I recently decided to stop with the acrylic nails and have gone back to au natural.  Since I had James nearly two years ago, I’ve been wearing fake nails.  At first it was such a chore to try to fit in those bi-monthly sessions to the nail salon, but I got to where I looked forward to the hour of uninterrupted alone time.  My nail girl, Cindy, did a really good job and I always, always did a french manicure on my hands.

But then I started wanting a change, and went with shorter nails and (gasp!) color on my nails.

Now, without the nails, I need to let mine strengthen so that they can grow a little.  For the time being, I feel like I have boy hands that don’t look that good.  I think I’ll still visit Cindy for manicures and hopefully, in a few months they’ll look more like this.


So tell me, are you into your nails?  Real, fake? It feels a lot better to me to type on the computer with my bare hands, but I also love the look of when I’d walk away from Cindy’s chair with my freshly done nails.  Nail polish doesn’t last nearly as long on real nails.  I’ve just been applying clear every few days.

For a secret santa gift last month, I got all these cute mini OPI nail colors that I’m so excited to try.

And I’m smitten with these barely pinky colors for my nails.
But I’m loving BLACK- Lincoln Park After Dark- for my toes lately.

Maybe this summer when I’ve got a bit of a tan, I’ll go back to my trusty old french manicure.  What colors are you loving now?

You Might Also Like

Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. I used to get mine done all the time, but finally got tired of the time and money it took. So, I am all about natural. Plus, I am always in the midst of some project where they weren't that practical. If you need the polish to last longer for an event, go with gel color (some places referred to as shellac).

  2. I only do acrylics every now and then…it definitly is an expense! But now that the "style" is shorter, I'm thinking about just doing manicures and working on my cuticles and nail beds and keeping them healthy. Even regular manicures is WAY cheaper than refills!

  3. I just started getting mine done last year, and am so happy with the look. Yes, there is the time and expense factor, which can be a pain, but they make my hands look so much more feminine since I can't grow nails except during my second trimester of my pregnancies…and that is way more expensive! ;). I also have a nail that splits due to an accident with the garage door – ouch! – and the acrylics keep that from happening. I love my French manicure look, but always play with fun color on my toes. Enjoy the change.

  4. I used to get pedicures every other week or so…before I had kids. :s I've never messed much with my nails because, like you said, the paint doesn't stay on long. I do love a French manicure though. I have some awesome OPI colors in grays and a really neat pale purple. They have the best names for their colors….

  5. I'm not really into nails. I've only gotten 1 manicure in my life and own what 3 nail polishes? Lol. I think it's because I never really had to worry abouth them. They grow fast and stay pretty neat on their own. Now I do enjoy a nice pedicure 😉

  6. Love your blog!! I have tried gel nails, they are fabulous!! They (if done correctly) hold up for a couple weeks at at time. They are not fake nails, just a special type of polish that has lasting power. =)
    The only drawback is that you (normally) have to go back to get them removed. Or just peel it off, like me. =)

  7. Love the acrylic nail look but boy is it a pain and hurts like heck when you knock it the wrong way. Good luck making your nails healthy again and have fun with your color. Love the coloring you picked out here.

  8. I work in Dermatology and despise acrylic nails! They cause so much damage to your real nails and cuticles and make you at risk for lots of infections…

  9. I have to echo what previous people have said. I'm all about the shellac! Stays forever without damaging your nails. It is also dry as soon as the manicure is done so no worries about smudging. The only downfall is that there is a lack of colour choice. Oh, and it's a little pricey.

  10. I get the OPI gel manicures every three weeks. The colors are limited compared to the full OPI color pallete, but Lincoln Park After Dark is included as well as some other great colors, and you can always get a french manicure too. It's not as mandatory as acrylic nails as you can soak them in nail polish remover for 10 minutes to get the polish off. It's awesome because it cures in 45seconds with a UV light. NO damage to your nail either!!

  11. I used to get mine done all the time but decided to give those up when I had to go back to work full-time and we needed to save money. I miss them sometimes though. Haven't had a real manicure in forEVER! I just paint them at home sometimes. I should really get better about that. May have to look into this shellac kit another person mentioned in a previous comment.

  12. I used to not be that into my nails because my manicures chipped so quickly. But now, thanks to shellac manicures, I'm obsessed with my nails and nail colors. One manicure lasts at least 2 weeks and doesn't damage my nails as much as fake nail did!

  13. I was getting liquid gel nails pretty regularly and recently decided to stop. I wasn't getting the gel polish like everyone else is talking about. I was getting fake nails, just a different kind. They look awesome and I love them, but they were about twice as expensive as acrylics. Ouch.

    I now have little boy hands too! My fingers are EXTRA sensitive after having fakes on for so long. But I'm looking forward to being able to play my piano and guitar again haha.

    I have a hard time with polish staying on (it literally peels off within 24 hours) but I've been reading about Dr's REMEDY nail polish. It's all-natural and infused with tea tree oil to strengthen your nails. Might be worth checking out!

  14. I have to have artificial nails. I have been biting my nails forever and without them my nails are way to thin and I'm nervous I will go back to biting. I am a Lincoln Park After Dark girl myself too. All year round I have that color on my toes! Check out OPI You Don't Know Jacques for your nails. Its a fabulous neutral brown and I get compliments on it all the time, literally all I wear that when I go into the nail salon every 2 weeks for my appointments my nail tech already has the color pulled for me.

  15. I used to have acrylic nails also, but found that the maintenance was just too much. I keep my nails shorter now and enjoy the manicures just as much. I also love the look of french manicures, but find that on my shorter nails I'm liking color more!

  16. I love your short nails now. Fake nails are soooo dated and well, look, fake. I stopped getting tips on mine a few years back and get a lot more compliments on my polished nails then I did on the fake. Plus, most men prefer real.

  17. I used to get gel nails in french manicure all the time. I feel like french manicures aren't really stylish anymore – although I know most guys love them. I have been doing the Shellac gel manicure for a while now, and love it. Doesn't damage your nails, lasts 2 weeks, and a pale pink looks good even when your nails grow out.

  18. I've only had fake nails a couple of times years ago. But do my own weekly manicures b/c I love short nails polished either neutral or with OPI polish. I've been doing this so long, my nails (at least for first few days)look so nice and classic. I always think I never really see people whose style I admire with anything other that natural manicured nails (Kate Middleton, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Beckinsale etc.). Probably silly but true!

  19. I have never had acrylic nails. I have to keep my nails short for the job that I do. I do love pedicures though. Have you tried Opi Russian navy (I think that's what it's called)? A very pretty blue.

  20. I'm a do it yourself kinda gal and these days my two all time favorites are; Bubble Bath and Strawberry Margarita which I'm in LOVE with. I prefer the Bubble Bath for my nails as I prefer color on my toes. If you want a fun funky color another favorite is Ski Teal We Drop, a gorgeous teal!

  21. Ok I was always into my nails but then it just became an expense I could not afford… So I do my own… Opi is my love and passion… Here are some tips to making them last a week…. Buy the base and top coat opi. Do one coat of base, four coats of colour and two coats of top… I a lot of times skip base coat but dark colours bleed at times. This gives you the gel look and those babies are hard… They don't chip and look awesome for awhile…. Now you have to do it while watching a movie and let each colour set before adding another coat… Hopefully you love this as much as me.

  22. I definitely recommend gel polish! OPI has a great selection of colors, but I actually prefer the CND shellac myself. It lasts 2 weeks (or more, in my experience) and has the glossy fresh look of fake nails without ruining your nails. Its the best!

  23. I stopped getting mine done years ago, after my first was born. I love {and miss} that finished, pulled together feeling I always had with acrylic nails, but I love being able to wear fun colors and do funky stuff with the paint- like making my nails black with a white half-moon or something. But polish is hard to keep on bare nails. Seeing a chip 2 hours after I painted them makes me want to scream!

  24. You need to try a gel manicure (Shellac Nails). It doesn't chip for over two week, you maintain your natural nails and it doesn't damage nail beds. I've been using it for over a year now and I love it.

  25. I love love love getting my nails done. Lately, instead of putting the fake ones on I just get them to do the gel overlay on my nails but I've been thinking of taking a break. I love the way they look & love that the polish stays on & they always look "done" but sometimes it's hard to fit in the time to get them done & if there's a project I want to do they get messed up. I love the mini OPI set. What a great gift!

  26. I've been getting artificial nails done for 12 years – the past 8 have been gel, before that I used acrylic. I love having my nails always look "done" so I'm unlikely to stop getting the altogether. My nail tech has become a great friend, and I enjoy the gossip time when I go for my appointments. I do miss polish though.

  27. I've been getting artificial nails done for 12 years – the past 8 have been gel, before that I used acrylic. I love having my nails always look "done" so I'm unlikely to stop getting the altogether. My nail tech has become a great friend, and I enjoy the gossip time when I go for my appointments. I do miss polish though.

  28. I've been into color on my nails too! and I use to NEVER do that. My favorite polish is Essie. I have a gray one that is by far my favorite.

  29. Shellac by CND is the way to go! Some other companies offer more colors of gel nail polish but CND's shellac stays on the longest and always looks nice and shiny. PLUS you can layer colors over each other for hundreds of other looks. When you want the polish off … no ruining your nails which is a HUGE HUGE bonus.

  30. I was a hardcore nail biter and started to get fake nails in high school to try and stop the madness! I wore them for all 4 years and decided to try and grow back my own. Now, many years later, I wouldnt even think about going fake again! It took a few months for them to grow without being paper thin and then it took a while to get the right shape and stop them from splitting but now they are rock hard!

  31. I wouldn't say I'm a huge nail person- but the only reason is because it chips so fast! Then it's all downhill from there. I'm sure your nails will look awesome once you give them a little strengthening time!

  32. I am such a clear or french manicure girl. I can't break the mold. Everytime I do I feel like I am playing dress up. Wish I could pull off the sassy colors. Super cute.

  33. I love short nails now…it looks really clean. I also love shellac (or gel) for color that lasts a long time! 🙂

  34. check out shellac! I seriously love it. it makes your real nails so much stronger and comes in a ton of great colors! and it lasts for 2 weeks, just like acrylic!

  35. Yes, do try the gel polish. If you go with a lighter color you will be able to go a little longer than 2 weeks. I also think your nails looks great without the acrylic.

  36. If I didn't lead worship full-time at my church on acoustic guitar, I would have my full set of acrylics on all the time! When we go on vacation, and I won't be at church, I always get them done! 🙂

  37. I recently did the same and I am now loving it so much more! I started to use the Essie Grow Stronger polish and it really helped to thicken and strengthen my nails!

  38. Personally I have never been a fan of the old "pink & white French manicury nails." I think natural is always better. Don't feel like a boy… Natural is always better!

  39. I'm a nail polish junky! Right now I have gray with silver glitter on the tips. 🙂

    If you like dark, you might like "My Private Jet" by OPI. It's a dark (almost black) gray with flecks of gold shimmer/glitter in it. <3

    Have fun!

  40. I think your natural nails look pretty.

    I had acrylics for 18 years (started when my son was a baby) and had them put over my natural nails, which were long and pretty.There was really no difference and I didn't need them. I did them because the polish lasted two weeks. I stopped about 18 months ago; they took 4 months to grow out and then it seemed like forever before they were strong again. I felt like I ruined my beautiful, natural nails. I couldn't believe how much it damaged them. Eventually 7 out of 10 nails went back to normal but there were 3 that kept peeling and breaking and it drove me nuts.

    I caved two weeks ago and had them done at a new place since the guy I used to go to was gone (found out this week he died three months ago of an aneurysm). They looked beautiful but I didn't feel good about damaging them again. I am due for a fill and thinking about stopping already. I just don't like them drilling into my nails.

    I changed the polish tonight and they still look amazing. I have beautiful hands/nails so it's hard not to to want to get them done.

    I flip flop every day on whether or not to continue but I think if I am that unsure, I probably need to stop.

  41. My nails are quite weak at the moment so am keeping them real. I've never worn colour on my fingernails, but always have something on my toes. Currently I have black on, but that's changing to deep purple tmrw.

  42. Even though all the protein I eat (I'm currently in-season training for a bodybuilding competition!), I still take a biotin supplement every day to keep my hair, nails, and skin super-healthy and growing strong! I used to have acrylic nails, as well, and stopped YEARS ago because it was wrecking my real nails. Ever since, I've taken the biotin, and it makes a world of difference! It just takes time to let your real nails get used to "breathing" again! 🙂

  43. You look amazing!!! I like your nails….I also like long French nails. I used to get nails down all the time. But it's something I've let go. The time it takes….my nails grow fast. I need a fill in every 9days. Shellac seems to last on other people but not me. I always took care of my hands until the kids.

    This is so random….I noticed my right eye doing something similar to yours in pictures after I had my children. It seems to have gotten worse after the third baby. Is this something that has come about for you after pregnancy? I am super self conscious about it. A couple of friends have suggested I talk to my doctor about it. What do I say? Hey doctor, I am vain and my eye droops, in photos??? I wonder if it's tied into sciatic nerve issues since I've had the kids. My legs fall to sleep when I sit on floor…okay enough…this lost was supposed to be about nails.

  44. I had acrylics for years and several months ago took them off. I decided to let my nails breathe for awhile and go short and natural. I would put a coat of Nailtiques on them every few days to strengthen them. They're now finally looking pretty good. I usually wear clear or get a French manicure now. Beautiful photo of you Megan!

  45. I used to be a acrylic devout…and always with pink & whites (french mani). I recently ditched them too and I'm in LOVE with Shellac manicures! They don't chip and they last for up to 3 weeks! I've been sticking with pinks, but maybe when I get a tan I'll venture to some other colors! 🙂

  46. When I was a teen I wore acrylics. Then the acrylics began to damage the nails and now I have horrible ridges. Now, I'm au natural and use polish.

    Because it's winter, I prefer (and look better with) darker nails. Right now I'm going back and forth between dark purples and reds. In the spring I go a bit lighter and then summer it's pinks and corals, and natural colors.

    It's been a while since I had a manicure so I'm looking forward to getting one soon!

  47. Wow, 57 comments about nails!!? I tried fake nails, but i picked at them too much. I keep mine pretty short, sometimes bare, sometimes painted. I like bright pinks, reds, and corals [surprise right?) Lately im loving navy nails. Yours look great, really chic!

  48. I've never done the professional nail-thing, but I did do my own fake nails for several years. Then I decided I was tired of that, but it took months to get my nails healthy. Now, after years of very weak nails that broke easily, I have these incredibly strong nails that grow very fast (vitamins, I don't know!). I try always to keep them polished & on the shorter side. I do a lot of sewing & find that pops of color on my nails keeps my fingers from getting in the way of the needle. Plus, I just like polished nails. I use Sally Hansen Double Duty (base & top coat) & my nails stay good for a week at least. This is a product that I used regularly when I was trying to get my nails healthy again after the fake ones. Good luck!

  49. Like Janelle, I am loving gray short nails. I've been using Essie's Chinchilly and it is gorgeous. I get a ton of compliments. I started wearing them short after watching the gals on "The Hills"…Lauren, Whitney and Audrina. Absolutely love the short nails and they are so much easier. I can usually get two weeks out of the Essie polish with a good topcoat. Oh and I also got a midnight navy blue Essie, don't remember the name. Love your blog btw!!

  50. I second Allison's recommendation for Nailtiques. I worked in a salon and that's what the nail techs advised for those leaving acrylics. And OPI's polishes are the best!

  51. my nails are a southern belle's nightmare. usually covered in paint that isn't nail polish, and clay.

    I never get them done, because I hate the way nail salons smell…

    I take FCLO each day, so they grow like they did during pregnancy.

    I love Lincoln Park after Dark {named after my Chicago,after all}

  52. Love having painted nails but you are right, the polish just doesn't last as long. Have you tried the shellac manicure? Someone else may have mentinoed it but its kind of like gel but it doesn't ruin your nails (provided you take the polish off correctly and not peel it off). And the polish lasts up to 2 weeks! You should ask your nail girl about it. Might be an option while you let your nails grow!

  53. I have the worst nails on the planet! So when I tell you that ever since I've been leaving polish on them 24/7 they are growing like crazy. I've even had to "trim" them which I've never done in my life.

    In my opinion,THE BEST stuff for making a manicure last is "Stickey" by CND. You'll love it.

    My favorite polish these days is China Glaze in the color Black Diamond. With the Essie top coat. I also use the Essie drying oil.

    I think the key is to have polish on them 24/7.

    Good luck.

  54. I haven't had fake nails since the 90's been wearing my own and I have learned how to do my own as well if not better than the nail shop. I have become a nail polish fanatic. I am loving the Winter Zoya shades (check them out online – its a great brand that is supposed to be better for the environment).

    P.S. I also have Lincoln Park After Dark on my toes 🙂

  55. Love your blog….and goodness, lots of comments about nails! I am addicted to the gel (shellack) polish. My hands are in everything, polish never lasts 24 hours. But the gels (if done well) can last me 3 weeks. You can get the gel done in french too. I just moved, but at home I had a girl who did them for $20 – cuticles and everything! Good luck to growing them out…

    -Danya @

  56. Hi!
    I wear my natural. I used to do the acrylics, but didn't have the time to keep up on the appointments. My sister introduced my to Nail Magic! Fabulous product for strengthening your nails. Also, I love Deborah Lippman. Her line is specific for natural nails, the color wears beautifully and lasts so long, prior to Lippman, I used OPI.


  57. I have worn acrylics for a year and a half. They make me feel like I am always put together. I enjoy just staring at my pretty nails.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *