Showing posts with label nail care. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nail care. Show all posts

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Win Glass Nail Files from Design Glassware!

Sponsored Giveaway - Open Internationally

   Hello Princesses!  I have a treat for you today - the opportunity to win three matching glass nail files, graciously provided by Mont Bleu.  These have remained my favorite files to use since my introduction to the brand last year.  They have made a huge difference in my nail care routine.  So when I was offered the chance to host another giveaway of course I said "yes!", of course I would!

   I picked out this gorgeous pastel set, which you can view right on their website, in case you're unfamiliar with their products.  This giveaway will run until Nov 15th at midnight.  Widget for entering is below, so keep reading!  Please click the "Terms and Conditions" link at the bottom of the Rafflecopter widget, that is where you will find the rules!  Thank-you!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Is Nail Polish Safe During Pregnancy?

   I'm two months away from my due date!  Naturally I want to share my findings on a question of great importance to all expecting manicure enthusiasts: is nail polish safe during pregnancy?  You may be thinking "Well of course it is, or you wouldn't be swatching polishes for us."  This is true, when using products that are safe - not everything is!  Read on to learn the do's and don'ts of mom-icuring!

   Please be aware that I am not a medical professional, and future research could reveal more accurate information than what I have here.  I did a lot of searching, read everything from medical findings to the comments of nail techs, and am simply sharing what I came away with!  Feel free to post your own advice in the comments below.  And when in doubt, go without or ask your practitioner!

Image credit:'s article - read it!

Is nail polish safe during pregnancy? 

   The answer to this is yes and no.   So long as you are using polishes with 3-free formulas or better, you can go on painting your nails throughout pregnancy.  Happily, most modern polish brands are sticking with the 3-free or better trend, simply because it is healthier for everyone, pregnant or not.  As a rule of thumb, if you can't read the ingredients (or find them Online) of what is in your bottle, don't use it.  The biggest offenders are usually old polishes, smaller overseas brands, and nail treatments that include formaldehyde.  Indie polishes are quite often safe, but watch out for hobbyists that cannot verify their ingredients. 

   Still, you may not be able to paint your nails simply because of the smell.  If you are suddenly gagging because of a scent, you might find polishing your nails unappealing.  You might be able to tolerate less "stinky" polishes, or simply choose to go without.  Even if the smell doesn't bother you, always do your nails in a well-ventilated area.  And always wash your hands after a manicure session or polish removal to remove chemical residues from your hands.

Is gel polish safe during pregnancy? 

   This salon service has been making it's way to consumers more aggressively than ever, so even though I have no interest in gel nails, I wanted to see if there was an answer.  The answer appears to be yes, they are safe.  There are no toxic ingredients and it isn't fumey.  The UV light exposure is minimal. However, I saw many comments from nail techs who said the manicures would not stay on their pregnant clients nails!  Body chemistry changes during pregnancy, and you may find your gel polish doesn't last the way it should. 

   With all the new types of do-it-yourself gel kits coming out I can't say if they are all safe, and would recommend checking the ingredients before using anything.  Also keep in mind that gel polishes require longer soaking in chemicals to remove - research those to make sure you're okay with dipping your tips in them!  Another concern would be about going to a salon to have your nails done.  Their gels might be safe, but chances are the salon does more than gel manicures.  There may be other chemicals in the air that could be harmful to you.  Because you will be in the salon for so short a time you don't have to be afraid of visiting them, but if you walk in and smell any type of strong fume, walk back out!

Are acrylic nails safe during pregnancy?

    This type of manicure seems to be regarded as the most dangerous for moms-to-be.  Some will claim that it is perfectly safe so long as you're getting them done in a well-ventilated salon, but many people advise against it.  Not only because of the additional chemical exposure, but also because of the added risk of developing an allergic reaction to the nails/products used, fungal infection from the drilling of nail beds, or simply ending up with a broken and very painful nail right when that baby arrives!

   Your nails should start growing faster during pregnancy, so why not see if you can go without your acrylics and grow some beautiful natural nails?  You could consider it a 9-month challenge, and keep track of your progress!

Tips for nurturing and enjoying natural nails:

   So you'd rather go natural to ensure the absolute least amount of chemical exposure.  Or maybe you are experiencing a chemistry shift and nothing wants to stay on your nails anymore.  Whatever your reason for avoiding the lacquer that you love so much, you can still have well-manicured nails.  Here are some of my recommendations of products that are completely safe to pamper yourself with!
  • A good set of nail files.  Since you'll be looking at your bare nails now is a great time to get them to your ideal shape, or perhaps experiment with a different shape.  I suggest the glass ones sold by Mont Bleu.
  • A luxurious moisturizer.  This could be just about any of your favorite lotions or oils, and might only be limited by what smells you find tolerable.  Many of my favorites can be found in this kit from Burt's Bees.
  • A pair of manicure gloves.  When used overnight with your moisturizers you'll have even better results!  The kit linked to above includes a pair of cotton gloves, which are wearable no matter what season you're in.
  • A nail growth treatment.  Sure, your nails are already growing, but growing fast doesn't always mean growing strong.  My favorite specialty product is Créme Abricot by Dior, which is wonderful for cuticles and nails.

Other things to keep in mind:

    Don't trim your cuticles!  This is usually something to avoid whether you are pregnant or not, because of the risk of hurting your nail beds or introducing an infection.  Infections can be very dangerous to a pregnant woman and her baby.  Instead opt for a softening cuticle treatment, and then push them back if needed.  Regular moisturizing is all most cuticles need to stay well-behaved.

   Your nails might need to go naked for delivery.  This depends a lot on hospital policies, the preferences of your doctor, or if you're having a surgical delivery.  Ask your doctor if you should have bare nails during labor and delivery.  Why would you?  Seeing your nail beds is a quick way to monitor your circulation and oxygen levels.  There are mechanical sensors that do the job of watching your tips, and not all of them can work through colored nail polish.  Clear polish is usually given the okay.

   Be conscientious of the baby.  Even after delivery, that is.  If you're doing your own nails at home, be aware of how sensitive a newborn can be to those fumes.  Always wash your hands after applying or removing polish to get rid of any residues on your skin.  Basically, don't taint the baby.

   Not everyone is going to agree.  You might get some advice from well-meaning (or demeaning) folks that you don't feel is true.  There is no use in arguing, but feel free to explain what you know and are comfortable doing.  After all, the best decision is an informed decision!  So... what will you do with your nails?

Suggested reading:

Friday, July 5, 2013

International Giveaway from Design Glassware by Mont Bleu!

   Hello everyone!  I'm hosting a fantastic giveaway sponsored by Mont Bleu!  Let's give them a big thank-you for the opportunity because these prizes are awesome, and they are available to everyone following Princessly Polished!  =D  What are you waiting for?  Read on and get to earning those entries!

The Prizes:

   First prize - a 20€ Gift Voucher to be used on
   This should be pretty obvious; 20€ to spend however you'd like!  (While browsing the store you can easily switch currencies using the drop-down menu in the top corner.)  They have so many pretty items that the only problem with this prize is having to choose what to buy!

   Second Prize - a set of Glass Nail Files

   I chose this pretty set as an example to use for second prize, but if pink and purple isn't your thing, that's okay.  Mont Bleu is offering to let you choose your own mini and full size file from their store to create your own set!  If you win second prize you'll be able to choose from...
   Check out my review of the glass nail files from Mont Bleu - they are fantastic!

   Third Prize -  a pair of Eyebrow Tweezers
    The third prize winner will get a pair of tweezers just like the ones I got to test and review!  I absolutely love these, and I'm so happy to be able to share a pair with Mont Bleu's help!  Mine are pink, and besides the purple you see above you'll be able to choose from pure black, clear crystal, light blue, pale green, yellow, or orange!  What would you pick?

The Rules:

   This giveaway is open Internationally to all followers new and old!  It ends July 25th, 2013.
   You should either be 18 years of age or older, or have the consent of your parents/guardians to enter.
   All entries are recorded using the Rafflecopter widget below, and falsified entries will be removed.
   The selected winners will be notified by E-mail and each have 24 hours to respond before another winner will be chosen.  I will put the responding winner in contact with Mont Bleu so they can receive their prize!
   Any questions or clarification needed, let me know!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Horror Story: OrigiNails Bubble White 5-Minute Effervescent Nail Cleaner

Little packets of doom...  Stock photo from OrigiNails

   This story is late to be posted but I have to share it, because I'm finally done with the ordeal this product caused.  At the end of 2012 my nails were horribly stained.  I had worn an adorable bright yellow manicure for a full week, and when I removed it I found my nails to be stained not-adorable bright, you-didn't-drink-enough-water-today pee yellow.  Ick.  Never had they been stained so badly.  I love dark polishes, so I'm used to my nails getting a little bit stained, but these were so bad that I was willing to try something to get them pretty again.

   First off I had tried a basic treatment at home with whitening toothpaste.  When that didn't work I tried lemon juice and peroxide mixed in water.  It did help them very slightly, but my nails were still very, very yellow.  I looked into getting something specifically made for the job.

   So I went to Sally Beauty, because they carry OrigiNails Bubble White, and the product has rave reviews for getting your nails back to white.  At worse I had seen reviews where it didn't work for someone, or that it might take several applications if your nails were really bad off.  Obviously my nails were in the "really bad" category, so rather than buy one little packet for $2, I bought the tub for $10.  I was sure my nails would take a few treatments, and any extra I had could also be used in a foot bath.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  

   I went home very optimistic about the future of my gross nail beds, and tried it out the next time I removed my nail polish.  I followed the instructions to the letter, and soaked my nails for the 5 minutes suggested, then a little extra because to my dismay it hadn't done anything.  After 10 minutes it had at least managed to whiten the free edge of my nail, I think because it could penetrate from the top and bottom of my nails there.

   I will say that the product is easy to use, and fairly pleasant.  There is no strong smell, and it fizzes nicely.  It left a sort of slimy coating on my skin, probably from whatever moisturizer is released in the water.  I washed my hands afterward, but evidently not thoroughly enough.  The product has a warning that it may discolor fabrics; it does.  It bleached the hand towel I used.

   After Bubble White treatment the free edges of my nails were white, but my nail beds had barely been changed at all... other than in texture.  This is the really bad part.  After using Bubble White my nail beds were disintegrating!  I had bits of my nail peeling off in little strings.  And despite losing the top layer of my nail, they were still yellow.

   Maybe it's just a really bad idea to ever exceed the 5 minute mark on soaking in this solution, but the label has no warning about the possibility of damage to your nails.  No "test on one nail to see how it works for you, if it's okay do your whole hand".  No "do not soak longer than 5 minutes".  Other than basic poison control warnings there is nothing that indicates that your nails could have a bad reaction.  The ingredient list is short and doesn't sound scary.  I totally understand that results may vary, but I had never heard of Bubble White doing harm!

   Obviously I didn't touch my remaining Bubble White.  I was afraid to have it happen again, or get worse!  I accepted my ugly yellow nails and decided to let them grow out.  Unfortunately I had constant breaks during this period, no doubt due to my nails being weakened.  Here is a picture of them in February:

   They had grown just enough that I filed away all of what had been whitened, due to nail breaks mostly, but as you can see they kept on chipping at the corners anyway.  Also, check out that weird peely striping on my middle finger...  I've never seen anything like it before or since!  In March I had the weirdest nail break happen, all in the grown-out yellow portion of my nail.

   You can see how it not only broke in a very irregular way, but also peeled away some of the nail bed.  This break wasn't even caused by anything strenuous, and there was no damage (such as a crack) prior to it happening.  I just took the plastic lid off of a container and it shred apart.  Disheartening to say the least!

   I babied my nails, keeping a clear coat on them and taking my vitamins, and once the yellow (Bubble White treated) portion grew out, my crazy nail peeling and breakage stopped.  By May my nails were back to being healthy, long, and their natural color!

   In conclusion, I do not recommend OrigiNails Bubble White.  I know it works perfectly fine for a lot of people, but after what I went through I would never advise anyone to try it.  At least test one nail (your least favorite?) first before you do a whole hand!!  I wish I had known to do that.  Now I'd like to hear your opinion, too!  Have you tried Bubble White?  How did it go?  What is your favorite nail whitening treatment?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My New Favorite Glass Nail Files: From Design Glassware by Mont Bleu!

Beauty Tool Review

   Today I'm sharing two fantastic products that I was sent for review purposes from Design Glassware by Mont Bleu .  They contacted me asking if I'd be willing to test and share their tools, and of course I said yes!  In addition to the files shown above I was also sent tweezers, which will get their own review posted separately.

   I'll start off by saying that I live in the US, and Mont Bleu is located in the Czech Republic.  Their website is easy to navigate and has quick currency conversion for worldwide shoppers.  (In view of fluctuating currencies I will only mention the approximate prices in USD.)  While 2-day rush shipping is available I was happy to see that the shipping on the above 3 items was less than $5 if you could wait for Priority Airmail!  That is a fair price, and competitive with US-based businesses.  These items also arrived well-packed in a box with plenty of bubble wrap, so they were safe and sound in their individual cases.

   Mont Bleu has opened their Online shop, aptly named Design Glassware.  They specialize in items decorated with Swarovski crystals and have a wide range of decorated files.  So, lets take a look at what they sent me!

   If you're not familiar with the benefits of using glass files, here is a quick run-down.  The abrasive surface files your nails in a gentle way, and is generally faster than using an emery board.  Being made of glass, they can be washed to keep them sanitary.  They don't wear out and need replacing, and they are stylish.  Glass nail files are an eco-friendly, long term investment!

Foot Scraper File - product page (about $21 USD)

   Alright, I'll admit that the extra-large orange file is not intended for nails... it is meant for removing callouses.  However, I don't really have much by way of rough foot skin.  What I do have are fingernails that fare best with filing to remove length, rather than typical trimming.  Filing off length is a time-consuming process, and the average glass fingernail file is not beefy enough for the task.  When I received this foot file I was excited to try it on my nails.

   The file has a lot of heft to it compared to the usual nail file, but is easy to hold.  While one side is more abrasive than the other, both qualify as 'high grit'.  The edges are rounded and abrasive, as well.  Care should be taken that you don't accidentally scratch anything by being clumsy with it, and I'll be sure to keep it in it's clear case when I'm not doing a manicure.

   Recently my nails grew out very long without any breaks.  They were sort of fantastic, but on the verge of being dangerous.  It was the perfect time to try this file!

   This big tempered glass file works perfectly for my needs.  It removes length very quickly and it won't get worn out with continued use.  I definitely prefer it over the emery boards I had been using.  I also tried washing it and it came clean with a quick rinse under water.  Considering the time saved filing and the fact that I won't have to keep buying disposable files this product is definitely worth the price!

Crystal Glass Nail File - see the collection (about $13 USD)

   I didn't find the exact color and design of file they sent me for review, but they have a variety of designs to choose from.  I like the happy yellow crystals on my file, and they really pop when stored in the velvety black sleeve.  The tempered glass has a very fine abrasive grit.  I found it to be very effective for filing without having to use much force, and a very light touch is all I needed for buffing the edges of my nails.  The file is slim, easy to use and rinsed clean easily.  This is a high-quality nail file and reasonably priced for being decorated with Swarovski crystals.

   By the end of my manicure session my nails were happy and I was converted to these glass files.  I have other "no name" glass files in my stash that were just... okay.  These I'll be reaching for again!

   I am very impressed with these products from Mont Bleu.  I may not have ever found anything like the foot file if they had not contacted me, and now I don't ever want to be without it!  I highly recommend checking out their shop; they have all sort of goodies.  What item catches your eye?
   Disclaimer:  These products were sent to me free in exchange for an honest review.  This in no way affected my opinion of them!  All thoughts in this post are my own.  See my full disclosure here.