dem nails 101

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor

Happy 2016, my loyal so-and-sos! The new year has begun, which means that it is time for me to:

  • Say goodbye to the hot garbage that was 2015, but not before getting right up in its face, screaming “DON’T LET THE DOOR HITCHA,” and launching it out of my life forever via a firm boot to the butthole;
  • Resolve to be be a better, kinder, healthier person for the first seventeen days of January, or until I rage-eat an entire tube of Pillsbury Grands! in one sitting, whichever comes first; and
  • Finally nut up and post the DIY nail tutorial I’ve been promising you guys for many, many moons. A ridiculous amount of moons. An unfathomable amount of moons.

So here we go! I’m gonna show you how to do DEM NAILS!


Okay. When doing a manicure, you always want to start out with clean, dry nails. Which means that if you’re already wearing nail polish, you’ll need to remove it. Any nail polish remover will do, but I prefer the felt pads that are already pre-soaked and individually wrapped. Otherwise, my nail polish removal experience quickly turns into a nightmarish landscape of stringy, sticky cotton balls and puddles of acetone everywhere.

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
I use the Kroger-brand felt nail polish remover pads, because I’m what they like to call a “big spender.”
est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
My nails! *gasp* They’re naked! Quick! Somebody get me 5 very small bathrobes!

Now that your nails are Rated R For Graphic Nudity, you’re ready to shape them. If you’re new to DIY manicures, I recommend first reading a short article courtesy of Divine Caroline called “How to Shape Your Nails.” It’s simple and instructive, and best of all, I didn’t have to write it. Click on the image below to take you there.

Image courtesy of Divine Caroline: "How to Shape Your Nails."
Image credit: Divine Caroline – “How to Shape Your Nails.”

I personally shape my nails in the “squoval” fashion because even though I prefer square nails, I’ve found that the sharp edges can gouge out a bitch’s eyeballs. It’s also been my experience that the corners have a tendency to snap off whenever you:

  • eat
  • sleep
  • breathe
  • do anything at all

So I round those fuckers down.

Now. I don’t necessarily want to take a sticky, unsatisfying crap on metal nail files, or even the old-school Emery boards, but I’m going to anyway. Because they suck. They’re either too gritty or not gritty enough, and they last about as long as a sailor on shore leave. The bottom line is that GLASS FILES ARE WHERE IT’S AT. I use an inexpensive one called the Diamond Deb, and a single file can hang in there for YEARS.

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
The pointy end comes in very handy for scraping that disgusting gray amalgam of dust, face grease, boogers, nostril hairs, and skin flakes out from underneath your fingernails.


est. 1975 PRO TIP: NEVER saw back and forth when filing. Sawing at your nails will weaken them, causing icky-poo flaking, peeling, and breakage. Instead, file in one direction on one side of the nail, then in the opposite direction on the other side. Finish by rounding or squaring off the top.


After you’ve shaped your nails, the next step is to gently push back your cuticles. This keeps them healthy, and also gives your nails the illusion of length. You can use a cuticle removal cream or gel if you like—a variety of brands make them—but I myself don’t bother. I throw caution to the wind and just bareback it with this YCC Clear Plastic Cuticle Pusher.

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor


est. 1975 PRO TIP: NEVER CUT your cuticles, and don’t let a nail tech or manicurist do it either. It’s a fabulous way to contract a Gross ‘N Nasty bacterial or fungal infection. Check out this short article courtesy of Cosmopolitan called “Why You Should Never, Ever Cut Your Cuticles” and walk away schooled.


Now it’s time to paint!

If you have oily nails like I do, I recommend wiping your nails down with rubbing alcohol before you start. This will remove dirt and oil, but it will also help polish adhere to the nail, helping you avoid the super fun phenomenon I like to call “The Manicure That Chips Off in Gigantic Pieces 20 Minutes After It Dries.”

You can also use a nail primer like Orly Primetime Primer Basecoat to achieve the same result.

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
Useful, but it’s basically just rubbing alcohol with an applicator. If you’re in a pinch, save yourself the dollars.

Now apply a rubberized basecoat like Orly Nail Bonder Treatment to your nails. It has a “gripping” effect and does a kick-ass job of keeping nail polish in place, even on oily nails like mine.

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
Like, comment, and subscribe if you think I’m a humongous product whore who deserves a free case of Orly Nail Bonder Treatment in exchange for this post.
est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
A wet coat of Orly Nail Bonder Treatment. Or maybe I just wiped my nails across my sweaty forehead. *I’ll* never tell.

Got your color ready? Because you’re going to need to apply your first coat while YOUR BASECOAT IS STILL WET so that the rubber can bond to the lacquer. I chose China Glaze’s “Out Like a Light” for this tutorial because China Glaze makes excellent, inexpensive cremes that are very easy to apply.

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
Sorry that this picture sucks. Unlike *actual* nail bloggers, I do not have all of the awesome lighting and camera equipment it takes to take sweet close-up photos of dem nerls.
est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
If you can’t find this exact shade, a nice almost-dupe for this nail polish is China Glaze’s “Concrete Catwalk.” Yes, I have both. Yes, I have a problem. Yes, shut up.

Now, if you’re not used to painting your own nails, applying the lacquer quickly and neatly is going to take you some practice, particularly when using your non-dominant hand (that lazy son-of-a-bitch.) However, in the meantime, here are a few simple tips that can help:

  • GO TO THE BATHROOM BEFORE YOU START. Nothing fucks up a manicure more easily than an urgent pee, or a deuce that can’t wait.
  • Never shake your polish. This will cause air bubbles to form. Instead, roll the bottle gently on a soft, flat surface.
  • Don’t polish your nails in the same room as a moving fan. This will also cause air bubbles.
  • If you accidentally get polish on your skin, don’t lose your shit. Just let the paint dry and it will wash right off with soap and water.
  • LET EVERY LAYER OF NAIL POLISH DRY COMPLETELY BEFORE MOVING ON TO THE NEXT. And by dry, I mean DRY. Not tacky. Not squishy. Not “eh, it’s basically dry.” DRY. 
  • You should only need to use 2-3 layers of most lacquers to get full coverage.
  • If you struggle with streaks, air bubbles, or flooded cuticles, chances are pretty good that you’re just not painting your nails the correct way. This incredibly helpful article (see image below) from taught me everything I know.
Image credit: Lacquerized – “How To: How I Paint My Nails.”


est. 1975 PRO TIP: If you have gorgeous long talons and struggle with tip wear, try wrapping your tips. It’s a technique that involves putting a little bit of lacquer on the free edge of your nail to prevent wear and tear. For step-by-step instructions, check out this article by The Polished Perfectionist called “How to Wrap Your Tips.”


After you have applied your color, you’re going to need to finish with a quick-drying top coat. One of my favorites is Seche Vite Dry Fast Nail Top Coat. It smells like a toxic chemical spill and it doesn’t play well with non-drugstore polishes, but its high gloss, durability, and time-to-dry are second to none. You must apply it while your final layer of color is STILL WET.

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
This is a miracle product. I’m not even kidding. I think Jesus Himself was involved in the creation of this top coat.

After application, in about 30 to 60 seconds your manicure will be drier than my vaju-vaju after watching my husband get out of the shower and air dry his junk using the “helicopter” method. (If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, consider yourself hashtag blessed.)

So this is what DEM NAILS can look like with a little practice and some pretty reasonably-priced manicure products:

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor

Oh! One more thing. Make sure to keep your nails and cuticles moisturized after a manicure, because the chemicals can dry out your skin. I like the Mary Kay Satin Hands lotion, and indie polish manufacturer Emerald & Ash has an entire line of cool-smelling cuticle oils.

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
I’m currently using the E&A cuticle oil “Gourmet Dark Chocolate.” On a totally unrelated note, I’m also currently trying not to nibble my fingers off.

And there you have it! Beautiful nails you can do at home. If you have any questions about techniques, materials, or why my cat insists on standing on my boob while I’m trying to write a blog post, put ’em in the comments!


If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.


10 after 30


1.       Liquid Boobs

Before 30: At the pinnacle of my youth, my boobs were my best feature. They were firm. They were proud. They were big, but not too big. They were round, but not too round. They retained their shape while still maintaining a seductive jiggle, like two expertly-prepared Jello molds.

After 30: Pregnancy. Childbirth. Breastfeeding. Beautiful life moments? Of course. Hormonal nightmares that kicked off my bosom’s slow transformation from wondrous boobage to a pair of soft-boiled eggs? Also yes.

Putting on a bra used to be a literal snap. Now it’s a whole PROCESS of lifting, dropping, adjusting, pouring and repouring. There’s also a fair amount of contorting my arms behind my back while struggling to do up half a dozen tiny hooks, all before settling my inch-wide bra straps into two very angry red shoulder ruts.

2.       Chinese Phone Book Syndrome

Before 30:  I’m maybe not the best example of this phenomenon as I’ve always had some measure of double chin, but before 30 I could at least disguise it with heavy contouring, artful photography, and, depending on the season, turtlenecks.

Me in the mid-2000’s, using the “up, out, and down” chin-tuck technology popular with those who need to conceal a modest double chin in photographs.

After 30: There is NO disguising my double chin now. Not with even the most over-exposed downward-angle cam-whore photography there is. I’ve gotten older. I’ve gotten heavier. I also suspect that at some point Chin #1 and Chin #2 got drunk and hooked up, because a bouncing baby Chin #3 has appeared.

Yowza. And before any of you go “OH COME ON IT’S NOT THAT BAD” please be aware that is the ABSOLUTE BEST picture of my chin that I could find from the last year.

3.       “Mom Mouth”

Before 30:  In order to demonstrate the “Mom Mouth” phenomenon, I had to find a ten-year-old picture of my face in “resting” position (read: not smiling, not laughing, not posing for the camera.) Consider the below photograph the best I could do. You will notice that “Mom Mouth” has not set in, largely because I wasn’t a Mom yet.

I know my mouth looks weird, but it’s because I was employing another popular “chin camouflage” technique: the Straight-Up-Put-Something-In-Front-of-It Technique.


Double Chin Disguise Trick #3: Crop your double chin out of all your photographs. Voila!

Believe it or don’t, this is my face in “resting” position now. Note if you wish the deep laugh lines above the lips, but those are simply due to age. “Mom Mouth,” however, is the more disturbing phenomenon in which the corners of a mother’s mouth start to turn irrevocably downward, mainly from being forced to act like a complete crabass 24 hours a day.

4.       Let’s Hear It For the Beard

Before 30: As a brunette of heavily Eastern European stock, I have never been what one would call “smooth.” (You can read about the woes of my hirsutism in more detail here if you’re so inclined.) Still, before I turned 30, I maybe had a chin hair once every three to six months. Not unmanageable.

After 30: Now if I don’t pluck my chin every other day I start to look like Abraham Lincoln PDQ.

5.       Like A Flan in A Cupboard

Before 30: Back in the day my girl parts were tight. Elastic. A pleasure, I dare say, to all who ventured forth. Sometimes, if a man was large enough, I even *gasp* bled a little. How dainty I was back then!

After 30: Brilliant actor-comedian Eddie Izzard once quipped: “The Austro-Hungarian Empire, famous for fuck all! Yes, all they did was slowly collapse like a flan in a cupboard.”

Just like my girl parts after delivering a child.

(Yep. That’s right. I just compared my vagina to a collapsing flan, and by extension, the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Click here if you want to read more gory details about my gynecological woes.)

6.       Adult-Onset Grossness

Before 30: I’ll be honest. I’ve never been a porcelain-skinned doll. My face has always been a war zone, with troops of blackheads encamped across my nose, and small but tightly organized bands of guerrilla whiteheads terrorizing my T-zone.

After 30: Adult-onset cystic acne took hold after 30, running rampant once I got pregnant and gave birth to my son. Long gone are the mere pimples of yore, skirmishing for territory. Now huge, red, nuclear cysts explode all over my lower face and chin, taking months to go away and leaving bitter scorched earth behind.

7.       The Walk of Nosferatu

Before 30: I walked proud. I walked tall. I held my head at the 5’7” height it was meant to be held at. My knees didn’t make noise. Neither did my back. And while I’ve never been a morning person per se, getting out of bed was in no way the rich and painful symphony of grinding bones it is today.

After 30: Mornings now consist of me easing myself slowly out from under my bed covers, pulling myself up to an osteoporotic 5’3”, and shuffling downstairs to the kitchen like a slow, gimpy, complaining Nosferatu.


8.       Ashy Feet

Before 30: You know what I did to take care of my feet before I turned 30? Essentially nothing. Sure, I painted my toenails. I took a pumice stone to the bottoms of my feet once in a while. Slathered on some lotion… sometimes. Generally though, my feet were fairly low-maintenance.

After 30: My feet are now drier, scalier, and ashier than the bottom of my oven after I never clean it. Bottom-of-the-foot maintenance is becoming increasingly more time-consuming, and it involves more acids, peels, lotions, and treatments than Gwyneth Paltrow’s ugly entitled face.

I’ll also add that my toenails have become thicker and more difficult to clip, with a serious tendency toward “the yellows.” Now I don’t paint them so they look pretty; I paint them so they don’t look disgusting.

9.       Piles for Miles

Before 30: You can read more about this in my previous blog post “piles for miles,” but the upshot is that before I turned 30 I had absolutely zero experience with hemorrhoids other than occasionally seeing a Preparation-H commercial on TV and thinking: “Gross.”

After 30: With pregnancy came piles. Piles for miles. And after the pregnancy was over, they didn’t leave. Now I’d classify my current asshole status as “bumpy at best, no man’s land at worst.”

10.   Hot Flashes

Before 30: What are hot flashes? I don’t even… only old women get those, right? I mean, menopause doesn’t start until you’re like, 70. I’m pretty sure.

After 30:


So there you have it! Those are my sad but true “10 after 30.” Feel free to add any of yours that I’ve left off my list, and check the est. 1975 Facebook page early and often for fresh material!


My Christmas tree is dead and gone, and yet I am still finding ornament hooks and stabby, dessicated pine needles everywhere.

My two cats are dead and gone, and yet I am still finding urine stains and tumbleweeds of cat hair everywhere.

I wonder what I’ll leave behind when I’m dead and gone.


I’m leaning towards pubes and flakes of picked-off fingernail polish.