Monday, May 26, 2014

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri - Vigorous Violet Swatch

Sally-Hansen-InstaDri-Vigorous-Violet-Grape-Shifter-Swatch

Happy Memorial Day to my readers in the US! Today I have Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Vigorous Violet with an accent nail in Insta-Dri Grape Shifter.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sinful Colors-Pinky Glitter Swatch

Sinful-Colors-Professional-Nail-Polish-Pinky-Glitter-Swatch

Sinful Colors Professional Pinky Glitter is a pink jelly with small holographic glitter. 

For these pics I layered two coats over Essie's Spaghetti Strap. I have yet to try it on it's own, my daughter did but she didn't let me photograph it and had peeled it off by the time she was willing to sit still. It was very sheer on her nails. 

Here it is up close:

Sinful-Colors-Professional-Nail-Polish-Pinky-Glitter-Swatch

No top coat in the pics, you can see how shiny it is. I really like this glitter.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

State of my Nails & May Polish Hauls

Today I have a State of my Nails update plus I'm excited to show off my latest hauls. I have lots more colors to swatch and begin making nail art with! Up first, my natural nails.

mamaheartspolish-state of my nails-may 22-short-natural-nails-bitting

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Girl's Nails - Sunday Dress Mani

This Saturday Princess A wanted a mani to match the dress she was going to wear on Sunday for church. I gave her Essie's Fun in the Gondola because it matched the flowers on her dress but she wanted a different color on each nail (which I coincidentally learned today is called a skittle mani). So we ended up with all those different colors. She had Fun in the Gondola (pink), Sew Perfect (olive green with silver shimmer), Sinful Color's Unicorn (yellow, see my swatch here), Sephora by OPI Dear Diary (a pale pink, discontinued), and Wet and Wild's Megalast in Hush-Hush (milky white creme, discontinued).

Girl-Nails-Skittle-Manicure

Not a super sharp pic but it's hard to get a 6 yr old to leave her hands still, even when she wants you to take the pic in the 1st place. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Essie Swatch and Review - Spaghetti Strap

Essie-Spaghetti Strap-Swatch-Review-Short Nails

UPDATE: Hey there, you who are reading this ridiculously old and yet very popular post of mine! My nails are longer and my photography skills have improved drastically. Would you like to see better swatches of this color? Leave me a comment below!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sinful Colors Swatch - Unicorn

Sinful Color's Unicorn is a lovely pale yellow creme. I had been on the lookout for a color like this for a few weeks. My lovely parents gave me some cash for my birthday a couple of weeks ago (eeep, 30!) and it dawned on me to check out the Sinful Colors section at my local Walgreens since I kept hearing great things about this brand.

Sinful Colors Professional-Nail Polish-Unicorn-Pale Yellow Creme Polish

I'm wearing 3 coats for full opacity, although just 2 also covers nicely. It dries to a shiny finish on it's on it's own but I always put on top coat (NYC Grand Central Station in this case) so it'll last for a few days.

Sinful Colors Professional-Unicorn-Nail Polish-pale yellow creme-sunlight

Here's what it looks like with the sunlight hitting it, more accurate color.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Essie Swatch - BBF Best Boyfriend

Essie-BBF Best Boyfriend-Sheer-Mauve-Pink-Nail Polish

Essie's BBF Best Boyfriend is my go-to sheer polish. They describe it as a creamy mauve, although it looks more light pink to me. It's more natural looking than a regular sheer pink on my medium-olive skin tone and it's the color I always use when I need a little something on my nails but don't have time to get creative or it needs to be neutral. Just 2 coats would be ok, but I always do 3 thin ones so it's a bit more opaque. When my nails are longer, I want to try out a simple French with this color.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Essie Swatch - DJ Play That Song

Essie-Neon 2013-DJ Play That Song-Swatch-Magenta-Purple

Essie's DJ Play That Song is from last year's Neon Collection. This is what I wore this past Sunday for Mother's Day.

I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love the color, hate the formula. I hadn't worn it in a while and the bottle had dried up, a lot of thinner sorta restored it but it's still a hard formula to work with. The finish is semi-matte but I can never get it to look even as is so I always apply top coat. I love how it looks super shiny afterwards. On average I used 3 coats, a few nails have 4-5.

Close-Up:

Essie-Neon 2013-DJ Play That Song-Swatch-Magenta-Purple-Close Up

Oh and look, my cuticles are a little better this week. Yay!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

On My Mind- Can I paint my nails while pregnant or breastfeeding?

I'm still breastfeeding my 20 month old son so this is a question that's been on my mind for a while. It's a common question and there's lot's of conflicting info about it. I've been doing some light research (you know, in between all the mom things) and I've concluded that the simple answer is YES, it is safe as long as you choose the right polish. 
And how do you know what is the right polish? For starters, pick polishes that are Big 3 Free. That means that they don't contain dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene. From the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website:


Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) adds flexibility and a moisturizing sheen, and helps dissolve other cosmetic ingredients. DBP is a reproductive and developmental toxin that has been linked to feminizing effects in baby boys.  
Toluene helps suspend the color and form a smooth finish across the nail. It also affects the central nervous system and can cause headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Toluene is a possible reproductive and developmental toxin. 
Formaldehyde is found in some nail products such as nail hardener. Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen. It is also an irritant to the eyes, nose and throat, and can lead to skin irritation and an allergic rash called dermatitis. 

Some of the most popular brands are Big 3 free, like Essie, OPI, and Sally Hansen.  

But you can go even further and get "5 free", which means that in addition to the toxic trio they also don't contain formaldehyde resin and camphor. Formaldehyde resin is similar to regular formaldehyde and is a nail strengthener. Unfortunately, it is also a skin allergen and can remain active for up to three days after your polish has dried. While no link to cancer has been established for formaldehyde resin (in contrast to formaldehyde), it can cause dermatitis. Camphor exposure in large doses, especially through inhalation, can be toxic and cause irritation, nausea, dizziness, and headaches.

Some 5 Free polish brands are high end like Chanel and Dior but you might be surprised to learn that some great drugstore brands are too like NYC, Wet n Wild, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri and Sinful Colors. For a more complete list check out All Lacquered Up.

Now you know some brands that are non toxic but did you know that in addition you can also buy vegan and animal cruelty free polishes? Zoya is the most popular,100% vegan and 5 Free (alas it isn't available to me locally, only online through second hand retailers). 

This site has great info on non toxic and vegan polishes. http://www.choosingraw.com/you-ask-i-answer-all-about-vegan-nail-polish/

The Vegan Polish Resource is another detailed list including emails from the companies confirming if their polishes are non toxic and/or vegan. Sally Beauty Supply store polishes Sally Girl and FingerPaints are on this list. Nail polish fan favorites China Glaze (black label) and Seche Top Coats plus OPI and Orly are here as well. A note about OPI as there's some controversy. They maintain an animal cruelty free policy but their parent company does test on animals. The polishes themselves are non toxic (3 Free), it's up to you to decide.

So there you have it. Yes, you can paint your nails during pregnancy and breastfeeding as long as you choose a non toxic polish, and if it's vegan, even better. Always remember to paint in a room with good air circulation, most of the issues from nail polish toxins are caused by inhaling them. 



(Disclaimer: I'm just a mom with an art degree, not a scientist or a doctor and this is my opinion based on my research. I hope it's useful but please do your own research as well.)

Monday, May 5, 2014

State of my Nails - Breaking the Nail Biting Habit

Since the point of this whole blog is to document my journey to get long/not bitten nails, every week or so I'll take a pic of my hands sans nail polish. Last Friday I removed the color I had worn most of the week (Essie - Jamaica Me Crazy) and went polish free for the weekend. I've read that you're supposed to leave a few days in between manis but I don't know for sure about the science behind that. I do know however, that if too many days pass my nails will start to split on the sides or I will pick at them. It never fails, the longer I go without polish the worse they get.

Here are what I consider my main nail problems: 
  1. I tend to bite/pick at the sides, so they are short and seriously uneven. My nails don't cover the complete nail bed and appear much narrower than they are at the base because of this. 
  2. Even when I do manage to get them as even as possible, they split on the sides once they grow past a certain length (usually, the closer they are to the end of my fingertip, the more they break off). (#1 & #2 are obviously related).
  3. I have dry, peeling cuticles. I recently started putting on cuticle oil but I tend to forget so I need to work on that. I used to have red, scabby, inflamed cuticles so at least there's an improvement. 
So here are my nails sans polish (just one coat of Grow Stronger).




Sherbet Girl's Nails - Sephora by OPI


One of the things I love to do with my 6 year old daughter is to give her a weekly Saturday manicure and paint her nails. This whole routine started when she was around 3 and had just started preschool. She was very nervous and started to bite her nails. I saw her future flash before my eyes, stubby nails, irritated, painful cuticles, other girls pointing and laughing. There are many things I can't control in her life, but one thing that I did feel was my responsibility was too teach her to not bite and how to take care of them. So now every week they get a trim and polish, and every few weeks I do the whole mani-pedi thing.

We spent a days at the beach a couple of weeks ago and she wanted something bright and colorful so sherbet nails it was! Colors I used were from the now sadly discontinued Sephora by OPI collection. The light purple is It's Hippo to be Square, the peachy coral is How Cute is That, and the pink is Access 24/7. 2-3 coats per color with Seche Vite as topcoat. 
It's very easy to do if you have a steady hand and a steady kid. I started with the bottom color, painting one stripe at a time in each hand, working my way up. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Jamaica Me Crazy- Essie


1st post, yay! This week I wore Essie's Jamaica Me Crazy. As you can see my nails are filed short but relatively even. I have issues getting them to grow past certain lengths without having them split on the sides. I used to be an over-enthusiastic cuticle cutter so I'm working on that as well. 

Now, on to the color. This is a shimmery fuchsia shade that was a little watery and squishy on the first coat but evened out and turned more opaque on the second. I used 3 thin coats, plus Essie's Grow Stronger as a base coat and NYC's Grand Central Station as top coat. This is actually my first time using GCT as top coat after reading about it on Nouveau Cheap. I must say that I was really surprised at how great it works. I painted my nails on Tuesday and almost 72 hours later I have just a few small chips on the sides and normal tip wear. Like most moms, I use my hands a lot, opening things, giving baths, doing dishes, changing diapers, cleaning stuff of unknown origins off furniture, you get my point. I got it for about $2 at Walmart so I really recommend it. 

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