What I Wore on my Summer Vacation

 This summer, I did the unthinkable: I went to Disneyland with my kids. Of course, me being me I was worried about what to do with my nails. It is important, people. The husband didn't really understand my obsession...but he humors me most of the time. I knew you guys would understand me, though.

What I Wore on my Summer Vacation

(promotional samples ahead)

So I actually did two manicures for my vacation. One was a cutesy bit of nail art, minimalistically Disney themed. But I did that at home, with all of my comfort products in my normal environment. Also...that manicure took a hell of a beating, but it made it from Sunday to Friday.

Simple Disney nails

The important manicure here is the one I did in a hotel room in Simi Valley, California after we survived Disneyland in July. (It was a"freak" humidity wave. Us delicate coastal flowers were dying. It reminded me of Hawaii. No gracias)

Here's a shot I grabbed while sitting pool-side. It was actually nice outside in Simi Valley, so the kids swam for hours while the husband and I enjoyed the not-death weather. I did pretty well considering I had brought zero clean-up tools...and apparently I didn't bring enough removal pads in case I screwed up, but more on that in a bit.

Day one with Vapid Lacquer Catch me if You Can
day one

I collected all the things I would need to do a very basic manicure while on vacation. Then I threw it all in a little bag I picked up at PolishCon last year.

The Goods
Vapid Lacquer All About That Base Base Coat
KB Shimmer Quick Dry Top Coat
KB Shimmer Picture Perfect Cuticle Cream in Lime Coconut...something.
Vapid Lacquer glass file
LVX Nail Color Remover pads (not shown because I took this photo at home)

the goods

Let's start with step one: removal. I totally blanked on this bit until the last moment, so I grabbed the single sample of these LVX removal wipes that I got while at a trade show in Las Vegas. I had never used them before, but I was encouraged by the idea that they were acetone free. I am not bothered by acetone anymore (I'm 40% acetone!) but I didn't want to torture my family in a small room.  

The pros: these really have no acetone. They are oily and moisturizing, and once I was done I was actually happy to not have chalky white fingers. They smelled a lot like jojoba, which is a warm nutty smell. I found it to be pretty cloying, actually...but I think that might have been stress induced. Lastly, you cannot beat the portability aspect. I do love not having a flowing liquid and cotton balls or pads. These would definitely be handy to have for travel.

The cons: these were not meant for any manner of glitter. Holy shit. The Grace-Full color had holo glittery flake things...and they decided to stay. I followed the rules of the remover...and it was terrible. After 10 seconds of "soak", only about half of the red had come off, and NONE of the holo bits. I admit, I started to panic a wee bit. My husband had gone out for food, and I may have sent him a "holyshitfindsallysorcvsbecauseIneedacetone" text...or three. I was able to remove all ten nails eventually without the aid of real acetone, but I was mad. If you wear simple shimmers or creams, these are great. Anything else? Gtfo.

LVX remover wipes

LVX remover wipes

The cuticle cream. It was fine. A wee bit heavy and oily for my taste, but all in all just fine. My kids loved the shit out of this stuff. They put a big dent in the wee tube. I hope they didn't eat any...

Cuticle gooooo

This was the first time I had used this base coat with a Vapid polish. I KNOW, RIGHT?! I have no excuse. I generally use this for creams, because it is nicely thick and hides the grooves. I brought it along because it tends to wear well for me. It definitely came through this time too.

best indie base coat or best indie base coat?

For the very first time, I used the KB Shimmer Quick Dry Top Coat. Yall...it was just ok. Loads of people love and adore it, but I found it to be a bit on the thicker side, and a little unweildy to apply. Now, I admit that I tend to keep my beloved Seche Vite very thin. I prefer it to be thin and fluid, and in general that is the type of topper I like. But this stuff was almost sticky and thick. But it didn't stink to the high heavens, and it obviously wore well so I shouldn't complain. I won't be replacing my Seche Vite anytime soon, however.

well, it works at least.

My trusty Vapid glass file. If you don't have a glass file yet, drop whatever you're doing and go get one right this second. They will change your filing game completely. You don't have to buy it from Vapid...but I love the gas mask dude. It reminds me of Doctor Who.

So here is my manicure after fourteen days. It survived several hundred gas station hand washings (followed by hand sanitizer. Holy shit, Lost Hills) and the dreaded post-vacation laundrygheddon. And then another week because we got home less than 12 hours before school started. Because we plan well. I am pretty impressed with how well this manicure weathered. 

Even if I didn't love every single item in my kit, they all worked amazingly well together. Which is what you want when you aren't able to be fussing at your nails every other day...like I do at home. 

Have you tried any of these items? How did they fare for you?


  1. Yeah, I gave up on any brand of pads like those after a similar experience, though I think mine actually had acetone in them. To take its place, I take along an empty nail polish bottle that has acetone in it. It's enough remover to use for both a cleanup and of actually removing any old nail polish.


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