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mlroseplant

Nail Care, the Case for Natural Nails

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Posted (edited)

I know it's not heels, but stuff gets lost pretty quickly on the General Fashion thread, and it's not like we have the traffic here to get everybody all confused.

I got into a discussion elsewhere about nail care, and decided maybe it would be better to create a dedicated thread. As many of you know, I am a proponent of natural nails with no nail polish/varnish, or maybe clear nail polish. I just think they look better. My opinion only. I don't have anything against nail polish, in fact sometimes I think it can look rather nice, but I don't choose it for myself. This does not mean I don't take care of my furthest extremities, far from it. I guarantee I spend more time worrying about my nails than 99.99% of men (outside of fingerstyle guitarists, maybe). This is particularly difficult considering my chosen career, industrial electrician. The fact that most places require you to wear gloves 100% of the time nowadays helps somewhat.

The tools I use are very simple, since I don't have to worry about application or removal of polish, maintenance of artificial nails or any of that. I have them listed elsewhere, but I'll repeat the list here, for the sake of ease:

- 2 gallon washtub, for foot or hand soaking

- 4 sided buffing block

- 2 sided emory board

- orange wood stick (for cuticle pushing)

- spoon shaped metal pusher (I do not use it to push cuticles, I use it mainly on big toenails to clean out underneath the corners of the nails)

- a couple of various shaped pairs of tweezers, but I don't often use these

- cuticle nipper (diagonal cutter), which I never use for cutting cuticles. This is a somewhat controversial subject, I understand. I am a non-cutter.

I think I have OK looking feet, but I do not like the appearance of my hands. 25 years of manual labor have made my fingers thick, meaty, and somewhat gnarly. I guess I want neat looking nails, so as to not make them even worse than they already are, but I would certainly never want colored polish to draw further attention to them. I guess if I got to pick what my hands and nails looked like, I would want my friend's hands, pictured below. She is an IRL (In Real Life) friend, and she does have very nice hands and nails. For the record, she more than occasionally wears nail polish, but has never worn artificial nails. Those are her natural nails. I am awfully sure my wife could have nails like this, though maybe not quite as long, if she would take the least amount of time for preventive maintenance. She doesn't, and despite this fact, her nails are actually pretty decent looking at 51 years old. As an afterthought, I would NOT want to trade feet with my long-nailed friend. Mine are much better! :giggle:

On second edit: I forgot another key part of nail care. I use almond oil daily on my nails as a moisturizer for nails and cuticles. I don't know why I use almond oil. I could use something else, I just like it. I have it in little 4 oz. bottles in a couple of places in my house.

What is your nail story? Do you wear artificial nails, and why? How did you come to your current situation? Do you do your own, or always go to the salon?

 

NailTools.jpg

Huyennails.JPG

Edited by mlroseplant
Forgot an item on my list of tools

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I wear a lot of open toe heels in the summer so my toes are always on display. I feel keeping your toes in respectable condition is a must. You know people are going to be looking at your heels and as a result your toes.  You need to keep them nice.

Here's my basic clean tool kit when I have to do my own.toes nails. Not shown is my tube to soak my feet. I also have a nail scrub brush, a very good thing to have. It's something you should be doing in addition to washing your hands.  Since I usually have colored nails, I have foil, cotton, and acetone remover as well.

 

As to why I color my toes.  Simple: I WANT TO.  I always liked it and 10+ years ago I gave myself permission to.

I have several acrylic fingernails, built from powder.  I have destroyed the nails root bed on these nails in such a way that I need the acrylic to hold the nails together.  I got tried of having different looking nails and started to color these as well. And with extreme fingernails no one notices the extreme heels. :wink:

CleanToolshh.jpg

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It never occurred to me that something like this could happen. I assumed my salon would be there for me. I cant wait any longer, my nails are down to my knees. I have some supplies on order that should be here early next week. I'm not keen to see how it turns out, I have always sucked at it. 

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17 hours ago, Cali said:

I wear a lot of open toe heels in the summer so my toes are always on display. I feel keeping your toes in respectable condition is a must. You know people are going to be looking at your heels and as a result your toes.  You need to keep them nice.

As to why I color my toes.  Simple: I WANT TO.  I always liked it and 10+ years ago I gave myself permission to.

 

 

I agree 100% that you must keep your toes, and indeed all of your lower extremities nice if you're going to wear sandals. Some say that in order to be "nice," you must paint your toenails. I strongly disagree with that. It is perhaps pointless to try to figure out why we like what we like, but I think perhaps my like of bare nails stems from a girl I went to high school with who had the most beautiful feet. They were always perfect, but she never wore nail polish. Of course, there might be some negative reasons, too, for my like of bare nails.  Like for instance, my ex-wife, who also had pretty darn attractive feet, never went bare-nailed. Ever. Therefore, I like the opposite! Haha.

7 hours ago, chesterx said:

It never occurred to me that something like this could happen. I assumed my salon would be there for me. I cant wait any longer, my nails are down to my knees. I have some supplies on order that should be here early next week. I'm not keen to see how it turns out, I have always sucked at it. 

Don't worry, you might suck at it, but I bet you'll improve fast in these times of need. For example, I always really sucked at playing the trumpet, but a few years ago I got myself into a situation where I had to learn, or risk embarrassing myself badly. Long story short, today I'm OK at playing trumpet. Not great, but I don't suck anymore. Keep the faith, my friend! Just take your time.

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I like messing with my nails. i do give myself manicures, but I also do some glue on fake nails from time to time. I have some full cover nails that I use temporary adhesive and they come off almost too easy, but no damage to my nails. I experimented last weekend with glue on acrylic tips and acrylic filler. It was fun to do, but it is hard on my nails by the time I remove the fake nails. i only wear the fake nails at home, so on one day, off the next.

Here is from last weekend,

 

acrylic nails.jpg

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Very nice, Pump. I like them.

Happy Heeling,

bluejay

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On 4/24/2020 at 10:52 PM, Pumped said:

I like messing with my nails. i do give myself manicures, but I also do some glue on fake nails from time to time. I have some full cover nails that I use temporary adhesive and they come off almost too easy, but no damage to my nails. I experimented last weekend with glue on acrylic tips and acrylic filler. It was fun to do, but it is hard on my nails by the time I remove the fake nails. i only wear the fake nails at home, so on one day, off the next.

Here is from last weekend,

Those definitely aren't bad for fakes. I have seen a lot worse, even done by a professional. For whatever reason, I have always liked long nails. As with the attraction to high heels, it's probably pointless to try to figure out why, but it could have something to do with growing up in the late 70s, early 80s, when long nails were much more in style than they are today. I guess there were fewer buttons to press back then, who knows? At any rate, I had decided that during this time of social and work isolation, that I would grow my own nails out a little. I have always kept my nails a bit on the long side for a guy, but nothing too crazy or noticeable, usually about 2 to 3 mm. I wanted to see if I could get them out to 5 mm from the free edge. The longest I ever got before was 4 mm, right hand only, but due to my job, one of them broke at that point. However, this time I made it not quite to 4 mm, both hands, and decided to chop them off because they had begun to interfere with my musical instrument playing. I thought about this for several days, and realized that playing music was more important to me (especially during this time of insanity) than having long nails, especially given my ugly hands. Here's what they looked like about a week before I cut them. Left hand looked similar.

LngNails.JPG

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I like my fingernails on the long side as well. I have lost some functionality (and bones) in my hand so I use my nails to scoop things up instead of picking them up.   I also get my nails done since several have been damaged and need an acrylic covering to hold them together.  I then (use to) get a gel color and art work. To me this is just changeable body art, no different from a tattoo.  I have posted pictures of my fingernails in an album but they all got taken down.

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Sometimes, you just can't win for losing. I cut my nails down to about 2 mm so they wouldn't interfere with my piano/organ playing, but would still be functional enough for guitar. Yesterday, I used my leaf blower, and when I pulled the starting rope, I managed to catch the middle fingernail on my right hand on something-or-other, breaking it off (through a glove!). I had to cut it down to the quick, and then some. Oh, well. Good for keyboards, OK for brass, where fingernail length just doesn't matter, bad for fingerstyle guitar. I better work on improving my flatpicking technique for the next two weeks until the thing grows out again.

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During the past week I have had two women who work at businesses I go to ask me about my nails. I am known for my exquisite nails and high high heels..  Today it was at the bank where the manager came over to talk to me (while maintaining her distance).  Hadn't been inside for many weeks, but I want some big bills. She wanted to see my nail color, OPI Kyoto Pearl, and ask how I was managing with salons closed. I told her I have been doing my own and asked me what I did.  I didn't talk long, I avoid people currently.

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I got an appointment for Friday & it can't get here soon enough!

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My tailor friend, mentioned elsewhere on this site a number of times for making masks, doing great clothing alterations, and wearing high heels, actually quit her part time job at the nail salon. She doesn't feel like she can safely do that job anymore. I haven't talked to my other nail salon acquaintances, and I don't know how they've been doing. I have a feeling that at least one will not return to work, as she is high risk health-wise for dying or being very sick if she becomes infected. The ban on nail salon operation is lifted in our county tomorrow (Friday). I expect there to be squabbling in and around the shop, as I don't know what their PPE policy is going to be. It's a certainty that SOMEBODY will be unhappy. I refer back to the title of this thread.

 

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Posted (edited)

I am in a happy place mentally now...

20200515_134720.jpg

Edited by chesterx
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9 hours ago, chesterx said:

I am in a happy place mentally now...

Meanwhile, I just had another accident. I busted my thumbnail off while, of all things, putting my organ bag in my car carelessly.

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Very nice chesterx. Looks like a professional mani? Last night I had to do my own pedi, as nail salons here are at least 6 weeks away from opening, if then. I did them in my usual Sally Hansen "Rapid Red" color. As the temps are starting to warm up and wearing sandals is right around the corner. I hope.

Happy Heeling,

bluejay

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Posted (edited)

I've really been enjoying longer nails while working from home these days.  While in the office, I did grow my nails a little and even clear polished them, but only to about the tip of my finger, maybe a tiny bit longer on occasion. But since working from home I've tried growing longer nails, and did succeed a couple of times and had them briefly get to the length that mlroseplant's friend has in the first shot, but that is definitely my limit and they start breaking pretty easily at that point. 

Edited by hhboots
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8 hours ago, bluejay said:

Looks like a professional mani?

 

Oh yes indeed, I was on the waiting list for when they re-opened & was one of the 1st patrons the day they re-opened.

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17 hours ago, hhboots said:

I've really been enjoying longer nails while working from home these days.  While in the office, I did grow my nails a little and even clear polished them, but only to about the tip of my finger, maybe a tiny bit longer on occasion. But since working from home I've tried growing longer nails, and did succeed a couple of times and had them briefly get to the length that mlroseplant's friend has in the first shot, but that is definitely my limit and they start breaking pretty easily at that point. 

I think a lot of it is genetics, and some of it is diet and/or nail maintenance. When I first met this girl, she was 19 and had long-ish nails, but tended to be uneven. That was when she was a farm girl. Now that she's a city girl, she keeps them the length pictured above at all times, and doesn't seem to have any problem with breakage. I think it has to do mainly with the natural thickness of the nails. Some people just have better nails than others. Some people have nicer hair than others. I haven't really been blessed in either department! I do wonder that if my lifestyle and career were different, would I be able to grow long nails? I know a lot of long-nailed ladies claim to be able to "do anything," but they're not fighting rusty bolts, humping 4" electrical conduit onto a scissor lift, lifting lawnmowers into the back of a pickup. I'll just bet they're not.

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Posted (edited)

There are more issues as well. I damaged two nail matrices so those two nails need acrylic covers to hold them together. I like longer nails because they help me pick up things.  Nails are basically compress keratin. Some nail salons use a dremel to take off the polish and at the same time they take off some of the nail, making them thinner.  Also excessive scrapping will take off a layer. My manicurist soaks off the gel by wrapping them in foil, but even this gentle approach takes off some of the nail. When we go back, another month or more here, she plans to put a clear layer on top of my nails that she will leave.  Its a hard surface and is very smooth.  Maybe then I can use the nail as a screwdriver in a pinch.

Edited by Cali

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18 hours ago, chesterx said:

Oh yes indeed, I was on the waiting list for when they re-opened & was one of the 1st patrons the day they re-opened.

Glad you were able to get a professional mani.  You must live in a state that has relaxed their rules. Not here in NY yet and as I said earlier it will be 6 weeks at the earliest before nail salons will be able to open up again. Meanwhile I'm doing the pedi and mani myself, as best as I can. It still not the same as a professional one.

Happy Heeling.

bluejay

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6 hours ago, bluejay said:

Glad you were able to get a professional mani.  You must live in a state that has relaxed their rules. Not here in NY yet and as I said earlier it will be 6 weeks at the earliest before nail salons will be able to open up again. Meanwhile I'm doing the pedi and mani myself, as best as I can. It still not the same as a professional one.

Happy Heeling.

bluejay

I have been doing my own for quite a number of years, because I decided a long time ago that I was not allowing anybody to touch my nails except for my tailor friend. Now, she’s gotten out of the business altogether, so I guess I will have to continue to practice yoga, in order to be able to have the flexibility to do my own.  She taught me well! Fingernails have never been a problem, but my toenails are deeply embedded in skin. They require special attention. 

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miroseplant, glad that you do your own mani's and pedi's. It saves you money. I've been going to the same salon for over 10 years now. I have the same gal who emigrated here from Vietnam over 15 years ago, doing my nails for all 10 years. She's a great person speaks perfect English and is a true artist in her trade. She has a wonderful family that I have met.

She is totally OK with my heel wearing, as I wear heels to my appointment. We even talk about wearing heels. She also has other male clients that get their pedi's and mani's. Some of them also get color on their toes just like I do.

Happy Heeling,

bluejay

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On 5/18/2020 at 8:37 AM, bluejay said:

miroseplant, glad that you do your own mani's and pedi's. It saves you money. I've been going to the same salon for over 10 years now. I have the same gal who emigrated here from Vietnam over 15 years ago, doing my nails for all 10 years. She's a great person speaks perfect English and is a true artist in her trade. She has a wonderful family that I have met.

She is totally OK with my heel wearing, as I wear heels to my appointment. We even talk about wearing heels. She also has other male clients that get their pedi's and mani's. Some of them also get color on their toes just like I do.

Happy Heeling,

bluejay

It's official. The nail shop that I have been sort of "associated with" over the last 10 years has been sold, and it's due to the owner's reluctance to return to work during these uncertain times. I haven't actually had my nails done there for oh, probably 8 years, but I always stopped in and chatted if I happened to be close by and they weren't too busy (this nail salon is in a Walmart). I doubt I will be stopping by any more, because there's no one left that I really know.

In other news, I had to go to Costco last week, and while we were shopping, I saw a rather mousy looking south Asian lady, nothing about her to catch one's eye especially, except that as we met each other going up and down the aisles several times, I noticed that she was using a smartphone for her shopping list, or so it appeared. That's when I noticed that she had fabulously long nails! Not like 1980s long, but probably 1 cm of free edge showing, quite long for today. They were perfect natural nails, and unpainted. It didn't really seem to jibe with the rest of her appearance. No pictures, as I quit taking creepy candids long, long ago, and I am just not the kind of person to go up to some stranger lady and say, "Duhhhhh.  .  . can I take a picture of your fingernails?" Ain't gonna happen! But I can still admire discreetly from a distance.

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WA state has just this past weekend permitted our county to move to Stage 2, which permits nail places to reopen with precautions, limited number of people at a time, PPE for practitioner and client, other. My personal challenge is that I’m classed in the “at risk” group because of my age (73) and it’s not clear to me whether “we” are excluded from getting those services. “We” are specifically not allowed back to the gyms or to visit trainers, both of which I need badly as well. I’m way, way overdue for a mani/pedi - my usual routine of somewhat manual work has taken a big toll on fingernails, my feet are very rough and cracking in spite of my attempts at home care, the color on my toes is mostly gone, grown off rather than worn off, and the one artificial big toenail broke off halfway weeks ago. In short, my nails are a mess!

Im also awaiting reopening news on another front, if the “at risk” clause doesn’t preclude me - my tattoo artist is reopening, and I may be able to get my new piece completed! Finishing it WAS scheduled for the very day the stay home order went into effect.

Y’all stay safe out there!

Logjam

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Call up the salon and ask them if they can take you, an "at risk" client.  It might a while before your nail person has an opening anyway.  I know we are weeks away here

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8 hours ago, Cali said:

Call up the salon and ask them if they can take you, an "at risk" client.  It might a while before your nail person has an opening anyway.  I know we are weeks away here

Not to be dismissive of your suggestion, but like the rest of my life recently, “it’s complicated”! I had an appointment scheduled with a new to me nail tech when the shutdown went into effect. She sent me a text indicating that she would get in touch when things opened back up. I’ll give her a few more days and if I don’t hear from her, I’ll inquire. After all, I made it through my first roughly 65 years without a mani/pedi, I can tough this out!

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My nail artist is always booked out months with regular clients, so I expect there to be a wait to get in to see her when they open up.

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22 hours ago, mlroseplant said:

It's official. The nail shop that I have been sort of "associated with" over the last 10 years has been sold, and it's due to the owner's reluctance to return to work during these uncertain times. I haven't actually had my nails done there for oh, probably 8 years, but I always stopped in and chatted if I happened to be close by and they weren't too busy (this nail salon is in a Walmart). I doubt I will be stopping by any more, because there's no one left that I really know.

In other news, I had to go to Costco last week, and while we were shopping, I saw a rather mousy looking south Asian lady, nothing about her to catch one's eye especially, except that as we met each other going up and down the aisles several times, I noticed that she was using a smartphone for her shopping list, or so it appeared. That's when I noticed that she had fabulously long nails! Not like 1980s long, but probably 1 cm of free edge showing, quite long for today. They were perfect natural nails, and unpainted. It didn't really seem to jibe with the rest of her appearance. No pictures, as I quit taking creepy candids long, long ago, and I am just not the kind of person to go up to some stranger lady and say, "Duhhhhh.  .  . can I take a picture of your fingernails?" Ain't gonna happen! But I can still admire discreetly from a distance.

When I see a person with a nice mani or pedi, I always compliment them on their look. I always get thank-you's and usually a compliment on mine, too.

Happy Heeling

bluejay

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10 hours ago, Cali said:

My nail artist is always booked out months with regular clients, so I expect there to be a wait to get in to see her when they open up.

I’m expecting a similar situation with the new tech I mentioned. I’m seriously thinking about an “emergency” trip to a backup nails only place I’ve used a few times before. My only reticence is whether they can get off the broken piece of the one artificial nail without mangling me - ha! I think I’ll call and ask...

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You can take the acrylic off yourself.  It just takes time.  You will need foil, acetone base remove and cotton (I use the cotton that comes with some medicine).  Cut the foil so you can wrap it completely around your finger/toe. Soak the cotton in the remove, place it on the nail. I use twister for this. Then wrap the nail in foil.  Wait 10-15 minutes and unwrap. The acrylic should start to lift. Get a pusher and push it, trying to get it to lift. Then re-wrap with more/fresh remover on cotton. Repeat this process and it will come off.  I did one nail this way already.  Its not hard just time consuming.  I have another acrylic nail I'm hoping will last because it "glues" the half-nails together.

 

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