Thinning Polish:

At last count I possessed 211 bottles of nail polish.  And if I'm completely honest (don't tell my family), that number grows every week.  I don't know if that's a lot of polish (I know one blogger that has over 1,700 bottles-jealous!), but it is a pretty sizable investment.  But some of those bottles are over 15 years old and still work perfectly.

How, you ask?  I have a secret...Beauty Secrets Nail Polish Thinner.  I bought mine at Sally's Beauty Supply for $3.49.
It comes in a pretty good size bottle.  The one pictured was bought about a year ago and I'm not even half way through it.  It brings any polish back to its' smooth, glop-free, original consistency.  Just add 4 - 10 drops into the bottle of thick polish and roll to mix.  It will be like brand new!

BIG TIP:  Whatever you do, do NOT add nail polish remover to your nail polish bottles to thin it.  It will ruin the polish.

Rolled, Not Shaken

Did you know that we're not supposed to shake a bottle of nail polish?  Me either!  I was surprised to discover that instead of shaking we are supposed to roll the bottle between our hands to mix it up.  Bubbles are formed when the nail polish is shaken.  This is how you get the bubbles or bumps on your nails.  You especially don't want to shake the bottle if you are about to use it in a water marble.  The picture below is my first attempt at water marbling.  See all the white circles?  Yep, those were bubbles.  I shook my bottles, lol.

So remember:  roll it, don't shake it.  Happy Polishing!

The Foil Method:

Have you ever tried to remove glitter nail polish? There are few things harder to do, child birth and root canals are all I can think of at the moment.  But there is an easy way to do that makes removing glitter polish a breeze, the foil method.  This can be done on both acrylic and natural nails, but the directions are slightly different.  The differences are pointed out through this post.

Start by tearing a cotton ball into nail size pieces.
Dip the cotton pieces into remover.  For natural nails, use 100% acetone or regular remover.  For acrylic nails, use non-acetone remover.  It just may take a little longer.  If you want you can use the regular polish, I do, and just shorten the amount of time it's on the nails (to 1-2 minutes).  For everyone:  Spread the damp cotton over your nail beds.  Then wrap your finger tips in small pieces of aluminum foil. 

For natural nails:  Wait five minutes.  For acrylic nails:  Wait 2 minutes.  For  everyone: When the time is done, gently pull the foil and cotton off, wiping the nail as you go. 

You may need to repeat the process depending on the density of the glitter.  Nail polish remover is very drying to your skin, so be sure to use cuticle oil and a nice hand lotion after this process.

Happy Polishing!! Er, Removing!!

Save Money! No More Cotton Swabs With Your Mani!

A great number of tutorials list cotton swabs as a tool for the manicure or pedicure.  I really don't like using them.  They're actually pretty wide for use with your nails and I always seem to bend the stick.  Not to mention, they're not reusable.  So I have a tip for you, use cotton balls and an orange wood stick!

I love Orangewood sticks.  They are extremely versatile, cheap and last a really long time.  I can't tell you how long since I tend to lose mine before they break.  The one in the picture is about 4 months old.  Orangewood sticks are about 8 inches long with one end flattened for your cuticles and the other end comes to a point.
They come in packs of 4 or 5.  This pack costs 99 cents for a package of four.

To use in place of a cotton swab, peel a two-three inch piece of cotton from a cotton ball.  Spread the cotton out and start to wrap around the pointed end of the stick. (Sorry it's blurry, husbands)
Just twirl the stick between your fingers:
Once the cotton is on, twirl it a couple of extra times to be sure it's tight.  Then just use it however you would a cotton swab-for nails! (Don't put this in your ear)  It's really great for cleaning excess polish around your nails and cuticles.

When done, simply pull the cotton off.  Use this tip anytime you need a cotton swab.  Happy Polishing!

Make Your Own Dotting Tools:

Hi Everyone!  I'm so excited...I can post in Purple!!  I LOVE purple!!!

As y'all have read my tutorials on designs, and those on other blogs, you probably see the word dotting tool a lot!  Dots are so popular these days and really do look great on your nails.  But do you have to buy special tools?  Nope!!

Here are my dotting tools:
And yes, I did buy the special tools.  This set was bought on Amazon for around $5.00, and I love them.  The box is a box of toothpicks from a regular grocery store.  They cost under $2.00 and work perfectly as a dotting tool.  I actually use them a lot, especially in water marbles. 

But you will want a variety of sizes, and you probably already have everything you need.  Straight pins make great dotting tools and the grips come in a variety of sizes.  Just get an eraser or pencil with an eraser and place the pin in it.  This way you won't stick yourself and it makes it easier to hold.

Another favorite of mine is cheap paint brushes.  If you have a child, you probably have some.  If not, every dollar store has cheap sets.  Just go to the craft area, and look for a package of children's paint brushes.  I bought my daughter a set of 20 brushes for $3.00 at Big Lots.  And as a bonus, you now have a variety of brushes for nail designs!

And my last suggestions:  an orangewood stick (picture above), a safety pin (pulled out straight'ish) and regular writing pens.
I hope this helps.  And as always, if you have any questions, leave a comment or email me at  Happy Polishing!!! And Dotting!!!

Do You Need Special Polishes or Brushes for Nail Art?

Does it take a lot of special tools to do nail designs?  Do you have to buy a ton of those little polish bottles made for striping?  Does it really require an investment to do something special with your nails?  The answer is NO! There is a more frugal way to do these designs, and who doesn't want to save money and have beautiful nails?

Striping Polishes:

All you really need is a "stripping" brush, like these:

Just head over to your local craft supply store and look in the painting section.  You want: a) a brush that works with acrylic paint, b) it should be about an inch long (and you may want one about 1/2 inch long, too), and c) it should be very thin.  Like the ones in the picture above.

It doesn't have to be an expensive brush.  In fact, you should be able to find one for around $3- that's the about the price of just one of those striping polish bottles.  Now, any polish you own can be used to stripe.

Of course, you can still buy the bottles of striping polish.  I own about 10 myself.  Sometimes I just can't find that color in a regular polish bottle.  And I have noticed the prices getting more competitive as other companies begin making them.

So now nothing is stopping you from creating fabulous designs!  Happy Polishing!

Saving Your Hands From Acetone:

I don't know about y'all, but the winter just about destroys my hands.  I realize I live in the south, but I'm originally from Florida so my skin is just not use to how dry the winter can be.  My skin doesn't only dry out, but gets flaky, white/ash look and cracks.  All painful and miserable to deal with. 
While I don't have the complete answer for winter skin, I can help when it comes to your nail polish remover, another destroyer of skin, wear gloves:
Latex, and non-latex, gloves are readily available in your local drugstores, and Walmarts and Targets.  I bought these gloves at Walmart for $4.59 for 50.  I use them every time I remove my polish.  I realize not everyone changes their polish everyday like me, but acetone is hard on every one's skin.  To me it's worth it to eliminate one of the things working to dry my skin. 
Once you have removed all the polish, wash your hands thoroughly.  Then once you have completed your manicure, apply lotion.  Don't apply the lotion before you paint your nails since the oils in the lotion will interfere with your manicure.
I hope this helps!!  Happy Polishing!!