Winter Self-Nail Care

Today, since I had the day off from work,
I decided to take it easy and give myself a fresh set of gel nails at home.

In my workplace, there are nail tip samples with predetermined colors
and brightness levels.
This time, I want to create a design that complements those standards.

Given the front-facing nature of my customer service role,
extravagant designs are discouraged.

Some customers withdraw large sums, often in the millions,
at the counter.

As a precaution against fraud,
after determining the purpose and verifying the identity,
I pass the machine-counted bills.

This double-checking process also requires manual counting,
and excessively long nails or large decorations can indeed be inconvenient.

For nail color, I’m limited to pink or beige,
and it must be subtle and natural.
Decorations like stones are not allowed.

Though I enjoy doing my nails,
I usually opt for basic colors on weekdays.

On weekends or during extended breaks,
especially for events, I indulge in designs I love.
Doing my nails always boosts my mood.

I prefer gel over polish because it dries faster,
and there’s no strong odor.

Before gel nails became popular, I used polish,
which you could find anywhere, from drugstores to 100-yen shops.

I now only use gel nails, so I have discarded all polish.

In my area, I can place as much garbage as I want for free, conveniently located just meters away. To prevent crows from causing trouble, nets are placed over the bins.

Nail polish contents are disposed of as combustible waste, not poured down the drain. The container’s material determines whether it goes in plastic or glass recycling.

When gel nails started gaining popularity, I struggled with the process, opting for professional salons every few months. After trying various salons in my vicinity, I found one I liked and occasionally visit, especially for intricate designs I can’t do myself.

During the treatments, I observed the process closely and eventually felt confident enough to try it at home. So, I found a beginner’s set on Amazon, which included essential tools and gel.

Considering the potential pitfalls of purchasing faulty items or finding gel nails unexpectedly challenging, I started with a basic set, costing around 3,000 yen. Ordering online through Amazon ensures next-day delivery.

After trimming my nails to the desired length and shape, I apply two layers of base coat, followed by several layers of color depending on the design, and finish with two layers of top coat. Each layer cures for about a minute, and the entire process takes around 20 minutes.

For self-applied nails, I typically replace them every two to three weeks due to occasional peeling. The initial application of a new color always makes me nervous, but this beige shade has become a personal favorite.

The finished result is here. I’m practicing to achieve durability and a neat finish.

Due to constant handling of bills at work, my hands tend to dry out. Particularly, the skin around the fingertips and nails becomes hardened. Additionally, winter exacerbates dryness, making nails more prone to peeling.

After assisting several customers, I make it a habit to disinfect my hands and apply hand cream to combat dryness.

The durability of nail applications can also depend on the compatibility between the gel and my nails, so I’m eager to try various brands.

As winter approaches, I find myself drawn to blue or white nail colors, especially as I plan for skiing and snowboarding trips. Exploring nail designs online is always enjoyable, and I spend my days contemplating what design to try on the next holiday.