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We know summer is coming to an end for some people, but, in sunny SoCal, it feels like the heat is just getting started. Weekend getaways to escape the scorching temps are a must. Whether you are packing your overnight bag for a trip to the beach or think you can handle a few more degrees somewhere EVEN HOTTER (hello, Las Vegas!), as long as you are propped up pool-side, a last-minute mani often gets pushed to the list of “should have would have” or, if you are anything like me, your list of “I think I can execute this successfully in 2.5 seconds”.

If you have ever:

    • Gone to bed with sort of dry nails and tell yourself you will sleep o-so-still only to wake up with sheet imprints
    • Done your nails pre-packing/shower/cleaning to allow ample “dry time” before bed only to smudge or dent 1 or 2 nails that you assume can be fixed with another generous application of top coat (but resets the “drying time”)
    • Done your nails post-shower only to realize now you have to dry your hair and your nails will be an inevitable casualty 
    • OR (my new fave) paint your nails just before jumping in the car for a road trip to ensure ample nail dry time but render yourself HELPLESS at putting on your own seatbelt

…. you need to read this! 

  1. FILE your nails. This can be done at any time, any place. Don’t believe me? Listen up. Do you start your day off with a trip to the bathroom to handle “business”? Put down your phone (we all know that you are scrolling through IG) and pick up a file. Also, that long stoplight you ALWAYS get stuck at driving into work is suitable for successfully shaping at least one nail (Bonus: Morning traffic in LA will get you at least 3 or 4 completed nails). 
  2.  REMOVE any existing polish. I suggest doing this before any shower. That way you can give your nail beds a little scrub-a-dub action.
  3. Don’t forget the BASE COAT. A quick coat post-shower will dry in the amount of time you spend walking around in your towel, avoiding putting on clothes...
    Make and eat your dinner. Dry your hair. Pack your bags. DO NOT try to be a rockstar and put on polish during this time. 
  4. Find a block of 12 min. If you are like me, you spend more time negotiating with your dog to “please go potty” so that you can both stop sweating outside while they sniff every square inch of every flower, rock, and blade of grass they encounter.

It will take approximately 5 - 7 min to successfully sit and POLISH. I know this sounds like a lot of time when you are running around like a toddler who missed nap time thinking about everything you still have to get done but file this under #selfcare and just sit down at the table and take a breather.

Polishing your nails can be quite therapeutic if you channel Mr. Miyagi and focus on the simplicity of the polish strokes. “Wax on - wax off” is like “polish and repeat” if you just believe. 

PRO-TIP: Opt for a neutral polish that's a bit on the sheer side and a top coat that is labeled as a “quick dry” option. Now is not the time to try out that red you’ve been holding on to or this season’s hottest new neon. When you're in a hurry and just trying to make your hands look a little more “polished” (ha! get it?), you want something easy, effortless, and won’t show a little mistake here or there. 

See my favorite combo HERE.

Once you’ve done a QUICK 2 COATS OF POLISH and the final finishing touch of TOP COAT, throw your hands in the air and wave 'em like you just don't care. This is arguably the most challenging part of the entire manicure, as you must force yourself to sit still for the remainder of your 12min (approx. 5 - 7 min, depending on your polishing speed). 

Things To Avoid:

During the next 300-420 seconds of your life, avoid the following:

    • putting your hand in that snack bag
    • getting that stray hair off of your face
    • opening up your water bottle
    • adjusting your shirt
    • unboxing that Amazon order that’s been sitting in the corner of the room
    • opening your laptop 

Things To Do Instead:

    • meditate
    • respond to that text you read earlier but didn’t respond to
    • scroll through IG
    • catch up with the Kardashians
    • come up with 5 things you are grateful for
    • recognize (and appreciate!) what a badass babe you are

Congratulations! You did it! Your mind is clear, your nails are done and you are ready for a vacay. 


Cover Image Credit: @yourgirlneens