Product #3 Bag Balm
Being a member of the MUA nail board means you get to hear about all these really amazing random products. Bag Balm, for example, is a very impressive intensive moisturizer that comes in an unexpected green tin. You can get it at any drugstore. The catch is that… well…. it’s for cow utters and it smells like death. It’s basically just petroleum with an added chemical that helps prevent cow utter fungus. I can’t figure out why it works better than regular petroleum but it’s amazing for cracked feet and dry hands. Shockingly, it’s not expensive at all. I’m actually a little suspicious that the chemical that prevents the fungus also extends the life of your mani. Ever since I started using Bag Balm, I’ve gotten 2 or 3 days extra days of wear from my nail polish without changing any other part of mani routine. Now, I can’t prove that it is bag balm – yet – I plan to experiment.
Product #2 Barielle Nail Camouflage
I have a lot of streaky polishes so the girls on the nail board pointed me to Camo. It’s a bit on the expensive end but very worth it. It hides ridges, discoloration, and imperfections on the nail very well. More importantly, for some inexplicable reason, it evens out streaky polishes… yes… even those extremely streaky Essies. My only criticism is that you can’t wear it with all polishes. It seems to make polishes that are not streaky, goopy and more difficult to apply. I had this problem recently with both OPI Just Groovy and Rescue Beauty Lounge Concrete Jungle. Neither polish is actually goopy but with Camo they were almost impossible to apply. All was well with both polishes when I used a regular base coat. Even though Camo is an extremely effective ridge filler, I don’t recommend it as a work horse. But if you’re like me and you have a ton of really difficult to apply streaky polishes that you love none-the-less, Camo is an investment.
Product # 1 Seche Vite
Seche’s company motto is “Feel Complete” and I do. Seche completes me – I’m not kidding, really. I refer to my life before I tried Seche as the dark ages. I only changed my polish once a week because it was such a tedious process. I just didn’t have the time to do it more often. In the dark ages doing a mani meant 1 coat of base coat, wait a few minutes, paint a coat of polish, wait a few minutes, another coat of polish, redo any nails that have bubbles, wait a few minutes, 1 coat of top coat, the entire process took about 40 minutes. After that the endless dry time wait began, usually upwards of an hour for my nails to be dry to the touch. During those darkest of hours, I was completely incapacitated. The slightest move could potentially destroy the mani and set me back another 30 minutes of waiting. And of course, I would never paint my nails at night or else risk the dreaded sheet marks. I had tried fast drying top coats before, I was never impressed. Which is why I was so reluctant to try Seche… I thought pfft, really, how fast can it possibly be? I thought for sure it was just another gimmick but I caved and got it. I can only describe the moment I tried Seche as enlightenment. The clouds split open, an angelic light shone down on my nails, harps were playing, doves were flying around. I cried, it was beautiful. Now, I’m a true believer and I preach the Seche gospel whenever possible. It’s a little bit on the expensive side but you can, seriously, do your nails and be out the door in 15 minutes. I can do my nails 20 minutes before bed – NO sheet marks. What’s more, Seche is *high* gloss, self-leveling, and it fixes everything. Are you bad at application? Get Seche. Do you have a problem with bubbles? Get Seche. It’ll walk your dog and mop your floors too, it’s that amazing. There has to be voodoo in it. Life after Seche means I can do my nails as often as I want, whenever I want.
The downside is that Seche tends to go bad at about half a bottle. It gets very goopy and difficult to use, even with thinner. You also might have to change your application style because Seche causes tip pull when you apply really thick coats of polish. I haven’t had the problem with my Seche getting goopy yet, but I thin it religiously – every 3 manis or so. Adding new Seche to freshly thinned Seche has also worked very well for me.
If you don’t have these products – go out and get them, especially Seche, they will change your life.