The Secret to Low-Maintenance, Flawless Nails when you Work with your Hands

There is very little I love more than conducting a presentation and getting distracted by how fabulous my nails look. In a room full of men (most of which don’t usually have painted nails), I find it self-empowering to be pointing at my engineering drawing with hot pink nails. For years, I spent countless hours and countless days perfecting them only for them to get messed up while I was working with car parts.

Believe me, I am fully aware of the struggles of maintaining those gorgeous claws while working intensely with my hands. Car parts to yard work and back to car parts.

After six years of frustration, I have FINALLY found a solution. Ready for this?

Fake, store-bought nails.

Okay, maybe this isn’t a secret to some of you, but for me it was a game changer. I now spend an hour every two weeks doing my nails, and that’s it! No maintenance. They stay perfect until I’m ready for a new color.

Enough talking. Below is my routine and my go-to brands. This may not work for everyone, but it’s definitely worth the try.

Step 1:  “Cuticle care!” (Queuing my inner Pitch Perfect)

I start off by cleaning these fabulous claws right on up. This Kiss Powerfile has been a life saver, and to be completely honest it is somewhat relaxing taking that moment and just filing each nail.

The Kiss Powerfile!

Step 2: Apply a Base Coat

I like to apply just a quick base coat on each nail. This prevents your nails from too much damage when you go to remove the glue. I usually stick with Essie base. It never disappoints.

Step 3: Nail Application time!

Woo! The fun part. There are several brands for fake nails. I have tried a few but only been successful with Kiss. There are a ton of colors, shapes, and styles to choose from, and they are super easy to put on! I get mine at the CVS Pharmacy since it is right by my house, but Kiss is sold at several locations.


BEFORE you start with any adhesive, make sure you find and lay out all 10 nails that work with your real nails.


There is a little pink tube of glue that comes inside of the pack. You have the option to use the glue or use the adhesive tab application. My preference is definitely glue. I have really long hair and run my fingers through it a lot. With the adhesive tabs, my hair will get stuck in between my real and fake nails all the time. Super annoying.

For me, I just need a tiny dab of glue on my real nail and on the backside of the fake nail, and they last until I get bored of the color (so about two weeks)!

Press each nail for about 5-10 seconds until the glue holds tight. Just like that, you are done! The process from start to finish, including the filing, is probably about 30 minutes to an hour. And you can start doing stuff immediately! You don’t have to walk around worrying about how you are going to go to the restroom or open a can without messing up your nails.

Like I said previously, I use my hands a lot and with things like bolts, seat frames, etc. that are not nail friendly. I have not had a single nail break or chip since I started using these. They are magical.

Lastly, I want to leave you with a little bit of advice I was provided that is SO helpful when there aren’t fake nails available and you just need that added color. My new fave top coat is Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. It is thick, makes your nails look so shiny and flawless, and best of all – dries SO QUICKLY

 I don’t have time to waste waving my hands in the air trying to make them dry faster- and I especially don’t have time for damage control- so this stuff solves both of these problems. Buy it at your nearest CVS!

That is all I have right now for the art of nails! Email or comment with any questions.

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