Posted in nails

At Home Manicure Secrets: Long Lasting Glue On Nails

There is nothing in this world that makes me feel like a put together woman than having a nice manicure (and pedicure in the summer).

Even though I take supplements, I just can’t seem to keep nice natural nails. My nails bend and peel and break so easily, even polishes like shellac can’t help with my natural nail problems.

I have been wearing acrylics for years, and we all know that can become very time-consuming and extremely costly, and not to mention absolutely destroy your natural nails.

I am a little OCD when it comes to painting my own nails as well, and I find the drying time to be tedious only for them to chip a day or so later, no matter what brand I try.

I have also attempted nail wraps, and for some reason I cannot, in the slightest, ever get them on right!

So I’ve come to find a happy medium-applying my own glue on nails.

I will warn you that this process doesn’t help much with repairing the condition of your nails, however, if you are like me and experience the issues I do with my nails this has been the best alternative for me, personally.

I have been applying my own nails on and off for roughly four years and I have FINALLY found the perfect method to getting my glue on nails to remain intact for at least two weeks, and I would love to share it with you.

My Foolproof LONG LASTING Glue On Nail Method:

Step 1: Start Out With A Good Manicure

I always like to start with a good manicure prior to gluing on my nails. I like to make sure my natural nails are clipped down to a good length, filed, and excess cuticle taken care of.

We all know its not GREAT to clip your cuticles as it could potentially cause infection. This has happened to me on more than one occasion-from my own tools.

The official term for a cuticle infection is Paronychia which is caused by injury or irritation, such as a hangnail, cuticle damage, or continually wet hands (WebMD-Finger Infection).

Rather than clipping my cuticles I like to use a cuticle remover gel and then scrub the dead skin off with a nail cleaning brush, that way I do not need to push my cuticles back with any tools that could cause damage to my nail bed putting myself at risk for any time of infection.

There are two different cuticle removers that I have been using lately:

Prolinc be Natural Cuticle Eliminator is the product that I have been using for the longest. It is a nice gel consistency and does not cause any pain when applied to the cuticles.

I recently picked up the Ruby kisses Nail Treatment Cuticle Remover from a local beauty supply store and to be honest I like it a lot. The consistency is more of a liquid which is applied with a brush, just like a regular nail polish. Unfortunately, this product is a bit harsher than the Prolinc be Natural Cuticle Eliminator and tends to sting, so please beware if you purchase this product.

Step 2: Prep Your Natural Nails For Application Of False Nails

Make sure you wash and scrub your nails of any residue that may be left over from the cuticle eliminating products before you start this next step. You want to be sure that you don’t nick your nail beds or cut up your cuticles accidentally with the nail file, which could leave you prone to an infection.

I then take a coarse 100 grit nail file and rough up my nails, make sure to get every area of the nail that you can-this step will ensure the nail glue adheres to the natural nail and creates a stronger bond between the natural nail and the false nail.

You can purchase Beauty Secrets nail files at Sally Beauty for $1.09 a piece-extra bonus, they are both washable and double-sided.

After this step, I generously apply cuticle oil and rub it into my nail beds and all over my natural nails as this whole process can become very drying to your hands and again, you do not want any injury to your cuticles or nail beds, trust me!

I purchased the Ruby Kisses Nail Treatment Cuticle Oil with lemon at my local beauty supply store.

Step 3: Glue those nails on!

Again, make sure to give your hands a good wash with warm soap and water and give one more generous scrub with your nail cleaning brush, now you are ready to start applying those nails!

First, you want to make sure that you have the correct size nail before committing to gluing the false nail on.

False nails usually come in a box of 24, each size has two corresponding nails that are the same size. Now, you have to look very closely on the underside of the nail at the very tip, there will be a number-the lower the number, the larger the nail, the higher the number, the smaller the nail.

In my experience-most of the time, if a size 7 nail fits on one of your ring fingers, the same size will fit on both ring fingers. The only time this rule doesn’t apply is to my thumbs, as my left nail bed is smaller than my right nail bed.

Once you have your nail sizes sorted out, keep like sizes together. I set mine up in order from thumb to pinky, it makes it so much easier to quickly get the job done.

I cannot stress how important the next step is prior to gluing your nails on: make sure you apply rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball and clean your nails off, one last time.

This step ensures any oils or residue left over from your nail prep is completely gone. You don’t want to have left over bits of anything, hindering the bond between your natural nail and your false nail.

NOW YOU ARE READY TO APPLY THOSE BEAUTIFUL NAILS!!!

I have FINALLY FOUND THE HOLY GRAIL OF ALL NAIL GLUES:

You guys… I have been doing this little manicure trick for many, many, years and I have never gotten wear time for more than five days at most. I have tried so many products, and they just do not adhere nearly as well as this nail glue does.

I finally got the idea to do a quick little Amazon search and study up on what nail glues have the best reviews. I found the NYKI Nail Bond Brush On Glue For Acrylic nails had 4.5 stars and almost 10k reviews- I knew I had to try it.

Let me tell you, I have put this glue to the ultimate test-my trip to NYC, shopping, taking the subway, carrying luggage around everywhere, open and closing my backpack, constantly pulling my MTA Metrocard and debit card in and out of my wallet, not to mention digging around in my purse.

My nails were medium length sized which I never wear, and they did not budge. I even was able to continue wearing them for almost a week after! Even when it was time for me to change my nails, they were still STUCK on as if it was the day I applied them.

This nail glue is, obviously, a brush on and applies very evenly, and you can ensure every nook and cranny of your natural nail is evenly coated. It is also very important that you get an even coat of glue on your nails, so no air bubbles get trapped in between your natural nail and false nail-this could very well cause your false nail to pop right off.

Also, you want to make sure that you don’t apply too much glue as once you press that nail on the glue will seep out of the sides of the nail. Not only will the glue dry crusty around the nail, but you have a very strong chance that glue that seeped out could stuck on the finger you are pressing the nail on with, causing you to compromise the nail, and you’ll have to start the process on that finger all over again.

Your last step in the process is crucial-make sure you press that false nail on with a good amount of pressure to ensure that the nail adheres properly and flawlessly. Also, be very careful that you put the nails on as straight as possible, so you don’t have a wonky nail.

It will definitely take some practice gluing nails on yourself before you get them nearly flawless. I would be totally lying to you if at least one of my nails isn’t crooked at this very moment. Remember, your hands are sisters, not twins (or does that work for eyebrows only) and they are not going to be absolutely perfect, and that is okay! No one is going to be looking that closely at your hands to notice one little nail is a bit crooked!

Practice always makes perfect, so if you struggle a bit the first few times, just remember, we have all been there before, so don’t give up!

I suppose you are wondering where I purchase my false nails…

Check out my Pinterest board below and cop some of my favorite nails at a steal of a price:

I hope this tutorial-ish post inspired you to save some money and try doing your own manicure at home! Let me know in the comments if you guys have any tips or tricks for glue on nails / manicures, OR if you try this method. I love hearing from you guys and connecting with you!!!

*Links to products can always be found in the caption of the product photo*

Posted in hair

My Hair Is Falling Out?!- An Unwarranted Hair Care Journey

Ever since the holidays ended, I have been completely drained of all energy. I wake up, work until about noon, take a lunch nap, finish my shift, sleep for 3-4 hours, then go to bed.

Prior to this past weekend, I hadn’t left the house in almost two weeks-my body just could not handle anything more than the basic essential tasks I needed to do during my waking hours.

I thought, maybe I should just bite the bullet and let my body get the rest it needs without fighting it and forcing myself to do things I just physically could not do…

So, I slept and slept and slept some more- and I STILL continued to be lethargic and overly exhausted to the point of only being able to get through the work day with not one ounce of energy left to give once I was done.

I thought- “Maybe I am just run down?” Then I would think- “Okay, it’s got to be COVID” but then, I would start to feel better again and just fall right back down into the same lethargic hole I’d been trying to dig myself out of.

THEN, I realized how much hair was falling out of my head…

I had started to notice I was losing more hair than usual during the last 3-4 months prior to the wedding and, honestly, I didn’t think much of it.

During the time I had just started a new job, working from home, and with the wedding so close I really didn’t find it too concerning and ultimately, chalked it up to stress.

So here I am, nearly four months post wedding and my hair is continuing to fall out at an alarming rate-not to any point where I see any signs of patches missing, however, I am noticing it beginning to thin out.

I do have fine hair, but a lot of fine hair, to the point where it gets extremely bulky and heavy, at which point I know I need to get a haircut.

I am the type of person who one day realizes they need their hair cut because I can’t stand it anymore and have to get it done as soon as possible, or I am miserable…

I haven’t had a hair cut since Early November, and haven’t even entertained the idea.

Que my Hair Care Revelations Post.

How that post even came about was just chatting with my husband’s cousin who is not only a cosmetologist but also a chemist-we were catching up as we normally do, and I was telling her about starting this blog, and she was giving me some excellent recommendations on posts I could do, etc. She then proceeded to give me very alarming information on the harmful chemicals found in hair care products I was currently using! Thus, causing me to become extremely hyper aware of what I was using on my hair and just how much harm I was doing to further cause my hair to fall out, unknowingly!

So, right now I’m kind of in a messy transitional period of getting my doctor involved and switching up my hair care products- I have done both (blood draw pending).

With that being said, I wanted to share with you the latest products I have been using with my hair care routine. I haven’t seen SIGNIFICANT results yet-however, I HAVE been able to identify that quite a bit less of my hair is falling out during washing.

Hair Treatment:

Vivanaturals Organic Coconut Oil, Cold-Pressed – Natural Hair Oil

I have been using this weekly- I get my hair wet and towel dry it, then I apply a generous amount of the coconut oil all over my hair. I then put on a disposable shower cap (you can get a five pack at the Dollar Tree) and sleep with the oil in my hair overnight. Furthermore, I always make sure to throw a clean, dry, towel on my pillow case, so it doesn’t absorb any of the oil and leave a stain.

There are so many amazing benefits to using coconut oil on the hair! Please check out this Healthline article-Coconut Oil for Your Hair: Benefits, Uses, and Tips, it is packed with extremely useful information for anyone interested in using coconut oil as a hair treatment.

Cleanser and Conditioner:

After checking all the ingredients in my latest hair care haul, I found a good 90% of them were filled with the chemicals and ingredients listed in my New Revelations- Hair Care Products, What Should We Be Avoiding post.

While on an outing with my friend (Hi Cheech) we went to Ulta and did some exploring. I was getting disappointed with the products I was picking up off the shelves, not only due to their hefty price tag, but also because they had at least two or more of the ingredients I was advised to stay away from. Even a salon brand can make you think you are buying a great product that ends up destroying your hair, so it’s very important to know what you are looking to stray away from.

Somehow, we ended up in the clearance aisle and I found a brand of shampoo and conditioner called Authentic Beauty Concept, which, I had never seen before. I was surprised that it checked every box of my situations needs-the products are Vegan and registered with the Vegan SocietyTM, contains pure and simple formulas free of silicone, microplastic, mineral oil, and paraben free. They also contain mildly extracted ingredients from plants and refraining from adding harsh chemicals to their products (Authentic Beauty Concept Website-Products). It is worth noting that Authentic Beauty Concept is also cruelty-free.

Their lineup of products is very diverse, ranging from hydration, color protecting, volumizing and replenishment. They also have an ample selection of hairstyling products as well.

You can check out the numerous amounts of Authentic Beauty Concept Products here.

I do believe that Ulta is phasing out this brand in their stores, however, you can purchase it directly from the Authentic Beauty Concept website as well as Amazon. If you want to get an extremely great steal on this brand and do not want to pay upwards of $30.00 per bottle, RUN to your local Ulta Clearance aisle ASAP, as these products are currently on sale for less than $7.00 for a full sized bottle. I also was lucky enough to snag a small Replenish trial size kit with a cleanser, conditioner and hair mask for only $5.00!

Now, what I am about to share with you is something that I didn’t plan on doing when I initially started this post, however, I do think it is important to show you the progress I have been making using the products listed above.

Please be warned that if you are sensitive to hair loss, or clumps of loose hair close your eyes and keep scrolling, I apologize for the inconvenience

Top- after shower- January 22, 2022, bottom left- January 27, 2022, bottom right- February 01, 2022.

It is very difficult for me to share these photos, however, I think it is important to showcase the results of my strategy of my continuous effort to get my hair back to a healthy place.

Also note, I am taking Olly Vitamins Undeniable Beauty gummies for hair, skin, and nails as well as 3/4 of a scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder Supplement for Hair, Nails, Skin and Joint Health daily, with my morning cup of coffee.

I still have to go and have my blood drawn and labs worked up to see if there is something internal going on, such as a thyroid issue or vitamin deficiency. I will keep you up-to-date on my progress as well as my results once I complete the lab draw.

Has anyone else dealt with anything similar? What have you done to help alleviate the issue? I will take any advice I can get that anyone is willing to offer!

Posted in Self Care

Relaxing Bath Essentials

To me, there is nothing more relaxing than taking a nice, steaming, hot bath at the end of the day. The warmness of the water over me is so calming, and often times it relieves much of my anxiety. When I take a bath, that is my ME time, my self-care – not only to cleanse my body but to relax my mind and spirit.

My routine is simple, yet so important to me, and I feel as though sharing some of my favorite bath time essentials may help someone else who needs a great self-care night, relief from the everyday stressors of the world, or to relieve anxiety.

Set the mood:

I actually just started adding this to my routine, and it has literally made my bath so much more relaxing, all I had to do was light a candle (preferably a 3 wick), turn off the lights, and turn the fan on, and I feel like I am in my own little oasis. I have major problems with harsh lighting and I prefer dark and dimly lit rooms, so the nice glow from the candle and the flicker and adds a calming ambiance to my bath routine.

Add some soothing products:

I always like to add some kind of bubble bath to my water when I am filling up the tub, but often, I find many bubble bath products to be way too drying to my skin, especially during the Midwest winters. So I did some searching on Amazon and found Dr Teal’s Foaming Bath Super Moisturizer Avocado Oil. I’ve used many Dr Teal’s products in the past and have no complaints, so I figured to give the bubble bath a try. I don’t feel as though it gives significant results as far as moisturizing, but it definitely does not dry my skin out after bathing.

I also love the Dr Teals Pure Epsom Salts, but the Pure Epsom Salt Shea Butter and Almond Oil Soaking Solution actually does seem to make my skin softer and more nourished after soaking in the tub as well as helps relieve the tenseness in my body, especially in my shoulders.

I also really like Dr Teal’s Coconut Oil Ultra Moisturizing Bath Bombs. They aren’t fizzy or fun like a bath bomb, say from, Lush, but they do give you a good amount of coconut oil and make your skin feel very nourished and soft after bathing.

A new product I also found to try during my bath routine in my Amazon search session is Calgon Ageless Bath Renewing Bath Pearls

To be honest, I can’t say that I have seen much of a difference in my skin when adding these to my bath, but to be fair I have only used them maybe three times. However, I will warn you they do have a small amount of shimmer added to them and if that’s not your thing, you probably don’t want to purchase these. I didn’t realize there was any shimmer until I actually went to use them, but it’s not enough to make me uncomfortable or feel like I’m glistening with shimmer after my bath, so it doesn’t bother me, personally.

Body And Skin Care:

When I go to take my bath I always bring a brand-new wash cloth with me and run it under hot clean water (not my bath water) and wipe my face, then leave the warm cloth on for a few minutes to open my pores up, then I take my face wash of choice and use my Sonic Facial Cleansing Brush and give my face a good scrub.

In my shower I currently have a variety of face washes:

Last night, for the first time, I used Soap & Glory Scrub Your Nose In it Two-Minute T-Zone Detox Scrub with my Sonic Facial Cleansing Brush, and it felt amazing! My face was so polished and soft afterwards, and felt so refreshed.

My newest body care item I am loving are Silicone Body Scrubbers:

Linked above, you can get these Silicone Body Scrubbers in a 2- pack from Amazon for $9.99.

Why Silicone?

According to Women’sHealth:

“The scrubber is made with soft silicone bristles that work to exfoliate skin. Because the bristles are made of non-porous material, they hold on to way less bacteria than a loofah would. Plus, they actually do lather up the same way a loofah would.”

Jasmine Gomez- Women’s Health

I love to use these silicone body scrubbers with my newest body wash find St. Ives Oatmeal & Shea Butter Plant-Based Natural Body Wash Soap. This soap smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling not only clean, but super moisturized.

IMPORTANT- Bath Hygiene PRE BATH / POST BATH

Prior to taking my nice hot bath, I ALWAYS make sure to give my tub a good cleansing and spray down. Sharing a shower/bathtub with another person not only makes the bacteria found in the tub worse, but also can cause infections such as Urinary Tract Infections for people like myself who are prone to them. As a person with Congenital Solitary Kidney Disorder, I always make sure to rinse my body off afterwards in the shower and take AZO Cranberry Pills to help prevent any Urinary Tract Infections. I also will drain the soapy water after washing my body if I plan to relax in the tub for any greater amount of time.

Do you guys have any great bath relaxation tips? What products do you like to use during self care? Leave me a comment with some recommendations!

Posted in hair, Self Care

New Revelations- Hair Care Ingredients

To be honest with you, I have never been a person who actually cared too much about my hair, as in products, heat styling, and over processing. I always had this logic of “it’s hair, it’ll grow back.” It wasn’t until the last year and a half that I actually put effort into growing my hair and maintaining healthy hair in preparation for my wedding.

Originally, I started this post as a cheeky New Hair Care finds to share with you. However, in good faith I found out some information regarding ingredients that are definitely in these products, and they may be doing more harm than good.

I was speaking to a family member, my husband’s cousin, who is both a cosmetologist and chemist about my blog and posting about new hair care finds, and the information she gave me was a bit mind-blowing to me and caused me some paranoia-which is warranted. She told me to avoid all shampoos and conditioners that contain silicones which result in hair follicles falling out resulting in thinner hair then everything spiraled once she looked at the ingredients of the shampoo and conditioner bottles of the product I have been using for the last 4-5 months…

  1. Decyl glucoside– produced by the reaction of glucose from corn starch with the fatty alcohol decanol which is derived from coconut. Decyl glucoside was named the Allergen of the Year by the American Contact Dermatitis Society in 2017 due to case studies that have shown reports of allergic contact dermatitis. (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology)
  2. Tetrasodium EDTA- a chelating agent, which are used in small amounts reacting with metal ions present in hair care products or in the water, in order to improve stability or performance of the product. Tetrasodium EDTA is made from ethylenediamine, formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. (greencure)
  3. Benzoic acid- a plant based polyphenol (micronutrients naturally occurring in plants) used in hair care products such as shampoo and conditioners as well as other beauty products including foundation, facial cleanser, concealer, lipstick, moisturizer, and mascara to name a few… Benzoic acid can become carcinogenic when sodium benzoate combines with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) it can form a carcinogen called benzene. (Proactive Health Labs)

Now, I wash my hair, at max, 3 times a week, sometimes more in the summer months due to the heat. I used to be a girl who needed to wash her hair every day because it got oily quickly due to over cleansing causing me to strip the natural oils from my hair and in turn my scalp was over compensating of the lack of natural oils with even more oil. Once I started to experiment and train my hair by not washing it every single day, there was a huge difference in how long I could go without having to wash it. I stopped over brushing my hair, letting my hair air dry-all year round- and hardly ever use heat styling tools. I also stopped putting my hair high up on my head in a tight bun and started using velvet scrunchies that do not pull my hair out when I take a bun or ponytail out. This has really helped me to grow hair in areas where it was starting to get patchy due to my lack of knowledge and caring if I was damaging my hair or not. I also started to get baby hair growth, which I had never had before.

With all of my new hair growth and washing my hair less often, I noticed that A LOT more was falling out when I was showering-enough to be more than a little concerned about. I thought maybe because I don’t over brush my hair, the hair that sheds naturally wasn’t falling out and were just kind of stuck in my hair. But now, I am really starting to question and really look at the products I have been using and paying attention to their ingredients.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association:

“It’s normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs a day. When the body sheds significantly more hairs every day, a person has excessive hair shedding.”

American Academy of Dermatology Association

The AAD goes on to say that the medical term for this condition is telogen effluvium and many people that notice excessive hair shedding a few months after a stressful event. Once your body starts to readjust after major stressors, within six to nine months your hair should regain normal fullness. However, if major stress is continuous, you will continue to shed hair excessively.

With that being said, yes, I did just get married in October 2021 and planning a wedding is beyond stressful, and post wedding was also a very stressful time. There was a death in the family, I had some major health concerns, my husband had a very bad ankle sprain, the list is endless, including the adjustment of marriage on top of it.

I also take daily prescription medications and stopped taking birth control in October-could that also be a factor?

According to Harley Street Hair Clinic, a UK based specializing in follicular transfer hair transplant technology: “Immediately after stopping birth control, it is common for a lot of hair to fall out all at once. This is due to telogen effluvium, the hormonal stress of coming off the pill. As the hormones return to their original levels, this can cause a mass shedding of the hair, which will enter back into the growing phase soon after.”

Harley Street Hair Clinic

HOWEVER, they follow up the statement above with: “It is important to note that most women will not experience any hair loss after stopping birth control medication.

In conclusion, I really don’t know what course of action to take with this new information given to me- should I speak to a dermatologist? Should I toss the new products I purchased and replace them with shampoos and conditioners with organic ingredients?

Do you guys check for certain ingredients in your hair care products? Do you have any suggestions on organic products I should try and or any other advice? Please leave me a comment with any suggestions, advice or tips, I would highly appreciate it!

Resources for ingredient hazards:

  1. EWG’s Skin Deep
  2. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
  3. Cosdna

Shout out to cousin Theresa for informing me and shedding light on this area of concern! XOXO