I feel like I am cheating on this, taking the best colours first.
Last week’s nail polish was a hurried application at a friend’s, and I didn’t use a base coat. I used the Kiko topcoat mentioned below, which I don’t think is very crack or scratch resistant, bit soft… By yesterday (Thursday) it was very worse for wear, the base coat really makes a difference. It had cracked around the sides where my nails flex a bit (my nails are much like spring steel), chipped a bit at the tips and at the cuticle edge since I have begun using the Catrice express cuticle remover every evening*.
My nails are starting to get long, but I am not going to cut them yet since it is raining so, SO much I can’t do any gardening.
At about this stage they start looking too square which I don’t like. I’ve always (since the 90s) worn them pointy when long, it is a bit annoying that this is a fad now since it makes me feel less special ;P I guess it will die down at some point (and then it will look like I’m not keeping up, sigh I hate fads).
So I changed my nail polish, a day early. I chose a grey colour I mixed myself. The base is an old bottle of black Essence nail polish (multi dimension 20 fatal) into which I probably added light grey or white and silver small glitter (I’m thinking probably form a Schlecker basic bottle of silver I still have). The result is actually a subtle and very nice dark grey (it looks blacker in pictures) with silver sparkles if you look very close.
For base coat I used Catrice 9in1 (eyeroll) elixir which somewhat smooths ridges. I applied one coat of colour since it’s very opaque -maybe drying out a bit but still very usable- and a top coat of Kiko perfect gel that my friend gifted me (very glossy and also smoothing of the surface).
*On the bottle it says to apply once a week, but we have a bad case here and once a week was doing nothing for me, if you don’t believe me look at this! then compare with today’s photo. I’ve always been a cuticle biter, probably because I have a high natural propensity to hangnails which tear a long way and hurt me worse. Not good of course, I think some of the ridges in my nails come from infections caused by biting too much when I was a child/teen.
So far using this product every evening seems to be improving the hangnail situation (I haven’t been biting which is great), but yesterday evening I just went ahead and carefully cut the cuticles off with scissors. I grow tons and TONS of skin there, probably the skin has “learned” to regrow fast, so I don’t cut any live tissue. I don’t cut it as often anymore, but sometimes it gets out of hand. It’s normally not neat because of the hangnails, but after a week of using this product I actually have the neatest cuticles I’ve probably ever had, so let’s see how this progresses. I’ve also been using Paula’s Choice clinical ultra-rich soothing body butter -LOVE the texture- on cuticles and knuckles twice a day since they’re dry as dust (like most everything else), and it also makes a huge difference.