The Mother Of All Nail Breaks

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Hello Everyone! This is a PSA do not lift heavy objects with one hand, cause when they slip from your hand they take nails with them.

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Last Wednesday I experienced the most painful break I have EVER had. I have very thick nails (thanks mom) and i’m use to them snapping off but I’ve never had one rip so far into the nail plate. It’s still attached to skin so I can’t just ripping it off, it’ll just bleed more and It’s painful to cut so far into the plate so what to do? I bandaged it up like a mummy and went to work, it was an very interesting day, you never realize how much you use your thumb for until you can’t use it.

It bleed on and off all day, by the time I got home there was yellowing around the split (aka my body storing up white blood cells to fight off infection) so definitely couldn’t leave it like that, even bandaged up. So time to bust out the repair kit.

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So first step, wash with Hydrogen peroxide, to get the blood off, then gently take the polish off (this was unpleasant). I didn’t want to file with an emery board, so I pulled out my trusty drill. I created a groove on sides of the break so it looks like a trench, I washed my hands and cleaned it with alcohol (I have no words for the burn.)

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I cut a piece of silk to fit the space, now here’s the tricky part. I had press the split closed and hold it in place with my pointer finger then place the silk over it, apply bonder and cure it (that burned like a mother).

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The bonder and silk holds the split together, i filled in the trench with gel and cure, I applied a layer of gel on top of that, then two more layers. Clean off dispersion layer, buff to smooth out the nail surface then clean off with alcohol.

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It seems to be holding up really well, I cut the nail length to half, don’t get me wrong I am NOT trying to preserve length not this time, but it’s not hampering me or getting caught on things so I decided to leave it for now.

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This is the thickest, patch i’ve done and I still keep it covered with finger condoms (it’s a technical term cause that’s what they look like) from CVS to prevent anything from getting beneath the nail if i’m going to do dusty or dirty work and carry around a nails brush incase something does. So be careful with your claws.

Thanks for reading!

-Kerri-Ann

 

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Nail Update – Extending Broken Nails

Hello Everyone! Miss me?….No? that’s just mean.

After my last post I wasn’t… how should I put this…in the happiest place in my head, I needed a break. Add stress and weird things started happening to my body, I was achy, my nails weakened and my hair was falling out and no i’m not bald….yet. Fun huh?

Speaking of weak nail, they may not look it but they feel fragile, I had them unpolished and I had some chipping, peeling, and two breaks, more fun…yay!.

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The pinky was the worse break, it bled and I had to wait a few days before I could do anything to it. The pointer umm honestly I don’t know when it broke off, I looked at my hand and it was gone.

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I pulled out my IDB Clear Gel and went to work, you will need:

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  • IDB Clear Gel
  • IDB Bonder
  • IDB Flat Brush #2
  • 91% Alcohol
  • UV Nail Dryer
  • Lint Free Wipes

I put them into smaller panels so I didn’t end up with a really photo heavy post.

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  • 1) Broken nail.
  • 2) File free edge as much as possible, push back cuticle and lightly buff nail bed to remove shine, use a lint free wipe and 91% alcohol to clean the surface and remove dust.
  • 3 Apply nail form, then apply bonder and cure for one minute, bonder is not mandatory when using this type of gel, but it helps to prevent lifting, which i’m very prone to.
  • 4) Nail prep done, time to sculpt a nail.

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  • 5) Apply a thin coat of clear gel, as a base, like the foundation for a house.
  • 6) Cure for one minute.
  • 7&8) Use the brush to form an outline of the extension of the nail on the nail form, then ribbon to fill in from the smile line to the end of the outline, cure for a minute.

(“Ribboning” is when you dip the tip of your gel brush into the gel and let it drip off the brush slightly, it’ll look like a tail of gel dripping down. Keep the brush up above the nail not touching it then let the end of the tail make contact with the nail. Then move the brush still not touching the nail in the direction of your arch vertically down the center of the nail.)  

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  •  9) Remove the nail form, it should look like this, minus the bubbled, I stirred the gel a bit too vigorously. Bubbles can sometimes weaken the integrity of the nail and they will just snap off, so be more careful than I was lol.
  • 10) Apply a layer of gel from cuticle to the end of the nail.
  • 11) Cure for 1 minute, I did 2 minutes to make sure it dried properly.
  • 12) Wipe off the tacky dispersion layer with alcohol. File the nail down into the desired shape and smooth out the surface with a buffing block.

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  • 13-16) When you’re done it should look like this.

One month later they look like this.

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I’m surprised at how fast that pointer is growing out, I usually keep the nails on my right hand shorter than my left, it makes doing stuff faster.

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Something I should point out I am NOT a professional, this is the way I do it, everyone does things differently, i’m just sharing my way. I am open to being corrected……nicely.

Thanks for reading!

-Kerri

Nail Challenge Survival Tips

Hello Everyone, This is a bit of nail maintenance for last month and how I got through it without constant breaks, splits or peeling nails.

Polish Remover: First a good, gentle non-acetone nail polish remover. I’ve been using zoya because it takes less scrubbing to remove polish, its also great at removing glitter. The one I usually use that’s just as awesome is Up & Up Non-Acetone remover from Target the 16oz costs about $3, great value and not stinky either.

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Peel of Base Coat: OPI Glitter Off, is a primarily a peel of base coat for natural nail but I use it to protect my cuticles so I minimize the daily use of acetone for clean up that dries them out. Cuticles can become ragged or split, and my have to be trimmed. You can also make your own, just  put some Elmer’s glue in a empty polish bottle and add a few drops of water (or not). I don’t use this method when I water marbling to protect my fingers because when the glue gets wet it gets a bit too messy for me, so I stick with tape.

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The downside is it doesn’t work well on nails with gel on them, i’m not sure about acrylics. It slides away from the areas with gel patches and leaves bald spots, it can be made to work, but repeatedly going over it can cause the surface to become bumpy or take forever to dry. But it’s a great way to cut down on the amount of polish remover used on your hands.

An alternative is Nail Pattern Boldness Glitter A Peel, this is an indie brand that I’ve used once and it didn’t work for me, but the problem may have been I used a thin coat and I didn’t allow it to dry completely before applying polish, so i’ll give it another try. And of course you can use your regular basecoat.

Cuticle Remover: To If you end up with ragged cuticles you may need a cuticle remover, I use Blue Cross Cuticle Remover (which i’ve had forever, it’s so worth it) or soak nails for about 5 mins, then apply some cuticle oil and and use a cuticle pusher to gently push back your cuticles.

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Cuticle Oil, lots and lots of cuticle oil, your nails will need it to keep the cuticles healthy and supple. If you have natural nails and you’re using regular base coat you can massage a small amount into your nails before applying your base coat, sounds crazy but it works to help keep you’re nails moisturized.

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Nail Yellowing: I’ve noticed a bit more yellowing than normal but that’s the norm if you wear polish regularly, it’s not an issue for me but I can lightly buff my nails to remove it (note – If you do this you may weaken your nails, do not overbuff I can get away with this cause my nails are really thick.) I normally double up on base coat and it prevents yellowing but to try to get some decent sleep at night, i’ve been skipping it.

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I have a little bit of a patch left on my pointer that’s almost all grown out, but my nails held up well.

Thanks for Reading!

-Kerri

Nail Update – Under The Polish

Hello Everyone, This post is a little late, it should have been up before the vacation manicure, but I’m still playing catch up. Most people who do their nails always say if your nails are always polished why should you care what they look like under it? And in a way that’s true, but since I love to go polishless a lot I like to have them looking decent.

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I’m very rough on my right hand, so I get the most breaks on this hand, right now i’m sporting two breaks, one old (middle), one new (pointer). I’ve kind of modified the way I do patches for side breaks on my right hand because they sometimes start lifting and I end up having to re-patch which is not something I enjoy.

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What I do now is cut the side of the nail down on the side I will be applying the patch to. Apply the patch like I normally do, then extend the sides back out using a nail form. [See previous post.] Basically sealing the patch in the middle and strengthening the edge. This ends re-patching for me and as I file and reshape my nails it eventually all get removed as my nails grow out and I file and reshape my nail.

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Apply some clear polish and voilà!

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Thanks for reading,

-Kerri

 

Healing Ragged Cuticles

Hi Everyone,

This happens to most people at some point, ragged cuticles. This happened to me for two reasons. One, I was slacking on my cuticle oil use and two my hands were frequently out of gloves, especially my right hand (I hate gloves),  so the winter weather was not kind.

This photo was taken Tuesday 3/4

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This is comparatively better than it use to look on past winters and it gets caught every time I put my hands in my coat pocket.

To heal my cuticles I use good old Vitamin E with a little bit of Jojoba Oil, the ratio is 3 parts Vitamin E and one part Jojoba Oil and one drop of tea tree oil to keep infections away (Why only one drop? I use a small bottle so I don’t need as much.)

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When I say Vitamin E and Jojoba Oil that should be the only thing listed in the ingredients. Natural Vitamin is d-alpha-tocopherol (it can be a little pricey), I bought this from TkoSkin for $39.99.

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The easiest found alternative is tocopheryl acetate, it’s synthetic which means it’s made from petroleum and not as effective, try to find the highest IU (international unit) highest i’ve seen is 70.000 and it’s super concentrated and very thick.

I bought this from Amazon for $9.66

Vitamin e

Also some people are allergic to ester of acetic acid (if you’re allergic to white vinegar don’t use it and keep in mind that eating it and having it on the skin are two different things.)

This photo was taken Saturday 3/8

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This photo is unedited, there is no oil or lotion to hide the raggedness, it’s not completely healed but a big improvement.

If you would like me to go into more details on Vitamin E benefits and uses let me know, I’ve been using it on my winter ravaged face, my skin has greatly improved, it’s so smooth. Trust me it’s cheaper than getting microdermabrasion.

Thanks for reading!

-Kerri

Purple French Manicure

Hi Everyone,

Ever look at the clock realize how late it is and decide to put off the elaborate nail art and do something fast and simply? Yeah I know it never quite works out that way for me either.

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Polishes used: Zoya Charity & Zoya Belinda

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After doing a simple french tip with Zoya Charity, I didn’t like how plain it looked, so a couple nail vinyls (I know I mention these a lot but I love them) some rhinestones and a few nail decals and it wasn’t boring anymore. In fact I think I over did it a bit…..Oh well.

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Thanks for reading!

-Kerri

Sally Hansen Cuticle Rehab

Has anyone seen or used Sally Hansen Cuticle Rehab brush-on cuticle oil? I have to say Sally Hansen does good work with cuticle oils. If it wasn’t for the fact that I make my own cuticle oil I would have been stock piling this stuff. Before I started making my own used Sally Hansen Vitamin E Cuticle oil.

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It claims to:

Helps Restore Severely Dry, Ragged Cuticles.
Instantly Smoothes, Softens The Cuticles

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Taken from the package “This nourishing formula instantly smoothes, soften and helps restore moisture to cuticles. Infused with Vitamin E, the intensity conditioning oil helps reduce nail breakage. Created with Jasmine and Rose extracts which are known to calm and soothe.”

The ingredients are of course not all natural, which is one of the reasons I make my own, but I’ve been using this for only a few day and it’s been awesome to use, and the scent OMG!, I normally don’t go for sweet smells but this smells yummy. I don’t think you can find this everywhere yet, I found mine in CVS, it costs $7.79

Thanks for reading!

-Kerri

PS forgot to mention I sell cuticle oils too.

Strawberry Mocha Watermarble

Hello Everyone,

Ok I admit it, this nail art made me hungry, every time I looked at it I wanted strawberry cheesecake and coffee.

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Polishes used Zoya Flynn, Zoya Shelby & Essie Shearling Darling.

 

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You can achieve this marble by doing the standard zig-zag marble, then once you’ve achieved that, draw the zig-zag pattern again lengthwise through the previous pattern. This gives the marble pattern more definition.

 

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Thanks for reading and happy marbling!

-Kerri

Repairing Broken Nails *Photo Heavy*

So Ladies you know the disappointment of getting your nails to your desired length and you get a break, then the choice becomes cut or patch.

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I find that every time I post pictures of my breaks on Instagram I get a lot of questions about how I patch them and what I use. This is one of the photo I posted.

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Over the years i’ve tried a lot of different methods, acrylic, glue, teabag method, ASP lightless gel, Orly rescue and my personal favorite Gel.

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The Gel I use is a hard gel not a soak off, this gel has a thick viscosity, so if you’re new to gel you may want to try this one first. The other gel is simply called Clear Gel and is very runny like a polish, and a little harder to work with, they work great if all you want is a simple gel overlay. Builder gels are nonporous, so they cannot be soaked off they have to be filed off. I wouldn’t recommend it all you wanted was a bit of fortifications for your natural nails and don’t want something permanent. Soak off gels work great for strengthening even if they have to be reapplied every two to three weeks. I would recommend trying Vitagel.

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IBD Nail Bonder, Nail Dehydrate/Ph Balance (you don’t need this unless you have a really oily nail bed and the edges and sides are prone to lifting), Builder Gel, Silk and a flat gel brush. You will also need a UV gel lamp (I use a 9W.)

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You will need something to clean the nail and remove oils from the nail plate. Honestly you don’t need to buy the nail cleanser you can use 91% alcohol with a lint free wipe, it works just as well at cleaning the nail but sometimes it takes a bit more work to get the brush clean.

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You’ll also need a 180 grit file and a fine buffing block (pictured one rough, one fine) orange stick, nail form and silk.

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So today’s victims, the right thumb and left pinky. The pinky has a side break (they are always the first to break) and the thumb both sides are split and peeling because I forgot the rule to not use your nails as tools. (Sorry I didn’t get pictures before I did the repairs.)

Here’s A Quick How To Rundown

Gently push back cuticles, lightly buff your nails to remove the natural shine, clean the nail with alcohol and a lint free wipe. Cut a piece of silk to cover the break and apply it. Brush on a thin coat of bonder over the part you’ll be putting the gel, whether the full nail or just a small section. Cure for one minute in a UV lamp.

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Pick up a small amount of gel and apply a thin coat to the patched area and cure for 3 minutes, apply another coat to just the patched area or over the entire nail and cure for another 3 minutes. Wipe the sticky layer off with alcohol, it will not dry completely. File nail edges and buff out the ridges on the nail to your desired shape and your’re good to go.

One other question I get asked is if the looks fake? No it doesn’t. That’s one of the reasons I love using gel, it makes my nails more durable but still flexible and natural looking.

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For the thumb, I cut down the split sides to a V shape, put on a nail form and extended the sides out with Builder Gel.

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You can see the line where the nail has been extended out.

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Please keep in mind that sometimes silk looses its adhesive over time, so when the bonder is applied it will start to lift. After curing apply gel to the edges of the silk and slowly work your way to the center.

If it wasn’t for the odd smile line could you tell?

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I covered all the points I could think of and I probably missed a few, so questions are always welcome.

Thanks for reading!

-Kerri

Splatter Nail Art

Hello Everyone,

This was my attempt at splatter nails, another first for me, since it can get so messy. The chevrons on the accent nails using smaller nail vinyls.

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Polishes used Butter London Pillar Red Box, Anise Your Inner Tiger, Anise Cosmic Kiss and NYC French White.

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I don’t celebrate valentines day, so this is as close to valentines nail art as i’m gonna come.

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Sorry for the photo quality, I take my photos outdoors in natural light (the lighting in my apartment sucks as you can see) but outside is super cold and i’m not going out there not even for you.

Thanks for reading!

-Kerri