I try to be frugal when I can, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I do my own nails instead of going to a nail salon. I’ve had my experiences with acrylics and gel nails, and although they are pretty, they are also mildly painful on both my hands and my wallet.

Painting one’s own nails shouldn’t be such a challenge, but I’ve proven myself wrong time and time again. There are generally three steps to doing my nails. First, I use China Glaze’s Strong Adhesion Base Coat, which I let dry for about 30 seconds. Then I follow it with the nail polish of my choice, and topped off by a coat of China Glaze’s Fast Forward Top Coat. Pretty short and simple, right? Nope.

This is when my love-hate relationship with nail polish starts.

Yes, the base and top coats do dry fast. That means less time for me to do the Edward Scissorhands thing around my keyboard and phone (I like to multitask while doing my nails). I’ve only started using them a year ago, when a friend suggested them to me because I complained about yellowing nails after I take polish off.

For a day or two after application, my nails are just gorgeous. They are glossy and lovely, like I had just did them seconds ago. And then they start to chip and take on the characteristics of dry desert ground.

* colors used: Sinful Colors' Mint Apple and
* colors used: Sinful Colors’ Mint Apple and… I can’t remember what this pink one is called.

I don’t know which to blame: the base coat or the top coat? I’ve had problems with chipped polish before, but not quite as bad as this.

I try to apply the base and top coats all over my nail as best as I can, but do they “shrink” or curl back from the edges of the nail over time as they dry?

The upside to this problem is the chips cleanly peel right off like stickers. I never really get chunks of the polish left as opposed to when I didn’t use the coats.

What kind of base/top coat do you use? Any recommendations?

3 thoughts on “trente-huit

    1. I’ve always wanted to try Essie (their creamy/beige/white colors are so pretty and chic!) but the $8 price tag for a small bottle keeps holding me back. I might try their top coat and base coat, though, if I don’t find anything else. Thank you for the suggestion! 🙂


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