Finger Candy Favourites: Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes MainI’m always somewhat hesitant to recommend a specific product, company or retailer because I have found that everything that’s said about one person’s trash being another person’s treasure holds absolutely true, particularly in the world of beauty-based retail. On the balance of probabilities, purely from a numbers standpoint, one or two people are going to have a negative experience with a company or a product that I can’t say enough good things about, and vice versa. It’s an inevitability, and excepting cases where the quality of a product or a company’s services are indisputably – by anyone’s standards – garbage, it’s really something of a personal preference crapshoot. We all march to the beat of a different drummer (Travis Barker is my life’s drummer, in case you were curious), or, to cycle back up to the top of this paragraph, trash/treasure.

But over the course of my rather short nail art “career” I have run across a number of excellent, can’t-live-without-em products and retailers, and I would be remiss – REMISS! – in not sharing the love, with the hope that you find them just as great as I do. And in the interest of not swamping you with 8,657 rhapsodizing words on the subject of nail art and nail art-related products, I am going to split this post into a few different sub-posts, starting with some of the behind-the-scenes goodies of the nail art world.

Sunny's PhotoHAND AND NAIL CARE

For someone who sops her hands in noxious chemicals nearly every single day, I have a remarkably casual approach to nail care. As in up until about a year ago, I just didn’t. I’ve never been a huge fan of hand cream (to mangle a joke from the Big Bang Theory, why do you want your hands to feel like veal?) and at first I thought that my cuticles were just fine, thank you very much (they weren’t.) But I quickly came to realize that a consistent approach to hand and nail care keeps the raggedy bits at bay, and I now make sure to treat my mitts to multiple daily doses of soothing, delicious-smelling hydration.

To that end, I pretty well exclusively use a range of items from Sunny’s Body Products, an indie retailer I have sung the praises of before. Sunny’s offers a number of products, from lip balms and bath whips to sugar scrubs and lotions, although I’m partial to their cuticle oils and balms, rich, emollient concoctions of nourishing oils in your choice of (as of the writing of this post) over 400 unique scents. I particularly like that Sunny’s offers nearly all of their products in generously-sized sample packs, so you can try out all sorts of wild and wooly scent combinations without a massive financial outlay. My Sunny’s stash, as it’s known around Instagrammy parts, is downright small – a few oils, a couple of creams, a lush lip balm – but I do have a favourite product and scent in Sunny’s Cuticle Oil in Autumn Harvest, a rollerball-topped applicator filled with all sorts of good-for-you oils in a sweet and spicy, gorgeously gourmand scent. If all of that sounds delicious to you, you can purchase Sunny’s products through their site here.

Seche Vite Bottle PhotoTOPCOAT

For my money (and for anyone who buys it, you already know it’s one of the more expensive topcoats on the market) you can’t beat Seche Vite. It is the king of high shine, lightning fast topcoats, drying to a rock hard, ultra glossy finish in seconds. Some folks aren’t fans, citing Seche’s rather elevated price tag and tendency towards mid-way bottle glop, but I very much am, in no small part owing to the fact that without Seche Vite, I NEVER would have ventured beyond my first hesitant attempts at nail art (raggedy little watermelons and streaky strawberries.) I remember finishing my designs and then sitting back, thinking, “Is this it? These look…all right, I guess?” But then I remembered the bottle of Seche Vite the saleswoman added to my order as the gift-with-purchase, an item I had totally overlooked, having never used a topcoat before, and decided it wouldn’t hurt to give it a whirl. And not only did it not hurt, it was – befitting its name – the perfect finishing touch, smoothing out all the fruity lumps and bumps while adding some much-needed depth and shine. You’ll never convince me there’s a better topcoat, so you might as well save your breath! But just in case I’ve managed to convince YOU, you can find Seche Vite at Sally Beauty Supply, Nail Polish Canada and certain well-stocked drugstores (Rexall here in Canada, for instance.)

Acetone and Brush PhotoCLEAN-UP

You should do it. Always. It takes seconds (unless you’re tidying up after a water marble) and displays a level of care for your work (and anyone else staring at your hands) that’s just plain old nice to see. I clean up all of my manis by dipping a small, flat-headed brush into pure acetone before running it around the edges of my nails. It’s a great, simple technique for tidying up the occasional blip and blob (and believe me, even two years in there are still PLENTY of blips and blobs), but it’s also quite drying, so you’ll want to dab on a bit of oil to soothe the savage cuticle beasts (one of Sunny’s magic potions, perhaps?) My small brush (actually not small enough, but it’s due for a tinier replacement pretty soon) comes from Michael’s, and the acetone I use, Beauty Secret’s pure acetone, is another product available at Sally Beauty Supply.

That’s all the wisdom I have to drop on you today, but as all the great TV shows say, to be continued!

13 thoughts on “Finger Candy Favourites: Behind the Scenes

  1. I’m with you on the Seche Vite! Nothing worse than spending so much time on a design to go and smudge it, I could have cried sometimes! I’d seen a lot of you bloggers on the other side of the pond going on about it, but it’s not readily available in Scotland. So when I saw it for £4.99 in TKMaxx I had to snap it up and it’s kinda changed my nail art life without sounding too overly dramatic.

  2. I was hesitant to recommend things too, at first, but I rely on other reviews and posts like this to find great products! So it’s a good thing! More of this! Also,now I want to know what autumn cuticle oil is like! 😀

    • Thank you! That’s good to know – I like it when readers like you get some utility out of these things. And that Autumn Harvest scent is AMAZING. I don’t wear perfume very often, but I’d wear it if it was available in that format. It’s sort of a bakery scent, but not too cloying, although there’s also a sort of candied, almost hay-type of scent there, too. It’s awesome.

  3. Pingback: Finger Candy Favourites: Showstoppers (Part I) | Finger Candy

  4. I just got my second ever Sunny order, the spring box. My first was the Valentines box, which is now at work so I can apply to my hands thruout the day. I am obsessed and can’t wait for the next one. I just like the whole concept, rather than ordering individual products or picking scents, it’s all done for me. I love the oils and adore the Miracle Balm!

    I like an Elf brush that many use, for cleanup. I can’t remember right now which type it is. I got a bunch at Big Lots (‘close out’)…yet am still using the first one. Perfect size and a buck, so overall perfect! I don’t feel as about it getting stained and worn for that price, especially when it holds up so well.

    • Yup, that’s how you do it – don’t splurge out on stuff you really don’t need to. I go to a local craft store (Michael’s) for my clean-up brushes (especially when I’ve got a coupon for omega amounts off!) My whole set-up is actually super low tech – nothing too expensive, because hey, I’m slopping nail polish all over it!

      I have got more than enough Sunny’s goodies to keep me going until next December, and somehow I’ve managed to hold off on any other items since buying the Fall box, but I hear ya, it’s nice having someone slap it all together for you. I was introduced to a whole load of new favourite scents that I never would have chosen for myself.

      And thank you for coming by and commenting – I love knowing all this stuff’s not just going out into a vacuum. 🙂

      • 🙂

        (I double checked, it is an elf concealer brush…apparently for concealing very tiny things?)

      • Oh , also, searching for Sunny blog posts led me here and I liked what I was seeing and added you to my Bloglovin. This also sort of explains me commenting older posts.

    • That’s really cool – I had no idea my stuff was percolating over there! And not to worry about commenting on older stuff at all. I LOVE that. I’ve noticed that the Instagram crowd gets touchy about that, but hey, if people want to read my posts, look at my photos, that’s good enough for me – I don’t particularly care what time period they come from. Thanks again for coming by. 🙂

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