Product, Products, Products...

    Good afternoon, Dear Reader!

    Yesterday was an excellent mail/UPS day for me! I got the package with products to test from Nubar, which was very cool, and in the mail, I got a package from Korea! I've been emailing with a reader from Korea, a lovely woman whose preference is not to be named, who contacted me to ask me what I knew about a newer brand in Korea called Hollywood Girl. I hadn't heard of it, so her response? Rather than a "Thanks, anyhow," she offered to send me some!!! They're cool - the bottle are shaped a bit like the Jill Stuart ones with less ornate caps, and one is a glitter I'm crazy about. It's sheer, but I'm really, really enthusiastic about it over the two opaque ones I've tried it with. I'll show those to you today so that we end on a high note. This is the post that has my much-dreaded Before Treatment Naked Nails Picture...

    So on to product testing... Nubar sent me more than I'd bargained for. What came was Nail Clear, which is a stain remover and nail hydrator; Nail Weaver, the one I've really been waiting for, the strengthener which "holds together" damaged nails; Ridge Filler, pretty self explanatory; and Freeze Dry Drops. I've always scoffed at drying drops, but figured, WTH, I scoffed at both Diamont and Nu Nails for months only to be proven wrong, I'll give all of it a try...

    I started with the Nail Clear. This one needs some explanation I was given by my Nubar contact, which isn't in the directions. She told me you paint it on, let it dry, then peel it off. The removal is what's not in the directions. I painted it on, and it went on like wallpaper paste, but stayed in place. The directions said to wait at least 15 minutes, it took 30 to go from white to totally clear (which indicates it's dry). It peeled like those peel-off facial masks from the 80's, kind of snappy. I had some left at my cuticles, which I just used a cotton pad with remover to take off. It's intended to improve nails over time, as the directions say, "Nails will appear brighter, clearer, and be infused with nutrients with continuous use, " so I don't have an After picture yet. I'll show you that in a few weeks, after I've used it a few times to give it a fair trial.

    I do have the dreaded Before. Mind you, the breaks in my index and ring nails are in the direction from cuticle to tip, so I got polish in them removing it and can't get it out. And I cheated on Nu Nails a couple of times (literally just a couple) a while back to use a ridge filler to hide the unevenness, and stains were my reward (I've established that I'm very susceptible to staining)... The crack in my ring finger's nail goes all the way through to the other side. The fact that it hasn't broken is a testament to Nu Nails, I think - I've stuck with that exclusively since the crack grew beyond the nail bed (you can see the fresh, unstained white at the cuticle line that corresponds to that). I have repeatedly acknowledge my nails are a train wreck, no need to tell me, so here's what I'm dealing with.

    So was I harsh in calling my nails a train wreck? I really don't think so! Now that we've established what I'm asking of the products, let's move on to more of them.

    Next up was a manicure, which started with Nail Weaver. It went on white and a bit thick, and by the time I finished the second hand, the first hand was dry, with the Nail Weaver clear and my nails absolutely covered in little fibers. Now, I've used Teflon Tuff and stuff like that, where eight zillion coats later there are three fibers per nail, but when I say "covered," I mean really densely covered in fibers. I'll be interested in seeing how this hold the broken nails together (there are more on the right hand, but showing you that would have been overkill). I took pictures to show you the fibers, but alas, they don't show up.

    I was told to follow the Nail Weaver with Ridge Filler, and it needed it. Aside from my nails kind of needing a ridge filler, all the little fibers needed something to even them out. I applied it, and it went on well, very evenly, self-leveling. My experience is that ridge fillers add to drying time significantly, so I waited about one minute (as long as I could sit there) to paint. Then I broke out these!

    Since I've been so into pinks lately, the color choices my email friend made were perfect, and the glitter is to die for. I applied two coats of Girly Pink, which went on beautifully over the ridge filler, and one of Hologram Sparkles. Then I topped it with Diamont, and tried the Freeze Dry drops. I'm not terribly coordinated with applying drops, I hope to get better at it, and I found there were pros and cons to them. Or Pro and Con. Con was that drying drops are oily, and these are no different. Since I'm not coordinated with them, I get them everywhere, and that's no good... Pro was that it cut drying time dramatically, I'd say one third to one half. I had six coats of stuff (Nail Weaver, Ridge Filler, 2 pink, 1 glitter, 1 Diamont), and I tried to dent one nail with another after exactly ten minutes just to test, and could not. The mani was completely dry. I'm going to have to try them just before washing my hair or something that's a trying test. In any case, I plan to keep using them to see if I can get a little better at application and cut down on the Con side of things. The other noteworthy thing was that they come in a polish bottle - 0.5 oz, rather than the usual dinky drying drops bottle. Here's the finished dent-proof manicure after I tidied up my hands.

    Hollywood Girl Nail Polish
    Hollywood Girl Nail Polish Bottle

    And just for fun, here's today's Nails of the Day, where you can get a better look at that glitter. I'm in love with it! The sun's not great (at all!!!) to show it off, but you can get a sense of it.

    Hollywood Girl Pink Nail Polish
    Hollywood Girl Pink Nail Polish Bottle

    I think these are just great. I love international polish sending! Just so you know the love goes around, I'm sending a box of goodies to the UK tomorrow - gotta keep the karma going!

    So that's the giant update for today. I have a few more of these cool polishes to show you, and you'll see them soon, and I guess we'll see together how the products work over time. Today we took our horrifying look at Point A, and now we never have to do that again!

    Until next time, Dear Reader, love and nail polish to you!

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