Monday, November 04, 2013

Self-Manicure (셀프 매니큐어)

Ah, Korea. Always so fun with the Konglish. Like "self-manicure," for instance.

"Self" in Korea means self-service. If there's a sign in a restaurant that "water is self," it means that you need to go get your water yourself- serve yourself.

"Self-manicure," of course, means a manicure that you've given yourself. "Self-manicure" just sounds fancier, like an actual thing, though of course it's not. Here's my self-manicure, at any rate:

Yes, my nails are terribly long. I'm not good at shaping my own nails, so I always relied on my semi-regular manicures when I lived in Ilsan. I haven't found a nail salon in Seoul (frankly, I haven't looked), so my nails are their natural shape, rather than the rounded square shape that I prefer (the squoval!).

Supplies used:

Butter London Nail Foundation Flawless Base Coat
Olive Young nail polish
Etude House lace nail stickers (sorry, I couldn't find a link on the American Etude House site)
Butter London Hardwear P.D. Quick Top Coat

I like the black lace stickers (click on the link above), but they were out when I bought these. I'll have to go back and see if the black ones are available sometime.

I don't like Etude House's cosmetics all that much, but these nail stickers are pretty awesome. I applied two coats of base (I love how silky and semi-matte Butter London's basecoat looks!), dried them completely, applied two thin layers of the Olive Young polish, waited until my nails were mostly dried but not cured, then stuck the lace stickers on.

The stickers are super sticky, so be careful if you use them! Especially if your nails aren't completely dried, in which case, you won't be able to reposition the stickers without wrecking your manicure. I used tweezers to get the stickers unstuck and position them over my nails.

I've seen that most people cut the stickers before trying to put them on their nails, but that makes for a lot of sticker that you'll have to throw away once you trim the excess, so I didn't cut the stickers down to size first. I just peeled them about halfway off the backing, lined up the end, stuck the sticker on, and then trimmed to fit my nail. It worked out pretty well and I didn't end up throwing away any excess, so I'm counting that as a win.

Because I've heard that these stickers tend to peel off if a top coat isn't applied, I slapped on my Butter London topcoat. I've had some issues with this topcoat- it dries quickly, which is great, and seems to set well and set hard, which I like, but it tends to leave the tips of nails with weird matte splotches. I have no idea why, but I'm assuming it's because my nails are super dry or the topcoat is really drying. After the topcoat's dried a bit-- not cured, but not tacky-- I put on cuticle oil all over my cuticles AND nails. That solves the matte spots on my nails and hydrates my cuticles.

So there's my self-manicure! I find that I tend toward neutral colors when my nails are this long (excessively long) because anything bright, dark, or too flashy makes my nails look huge.

Who knows, since I'm too lazy to find a nail salon in Seoul, maybe I'll keep giving myself self-manicures. Though I only have a few bottles of nail polish, so it'll be the same colors over and over again with different stickers!