Real Girl Beauty

For every girl who's imagined herself as Lucky Magazine's "Lucky Girl." Or who's conquered her addiction to the bitchier-than-thou forums. Or who reacts every day to her Daily Candy email with the same: "Who can afford that?" Here are some heartfelt health and beauty tips from one Real Girl to another.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Getting Nailed

Real Girl needs your help. This is a top secret mission--or, erm, at least a top coat mission--and so read fast, because this blog entry will self-destruct in five minutes.

Ok. Maybe not. But it's self-destruction within a certain time period that's at the crux of the very problem currently screaming for your help. The whole maddening, exruciating, frustrating, and possibly French-tipped, problem.

But first, a confession: Real Girl is an avowed self-manicurer. There. I've said it--thrown it out there for anyone to see! It's not that I have anything against manicurists. It's just that I'm not very good at leaving the house for my fingernail beautification needs. (Pedicures, darlings, are another story. With the heated massage chair? And the whirlpool foot bath? Ohhhhhh.) See, the thing is, I can do my own nails in just a few minutes. While watching bad television. And drinking a cocktail if I feel the heck like it. So there's the time saving thing. But also? Maybe it's just me. Maybe Real Girl's just a mega-super-clutz (and therefore so much more Real, dontcha think? Love me more now?). But I have not yet discovered the secret of NOT FUCKING UP the manicure before getting from Point A (salon) to Point B (my couch). I mean, unless you've got a valet (although boyfriend might work too, must remember to try that), what on Earth is the secret to getting the house keys out of the purse and unlocking the front door (or, in my NYC apartment building, three doors!) without becoming Miss Smudgy McSmudgyNail? The situation confounds me utterly. But that's not where the problem lies. We’re getting there, Little Antsy Pants.

About two weeks ago, our friend Liz is Working posed to Real Girl quite a conundrum: What clear nail polish might there exist in the world that doesn't chip or peel after two or three days? Hmmm. How fascinating, Real Girl thought. Sorting through her box of nail enamels, she grabbed two clear polishes, applied one on each hand, and waited. The results were not encouraging. One hand chipped, one hand peeled. Both within forty-eight hours. Alas, Real Girl had no definite answer for the loyal Liz--although I did see a promising clear polish at Ricky's the other day that was named something like "No More Chips," and how can you not love Ricky's? So I feel in my bones that an experiment might be done with said polish, and more on that another time.

But all this concern over chipping (just writing the word sends a flutter through me. Out damn chips!), brings me to one of Real Girl's first follow-ups to the Ultimate Product List of 2005, from the make-up category, procured at the Brooklyn Target (my second time ever at a Target, and boy the love affair is deepening). The shiny new product is Revlon ColorStay Always On Nail Enamel, in True Camisole Sheer, and here, for you, comes The Real Report.

Okey dokey. So exactly--almost to the minute--one week after applying the Revlon ColorStay Always On nail polish, my manicure is a wreck. Total, utter wreck. You could spread out a blanket and have a picnic on my chipped surfaces. But there I go ruining the ending. Still, all is not hopeless.

First of all, the color's lovely. It's the lightest pink, almost off-white, which I think would be flattering against many different skin tones. I applied two coats of color, and then the included top coat, which promises all sorts of "exceptional wear and chip resistance."

Two days after application, however, Dictator Chips defeated the paltry resistance forces. Not terribly--there were only three discreet little chippies, on the sides of two nails, and not that noticeable. In fact, until Day Five, the manicure remained pretty nice-looking. Not flawless, oh no, but still, with the light color, the damage looked pretty minimal. I'd say this nail polish lasted better than others I've tried, and I'll be using it again. Not the usual glowing recommendation I like to give--but hey--the product's not perfect. I only rave about the perfect ones. Unfortunately, they should have named this polish "Revlon ColorStay Mostly On For Up To Five Days If You Wear Rubber Gloves While Washing The Dishes Nail Enamel."

Which brings us to the problem I mentioned at the start of this little journey of ours. Help me. Please. Help Liz too. Because we're both nice people. Despite the self-manicuring.

Where is the magic nail color? The magic base coat? The magic top coat? The magic clear polish? I've used a heck of a lot of brands, and none has held its weight for more than three days (not even when professionally applied) with nary a chip. What is the best, longest lasting nail enamel? What are your beloved favorites? Or--and this will get you many brownie points--Do you know a swami-slash-wiccan-slash-witch doctor who can chant a nonsensical-sounding spell over my ten little loved ones so that they'll always and forever REPEL THOSE DAMN CHIPS?

Hewp me? Pwease?

Real Girl