The Chip-Free Manicure

Those of you who know me or have been reading the blog for a while may know that I am absolutely terrible when it comes to manicures. Not only am I terrible at applying polish myself, my nails just seem to repel the stuff. (Seriously, I've had manicures done that chip within the day!) 

After chatting with Gummy on multiple occasions, she pushed me to add a few more steps to my manicure routine - a primer that tempted us both and her favorite topcoat.  

nail tek foundation 2 review, deborah lippmann 2 second primer review, sally hansen instadri topcoat review

So, I grabbed the Deborah Lippmann 2 Second Primer, newly available through Sephora and dabbed each nail with a drop of the stuff. Meant to really clean the nail to prep it for your manicure, this stuff really seems to work. I followed it with a coat of my trusty Nail Tek Foundation II base, and my glossy nails were ready for color. The Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat is brilliant too - a shiny, hard coat to protect, and boy does it keep that manicure on. When I talked about Essie Full Steam Ahead in this post a few weeks ago, I was wearing this bulletproof combo, and my photo is from TWO DAYS after I did my nails. EPIC I tell you. 

Have you tried any of these for your manicure? What manicure secrets really work for you? I'd love to know!  

All products in this post were purchased by me. This post contains affiliate links.  


A New Favorite: Essie Full Steam Ahead

A few weeks back, I was desperate to buy a few shades from Essie's "Naughty Nautical" summer collection. The pretty lavender shade Full Steam Ahead immediately caught my eye, as Essie Lilacism has been a long standing favorite and this was just a richer, more sparkly version of it in my eyes!  

I have to say that this is probably the best manicure I've given myself, perhaps ever, though it is still not very good and no where near the quality work of a seasoned nail blogger. So my apologies, if you object to my manicure but I just had to show you guys this lovely color. (ALSO, this photo is after TWO DAYS which is epic for me. More on the stellar primer/base/topcoat combination coming soon) 

essie full steam ahead review, essie summer 2013, essie naughty nautical

Pale at first, this color is quite pretty at two coats. Compared to other Essie polishes I have, this was a lot easier to work with - nearly streak free with my pathetic skills and just applied so smoothly.  

I love the color, and while I couldn't capture the very fine shimmer, this shade is a definite winner in my book. Did you grab any shades from Essie Naughty Nautical? What do you think of this shade?? Isn't it just perfect for spring and summer? :) 

Essie Full Steam Ahead was purchased by me. Affiliate links included.