no-nonsense mani for the working, professional woman.  The red hues described are not obnoxious and the SH Insta-Dri dries in literally 5-7 minutes!!  The SH Insta-Dri I totally recommend.  In fact, I suggest you hop in your car after reading this post, and run to the drugstore to buy one for yourself!  I joke, I joke. Seriously, though, finish reading my post. 😉

So, much like Elle Woods (yes, that’s a Legally Blonde reference), I too sought a ‘Mani-Cure’ for my bad-day woes.

But, was I cured of my doggie-blues?  Not quite unfortunately.

Grieving, from what I am gathering, is not a one-day experience; even when grieving over a pet.  Although I felt momentarily happy, I kept thinking of Vienna. For example, how I will miss hearing her nails on our wood floors at home, despite how much it sometimes irked me to hear them at 6am when she would rush to our room to alert us that the sun was out and she needed to be fed.

Also hard, is explaining to my four-year old where his doggie is now.  Of course we explained that she is now in heaven.  We pointed to the sky in an attempt to explain where heaven is.  Thinking we had appeased his intrigue of heaven, we left the subject alone only to be confronted with, “Mommy, but I still want my Vienna,” when we tucked him in at night.  Followed by, “Vienna is going to be scared in the sky because it’s dark now”.  “What if the lightning and thunder hurt her??”

Together, we are working towards healing.  They – the experts and others – say that talking about it, writing about, etc., can be therapeutic.  Alas, this post, is an attempt to do just that; heal.  If anything, it helps me maintain a sense of normalcy for a few minutes out of the day, by telling you about how my ‘Mani-Cure’ temporarily helped to heal my emotional wounds.

We love you, Vienna (2007-2013).  Forever you will be the heartbeat at our feet.