I remember a recent conversation very clearly that I with my mother BC (before COVID-19). I told her that the one thing that makes me feel put together more than anything is having a manicure. For this admitted gel addict, the closure of nail salons was just the tip of the iceberg of mounting stress, uncertainty, and fear surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. I am that friend who received countless memes of nail roots in my DM’s the day non-essential businesses were ordered to close.
While settling into (ie: trying to) home school my kids while working while keeping everything running while sick while the bad news kept crashing down all around us, I looked down at my grown-out chipped AF mani and felt defeat. They were a physical metaphor that I was barely keeping up, and they made me feel sad and unkempt. I thought about digging through the moving boxes in my bathroom for nail polish, but I knew the only time I would have to paint them would be late at night after my kids were tucked in and I finished writing and cleaning and I was about to go to sleep. We all know how that goes; you wake up with raisin-skin-esque sheet imprints on your nails. Even worse, I am the opposite of ambidextrous, and I cannot paint my right hand nails. Well, I guess I can, but it would land me right back to Sad Mani Town.
I came across an invitation from an old friend to try Color Street. I figured there was no better time to give them a whirl, since there is almost no dry time and I wouldn’t have to paint the polish on my right hand. I’m so happy I did, because not only was it super easy, it was oddly relaxing and fun and it felt like the first time in two weeks that I spent time just doing something for myself. They’re also much cheaper than a mani especially since each set (which cost $11-$14+ B3G1FREE promo on designs, glitters and solids) includes a few applications. My Color Street mani looks so professionally done that I would rotate them with my regular gel mani AC (after COVID-19), and will most likely be using only these for the next few months if not longer. I also love that they are made with less toxins than traditional polish locally, no less, in New Jersey. To top it all off, every month of the year Color Street creates designs specific to a worthwhile cause or charity and donates $2 from the proceeds of every set sold to that cause. Since launching in mid 2017, they’ve donated over $1.4 million to a multitude of incredible charities. This months design will benefit Best Buddies International and Developmental Disabilities Awareness.
My old friend Megan is sharing her top five tips for attaining a flawless application (I wish I had these before I did mine, but to be honest, they still looked great after my first try).
Megan’s Top 5 Color Street application tips:
1. Before application, make sure to buff and file, push back your cuticles, use alcohol prep pads provided, or wash hands with dish soap (which isless drying than alcohol pads) to remove any excess oils. Pushing back your cuticles is essential. You’ll want to apply the strip as close to or even slightly right up under the cuticle, but not on top of it, as that can cause the strip to lift after curing!
2. Always make sure to store your strips at room temperature. Do not apply them when they’re cold or to cold hands. You can warm up the strips in your palm or pocket (or bra lol) for a minute prior.
3. Refrain from applying any lotions or oils or submerging your hands in water for at least an hour after application, as it will alter the curing process. I recommend applying them before bed so they can have plenty of time to cure undisturbed – it’s not necessary but it works well and is amazing to apply polish before bed without having to worry about smudges and sheet marks!
4. The regular strips can be used on your toes and the pedicure strips can be used on your fingernails! Both types of sets come with 16 double sided strips in all variations of shapes and sizes that can be slightly stretched or trimmed to fit any size nail.
5. You can use our Clear as Day or one of our many clear nail art designs or glitter dipped strips as a topcoat to further extend the durability and wear time of your mani. I highly recommend this with our solids or else double layering the solids once the first layer has cured (1 hour).
It’s important to practice self care and to keep trying during scary and uncertain times to do whatever you can to feel like yourself. Remember when Elle Woods pulled over to get a a manicure after finding out her chauvinist ex boyfriend Warner was engaged to his high school girlfriend shortly after their breakup? If not, please watch Legally Blonde tonight. Anyway, the scene illustrates how her act of self care ultimately leads to human connection, as her new manicurist, Paulette, becomes her bestie. For some of us, keeping our nails did is an act of self love, and it has also become happy place filled with friends. I truly miss all of my girls at my nail spot (hi Sugi and Mimi!), and I hope to see them again someday. Until then, we will have to dress up our own digits, and dial in the human connection over a WiFi connection.
You can connect with Megan for more tips on her Facebook group here. Big thanks to Megan for sharing her expertise with us.
Definitely going to watch Legally Blonde tonight while I try out a new color.
PS: This is not sponsored.