Dreaming of witch nails II: making a gel manicure at home

[Versione Italiana]

Do you remember my article about my nail journey? Back then, I told you about how I quit biting my nails and I showed you my nailcare tips and routine to keep my nails long without using acrylics or gel polish.

However, I also told you that since last year I am struggling with keeping my nails long, because after the PhD I went back to playing the piano regularly. Playing any instrument is typically not compatible with having long nails, unless you are a classic guitarist (then you are allowed to have long nails on the right hand, but not on the left).

I find that the piano allows a certain length, but then it is impossible to keep a nice manicure for even just a few days without it starting to chip immediately.

That’s why I decided to give another chance to the gel nail polish. I had so-and-so experiences in the past with making it at home, I had the impression it did not last long and that my nails were damaged afterwards. But back then, I didn’t know all my hacks on how to take care of long nails that I learned when I had long natural nails. Now I found my way to have a nice manicure for two weeks without chipping and playing the piano every day at the same time. And that’s what I’m going to tell you with this article.

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Scientific literature and where to find it

[Versione italiana]

As scientists or former scientists, we keep telling people that they should get information from “reliable sources”, i.e. scientific studies, manuals, whatever comes from the scientific community. We keep saying it also when it comes to cosmetics and DIY.

But at some point I realized that only those who had anything to do with research and science actually know what are papers, where can you find them and how the whole publication system works. The “normal” people have (rightfully) no clue of what is a scientific paper and how is it different from an article in a newspaper.

Therefore I decided to write this little guide for non-scientists about scientific literature. I will tell you something about the scientific publication system (spoiler: it’s an awful and unfair world) and about the type of literature that you can find online.

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Lecithin-based skincare: soy lecithin and Phospholipon 80H as emulsifiers

[Versione italiana]

I spent the last weeks experimenting with emulsions and emulsifiers, because my skin kind of changed its preferences and needs lately. 

Methylglucose sesquistearate-based emulsions started to feel too waxy for me and I was looking for something moisturizing and light at the same time. I enjoy using hydrogels and especially my last version of the gel toner, but I also like emulsions and fluids, so… I decided to try with lecithin-based emulsions. 

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Can you sell your homemade cosmetics in Europe?

[Versione italiana]

While surfing the Internet and in particular Instagram and Facebook I constantly find people who clearly sell their homemade cosmetic products. The people I refer to are mostly Italians, because I’m much more involved in the Italian DIY community than in the rest of Europe, but maybe there are people doing it also in other countries. 

Speaking for Italians, people who do this are typically people who wouldn’t even have the qualification to do so. Indeed, pharmacists and chemists, who would have the qualification to produce cosmetics as a job in Italy, typically don’t do it or if they do it, they are very careful to keep it secret, because they risk to lose their entitlement. In Italy we have the system of the “Albo professionale” which is a sort of “register” for each profession: there is the register for chemists, for pharmacists, for doctors, and so on. If you are member of this register as pharmacist, for example, and you produce and sell cosmetics illegally, you will be banned from the register and won’t be allowed to work as a pharmacist anymore. I know there are similar systems also in Europe, for example in Germany there is the Apothekerkammer, but I don’t know if the rules are the same. 

Anyway, did I say illegal? Yes, because selling homemade cosmetics in Europe is illegal. 

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Cosmetics – Useful Links

[Qui trovate la versione italiana di questo articolo]

If you have read my articles about DIY cosmetics, you probably wonder where to get additional information about theory, more formulas and where to buy stuff.

Many online resources are already mentioned and linked in all my posts, but I thought it could be a good idea to collect them all in the same place, such that you can always find them.

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Solid Shampoos: What are they and why do we like them?

[Qui trovate la versione italiana con ulteriori spiegazioni]

More articles from the Solid Shampoos series:

I will make the long story short: solid shampoos are not soap bars.

And I will make it even shorter: I won’t explain much about how solid shampoos are made (or NOT to be made) because there are already not one, but three websites that explain perfectly everything you need to know about formulating solid shampoos.

These websites are:

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Where do I buy stuff to make cosmetics?

[Qui trovate la versione italiana di questo articolo]

That’s the question most people ask me when I say that I make my own cosmetics at home.

Until some years ago, it was actually tough to find the reagents to make cosmetics at home, since not many people were doing it and this kind of activity was limited to “real” labs.

With the growing trend of ecofriendly/bio/natural/whatsoever cosmetics, people started to make them at home and now we have plenty of online shops that sell chemicals for making cosmetics to non-professionala and not just to labs.

This is a list of the shops that I know and from whom I have bought at least once my material and equipment. It is limited to European shops, since I’ve always got my orders shipped to Italy or Germany.

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Before you get your hands dirty: some things you should know

[Qui trovate la versione italiana di questo articolo]

If you think you will find here some easy peasy recipes to make wonderful DIY cosmetics just by opening your fridge, you’re in the wrong place.

Before making real cosmetic products, you should be aware of the fact that what you are dealing with is chemistry. This means that (a) you should know the matter, and (b) it can be dangerous, if you don’t.

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