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, ~$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.
The 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 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”, $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, $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!