Guide to Nails that last 2 weeks without using Gel

This is my system for doing my nails. My manicure often lasts 2 weeks and involves no UV stuff or gel systems. I prefer this system because I don't particularly want it to be difficult for me to take my nail polish off. 
  1. Wipe off your old polish with acetone. Don’t moisturize your hands.
  2. Wash your hands and dry them. Don't soak them. Soaking makes the nail more moist and it makes the nail polish peel easier. 
  3. Buff your nails a bit - once every few weeks. I use this: http://www.drugstore.com/revlon-crazy-shine-nail-buffer/qxp332155
  4. Push your cuticles back with an orange stick - I personally don't use cuticle remover at all because I feel like it’s not good for you. If you'd like to remove some dead skin from your nails soak in the tub for an hour the day before you do your nails and scrape off the dead skin with a cuticle stick. I know, that's gross. 
  5. Apply base coat. I use Nail Tek Foundation II, that I buy from drugstore.com.
  6. Apply color in 2 thick coats. Paint your dominant hand first. Work from your pinkie to your thumb - less of a chance to scuff your nails.
  7. Don't brush the nail-polish off or scrape it off the bottle - use the full drop if you can.
  8. Avoid your skin at all costs -even leaving a gap between your finger and your nail is better than getting it on your cuticle or the side of your nail.
  9. Apply topcoat, just one coat.
  10. Wait two hours while it dries.
  11. Moisturize with oil or lotion. I think the best hand lotion I've ever bought is hemp one from Body shop. http://www.thebodyshop-usa.com/bath-body-care/hands-feet/hand-care-products/hemp-hand-protector.aspx. This will actually cure damaged skin and heal blisters and cuts as well.
  12. Apply topcoat every few days on top of the other top coat. I don’t care what brand of topcoat - they all seem the same to me.
  13. Don't wash dishes or put on gloves when you do.
Advanced techniques:
Ombre: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OAvvtPEsng (note: she is missing the part about soaking the sponge in water before applying paint. Also, you can use less paint and do several coats of sponging, which makes it look more professional and even). You can apply glitter polish to make it blend the colors together nicely as well.  

Matte: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlNrTgbvMJE



Advice for my 14-year-old self

When I got my first degree, I made the decision when I was 18 years old. Everyone told me that I should chose something sensible, which is the best way NOT to live up to your potential that I've ever heard. It's a pretty lame response to the fear of not being able to support yourself. Why be mediocre at something sensible when you can be amazing at something ridiculous?

I love my first degree- but I remember feeling totally lost about why exactly I was doing it (it certainly didn't come from an inward desire to get a management degree, or any understanding of my own likes and dislikes.) My internal sense of direction took 23 years to develop.  When I think back to high school and college - I wish I had developed it a bit earlier. It's a horrible feeling to feel out of control.

If I could go back in time and talk to my 14 year old self, before college, before high school, and before the insanity people put high-school age children through, I would tell her:

  • Figure out what you want and what you love, and how you want to spend your time.
  • Get the best education money can buy in your field.
  • Don't worry about grades in high school. Spend time doing projects in your free time that you are interested in. If your studying gets in the way of that, work around it.
  • Go on Youtube and look up how to do your hair and stuff. People judge you on appearances and you've got to get it together at some point. 
  • Focus on doing things just for you that nurture you and are good for you. 
  • If you don't like what someone's telling you - stop listening.
  • If someone's preventing you from doing something, instead of assuming it's because you aren't good enough, find a different path that will lead you to what you want.

 This sounds like the making of a snotty and self-centered anarchist.  I'm a firm believer that the kinder and more understanding you are of yourself the more understanding and love you'll have for others. If I could have gotten to that realization sooner that would have been great - but the path I'm on didn't have that on it until a bit later. That's OK.

I don't find that being kind to myself gets in the way of my intense desire to help others - that desire is why I became a consultant in the first place. I can't seem to get away from consulting. :)