Sep 18 2014

The Long and Short of It!

short v long

For years, all I ever wanted was to grow my nails as long – or longer! – as my nails looked when I had acrylics on them back in college and my early 20s.

With the help of what might possibly be my best nail treatment find of 2014, Probelle Touch n’ Grow and Touch n’ Grow Plus, I have finally achieved nails that are long, strong and beautiful when painted!

They are so long, in fact, that I’ve noticed differences in my everyday life! Here’s the things I’ve noticed – the list of cons, if you will!

  • I had NO idea how much a difference longer nails would make for me in doing everyday tasks like typing. I am CONSTANTLY making typing errors now, constantly hitting backspace.
  • I have to be a little more careful I don’t poke my eyes when I put in and remove my contacts. I also have to take caution not to tear them, too.
  • My nails are a little wonky; a couple curve in on one side, and it’s weird. I know there are ways to help smooth stuff like this out, but I’m lazy and let’s be real – it’s how my nail grows. I have to live with it.
  • Going to the bathroom is … different. I have to wipe differently because my nails are in the way and I don’t want to stab myself. Sorry if that’s TMI. And God bless those with long, LONG nails, I know you hate the question of “how do you go to the bathroom?!” and you have it down to a science but I find it awkward at this long-but-not-overly-long phase.
  • Putting on necklaces and bracelets with tiny clasps. I just can’t grasp them. My tips get in the way. If I try to use my tips, it’s awkward. There’s certain pieces of jewelry I’ve given up on as I’m getting ready in the morning.
  • They’re loud. I conducted an interview for a newspaper feature the other day, and the interviewee commented on my typing. I feel like the clatter is 10 times worse with these talons!

So that’s my list of the cons, but there’s pros, and I want to share those too!

  • They make for better BeautyJudy swatch pictures.
  • I get mad amounts of compliments on my nails
  • They are strong!
  • This is the length I’ve only dreamed about!
  • Bigger palette for nail art.
  • I’m attacking my cuticles less (I’m a horrible biter!) because my nails are so nice, I don’t want to ruin them.

I guess the irony here is that as I put this post together, I paused to run to the bathroom. I caught three of my nails on the door as I went in and one of them snapped. SO, I had to cut my swatch hand down about half the length it was.

Now I’m noticing how much easier it is to type with my left hand vs. my right hand and I think I’m convinced that while these long nails are nice, I have a happy medium. And it’s somewhere in between long and short.

Tell me! Have you ever achieved a goal like this – whether it’s hair down to your butt or nails “out to here” and decided it’s not greener on the other side, after all? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • Pam_U

    I’ve always had strong natural nails and they’ve pretty-much always been long (longer than your long ones). I’ve done my own nails for over 40 years (yep, I’m a Silver Fox) because (a) I’m cheap and (b) I never found a nail tech that could do them as well as I can. The big problem was – of course – that if one broke, it tended to break right at the smile line, leaving me with 9 long nails and one short nail…which I could live with. If I broke a second nail I would cut them all back and grow them out again. With better products these days, my big problem has been WHEN to cut the nails back: I rarely get a break or chip. Just recently they began interfering with daily life so I took 1/4″ off and discovered that I had a crack BELOW the smile line on one nail. This is where gels come in handy. They really are quick and easy to do at home, so I’ll do gels for a few weeks (I usually change-out even gels every 3-4 days) and then probably a silk wrap while that crack grows out. I think everyone has a “perfect” length for nails, and mine is long: my bestie’s nails look best short. It’s all a big experiment!

  • Hey, Darling Polish!

    This is such an interesting post! My nails used to be super short before blogging but I vowed to grow them out when I started blogging. I got them to a length that was really long for me and liked them for a bit. But I’ve had shorter nails since they broke and haven’t been able to grow them back due to a ton of breaks but I like the length I have now.

    • BeautyJudy

      I’m ok with my nails at an active length, but I love how they look long, so pretty!

  • Jenny Gilmore

    I have gone through this exact same thing lately Judy! I still can’t keep mine as long as you do because of my job, but they used to be super nubs! The necklace clasp thing is a constant battle! LOL! Looking at your before and after pics, I think your nails look great both ways, but it is such a joy to finally achieve your “goal length” after trying different treatments/methods for so long.

    • BeautyJudy

      Thanks Jenny!!!

  • Stef (Fairly Charming)

    Love this post! I’ve gone back and forth with length for a while. I’m hard on my hands because I work with kids and crafts are a constant nemesis to my nails haha. I’ve decided that having my nail length be just past my finger tips is perfect for me. Different strokes for different folks, right? 😉

    • BeautyJudy

      Thanks Stef!

  • Katherine

    I like when my nails are just long enough for the free edge to be visible over the tips of my nails from the back, if that makes sense. Though it took a long time for me to be able to even get them to stay that long. My current goal is trying to keep them consistently shaped the same way – I usually have a few that are squovals and one or two hard squares or rounded tips.

    • BeautyJudy

      I like that too, that’s a nice length!

  • Handtastic Intentions

    Bigger palette for nail art is a big seller for me, unfortunately, I can’t grow mine out that long. I’ll usually get a break and just want to cut them back because I can’t stand when they are uneven. Yours are beautiful though!

    • BeautyJudy

      I completely credit Probelle for this. I stopped using the treatment a couple weeks ago and my nails are still in good shape and growing!

  • loveforlacquer

    Everytime I grow my nails out pretty long, they snap. It’s so annoying lol. I realize now that short is the way to go

    • BeautyJudy

      Ugh, that IS annoying!!!

  • Color Me So Crazy

    Yes!! I have such short nails and I CANNOT keep them long. I have sooo many pros of short nails and sooo many pros of long nails. I do prefer shorter nails, but the thing I hate the most about short nails is how small my palette is. My nail bed is small to begin with, so yes… I feel this whole article! Great job

    • BeautyJudy

      LOL thanks!

  • ThatGalJenna

    The only somewhat similar goal I’ve had is to just stop biting my nails! I bit my nails constantly. Finally in 2012 I gave it up cold turkey! Well done on your accomplishment!

    • BeautyJudy

      Hey congrats – giving up habits like that are NOT easy! I wish I could stop biting my cuticles, I make them bleed, it’s horrible!

  • The Dalai Lama’s Nails

    even your short nails have a nice, active free edge. I dig it, girl. I’m with you on all the cons, too. I realized that for myself, I happen to prefer shorter-ish nails – so that’s where I keep em!

    • BeautyJudy

      Thanks Hannah! I waited all these years for healthy long nails only to find out I’m happy with my “active” length, lol!

  • Fixin To Faff

    It’s always the way – just when I get my nails to where I think they’re the “perfect” length for nail art and swatching, at least one of them breaks. I’ve long since stopped trying to repair them anymore, because they grow back fairly quickly. Even now I’m looking at the nubbins I cut down 2 weeks ago, and all but one are already past the tip of my finger. I guess it’s part of the whole idea of embracing what you have – as long as they’re strong and healthy, work with what you’ve got!

    PS: I totally relate to ALL of the long nail cons you mentioned. I noticed almost immediately after the big cut that my WPM jumped back up to the 90s range, and it felt so bizarre not to have to lean on the backspace key all the time!

    • BeautyJudy

      LOL, I hate to give up my speedy typing!!!

  • robin

    OMG!! Judy I feel as if we are long nails twins…as far as the cons go…necklaces and contact especially. I have had to find happy medium length. I also keep my contact lens finger nail ever so slightly rounded. I prefer a really square shape. But I have long nail beds so my nails always look longer than they actually are. I tend to focus on nail artists who use a slightly shorter nail length for my inspiration! I swear by Nailtiques to keep my nails strong but usually once a year I still go through a peely stage (now) where the nail doesn’t actually break or anything but it makes applying polish harder and to keep the polish from chipping is a real PITA! I mentioned this on your IG but when my nails get too long they actually hurt which is weird and if I bang one…the pain is through the roof. But if they are medium I am good…does any of your readers have this issue? LOL sorry for being so long winded!!!! 🙂

    • BeautyJudy

      LOL! I didn’t notice pain in particular with the longer nails, but man did it hurt like the dickens when I busted my long thumbnail getting a shoe box out of the closet, HOLY

  • The Mercurial Magpie

    The butt-length hair, LOL! Although it is more out of a laziness about going to get haircuts than anything else. So much brushing, so many tangles, so much conditioner!!! Personally, I think the shorter nails look better on you, but that might be because it’s what I prefer myself. I don’t do a ton of nail art and having them short keeps them from curving weirdly, breaking often, hurting while typing, etc.

    • BeautyJudy

      LOL! I love the short nails for typing. They’re already starting to grow again and it’s almost to that awkward point!

  • Jessica W

    Right now I’m at a really nice length for my nails, but two have developed cracks on the sides so I know it’s only a matter of time before I need to trim them down. *sad panda* I also have two fingers that curve weirdly, but I’ve found that’s just a stage and once my nails are past a certain length, they don’t curve like that. Weird, huh?

    • BeautyJudy

      That is weird! Gotta love our individual quirks, lol!