1/12/2007

I'm Addicted...Nail Down the Lid

I admit it. I'm totally addicted. It all started innocently enough...just the one time, ya know, and then I'd stop. But now I can't. It's been months since I first started my habit. Now I'm up to twice a month, just like clockwork. Do I stop cold-turkey, do I ask for help, or do I just keep going, spiraling into addiction?

What is it, you ask? Well, a few months ago I was so sick of looking at my ragged, flimsy fingernails that I...I...I started wearing fake nails (gasp). Now before you judge me or give me your "tsk, tsk, tsk," I want a chance to explain myself. I really thought they'd look stupid or cheap (good reasons to try them, don't you think?)--but I also thought they would help me grow my own nails out (another admission I must make: I'm a nail-biter...it's terrible, I know, but I've been doin' it since I was five) and then I'd ditch 'em and life would be wonderful.

Well, the truth is that they made my hands look...nice. And I did stop biting my nails (my cuticles are another story I'm afraid...sigh). And I get the ones they sell at the drugstore--did I just say that? Yes, I did. And now? Now, I actually receive compliments on how good my nails look...from people who have good taste. I have never in my life been complimented on my nails...ever. And now people actually tell me how pretty my nails are? Okay, you tell me: do I stop wearing them and go back to my ragged, flimsy, nail-biting self? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Here come the justifications and excuses: In the process of my addiction, I've tried 'em all--different brands and different styles. They're all about the same price, $5-10 per kit...so it's not like I'm going into debt feeding my addiction (yet). They all come in a kit with about 24 nails, glue, cuticle-pusher (either plastic or wood) and the cutest little nail file you've ever seen! And the ones I use are the "natural" ones, in short or active lengths only. They're (almost) all available in a variety of flesh-toned "colors" (sort of like Crayons?), so they suit most any complexion. It's funny, though, 'cuz each brand looks just a little different, has a different application method with pros and cons, just like any other "cosmetic."

I purchased my first set, Nailene Short Cut, which are very short, French manicure-style and really attractive. The tip of the nail extends just past my fingertip and they make my fingers look longer, more graceful. Drawbacks include the fact that because they are so short, the nails are a little difficult to get ahold of and apply--I ended up with a few bubbles under them and could never quite get them to adhere all the way (very close, folks, but no cigar). The glue included in the kit is the consistency of water (well, almost), and it tends to run all over the place; my bathroom counter now has permanent glue drips, plus it was tricky getting the glue off my skin once it dried. One other minus is that the little white French manicure stripe tends to wear off fairly quickly. In spite of these deficiencies, they're still my favorite because they look the most natural and in my opinion are the prettiest.

Another brand I tried and liked is Broadway's Real Life French Nail Kit. They don't look quite as natural as Nailene Short Cut's, and I have to file them down a little bit to get them really short; but they come with a great gel glue that stays where you put it and holds well. The nails have these little tabs on the tips that you can grip to make the application a breeze...very quick...and then the little tabs just bend right off and the nails look pretty darn good--and no bubbles.

Yet another brand I used for a time were the Broadway 2-Step Sporty Round Kit. Great, only two steps--my "fix" is getting quicker, I think! Alas, I did not like these at all. The shape was not quite right and the nails were thick and sort of a translucent-whitish color. They didn't look natural, and I didn't like the look of them, at least on me.

My least favorite part of this whole addiction is taking the little buggars off, which I do once my nail starts to grow out...for me about every two weeks. I cut as much of the fake nail off as I can, but then I have to soak the remainder off in an acetone bath. Yuck. This part is messy and smelly. But I hear they make a special product just for this purpose...some kind of nail and tip remover. So my addiction takes me deeper down the rabbit hole.

But as I said when I started this post, I'm addicted....happily. So nail down the lid on my habit and pass the glue, at least my hands are pretty!
What we won't endure for a little beauty, right? ;)