7th June 2012

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Hi. I haven’t blogged in a couple of days because my fingers have been hurting.

 Now let me tell you a little story about a girl (me) and her love for beautiful nails.

 

So as most of you know I am a professional makeup artist.

The likelihood of having beautiful natural nails in my field is very slim.

As a makeup artist we are constantly using our hands (of course) and when you also do Makeup FX you either have your hands in blood (fake blood that is) or we are applying or taking off complex make-ups.

So because I love the look of nice nails I used to wear acrylics. They are durable, and the color never wears off your nails. For a many years I would go every two to two and a half weeks to have my nails filled. This is when they file off the bottom of the acrylic nail and fill it in to the cuticle.

 

One day I noticed when the nail tech applied the primer. (A chemical to help the nails not lift off) my fingers burned.  So he switched to a gentler primer.

I had become accustomed to having my fingers itching for about two days after the application. I put up with this because I really wanted nice looking nails.

But one day in November I had my nails filled and I had the worse itching and my fingers began to swell and crack.

 

Now I couldn’t remove my nails because the acrylic nail remover (acetone) would have killed me (not literally) but it would have hurt really badly so I thought I would tough it out.

 Cut to…me at the Doctors office being prescribed 10-day course of steroids and an oral antibiotic. This was a complete bummer for me because we were right in the middle of filming C.S.I. Miami and I had to use my hands everyday.

 Finally my fingers and hands returned to normal after about 6 weeks and I filed the nails off.

 

I kept my own short (plain) natural nails for about a month and then guess what…The Holidays were coming! I had to have nice red shiny nails!

I heard about gel nails and gel polish.

I thought this wouldn’t hurt me …it’s like a thick nail polish.

WRONG!!!

 

Remember at the top of this blog I said my fingers hurt.

It took a few months of wearing the gel nails (having them applied every three weeks… and $40.00 later) but just two weeks ago my beautiful pink sparkly gel nails affected my fingers and hands so badly that they started to itch, swell and crack (my nail bed was actually coming up to the top of my fingers.) I don’t know if you can visualize this but I kinda hope not. It was gross. For two days I couldn’t pick up anything with my hands and if I would hit my fingers on anything it was excruciating. I knew then and there I would never put any chemicals on my hands.

 

I was very disappointed because I love how the gel nails look. They are so shiny and the polish doesn’t wear off. But the pain I experienced and how terrible my hands looked got me thinking.

 We sometimes don’t really know what we are putting in our bodies or on our skin.

 Remember your skin is a living organ.

 

I obviously have an allergic reaction to something in non-organic nail products. Maybe it’s the formaldehyde, acetone, alcohol or methyl methacrylate. I’m really not one hundred percent sure which chemical it is, but I can tell you this.

When you wear gel nails they get “soaked”off in gel nail remover. This is acetone. Nothing fancy. So you are literally submerging your fingers into this flammable chemical.It really hit me how potent acetone is because I was trying to remove the last bits of gel remaining on my nails using acetone and a drop fell onto my table and actually stripped off the finish!

 

For me, I will never soak my hands in that again.

I now have everything off my nails and I am giving them a break because my skin is still not healed all the way and I still am getting occasional pains in my fingers. I defiantly am on the mend though.

 

I still want beautiful nails but I only will use the most natural nail polishes and removers. (I have included some suggestions)

Not everyone will be affected like I was but there is absolutely something to be said for moderation.  I have also been advised that when you wear acrylics or gel nails there always should be a period of time to let your own natural nails”breathe”

There are options out there. Sometimes a little research and knowledge will help you make healthier decisions.

 

You really don’t have to suffer to be beautiful…or in this case have beautiful nails.

 Peace and love,

 Cheri

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