Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Nail School Chronicle: Week 4

The Nail School Chronicle Week 4

Hello Loves.  Ready for another nail school update?  Yeah, me neither.  lol  I apologize for the late post.  Last week was crazy crazy crazy, but I have lots to talk about. 

So, I only got in three days of school last week.  Back to back sick kids.  Blah.  One with a nasty cold and the other with yet another ear infection.  Usually it wouldn't be a two day absence, but since Keith is still unable to lift anything (or anyone) with his broken ribs I had no choice but to miss class.  It wouldn't be a big deal except I also missed my second test and what would have been my first pep rally.  Yes, GCI has monthly(?) pep rallies for the students.  By what I'm told, it was a lot of fun and apparently my fellow classmates have a ton of pep in them.  They won the "Spirit Stick" for having the most school spirit.  I'm still really bummed I missed it.  I guess I'll have to wait for the next one.  Anyway, my instructor was kind enough to send me the class photo to share so you get to see my classmates.  :)  My instructor, Ms. Rhonda, is the second from the left in the back row in the traditional red and white Santa hat.  Isn't she adorable?

Moving right along...here are my Nail School Observations for the week.
  • I still hate acrylic.  Ok, maybe I don't hate it, but it is completely stomping my butt.  I'm definitely improving, but not as quickly as I would like (pics in a few).  I know it's crazy...it's only been 4 weeks, but I can't seem to get past this notion that I should have mastered it by now.  It really sucks to be an over-achieving perfectionist.  Needless to say, I'm still struggling with acrylic consistency and ball size.  Yes, I'm talking about the size of my balls yet again this week.  ;)  But in all seriousness, getting the right size acrylic ball is amazingly difficult for me.  I either end up with too much acrylic on my brush or not enough.  Blah.
  • I can honestly say that I have mastered the art of filing down a mountain of acrylic into a decent shaped enhancement.  Nevermind that I'm wearing the grit off of two files a day.  :/  I'm in the market for a good e file that won't break the bank...you know, just in case I manage to break it.  I've been told that I won't mess up an e file, but I assure you I can and likely will break one.  Its a special talent I possess - I can break anything.
  • I did my first pedi this week.  Ewww...feet.  Just kidding.  Having a stranger's foot less than 2 feet from your face while filing away dead foot skin isn't as traumatizing as I thought it would be.  One word:  gloves.  Gloves make everything better.  I kid, I kid.  The gloves do help, but I found that instead of focusing on the fact that I was holding a stranger's foot, I was focused on doing everything right.  This really shocked me.  I seriously hate feet.  No lie, I've been with my husband for 9 years now and I have never touched his feet.
  • With that said, I seriously need a practice foot (believe it or not, they do make them.  And not just for Halloween props!).  Polishing toe nails is ridiculously difficult.  I knew I suck at polishing my own.  Bending over to touch my toes isn't exactly easy these days.  I subscribe to the saying that if God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.  But I digress.  I didn't expect to suck so bad at polishing someone else's toes.  Getting the right amount of polish on such a tiny surface is tricky.  Looks like poor hubby is going to have quite a few painted piggies over the next few months and I'm going to have to break my 9 year no touch streak.  ;)
  • That second test...aced it.  I'm on a roll with the theory tests.  Let's hope I can keep it going and graduate with a perfect record.  ;)
  • I also had my first spa project.  We had to create a custom spa mani or pedi service.  Easy Peasy.  I focused on Jasmine and Vanilla aromatherapy.  It sounded like a great combo when I started and it didn't hurt that I already had the oils in my personal stash.  Both are great for relieving stress and promoting relaxation, plus Jasmine oil helps even skin tone.  Shame the Jasmine oil is so expensive, though.  Aced the project too.
  • Learned something else while researching for my Spa Project.  Jasmine and Vanilla are both aphrodisiacs.  Oops.  Or Yea!  ???  I'll let you be the judge of that.  
  • Jasmine Green Tea is pretty nasty.  Given, green tea on it's own is an acquired taste...I can drink it but I don't love it.  But Jasmine Green Tea...blech!  It's like chewing on flower petals.  It tastes exactly like Jasmine smells.  Not cool.  Needless to say, the Jasmine and Vanilla Green Tea beverage that was supposed to be part of my spa pedicure just might have to be scratched if I ever actually offer the service.
  • I have absolutely no idea how nail techs have nice hands.  Seriously, my hands are so badly beaten its not even funny.  I now have officially broken, split or otherwise mutilated every nail on my swatch hand.  My poor, beautiful, natural nails are no more.  I don't have a single natural nail tip left.  They are all sculpted in something or another at this point.  I would have just left them as nubs, but there's swatching to do...if I can find the time to do it between kids, holidays, the injured husband, class, a desperate need for sleep...you get the picture.  Mama is worn out!
  • I'm really starting to think I prefer acrylic over hard gel.  Blasphemy, I know.  And yes, I am aware that I started this list by saying that I hate acrylic, so let me explain.  I have found that my enhancement attempts so far have ended with lifting after a week.  I know what I'm doing wrong.  I just can't seem to do it right.  Between the two, gel has to be filed off and acrylic can be soaked off.  Removal of botched acrylic is simply easier.  Me thinks me needs some CND Brisa Lite!
  • Yeah, yeah, yeah...I hear you.  Michelle, you're rambling.  Lack of sleep - that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  So let's just wrap this up and move on to a few pics, mmmkay?

Before we get back to the nail stuff, allow me to take a quick detour.  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen this pic, but I'm sharing it anyway.  I was at Lowe's the other day picking up one of those long grabber things so Keith can pick things up without bending over.  I found this awesome purple toolbox.  They had it in pink too.  Now, I don't need a tool box for tools, but it is perfect for carrying my basic mani and pedi supplies down to Mom's so I don't have to lug my huge, heavy OPI case down there.  Best part?  It was only $13!  I had to have it, and the young prince insisted on carrying it around the store.  It's almost as big as he is and he was just precious with his little bump, thump, bump, thump, bump, thump walk as he tried to lug it from the garden center to the cash registers.  Like any good mother, I took a few blurry pictures (cut me some slack - it's nearly impossible to get pics of a kid on the move with a cell phone and not have them turn out blurry).
Oh, but the story doesn't end there.  When I grabbed my kit to put it in the car this morning, I turned around to see William standing there with his (my) purple toolbox.  He wanted to be just like Mommy and insisted I put it in the trunk with my kit.  Sweet, silly boy!

Ok, ok...back to the nails.  As I mentioned at the beginning of my rambling list above, my acrylic work is definitely improving.  These are blended tips with pink and white overlays from last week.  They aren't too horrible, I don't think. Definitely not perfect, but not bad.

And here's the comparison between my first attempt and this most recent set.  The shape is better and I'm pretty pleased with those smile lines.  Now if I could just manage to do it without having to file and shape so much, I would be tickled pink.

Finally, want to see my naked swatch hand?  The middle and ring fingers are still the sculpted hard gel nails that I posted last week.  The thumb, index, and pinkies are now sculpted acrylic.  I'm kind of digging the look of the acrylic nails over the hard gel ones.  I'm not sure if it's just that my technique is improving or if I've bumped my head, but the acrylic nails just look better to me.  Now if I can just find time to throw a coat of polish over them, I think I'm good to go.  The clear is kind of creeping me out, but I think it will keep my swatches truer than if I had used a white on the tip.  Probably not going to polish them tonight, but I will at least remove the traces of white polish from around my cuticles.  I might even remove the red polish from the pad of my thumb too.  lol  Oh, and please excuse my poor, beat up skin.  Yikes!  It's super difficult for me to file and shape acrylic on my own hands without hitting my skin with the file.  I'm sure that will improve over time, but for now Neosporin will be my best friend.  :(
(Side note, my hands and cuticles aren't really this red.  I snapped this pic with my point and shoot instead of my Canon and it tends to make everything look too warm.  It's a white balance issue for sure, but I haven't had time to read the manual and figure out how to change that yet.  As you know from my past photos, my skin has yellow tones, not pink.)

I guess that pretty much wraps up the past week.  I'm a day behind on posts, so check back on Thursday for a new post.  I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to write about yet, but it will be a review for certain.  ;)  Oh, and like the past few posts, I apologize for any typos.  As usual, please feel free to laugh at me.  I'm running on coffee, nicotine, and sheer will power at this point.  lol



  1. I really enjoy reading this series Michelle. I'm so sad about your beautiful nails being broken though. I've also done the clear acrylic overlay to extend a broken nail tip on my swatching hand. I love the picture of your little one, he's so cute!

  2. As one perfectionist to another, I understand you. However, I don't see anything but a beautiful acrylic mani and a lovely hand with gel tips. :-)

  3. Your overlays look wonderful to me - great improvement! I don't know how you are managing everything! Please don't burn out :D
    That photo of your little boy with the purple toolkit is just too adorable! So sweet!

    1. I don't think I'm in danger of burning out just yet. I'm still smoking. lol

  4. Don't beat yourself up! Your blog brings joy to my life!

  5. I hate acrylic too. I'm fairly sure I shouldn't because everyone seems to love it, but I just do!

  6. Sorry to hear about your swatching hand! :( I also hate feet, I can do my own toenails but nobody better touch me with their toes!!


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