Trying to keep a manicure drives me crazy. My personality tends toward type A, and so the slightest chip, bump, or divet in my polish can send me into a nail-biting frenzy. When your job is stay-at-home mommy, assaults on nails are plentiful and time to repair is scarce. So what to do, what to do?
After I had my first daughter, Iris, I resigned myself to never having pretty nails. I kept them as clean and shaped as I could, but a coat of quick-dry clear was all I thought I could handle. I couldn't see it chipping or peeling and it was easy to slap it on before bedtime, give it a few minutes, and not worry about "sleep lines." As Iris grew older and our schedule more regular, I did find the time to polish my nails in the latest and brightest colors, affording myself a little designated "me time." Still, the instant I had to clean the bathtub or scrub poop off of some overalls, I could see wear on my manicure and would remove it.
I'm a firm believer in the "happy mom" concept. I never put vain grooming ahead of caring for my child (all the moms who go four days without showering say, "What, what!"); but I like having little things that help me hang on to me. Fun nails make me feel like I'm still stylish.
Before the holidays, right before the birth of my second daughter, I bought one of Sally Hansen's stick-on manicures on a whim (though there are many other brands that also sell nails stickers, like Incoco). My thought was, if it worked, I'd have jazzy nails in the hospital and no imperfections to worry about. Of course, it seemed complicated and I figured the odds of it looking perfect were slim, but there's not a lot to keep you busy in the 40th week of pregnancy when you can't really move, so I went for it.
Low and behold, only one nail, in I'd "nailed" the method and was smoothing a funky, bold pattern on to my nails. And it looked and felt glorious! I went into the hospital a few days later, manicure totally intact. Every nurse I had commented on my manicure! I felt so glamorous!
So here is how it works:
1. Make sure you're working with clean, shaped nails. The manicure kit provides a buffer to rough your nails up just a bit.
2. The stick-ons are made of mylar and come in various sizes. When choosing one to fit your nail, I recommend going for the size that's just bigger than the one your instincts tell you to choose. You want it to wrap all the way over your nail, not just the top part that you can see.
3. Carefully smooth the stick-on across your nail from the cuticle to the tip, folding it over at the edge of your nail. The kit comes with with an orange stick to trim off the excess and to press the edges into your nail bed for a polished look.
4. Repeat on all of your nails.
5. Finally, I topped off the press-ons with a coat of clear polish, just for added protection and shine.
The process was easy and I actually outgrew the manicure before I noticed any imperfections. It lasted through kitchen cleaning, diaper changing, baby bathing, and myriad other newborn and household tasks. Not only did it last, but because it doesn't require drying time, I was also able to do it in the evening in about 15 minutes flat, and then immediate climb in bed without fear of ruining my hard work. It's the mommy-proof manicure!
Have you used a similar product that you'd recommend?
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.