As a teenager (I'm 32 now) I've was totally obsessed with my nails. I used to go to Sally's on the weekend and buy fibre glass, resin, nail tools, charms, polish, foils etc. I had two boxes of...just...STUFF. Even a 9ct gold nail charm. Classssy.
I was working weekends at Sainsburys and every Saturday morning, my boss would ask what I was wearing on my nails that day. My nails were loooong but that was only because I was 17 and did nothing other than work part-time and study. I remember being on holiday when I was in my early 20's and was wearing harlequin nail art with white and pastel colours. I broke my pinkie nail somewhere in the middle of Lisbon, Portugal and went nuts. The friend I was travelling with at the time found the free edge of the nail and gave it back to me. When I got home to London I actually stuck it back on with nail glue and reinforced it with fibre glass and resin!! Cutting my nails down was NOT an option.
I had years where I had long natural nails, then short nails. If I had a special occasion, I might put on some gel or acrylic tips myself (remember, I had EVERYTHING including a UV lamp and e-file) and other times I might get them done at a nail bar. I would then get fed up of my cuticles being chewed up with an e-file just because the person doing my nails couldn't be bothered to take care. The ridges that would be left behind after removal would set me back for months. Admittedly, I've never taken REAL care of my hands. I wouldn't carry any hand cream in my handbag and would use bleach or hot water without gloves.
My most recent set of acrylic overlays were taken off in August this year and I'm still growing out the damage. In a bid to do this as easily and as quickly as possible, I googled, YouTubed and read blog after blog. I found great information on products, nail care and saw beautiful natural nails both short and long. I've also now renewed the terrible habit of buying and hoarding. My husband has started to give me funny looks every time the postman comes with a little brown package. SMH.
Here are my nails before I soaked off the acrylic. Yes, I know they were long and hadn't been filled in. I was in the last stages of pregnancy and just couldn't be bothered anymore!
This is what they looked like afterwards. I intend to keep them relatively short until the damage is completely gone.
Although I prefer them longer, I think this length looks nice with polish on...
From now onwards, I intend to use cuticle oil, hand cream and actually take care of my hands and nails. I've even bought some rubber gloves...amongst other yummy things!
Oh and by the way I'm using my iphone 3GS for photos at the moment. My flat is pretty dark and I don't have a flash on this phone. I have to stand right next to a window for a decent shot!