5 Easy Ways to Toughen Up Your Digits

I’ve talked about it a couple of times, but I’m going to be 110% honest with all of you: I have the weakest nails this side of the Mississippi. Over the weekend, I went to see my nail magician, Kevin and found myself being insanely embarrassed of how shabby my nails looked :(

Sure, my shellac had lasted longer than it had in the past two months I’d been doing it, but no matter what I did or how many multivitamins I consumed, my nails still chipped, peeled, frayed, and split. In an effort to make them look less…damaged (to put it kindly/lightly), I decided to cut them down pretty short before my nail appointment and let Kevin work his magic. That seemed to be okay and work for the time being, but my nails will always be weak and that’s just something i have to cope with. UGH. 

Anyway, if you find yourself in the same boat, BellaSugar offers up some advice. TAKE IT. IT’S GOOD, Y'ALL.

  • Use a base coat: Using a base coat before applying color will protect your nails from any harmful chemicals in your polish, and also help prevent the polish from staining your nails. I like Butter London Nail Foundation, especially because it’s formaldehyde-free.
  • Keep it short: Long nails are more likely to snag and tear. The best shape for your nail’s health is square and slightly rounded on the top (some call this “squoval”). Clean under the nails regularly, and file any snags as soon as they happen.
  • Just say no …to toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP, that is. These common nail polish ingredients can dry out and damage your nails, and formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. To see which nail polish brands are “three-free,” check out this post.
  • Reduce remover: Ideally, you should limit your nail polish remover usage to twice a month. I know that sounds difficult, but try extending your manicures with a rock-solid top coat, like Seche Vite. When it’s time to remove your polish, use a non-acetone remover, and let nails breathe for a few days in between applications.
  • Soak: If, despite your best efforts, your nails end up a brittle, peeling mess, treat them to a warm oil soak. Just heat some bath or olive oil in the microwave, then dip your fingertips in for about 10-15 minutes. When you’re finished, rub generous amounts of lotion or a good cuticle cream into your nails and cuticles. I’m a fan of Kiehl’s Imperiale Cuticle Treatment ($19.50).

xoxo, Alex

Here’s a little story:

When I was around 12 or 13, I was really into doing my nails every day because I was convinced that if I did this, I’d be the baddest bitch on the block and the other tricks at school would really see me for what I was: the HBIC, of course.

So anyway, I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup at 13 (eyeroll) so, instead, I’d do my nails like a motherfucker. I went through so much nail polish remover and millions of cotton balls and finally my mom got really fed up with having to clean up after me because I was messy. She bought me one of these little spongey pods that I still to this day don’t care to learn the name of, because to me they’ll always be the spongey nail polish remover pods.

The basis of this really boring, poorly written story is to tell you guys that my spongey pod turned BLACK after two or three weeks of use. It was disgusting. But today I was at Target and being nostalgic for my thirteen year old “haven’t become a woman because I haven’t started my period yet” self and I saw these.

So yeah. Duh. I bought one.

Who’s got bets for how long it takes this one to turn gross? I’m going with a month.

Please don’t think I’m unhygienic now,

My new fall go-to when I want to steer clear of the reds for a while and feel as gloomy as the east coast weather is called Asphalt in the CND Shellac.

It’s so different and not as “I may hate my life a little” (even though I don’t! But you get what I’m saying, right?) as black can sometimes be.

It’s okay that it remind me a little of whiskey rocks too, right? Y'all wouldn’t judge me because of that, would ya?


Y'all, I’m so over summer. Seriously. I’m tired of falling asleep to the hum of my air conditioner, tired of only finding relief in the form of a shower, tired of my legs sticking to chairs and the seats in my car, tired of the heat, humidity, and overwhelming sun. Basically, I’m ready for a change. Fall, in my humble opinion, cannot get here fast enough!

At the end of every summer, I start to “force” my wardrobe in fall, so to speak. I start wearing jeans more than shorts, cardigans come back into rotation, and I banish the sandals to the back of my closet in lieue of Toms, Sperry’s, and Vans. This year, I’ve decided to do the exact same thing for my nails.

My nail polish for the summer revolved around pinks, yellows, purples, oranges, and whatever the plural for turquoise is. But this fall, in my eyes, it’s all about reds. Sure, there will probably be days when I opt for a matte black, a chocolate brown, or even a baby blush pink, because I’m just fucking diverse like that! But I always feel like the autumn months need a swift kick in the ass every now and then to remind them that, for as chill as they are, they still need a little extra oomph.

So, without further adieu, here’s my top 5 go-to reds for the fall/winter months ahead that are sure to have us begging for summer again in no time:

  1. Red Nouveau seems to be your typical fall back red–the one you can almost always count on to make you look like you know what you’re doing. Kind of like that shade of lipstick that you’re always too afraid to try because you don’t really have the skin tone for it and, goddammit, it’s on your teeth again.
  2. Turning Heads Red reminds me of something out of Mad Men and I guess mostly Christina Hendricks, because I can just imagine Joan Holloway telling that weirdo Peggy something sassy while pointing her perfectly manicured nail at her. You go, girl. Tell that girl how dumb she is for fucking Pete Campbell!! UGH.
  3. Well Red seems as classic and simple as that Sylvia Plath novel you read in college and swore you understood the meaning of right after you absorbed it, but let’s be honest, it took you re-reading it to actually get that, in the end, she was just depressed and a little crazy.
  4. Thigh High makes me think of how all I’m going to want to do is wear thigh high socks and this nail polish while I lounge in my underwear and watch Netflix with my cat! Sexy!
  5. Bold & Beautiful is what’s going to take me out of my thigh highs, pull me away from Netflix, feed my cats, and go out of my apartment to, you know, actually live my life. Hello, hint of purple! There’s absolutely nothing I don’t like about you.

Enjoy, enjoy!

xoxox, Alex


I have a bad habit of subconsciously picking my nail polish off when I’m bored/nervous/stressed, leaving two or three bare nails. While in school, I don’t always have time to completely re-do them. Last night I decided to fill in the blanks with a few quick-dry polishes, and I have to admit I am loving the way they turned out. Definitely going to try this nail set again when I have some more time on my hands. 

If you’re like me, you own a handful of polishes of your favourite colour in similar shades. I feel like this would work well with pinks, purples, and citruses. 

Polishes are Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri in Mint Sprint and Jade Jump, Forever 21 Love & Beauty in Avocado Always, and Revlon Nail Enamel in Minted

- Bailey