How I paint my nails

or The Lazy Way

Before reading this, please keep in mind that I am a collector, not a swatcher and/or a nail artist. I don’t really know what I’m doing most of the time!! This post is not in any way a tutorial: I just thought it would be fun to share what I do when I feel like painting my nails, that’s it!

First of all, I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t know what skin and nail care is. I don’t wear gloves while doing chores and I wash dishes wild and free (of protection). There are at least ten bottles of lotion scattered all around my house, none of which I remember to use on a daily basis.
I clip my nails (yes, for real!) and use a cardboard nail file (abomination!) to shape them – if we can talk about shaping when it comes to my nubs. In fact, I really don’t like filing my nails: it makes me cringe.
But, and I hope to gain your respect back with this, I don’t cut my cuticles, unless it’s an emergency kind of situation, and I’ve never been a nail biter.

Given those preconditions, and taken into account that I handle chalks every day for work, here’s how my hands look during the winter season:

Now you know why nail polish bottles are horrified when I grab them! XD

So, what do I do when I decide to paint my nails?
I start by washing my hands thoroughly. I generally use a foaming soap from Bath & Body Works, with a sense of guilt I must say, because I try to only use products that are certified cruelty free and vegan and B&BW isn’t, as far as I know. But I like their soaps so much… sigh!

Then I apply whatever lotion I have on hand. I got the one in the photo below in Greece and it works very well for me, because it’s not greasy at all. When I’m really, really lazy, I skip this step, with the result that I get back to the situation portraied in photo #1.

When I do NOT skip the lotion, my “swatch” hand looks more or less like this, in all its 40-something glory. You’re never going to see Cindy The Right Hand, though.

I always apply a base coat, but I can’t say I have a favourite one: it’s often something from either Essence or Kiko, as they’re readily available and decent for the price.

Now I’m ready to paint: I prefer to work in thin layers, which are easier to control. At this stage, I’m not concerned about patchiness or uneven glitter/flakie/shimmer/holo distribution: I just need a base down to build the polish upon. The fewer strokes the better: overworking a polish is never a good idea, at least for me!
I try to get as close to the skin as I can without flooding it: I’m not good enough to get Russian-manicure close, but I don’t want a miniature English Channel on my nails either!! I also look for a clean, nicely curved cuticle line, so that I will only need to touch it up a bit later.

Here’s one coat of Cadillacquer Odin: a little clean-up is required for my pinkie, but overall the first layer went on smoothly – the perfect formula of Odin helped a lot!

With the second coat I tend to be more generous, but not too much: I wipe one side of the brush against the bottle neck and that leaves me with the right amount of polish. Three strokes and a little touch up, if needed, and I’m done.

Time for a careful clean-up now! An angled brush and plain nail polish remover are my choice. Sometimes I use a toothpick for greater precision and a correcting pen for the surrounding skin, especially when I stamp.

My favourite nail polish remover is by Cien (available at Lidl): everything else dries my skin like crazy and it has the same effect as sandpaper on my nails! Brutal.

Another confession here: I often skip top coat, because I want to show the polish in its real… aaah, forget that. It’s because I’m effin lazy. I only use it if the polish dries dull or slightly uneven. I always hydrate my cuticles, though: I bring my trusty cuticle pen with me everywhere I go!

Well, I suppose we’re ready for photos now, right? WRONG! We want to photograph fingernails, not fry them: we will sit and wait patiently until the oil has completely soaked in. After that, a quick photo session in a light box, some basic editing and voilĂ , mission accomplished!

Cadillacquer Odin

That’s pretty much it, guys. Nothing fancy or super elaborated, but I’m fine with that, it serves its purpose. If you have any advice or suggestions, please leave them in the comments! See you soon(ish)!


DISCLAIMER: All products were purchased with my own money.
All photos are my own, except for the mummy (
All errors, mistakes and typos are also my own: I apologize! Feel free to point them out to me: I’d appreciate your help!


Oh, shift!

Nothing beats a multichrome. Ok, maybe a great holo or an ultracontrasting (a word I’ve just made up) contrasting shimmer can compare, but multichromes are really, really cool.

They are extremely entertaining: a nail polish addict could spend hours watching them, rotating fingers so that the polish can be hit by the right lighting, dipping hands in cold water to emphasize the colour shift, taking gazillions of photos to record each and every step of the transitioning process.

Spotted a woman in a parking lot, alone, doing nothing except staring with intensity at some unidentified object? NPA drooling over her multichrome, pretty sure. The car in front of you doesn’t move even if it has the green light? Another NPA.

Yes, because for some very precise scientific reasons that I totally ignore, the car is where the magic seems to multiply: no light is so perfect as the one coming in through the windshield. If you have ever worn a colour-shifting polish, I know you can relate.

Recently I tried on my nails a creation of the Queen of Shift, Miss Tonic Polish. In the photos below you can see how three coats of Dorothy look without top coat: amazing, uh?

Dear Lindsey, if you’re reading (insert laughter here), if only I could, I’d buy everything you come up with, EVERYTHING. With enormous relief for my bank account, I can’t – but I try my best anyway… Lol!

What about a couple of pics of multichromes from my collection? First up is a purple-to-gold duochrome by H&M, which is pretty decent for the price.

Then a super ultra mega fabulous purple-to-green-to-everything multichrome by Bow Polish, appropriately named Good God. So gorgeous. The photos are a couple of years old, sorry for that.

A classic now: ILNP Cygnus Loop, one of the first polishes of this kind in my stash to be opaque on its own (back in the days colour-shifting varnishes were often sheer and required a black base to fully express their potential). Again I apologize for the old, really atrocious photos. I am deeply ashamed, but I just don’t have time to swatch all these polishes again (adulting sucks).

So, what do you think? Do you like multichromes? Let me know in the comments!

See you soon!


DISCLAIMER: all photos are my own, all polishes were purchased with my own money.