Articles, Tips

Tips & Tricks for Fabulous Nails


Painting My Nails

I love to paint my nails! I work as a cashier at Publix. My responsibilities are to scan items and bag groceries and hand people their receipts and then wave goodbye. All of these responsibilities involve my hands, so I’m not sure why I was surprised the first few times I noticed customers just staring at them, mesmerized by my hands flying every which way to try to fit another cereal box onto the register. 

About once or twice per shift, I get complimented on my nails. Three of the comments on my last Instagram post (out of about thirty comments) were complimenting my nails. But the weird thing is: I’m horrible at nail art. My hands are constantly shaking and I’m so right-hand dominant that anything even slightly attempted with my left hand would look like I had handed a toddler a bottle of polish and said “Do what I did on this hand” without any help. That being said, I stick to plain colors and peeling off polish from the skin around the nail. 

The trick is to pick five colors: basic primary colors, something matching a pattern you’re planning to wear, any five colors that go together, really. My last nails matched the sky for our senior sunrise on the first day of school. Don’t think about the order you’re putting the colors in, just pick a color and then pick a nail, and then do the same on the other hand. It’s incredibly simple, and bound to get a million compliments. 

The Benefit of Keeping Your Nails Painted

Before keeping my nails painted, I struggled with growing them out. I thought that polish might damage the nail somehow or even manage to stunt the growth. I was so wrong! Nail polish strengthens your nails, and now I have to cut my nails regularly just to keep them from a length that scares me!

Many polishes contain beneficial ingredients, like vitamins E and C, which are proven to strengthen nails. Some may include soy, aloe, or proteins which help nourish the nails. Base coats may contain more beneficial ingredients than a typical pigmented polish, since it’s highly recommended that you use a base coat so that your nail doesn’t absorb the pigment (trust me, there’s nothing worse than a lime-green-stained nail).

The Best Nail Polish Brands

Many people will use nail serums or strengtheners to help grow or harden their nails. These aren’t too difficult to find, but a few pigmented polishes are going to include similar ingredients already! I did some research to find a few brands that have been recognized as the best and that have helped my nails grow, too.


Essie’s nail polishes are vegan and cruelty free, and is considered to be “8-free” (free of formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, and triphenyl phosphate). Essie has always had a smooth appliance and a nice consistency of polish. Though, sometimes I do have issues with the polish drying quick enough.

Sally Hansen

Sally Hansen has recently released a “Good. Kind. Pure.” line of polish, advertising itself as completely vegan, cruelty free, and 16-free (a long list of harmful chemicals that often find themselves in nail polish). It always has a smooth appliance and a nicely shaped brush, perfect for painting my nails! The consistency of the polish is thick, but not so thick that it sticks everywhere, and it always dries quickly.


Similar to Essie and Sally Hansen, OPI nail polishes are vegan and cruelty free. OPI is certified by the vegan society. However, OPI is only 3-free. Still, it has only helped my nails grow. OPI has a great base and top coat that I use pretty often. However, the nail polish does not dry nearly as quickly as I would like it to (by the time whatever show I’m watching ends and I decide to do something or another that involves my hands and usually some type of fabric).

All three of these brands are go-tos for me, and all three can be found at your local pharmacy, Ulta, or grocery store. They can be found easily and usually for under $15, unless it’s a limited edition line. 

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