So today I am going to be talking about manicures, do you like what I did with the title? 🙂 Since my Fibro symptoms first appeared and I only had a limited number of spoons each day it was very difficult to keep up with things that seemed non-vital. I’ll be honest some days I was lucky if I managed to wipe a wet wipe over my face never mind consider applying makeup. Don’t get me wrong this could have been worse it’s not like I was a model or something and I didn’t even wear makeup day in and day out, but I could have if I chose to, that is the point. Fibromyalgia began to take away choices in terms of what I could and couldn’t do.

So why are manicures so important to me?

I know it sounds silly but unless I look in the mirror I don’t see my face whereas I regularly look at my hands throughout the course of a day so having nice nails feels like a small victory, I don’t even have to be leaving the house, this is purely for me. You may recall I previously talked about Fibromyalgia and Depression and having a manicure is one of the small things I can to help fight this. Both as a mindful activity in itself and the benefits of it.  When I got married in 2015 I went to a salon and had a manicure done with gel polish. It is one of my regrets that throughout all my wedding photos I haven’t go at a single one that shows my nails. They were done is a translucent ivory with the tips dipped into lilac glitter (the colour the bridesmaids wore) and I was so proud of them. Before this manicure, I had only ever done my nails myself at home with standard nail polish and even when I took all the time in the world and applied base and top coats I inevitably managed to chip the polish within about three days. Although I had plenty of polishes I didn’t often use them because it never seemed worth the effort unless it was a special occasion.

UV Nails at home

After the enjoyment of the salon done manicure, I started doing my nails at home with a UV lamp and found that I pretty much always had lovely nails that grew really well and became stronger. Even better, they took ages to chip even when I was doing messy crafting projects or housework. As the Fibro symptoms developed my manicure was the one thing I did my best to maintain as it could usually last for two or three weeks so I made a point of planning it in. However, it still took me quite a while to do it as I had to sit and wait for two minutes for each coat to cure (base coat, 2 coloured coats and topcoat for each hand) being a bit of a multitasker I tended to have my Kindle at the ready so I could read during this time.

I began to be aware of the fact that I was exposing my hands to quite a lot of UV and the lamp itself was pretty big and took up a large amount of space on my dressing table and I began to wonder if a couple of years on there may be better options available.

Considering other options

To deal with the UV issue I noticed on eBay and Amazon that they had started selling UV protection gloves which I seriously considered but this wouldn’t deal with the fact that the UV lamp was so big and bulky. It was then that I discovered LED lamps. I found this pink one from MelodySusie and let’s just say I had to have it. It solved the UV problem it was small enough for me to carry it through and do my nails on my craft desk where I have more space and it is pink, what more is there to say.

MelodySusie Lamp

The Benefits of a LED Lamp

Since getting this lamp I have found I can cure my manicure much quicker than I could with the UV lamp so yet another win. Spoonie time is precious and I often found that doing my manicure used pretty much all of my day’s resources. Since converting to the LED one I can do a manicure and be crafting again an hour later. As well as having an easy to carry and store lamp and removing the UV issue.

A world of polish

At the same time as I discovered the LED lamp, I came across the Elite99 brand of polishes on Amazon too and fell in love with them too. They sell all the colours individually in larger bottles but it is the collections of 6 polishes that I really like.

I have already started considering which collection I may get for the Autumnal months and I think one set may be a possible winner because it goes from Autumn shades into the Red and Gold that are perfect for the Christmas Season. As I am lucky enough to have Prime though there is no problem because I can order some one day to have them arrive the next. With the unpredictable British weather, this is a good thing because the season may change with very little notice!

I must admit ever since I had a beautiful manicure for my wedding I have been wanting to do a similar technique for Christmas but have Red nails dipped in Gold glitter. Perhaps this may be the year I stop thinking about it and actually try it.
 I have just discovered the Gelulicious channel  on YouTube which is really inspiring me to become more creative with my nails, watch this space…

For those interested, I am currently wearing the Elite99 shade 1327.

Elite99 1327

Gel polish for crafters

For any fellow crafters out there if you have not thought about having a manicure due to crafty messiness let me let you into a secret. Gel nail polish literally won’t budge. When I used to do standard manicures before the moment glue got within a mile of my nails the polish was gone. Know I can use wet glue and just peel it off my nails and carry on crafting and nobody would even know it had happened. Are there any other paper crafters out there who enjoy trying out there creativity in other areas?  I recently bought eight different colourways of these flat backed pearls from eBay for my papercrafting and I am already thinking about considering blinging up my little fingernail (as apparently, this doesn’t get annoying as other nails can do). This all began as I was looking on eBay for the Tanto by Crystal Ninja to use for my card making. I confess it can be dangerous when I shop online…

Do let me know if you are inspired to try gel polish at home or if like me you are already a bit of a fan.

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