My favorite soft gray polish has definitely, sadly, officially met the end of its life. Because this bottle was at least five years old. I am mourning its loss by window shopping. Not really shopping, because I’m an adult and I know I have to pay for actually important things like school and food, but dreaming and clicking nonetheless. I consider gray a perfectly appropriate color for spring and summer. I know other folks are busting out their cream pastels and brights (and neons, auuuugh) right now, but I’ve never really liked the way those colors look on my nails. I love that gray is a safe neutral alternative, and it’s way to soften up my look in the warmer weather. I don’t always have painted (or wrapped) nails, but I have a tendency to reach for black polish 70% of the time I do manage to adorn them. I do have some great light neutrals in my collection, but damn, I don’t know, there’s just something about gray. I learned a lot about gray during my short stint as an art student. Maybe that’s the reason. Honestly, gray is my favorite color.
The polishes shown here run the gambit from almost-white to dark slate, and I love them all. Zoya’s Dove is my dying, dead, and must be replaced polish. It’s a good one for the price.
These polishes are all vegan-friendly and 5 free, at least at the time of this post. Dreaming and clicking.
Jamberry nail wraps are a non-toxic, cruelty-free alternative to nail polish, and are super simple to apply. Nail wraps make it a little easier for an uncoordinated person like myself to get a decent looking manicure. The wraps work as accent nails to accompany your regular polish, or can be used for a full-on manicure. Many of the Jamberry designs can be mixed-and-matched to create a unique look.
I recently “attended” an online party hosted by a friend. I placed an order and received a couple sample sheets from the representative (one pictured below). And yes, Jamberry is one of those products that involve a rep and parties. Avon! Tupperware! Whatever! Thank goodness, though, you can purchase online without a rep link, if that’s your thing, and it’s not a “members only” kind of product.
L to R: Darkest Black, Midnight Sky, Moon Glass, Birds of a Feather / Floral Noir
I really like the way Moon Glass looks with a solid black nail. I haven’t received it yet, but Floral Noir will be fun with just about anything I have in my polish collection.
To use Jamberry nail wraps, you’ll need a few simple supplies:
- rubbing alcohol
- cuticle pusher or orange stick
- nail clippers or scissors
- heat source (Jamberry makes a mini heater, but a hairdryer will do)
- nail file
Black & White Stripe, Natural Leopard, Sheer Genius, Sweet Nothing, Mind Games
Check out the official application tips and videos. Removal is just as easy; simply soak your fingers in some warm water (I added some lemon essential oil), break the “seal” on the edges of your nails with an orange stick, and carefully work the wrap off of your nail. Follow up with some ultra hydrating lotion. I also gave my nails a few resting days in between wrap applications.
The wraps are not reusable, but each sheet will give you multiple manicures, depending on the size of your nail bed and whether or not you choose to use them on your toes, as well. Each sheet of wraps will last longer if you’re not doing an entire manicure using one design. The cost of each sheet of wraps is $15, and there is a “Buy 3, get 1 free” deal. I won’t argue Jamberry’s cost-effectiveness, because I think, if you are actually skilled at painting your nails, a bottle of nail polish (even the more expensive brands) is more bang for your buck. If you regularly go out for manicures (I don’t because it involves socializing), using nail wraps instead will definitely save you some money. If not, probably not. I think I’m somewhere in the middle.
My first application lasted about five days, which is more than nail polish ever lasts on my nails. I found out that the wraps can last ten days or more, with proper application and care. The less you use your hands on a daily basis, I imagine the longer the manicure will last, and it will also depend on how fast your fingernails grow. It’s important when sizing up your wraps to use a size slightly smaller than your nail bed. I found this a little difficult with my child-sized fingers; the wraps intended for the index finger and thumb were actually a little too big, so I had some warping along the edges. You really want to make sure the wrap fits your nail, and does not touch the surrounding area.
The majority of the wrap designs were actually not my cup of tea, but as you can see, I liked enough of them to justify making a purchase. I’m happy I did. A number of designs are being discontinued after the 28th. You can find those here (including Midnight Sky, Moon Glass, Birds of a Feather, and Floral Noir). I actually snagged a second Moon Glass sheet because I loved it so much and am sad to see it go. I was excited to learn that there are some darker colors in the upcoming March catalog, since spring is usually all about brights and pastels (yawn). I’m liking the current collection’s wraps shown below, all of which will carry over into the next season, but I can’t wait to see the new designs!
L to R: Black & White Stripe, Reminisce, Diamond Dust Sparkle, Boysenberry
For many years, my toenails have been cracked and brittle. Whether it’s a nutritional deficiency or simply due to often wearing poor footwear, I’m not sure. I’ve never actually consulted a healthcare professional about it, because otherwise, my feet are in good shape! A month or so ago, I ran into a recipe for a serum that looked like it had some potential. The original recipe combined frankincense, lemon, myrrh, and wintergreen essential oils with wheatgerm oil. I don’t have myrrh on hand (and likely never will), so I whipped something up without it.
While this has yet to heal the large split on my big right toe (and likely will not), I have noticed an improvement in appearance of new nail growth, and the skin around my nails. I will admit that I’m actually pretty terrible at remembering to apply this twice a day. I get in one good application at night, before bed, but I think diligence is the key with this one. I also use this serum on my fingernails, in between polish applications. It helps with dry skin and peeling, and makes up for some of the damage caused by nail polish remover. And yes, yes, I will soon be switching to a natural one! It’s the last remaining vestiges of toxicity in my bath and beauty arsenal.
Generally speaking, my skin and nails are much happier in the summer months. I will definitely be breaking this out more often come November.
You will need:
- dark colored glass bottle
I still have these 4oz bottles with glass droppers on hand, but I’m looking into purchasing some smaller ones. When working in small numbers, four ounce bottles are a little unmanageable.
Dark colored glass blocks light, and with essential oils that’s a good thing! I would not recommend using plastic, but if you do, be sure only to use it for this project. Do not reuse the bottle for other applications!
- vitamin E or wheatgerm oil (I use this E oil blend that uses wheat germ as a base; buy wheat germ oil here, or any natural foods store.)
Wheat germ oil is rich in vitamin E, which can increase blood circulation, and help stimulate new cell growth.
The following essential oils:
- frankincense (promotes regeneration of skin cells)
- lemon (antiseptic, restores shine)
- wintergreen (antiseptic)
- lavender optional
I used Young Living essential oils because I love the the quality, however feel free to use any therapeutic grade oils you prefer. This is being absorbed through your skin, so be sure to educate yourself!
Use the following ratio as a guide to fill the bottle of your choosing:
- E oil 4 drops
- lemon 3 drops
- frankincense 2 drops
- wintergreen 1 drop
- lavender 1 drop (optional)
Remember, essential oils are potent and a little goes a long way! I usually only make a small amount of this at a time, but the vitamin e does extend the shelf life. Feel free to make as large a batch as you think you’ll need.
Shake well before each use. Apply 1-2 drops to each nail, twice a day. Massage into your nails and cuticles.
I totally shouldn’t have to say this, but essential oils are not a magical cure all. Please see your doctor or dermatologist with any serious skin health concerns.
Thanks for stopping by. My name is Naomi, and this space is made of girldust. This blog is a picture of my comfortably scattered life on the coast of Maine. I'm trying to be a slightly better version of myself every day. I like old houses, reading, the ocean, ghost stories, and museums. You can learn a little bit more about me here.