26 November 2018

Nails III - Press on Nails - Part One

irst up nothing has changed on my own nail front since last time. I’ve put in a few hardening cycles which seems to work. This is due to having a combination of Onychoschiza and Onychorrhexis. That is splitting of the fingernails due to brittle or soft nails and longitudinal ridges on the nails. I’m told (in the literature) this is not uncommon in combination.

Excuse the unprofessional application in the example left. As well as not having enough practice, I had the feeling that the varnish was too thick and dare I say ‘lumpy’. Also it didn’t apply evenly over the nail even after rigorously shaking of the bottle beforehand. Maybe it needs to be thinned. I know it will dry out at one time or other but does nail varnish ‘go off’? 
Even with a base coat and two coats of mint one can still see the ridges on my thumb and ring finger (see insert of thumb, the varnish left a gap at the tip of the ridge). It’s interesting that the ridge pattern is mirrored on the corresponding finger of the other hand. 
This combination of brittle nails and ridges is one of constant annoyance. When a nail breaks due to mechanical stress then ok it’s not good but one has a possible reason why it broke. But I get angry when at the end of a ridge, even when the nail is only a couple of mm long, it automatically splits along the ‘fault line’ without any particular reason other than - I can only conjecture here - the build-up of static stress forces being released!

So enough about my brittle nails, I wanted to give my experience with false nails and in particular with press-on nails as these are the only ones I have tried until now..
As I have mentioned before in Nails II post finding an ‘alone time’ to varnish and then remove is not easy. One needs a minimal amount of time for the logistics and there is always the aftermath of unseen traces of colour in the crevices and the lingering smell of removal.
With stick on nails it sounds as if the process would be easy and sticking on relatively quick. The problem I saw was when trying to remove them as seen in various film comedies situations. Ok the film scenes are usually overdone but still a ‘sticky’ situation depending on if the glue is of Superglue or Post-It strength.

A chance to try false nails came about in 2016 when I had a week alone. MrsA went on holiday to the coast with a girlfriend and her dog (the friends dog that is). This was the third time and as it happens the last time she would be doing this. As a consequence this was to be my last long weekend fem for the foreseeable future.
As the holiday was planned a long time beforehand, I also did some planning and took a crash course in false nails by looking at various videos on YouTube and checking websites with their comments to the products and procedures. This way I found out there were basically three types/methods to choose from.

The first - which was quite out of the question - was your acrylic UV light hardened ‘semi-permanent’ type. Not only is the procedure long, rather complicated for a part-time amateur like me, full of chemicals plus smells and needing a UV light to harden, but also on removal by having to painfully spend half the day cutting off access acrylic before wiggling ones fingers for over half an hour in either an acetone bath or wrapped in aluminium foil with acetone soaked cotton pads!
All this and with no guarantee that one’s real nails would not drop off in the process, and to top that having to file off the bits of acrylic still hanging on for dear life after the soaking!

The ultimate put off for me was the removal method for people with problems with acetone and/or acetone free nail polish remover. It was suggested to get someone to help in using dental floss to saw off the nails! There was also the mention of pain, lots of it!
I can just imagine MrsA getting home and seeing my colourful talons and hearing me say
“Darling be a dear and help me saw my nails off!?’
[Ed: Aye and the first thing she would do, after making herself a cuppa tea, is to ring for a windowless padded van to cart you away..]
Yep, quite probably.

The other two types were more in my line as they looked ‘semi-temporary’.
There was the ‘raw’ colourless fake nails using a separate glue of your choice. Either you stick & paint or paint & stick depending, I think, on the art work you want to decorate them with or how shaky in general your hands are. And lastly there are press-on fake nails, pre-painted and already coated in glue ready 'to go'.

There were a lot of comments in the net to various glues and methods, mainly about being disappointed with the lack of staying on power even for a few hours. There are also glue pads out there sold separately that allow you to stick fake nails on less messy. But the comments to them were even more negative. What calmed me somewhat, after having the acrylic horrors echoing in my head, was not finding any mention of forced removal gone wrong followed by a visit to the local ER.
So after spending some time deciding on what to buy I went for both, raw plus glue and press-on nails.

To begin with I ordered a box of colourless nails of a moderate length. The glues in bottles and tubes reminded me again of super glues and so I went for what looked like a felt pen that you ‘draw’ the glue onto the nail which I thought was a neat idea.
One long evening alone I plucked up courage to try and glue and remove one nail as a sort of test ‘stick’. I was stopped before I began as the glue pen turned out to be ‘useless’. It wasn’t even tacky when I touched my nail after applying a coat. I thought it had probably dried up although it still had a smell of chemicals.
It was only when I looked at the pen again and read the small print on it with a magnifying glass that I realised, to my embarrassment, it wasn’t a glue at all but a primer to help the glue stick better! I had even bought a finger wiggling bath just in case I panicked trying to remove the nail!  So the box, pen and soaking bath are still stashed away waiting for use, if ever as with most of my makeup.

Following this non-starter set back I went for ‘plan P’ and the press-on type.
While doing my crash course in fake nails in the Net I came across among others Broadway ImPress. They have a nice selection of different styles, colours and strangely a very wide range of prices depending on the retail shops selling them! After scrutinizing the websites I was informed that the nails are ‘easy’ to apply and ‘painless’ in removal when using a manicure stick.
I was a little hesitant that wedging a manicure stick between me and ‘it’ would be painless but I was willing to take the chance. Ok I wasn’t that na├»ve thinking something that needed to stick for a week (their claim) and survive routine housework and not only clubbing and parties (my idea) would be removable without at least some resistance. I knew I would have to do it gently and with feeling as well as taking my time.
[Ed: You’re not telling me you did of all things, ‘housework’ with extended nails!?]
Yes I did, and NO not in a maids outfit.
But we're jumping the gun here.

After looking at the different styles and as I’m partial to French nails (up to then on other people's fingers), I went for two sets. Also without really knowing why, I picked one set with pink and glitter. This was way before my pink phase when I got my pink prom dress.
It was not always possible in the ads looking at the nails in the packaging to see if they were short or medium. I only found a few that said medium length so they went on my ‘short’ list. I didn’t want nails that just covered my own nails but also not too long as I suspected they would not look good with my cubby fingers. Apart from the length the price dictated what I ordered; as cheap as possible as it was highly probable that this would be a one-off experience.

So I was ready for the long weekend between Friday, after getting home from work, and Monday morning before leaving for it. This would allow me to take my time not only to dress but also to explore the world of false nails. The week came and unfortunately a lot of work came up and so I got home late evenings. This meant dressing was short but open ended; a rare treat for me. Friday took ages in coming as the butterflies started to build up in anticipation in how I was going to occupy myself at the weekend. Eventually it did arrive and to the surprise of my colleagues I made excuses and left early. I really had to concentrate hard on the traffic as my mind was wandering thinking about what I would be doing later that evening.
I made it home in one piece, made myself a cuppa tea and went through my plan of action for the weekend. I knew I would not keep to all of it but a plan is always good even if one deviates from it almost immediately. There was bound to be interruptions, but I hoped only on the phone and not somebody dropping in without ringing first. Main thing was to do my nails, even if it would be two in the morning!

I spread all my nail varnishes out on the table including the newly arrived false nails and looked at the colourful display in wonder; it felt like Christmas from my childhood [Ed: No she didn’t get any makeup, just ‘borrowed’ her mum’s when she wasn’t looking]. I wasn’t really sure what I would be doing with the varnishes but I put them in easy reach for the evening just in case.
I didn’t intend to do a ‘how to’ here, but the following may give you some idea of what to do if you’re not tried ImPress nails until now.
There is a small pad included with alcohol to clean the nails from fat before sticking. Whatever you use make sure your nails are fat free, as with any surface you want to stick something to. Also provided is a mini paper file for smoothing the tips following applying. Use a proper glass file for this and on your nails beforehand to tidy them up a bit.
Next is sorting out which ones match which finger. Basically the rule is if your not sure go for a slightly smaller size. This is because of the nails curvature. When they are pressed and glued onto the receiving nail they spread out ever so slightly to fill the gaps left and right. Less fitting is okay as with varnish but over the edge is ugly, again as with varnish.

Each nail has a thin transparent plastic covering on the underside with a small tab to help remove it (see picture). The tab needs to point towards the cuticle. Although it may be obvious with other shaped nails with these it’s not always easy to see the orientation. After finding the right nails for the one hand line then up and find for each one a second matching nail for the other hand resulting in two lines of five.
Remove the plastic covering using the tab and apply trying not to come in contact with the sticky side unless it’s the target nail! See that the false nail is close up to the cuticle as possible without pain. I have read somewhere one should, as far as possible, push the false nail up and under your cuticle! This is not only dangerous but painful and totally unnecessary unless your going to be scrutinised close up from your friends!

It’s a good idea to leave the thumbs to the end as they will be instrumental in helping press on all the others. Times vary, some say press for 5 or 10 seconds per nail, some 30. Maybe a little longer is better, especially when starting out with press-on nails.
Oh yes almost forgot there is a recommended 30 minute ‘settling in’ phase in which one should keep away from watery substances.
So that’s the theory now to my first attempt, which I will relate after a break in part two of this nail marathon.

[Ed: Use the Nail as link to go to Part Two.]

Nails III - Press on Nails - Part Two

 [Ed: Dear Reader, if you haven’t read Part One then please use the Nail as link.] 

uriosity got to me first and from the three sets I opened the pink ‘bottle’. The ImPress nails are in a case that looks like a small bottle and to open it you have to unscrew the top so that it opens up into two half’s. I emptied the contents onto the table top and arranged the nails into size.

As I have problems finding heels for my big plates, I was quite apprehensive to see if false nails - made I thought usually for delicate female hands - would be just too small for me. I started with the thumb as I wanted to see if the largest of the nails would fit it. To my relief it was a good match.
With this worry over I worked my way along the row selecting nails for each finger putting the nails in order and returning the others to the bottle. I opened the supplied alcohol pad and wiped my nails with it. I had another source of alcohol at hand (no brand name will be mentioned) in case the pad had dried out.

I took a deep breath and peeled off the plastic from the pinkie nail, aligned and pressed for what it was worth for about ten seconds. This seemed a bit short so I added another ten for good measure. By the end of the sticking phase I was down to ten seconds again.
I worked my way along until I arrived at my thumb and with being so distracted by the transformation that my fingers were undergoing I stuck it on as well. I was so fascinated with the result I just stared at my hand as I wiggled my fingers about hardly believing they were mine! What I did remember to do as with varnish, was to apply first the nails to my dominant ‘good’ hand which in my case is my left hand.

After a while I pulled myself together and started on my right hand. This time the now extended nails were ‘getting in the way’. Not that much as they were not that long, but still it was something to get used to. One had to rethink certain manoeuvres that without the nails one would do automatically. The weekend would be interesting in showing what subtle differences the extensions will make.

When I was finished I understood why there was the hint to leave the thumbs to the end. They were needed to apply pressure, and this pressure could unstick the thumb nail before the 30 minute ‘sticking phase’ was over.
I’m not sure how long it all took, but while concentrating on applying it slowly dawned on me that I was doing something I had dreamed about for years, dare I say decades!
Finally I was finished, I just sat there and stared in a sort of day dream as I twiddled them about, tapped them on the table and constantly told myself that they were my pink nails!

I loved them!

My hands were transformed in a way I never imagined! I was still slightly apprehensive that I would not get them off without pain or permanent damage, but I would worry about that when I came to it on Sunday and at that moment that was aeons away in the future. Still I tried ever so lightly to prize a nail off by grabbing the part extending over the length of my nail and twist it ever so slightly along its axis and then a bit more. 
To my relief and surprise it held as my finger plus nail turned together. As you can see in the third picture my index finger looks quite good, but the other two nails are not placed high enough up to the cuticle. But for a first try I was happy. After admiring my new nails for a time I realised I was hungry.

Luckily I remembered to get in pizza before starting, as the last thing I wanted was going to the front door with winter gloves on and trying to find the right money to pay! Also it was a warm May and explaining to our regular pizza man the gloves would have been difficult. Taking the delivery with my new nails would have been even more of a disaster than just trying to cope with loose change. Not only that the whole neighbourhood would be updated before the weekend was over.

That I regularly have shiny vanished nails due to my nail problem doesn’t really interest anyone. Although I do get ‘extended’ stares sometimes to which, unless they ask, I let them think what they want. Same when I mention in passing that I wear stockings and suspenders all and every day.. I have my favourite on at the moment with cute little bows on the straps.
Here’s a picture..
[Ed: You’re wandering off again!]
Yes, I am, still..
Ok now to the nail experience. I won’t go on in great detail to what I got up to that weekend..

[Ed: I should hope not!]
And what do you mean by that!?
[Ed: I … err .. somehow I’m not sure …
{I role my eyes and carry on}

The most drastic change was being almost constantly aware of my nails. I won’t go into experimental clinical research mode here but this was in someway an experiment and the various results I was getting, from visual and tactile feedback, were amazing!
First to the colour. Normally I take my nails for granted. They are there when I need them, for example to undo knots when making Celtic jewellery or to regularly scratch MrsA’s back while we watch the box. I don’t consciously see/focus on them unless they split or when they are too long and I get ‘that look’ from MrsA and then reluctantly go in search of the nail file.
But now I was distracted with ‘pink in motion’, either directly or in my peripheral vision. As I don’t normally wear pink, and certainly not up to then on the end of my fingers, I was just mesmerised looking at them.

Adding to the colour dancing about in front of my eyes was of course the unusual change in my haptic perception. The ends of my digits were downgraded to a secondary response level and the tips of my new nails were now my primary perceptual experience indicator.

[Ed: Your what indicator!?]
Ok, I’ll put it another way. It’s to do with the concept of extended physiological proprioception. In other words the end of my new nails took over from the end of my digits in telling me how to interpret what my hands were doing in certain intensive digital manoeuvres.
[Ed: ?? I shouldn’t have asked..]
For example when trying - I emphasise the word trying here - to play the piano.
[Ed: Ok, if you say so.]
Glad that’s now clear..

Ok it wasn’t that different as the nails were not that long. But whatever it was just everything I touched or handled felt a ‘touch’ different. With each new situation I had to concentrate a little more than usual when doing mundane manipulative manoeuvres. Like putting on any sensitive clothing like stockings, or buttoning up blouses. All had to be done slowly and with feeling.
I had almost got use to them as the evening progressed. That is until I got a text message on my mobile from MrsA. I had forgotten our daily catch-up before she went early to bed! She is the lark in the family and I’m the owl by the way especially this week. Normally we text each other before one of us rings the other. As I knew she wouldn’t go visual I was not concerned with having my nails longer than usual and in colour.
Well I picked up my olde Samsung S3 to answer and realised almost immediately this was not going to be quick and easy as I thought. It started with turning it on and entering the access code. It felt as if my hands were not mine!
In the film Edward Scissorhands, Ed ..
[Ed: You called?]
No, I was talking about another Ed.
[Ed: Oh..?]
As I was saying, Ed was master of his extraordinary hand extensions. I at that point in time was not. After two frantic failed attempts to enter my code I made it on the third so as not having to go hunting for the master code to unlock the phone. With a couple of swipes I had her message before me. Now it really got interesting. I had to reply quickly as she expects me to have my mobile on me all the times when we are apart. [Ed: Also in the shower?]
You can believe it. Any long delays and she starts to panic.
Reasons (health wise/me/TGA) maybe another post.

My S3 is old, very old by mobile phone turnover standards. We have now generation S9 out there. The S3 display is relatively small as smart phones go and correspondingly so is the keyboard. I started to type and realised my fingers were drunk by the look of the results appearing before me. I was almost finished with a very short reply with the maximum number of typos that still made it readable, when the phone rang in my hands. This caught me by surprise and I almost drop it!
Of course it was MrsA.

I answered and as expected came ‘Are you alright?’
I made an excuse for the delay; we chatted awhile, said our goodnights and finished the call with difficulty. I was relieved that that was over. Not from the content of the call, but the logistics of holding and using the phone. It was a subtle difference having to use the ball of ones fingers and not the tips due to the nails getting in the way. I expect it would be even more extreme when one has longer talons.

I found out quite quickly that the screen didn’t respond to the tap of my nails. I suspect this was due to the phone having a capacitive touch screen and therefore no detectable charge was being transferred to my finger through the plastic nail to trigger a response.
[Ed: Can’t you leave this nerd stuff out? It’s distracting!]
No I can’t! I need to know why things don’t work. I can sleep better..
[Ed: Sleep better, my eye! You hardly got any sleep in the week, using to the full every waking moment dressed!]
True. Rare events need to be enjoyed to their full extent..

The rest of the evening was spend dressed and using my IPad, with frustrating difficulty, reading blogs and looking at YouTube. After a time I got better at tapping and swiping even through I was being constantly distracted by the pink.

As I was clearing away my nail vanishes for the night I came across the bottle with what looked like black and white glitter. I wasn’t really sure what the content was. Looking close up and at the label it didn’t tell me anything. Maybe black vanish with white inclusions or white with black inclusions. When I saw it advertised I was a little intrigued as it didn’t look like your normal varnishes. It was one of my spontaneous buys with other makeup articles and I had totally forgotten I had it until I lined it up with the others for possible use after sticking.
That’s always been my problem, I buy stuff but its takes ages before I have the opportunity either to wear or use. By the way I have now grouped all my stash by colour so to have matching clothes and heels all in one box, but that’s something for a separate post.

[Ed: I should hope so; this post is way over your ‘normal’ length.]
Oh dear, silence for months and now I can’t stop babbling on..

More in part two after I get some sleep. In the meantime I’ll let [Ed:] post something about nails and mobiles that I observed not long ago.

[Ed: You go to bed and I have to say up trying to read your scribblings!
Ok found it, here it is..]

Since I retired at the end of 2016 I rarely go into town. But when I do it’s with the tram, as driving and parking is catastrophic. On one of these trips I was fascinated looking at a girl opposite me texting away with in my mind far too long talons longer even than in the picture here, but everyone of course to their own length.
What caught my attention was the high speed as she tapped, swiped and made hieroglyphics like squiggles all across the screen! The mobile was one of the latest models if size was anything to go by. What added to this dexterity wonder was she had it in one hand and was using most of the time her thumb from the same hand! I suspect she was one of those people who when walking doesn’t look where she’s going, has music playing in earphones, holds her handbag with the one hand and is constantly tapping away with the other.

I have now a theory that nails get longer proportionately to the increase in the size of mobiles so as to sustain one handed users access to the complete keyboard. As boys, these days, are getting around to varnishing their nails, maybe extensions will soon be on the board to keep up with the girls.
For any of you interested in the differences in size between a Samsung S3 from 2012 and S9/S9+ from 2018, here the stats:

S3: 136.6mm x 70.6mm x 8.6mm (5.38in x 2.78in x 0.34in), 133g (4.69oz)
S9: 147.7mm x 68.7mm x 8.5mm (5.81in x 2.70in x 0.33in), 163g (5.7oz)
S9+:158.1mm x 73.8mm x 8.5mm (6.22in x 2.91in x 0.33in), 189g (6.7oz)

[Ed: Here the link to Part Three.]

Nails III - Press on Nails - Part Three

[Ed: Dear Reader, if you haven’t read Part Two then please use the Nail as link.]
ext morning I woke with a start as I realised there was something not quite right. It was not my long black silk negligee which I had the opportunity the whole week to wear nights but, you guessed it, my nails. I did a quick visual to see if any had gone AWOL overnight and to my relief all were wag-able, present and correct.
I had planned to spend the day at home enjoying being dressed to complement my new nails that is until I opened the fridge. With a long stare to its contents, or lack of them in this case, I reluctantly corrected my agenda for the day.

To quote from an old nursery rhyme ‘The cupboard was bare’. I had been working late all week and so distracted on getting home and changing, that I had forgotten to go shopping! I had, since MrsA left, systematically emptied the fridge and larder of all the basics.
Ok, pizza was still there from the previous evening but it would last only for the rest of the day. There was nothing for it, I had to go shopping and that meant as a consequence removing my new nails.
Thinking about it I was not that disappointed as I first thought, as I still had my other nails to try when I got back! So I made myself a cuppa tea with the last of the milk and cleared a space on the table for what I hoped would be only a minor surgical intervention.

At last I was to see if a non-painful removal was going to be confirmed or not. I had decided to only use my own home grown moderate length nails in assisting with prizing them lose. I didn’t really want any pointed instruments possibly drawing blood. But as I looked at my hands I realised that none of my own nails were free to help! For at least one or possibly two nails I would need a tool to get between the real me and the false me to get the ball rolling. So I went for a manicure stick.
Well I would have if I had found one.

As I dug down in the darkest depths of my cosmetic case it slowly dawned on me that I hadn’t bought any! With all the info gathering, buying and logistics in preparation of sticking on nails, I had not looked ‘one small step’ further. I had concentrated on the pain problematic and not on the actual removal procedure!

Ok I was not about to jump down the ladder onto the lunar surface, but I was for all tense and purposes just as far out of reach of the next cosmetic counter as if I was going to take a moon walk. I knew; well let’s say I had never seen MrsA wielding an orange stick, but as I was moving in the direction of panic, I still went off searching just in case she had one.

I found nothing in the way of wooden pointed objects. That is apart from when I was rummaging around in our board game cupboard (you never know what you may find). I had paused and seriously thought of going for a Mikado stick. As a last resort I turned to MrsA’s nail manicure set which I had totally forgotten about. I was a little reluctant using metal but I didn’t want to wait any longer as I was in immediate needed of another cup of tea with fresh milk.

I selected the cuticle pusher as being appropriate for this and was about to go to work with it when I remembered reading about someone using one of the used false nails from the pack as a wedge.
Well I didn't have any used ones just yet so I selected the biggest unused nail from the bottle. I thought if it doesn’t work then I still had a metal based backup plan. I went for one of my pink pinkies and gently tried to ease my new tool from the side under the false nail. It reluctantly gave access and after about a quarter of the way in I started to lever upwards. I felt more resistance and was about to pause to give the glue a chance to slowly let go when to my surprise the nail gave up and flipped off flying across the table.
Hey! That was not so bad at all I thought! One down nine to go!

I carried on by moving from the small nails on up to my thumbs. My strategy was to get some experience in removal and how the glue behaved before tackling the big ones. The larger the nail and surface area the more time it took to convince the nail to let go. I was finished in less than ten minutes much quicker than I thought it would take. I found it was better to try and wedge the nail about a third of the way in before trying to lever the nail up and off. The timing of the levering was also important, the slower the better staying just under the discomfort level.

It’s similar to when one removes labels from plastic articles. If one rips it off too fast the label invariably tears. If done slowly then there is more chance it will stay intact as different adhesives have different times when releasing from the surface. It’s all to do with adhesion/cohesion forces.
In my case the forces were with me.

[Ed: Does that mean you’ll be using a mini laser sword next time?]
Hey! That’s an idea, build me one!
[Ed: !?]

I checked my nails and there was hardly any glue residue on them. I dabbed them with a little acetone, washed and creamed them. One of the reasons for going for a dry removal ‘solution’ was to see how sticky the nails would be after one application. It was a shame to only enjoy them for less than 18 hours and a third of that time I was a sleep!
They were still quite tacky and so I put them in a separate small plastic bag for a possible second sticking.

[Ed: More to that in part four].
So at last I was de-nailed and could go off to the shops.

In the afternoon I decided to try one of the French nail sets. I had two sets to choose from. I went for the ones on the right as they had a little more to look at with the circle of white points and silver stripe.
I emptied the bottle and sorted by size, again no overall problem with the sizes. I cleaned my nails and stuck-in to stick. I didn’t actually time it, but I had the feeling it was about 10-12 minutes. Again I took a few pictures. I must say I liked them better than the pink ones.

Also these nails were not as distracting as the others. Ok they were but not with the colour. Length about the same, the square ends again gave a slightly different feeling when in contact with objects.
Over the day I didn’t do anything over the top, just relaxed and enjoyed the experience. Typing on the computer/Ipad and play the piano I struck from my ‘to do list’. I tried but quickly gave up in frustration; also I didn’t want any accidents with nails ricocheting around the room while hitting the keys. It didn’t matter that much as I had the very rare opportunity to occupy myself with going systematically through my stash airing my clothes and trying out all possible combinations. I never realised how much hard work it is to dress! Of course it didn’t help that I was also trying on my ‘non summer’ clothes, inappropriate for the time of year and the hot weather!
Again it was the early hours before I fell into bed.

The next morning I was not surprised to see my nails and all intact after a quick check. Sometime in the afternoon I decided to remove them as I wanted to get down to do some writing and answering emails without hindrance. I sat there and took a last look at my fingers and went for the nail wedge that had worked so well with the pink nails.

As I was about to begin I thought it would be nice to experience painting nails of this length as I had only tried painting my own up until then. They are kept short due to not wanting to get ‘that look’ from you know who.
I selected red.

Unfortunately the varnish was not that good and had no real covering power. Still I decided to only do one coat as it was only to get an impression of long red nails and the feeling of painting them. If you look closely the French tips can be seen under the red. As my right hand is my ‘bad’ hand I had difficulty doing my ‘good’ hand as one can see by my index finger. My cuticles where not clean and tidy either, something to remember to do next time. The painting experience was a little different as one has a longer distance to travel with the brush and trying to maintain a constant flow. Still it was fun and something I could get use too, that is if I had the chance.
I left them on for a few hours but then I was ready time to remove them.

As I was concentrating on prising them off my mind wandered and I remembered the black and white glitter varnish. I stopped and went and found the bottle. I was intrigued on how it would look on the red nails. As most of the nails were removed by this time I painted what was left. On applying I realised to my surprise that it was a clear vanish with geometric inclusions in the shape of black and white hexagons!

I was glad I had tried it. I only gave them one coat, adding more coats would probably intensify the effect but I suspect the shapes wouldn’t be clearly visible. With reluctance I removed the rest after taking a few pictures. It was fun and I now know how it feels to wear nails of this length.

I have always envied long and colourful ‘nail wielders’. The enhancement of the hands is of course a matter of taste. The length in the picture holding the mobile phone is about as far as I would go. Anything longer is in my opinion overdone and spoils the nail/finger length ratio (N/FLR) aesthetic for me.

[Ed: I won't ask what you mean by N/FLR. I'll let someone else do that. ]
Are you sure?
[Ed: Yes! Ok, and what next?]
Good question, not sure. I still have one set of nails to try but timing is a problem.

While writing up this post I got to thinking about maybe try sometime my hand at Celtic nail art, combining my making Celtic jewellery and my love for nails. In the picture left is a part of a necklace I made for myself and maybe I can transfer the knot work in some way to a nail. There are lots of examples of nail art of this type in the net, here an example I found.
Will see what I can do.
I don’t see any more nail sessions in the near future. I usually only have a maximum of a one and half to two hour window with MrsA out of the house and on rare occasions maybe up to three hours. But all this with possible unexpected early returns, unless I’m roped into playing taxi that is, but still it’s a tight window. It’s just about enough time to throw on a dress and heels (stockings are on all the time), but all too short for a nail session, just too much stress.
In part four I'll get up todate and relate a few things from this year.

[Ed: Here the link to Part Four.]

Nails III - Press on Nails - Part Four

[Ed: Dear Reader, please find a link to Part Three or Part One if you landed here via an exteral link.]  

 hile writing this mega post I went browsing in Amazon to see current prices and if there was anything I just ‘needed’ to buy after all this time. I still found as before an astounding difference in prices for different styles of imPress nails, they were ranging from 7 to 90 euros!
After a while I came across imPress mint nails for 11 Euros by a company in Switzerland. Ok I thought, as I have no resistance to anything coloured mint I added them to my basket. On browsing further I found the same nails going for 64 euros from a company in the US!
I just can’t understand how a Californian based company can justify asking so much (postage was ‘only’ two Euros to Europe)! Of course there are always ‘sellers’ out there that are charging exorbitant prices hoping someone would make a mistake and order and pay for them. On top of that they probably won’t get the goods either.

On the right side in the picture are the nails I ordered. It was only after I had hit the submit button did it dawn on me they would be sent to my home address! In the past, for all of Abi’s stuff, they went to my work address which of course doesn’t exist anymore.
Until they arrived it was a mixture of being worried and not being worried at all that they would fall into the hands of MrsA with the question what’s in it!
I had a sort of Plan B which would have been along the lines that they were for her as she doesn’t like the smell of acetone / varnish and that these were really really cheap to have a bit of fun with. If she wouldn’t buy it then I would say they were for me to try out, opening a can of worms in the process, of course without alluding to my past sessions.

Well they eventually arrived and I was not quick enough. She signed and took them from the delivery man just as I got there after running up the stairs from the cellar trying to be first to the door. Luckily I had ordered a number of small computer items from Amazon that started to arrive over the days leading up to the nails delivery. So before she could take a better look at the packaging I took it from her, said it was probably computer components and disappeared into the cellar again. As this was not Amazon prime I suspected the sender address would be visible on the delivery address label. Not usually a problem if she saw it, but in this case I knew that the word ‘beauty’ was in the company’s name! Trying to explain the connection between computer hardware and beauty would have been interesting but luckily not necessary..

If you have read my other Nail posts (I and II) them you may remember me ordering imPress mint nails way back that on the way to me via my cousin got lost between the Welsh post and Germany. The advertisement picture is shown above on the left side. It’s interesting that they both have the same code, but differ in the number of nails and the pattern of the patterned nails!
Also in the Net I can’t find the ones I ordered and lost in 2016. I take it as with the cosmetic industry in general nothing is lasting, always something new but not necessary better.
It’s the same with lipsticks. I have a bright pink lipstick from way back, one of my favourites. Although it’s very very old and not usable anymore for obvious reasons, I still have what’s left of the lipstick in the holder. I take it out now and then and take a whiff. The smell is still there and takes me back to the rare times when I had the chance to wear it.

What was also a disappointment after unpacking the mint nails was the overall size. These nails are shorter in length than the ones I have been going on about in this post. And as there is no extra labelling concerning the length on the packaging, as with the medium ones, I therefore suspect that ‘short’ is default and is therefore not mentioned on any of the packaging. I have no problem with trying short nails; it’s just that they are also overall smaller in width. This is only my impression as I have only two sets of short nails to compare to the medium ones. The other short nails, not from impress, I’ll come to later.

I would have expected that within the same company the width sizes would be the same. As you can see the largest is not really big enough to completely cover my thumb even when pushed down.
[Ed: Its length is ok for the piano though]
Yes it is, maybe they are not so bad after all.

That is until I came to the patterned nails which I thought - maybe wrong here - were usually for the ring and/or index finger. Well for my ring finger they were definitely not designed, more suitable for my pinkies! Which when I come to think about it would look rather cute. If I get round to actually sticking them I’ll write it up.

As I have mentioned on more than one occasion I’m partial to mint, especially after eight in the evenings. Although not imPress nails, I fell immediately for the mint/grey ones from L’Oreal shown left. As one can see they are of the short-ish type. Again I just had to have them.
Delivery followed a similar logistic to the imPress mint nails although a little less exciting this time in that I was at home alone when they arrived.

The selecting and sticking to put in mildly is a ‘little’ more complicated than by imPress in that the nails are not primed with glue. The glue is provided in the form of double sided sticky pads of different sizes. As I have not yet gone through the motions with these nails, I think the following is about right in carrying out the application.

First the ‘fun’ part, matching the pads to the nails. To help, there is a transparent reference sheet with the shape of the pads and a number. The nails are also numbered, that is the frame on which the nails are attached has a number and not the nail itself!
This is where it can get a bit tricky. One thing you shouldn’t do is remove all the nails from the frame for obvious reasons!
One first removes just one nail from the frame to match to a finger, you have to remember the number of the nail until you have made a match or not. You then note down the nail number and the finger, and then park the nail on the correct position on the reference sheet. This is then repeated for the other four digits of the same hand. The other hand is a repeat of the numbered nails and fingers. Without actually trying this, one could write the number on the underside of the nail with a fine tipped CD marker, especially on the ones which are rejected by matching.
Next comes the ‘sticky’ bit.
One selects the pad by shape using the reference sheet. I think it would be an advantage to use a fine tipped pair of tweezers when removing the pad. This would stop it sticking to all and sundry before it gets applied to the false nail and then the real nail.
If I get the opportunity to go through the motions with these nails, I’ll post a blow sorry stick by stick commentary on how it went.

Only one last thing which may be of interest. On browsing the net looking at sites about nails in general, I came across this table of different shaped nails on superdrug dot com.

I had no idea there were so many different styles!

They all look quite nice to wear apart from:
‘Edge’ gives me the itchy feeling I need to dip the tip in an ink bottle for some reason.
‘Lipstick’ looks like someone was drunk when applying. I wonder if you can get them for left handers like me?
‘Cut out’ looks like a case of nail biting and
‘Trapeze’ looks like someone sat on them before they were dry!

So that’s nailed it for now!
Sorry I went on so long. It was a lot of ground to cover.
Comments, critic and own stories welcome as always!