Writers face many challenges. Many of us have a full-time job besides writing. That means finding the time and energy to write after a full day of work. Throw in a family, pets, a home to maintain, and then the time crunch becomes real. Now, as the cherry on time, add grad school and all its pressures. Now allow your brain to realize that time to write needs to be carved out. Welcome to the writers’ club. These are challenges many of us face every day.
But those aren’t the challenges that have flummoxed me this week.
This week, I have a new challenge: press-on nails.
This winter has been rough on my nails. I’ve taken supplements, used nail and cuticle oil, tried to eat a healthy diet, and exercised. I’ve kept at least a clear coat of nail strengthening polish on my nails when they weren’t painted in a fun color. I’ve even tried the nail strips from time to time for a little extra protection. And yes, I’ve given my nails “rest” for periods of time between all the glam.
No matter what tactics I take, winter does a number on my nails. They peel and break easily. I wanted them to look nice for Easter, but they weren’t cooperating in the least. I’ve been eyeballing press on nails for a long time but never took the plunge. Last weekend I threw caution to the wind and dipped my toe, or rather my fingers, into the world of press-on nails.
I chose French tips from Kiss. They are simple but classy looking, and they are very affordable. I picked out medium length, thinking they would be elegant but not too long. I watched a couple of tutorials to get the gist of the process, then opened the box and started the process.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to get the nails on. In fact, the hardest part of the process for me was picking out the correct-sized nails. My thumbnails are a little strangely shaped, but after some careful sizing, I found a pair that worked. The glue was a little difficult to get out of the tube due to the stiffness of the container. All in all, I found it was easy to apply the nails.
My first causality was a couple of hours later. I was brushing some hair away from my face, and a nail popped off. I simply reglued it back on. Later, another nail popped off. Again, easily fixed. Then the next morning, another nail parted company. I realized by then that I didn’t use enough glue.
I also realized the medium length was much longer than I had anticipated. I also should have taken into account certain aspects of everyday life. To someone accustomed to long nails, none of the following probably would have made a difference. But to someone like me, who is used to short or sport-length nails, the learning curve was pretty steep. Here are some tips on what to consider when choosing press on nails:
1. Your Job
I am a teacher and a writer. Adapting to my nails as a teacher wasn’t hard. However, learning to change the angle of my hands while typing has been a challenge. There have been many typos and misfires due to my nails, but I am learning how to angle my hands so that I am hitting the keys with the bottom of my finger instead of the tips. You need to consider what your job responsibilities entail and then decide what nail length would be best.
2. Your Hobbies
What do you do in your spare time? I like to read, quilt, and play the piano. The first one is no problem. The second two are much more of a challenge. But, again, I am learning as I go how to do these tasks with long nails. Consider what you like to do in your spare time. Don’t allow your nails to turn what is enjoyable and relaxing into a time of stress and frustration.
3. Your Personal Habits
Do you clean a lot? Scrubbing with harsh chemicals won’t help your nails, real or fake. I suggest wearing rubber gloves while cleaning and applying hand lotion after the job is done. Do you exercise regularly? I like to run and walk. Both of those actions are easy with long nails. However, tying sneakers and taking hair elastics out of my hair is not. Do you wash your hands a lot? As a teacher, I wash my hands multiple times during the day. Hand sanitizer dries my skin out terribly, so I use good old soap and hot water whenever I can. If you use a lot of hand sanitizer, keep in mind that there is alcohol in them that could dry out the glue used on fake nails quicker. Do you wear jewelry? Putting on my favorite necklace and earrings was a challenge. I still haven’t mastered a safety clasp with my long nails. My husband is happy to help me, but if you are flying solo on that one, then you may have a harder time.
4. Your Personal Hygiene
I was admiring my nails Sunday night, smiling, until I realized I was wearing my glasses. Monday morning, bright and early, I would be putting on contact lenses. This is usually not a problem. With my new nails, however, I realized I chanced self-inflicted blindness unless I figured out a safe strategy. I watched a couple of videos. One YouTuber claimed it was actually easier to take out contacts than it was to put them in. I didn’t believe her. Then on Monday, I discovered she was right. Putting the contacts in wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, though it still took more time than usual. However, taking them out that evening was surprisingly simple and more comfortable than my usual method.
Would I use press-on nails again? Yes. I like how they look: clean and professional. I also enjoy how strong they feel. Would I wear them every day? No. When the current set has run its course, I won’t put on new ones for a while. Most likely not until summer break. I would also use short-length nails because I do a lot of typing and play the piano at our church.
For now, I am enjoying my pretty, professional-looking nails. They are a welcome change from my sorry-looking winter nails. I am thinking about getting a fun design for our vacation. But in the meantime, I have one question: How the heck do I get these suckers off? I’m not in any hurry, just curious about when the time comes.
Until then, I’ll just press on.
Photo courtesy of Alehandra13 from Pixabay