The earliest NOTD I still had hanging around in my files was a manicure I did in early March. I can see why I didn't post this look before, as the only photos I have are in normal room light, since I was out of town and didn't have my lightbox setup (nor did I paint these when the sun was out; the timestamp on the files says 11:26 PM). I can't find any record of this mani in my swatching notebook, but I did snap the lineup I used: Revlon Post Trauma Nail Treatment (winter is a trauma where my nails are concerned), Salon Sciences Instant Artificials, Wet 'n' Wild Megalast Candid Affair (from The Style Award Goes To display released earlier this year but which I just saw still around the day before yesterday at my Rite Aid—good thing, too, since that meant I could replace one of the smashed polishes from my stash accident the other week), and Diamond Dry topcoat.
Candid Affair is a pastel lilac shimmer, very soft and subtle. I don't know how many coats of color I used due to the aforementioned notebook problem, but here's what it looked like:
This was the mani which I covered with the purple Nicole by OPI Rougles. My nails were so short then, especially the index and middle. I shouldn't be surprised, since that's pretty typical for me at the tail end of winter, when my peelies generally kick it into high gear. Here's a bare nail shot I took around that same time, showing damage on three of four fingers. Yuck.
A couple months later, my nails were still recovering from the ravages of winter and I turned to the Sally Hansen Salon Insta Gel Strips in Shell We Dance, the same sheer pale pink color I used the very first time I tried the gel strips back in fall of 2012. I got just as great wear out of them this time around.
Near the end of last month, I put on a different set of Salon Insta Gel Strips, a light copper on pearl fishnet design I scored for $2 at Five Below.
After eight days of wear, they still looked great, with the minor exception of the corner of my index finger nail, which knowing me I probably used to scrape off a price tag or something similarly dumb.
I'm happy to say that my peelies are almost in remission right now, with just a few small problem areas remaining. I wish I could tell you what I've done to accomplish that, but I really think it's more do to with the weather/humidity/environment than any particular nailcare routine. Sure, I try to keep my hands and cuticles moisturized, and always wear a treatment basecoat, even under strips or fake nails, but I flit from product to product pretty regularly. I have used Salon Sciences Starting Over After Artificials quite a bit, but also Orly Nail Defense and Barielle Nail Rebuilding Protein and Barielle Fortifying Nail Builder have gotten into the game in recent months. Maybe that's the secret, rotating treatments. Plus summer weather.
Reminder: just two more days to enter my Belated Blogiversary Giveaway.