What I Learned in December

1. Shellac nail polish really does lasts a long time AND dries incredibly fast! 

I enjoy having my nails polished, but am extremely picky about how they look. I can’t stand for them to look messy and will take the polish off as soon as they are noticeably chipped. This usually means I will only use pale, neutral colors so the chips aren’t as noticeable, or (more often) just don’t have my nails polished. But I was feeling like something dark and festive for the holidays, so I decided to try out shellac nail polish since I had heard it lasts pretty long without chipping. It’s more than twice as expensive as a regular manicure, but I’m on day 11 and they still look almost perfect. The only real noticeable imperfection is where the nails have grown out a bit, but it’s not too bad yet. I think I’ll make it to the two week mark with no trouble. 


I was expecting them to last pretty long, but the real surprise for me was how fast they dry! After two coats and a top coat (with about 45 seconds under the UV light in between), the nail technician actually rubbed my fingers vigorously with a washcloth and they looks flawless. Since most of the flaws on my nails occur in the first hour or so I have them polished (I’m so impatient), this alone was almost worth the cost to me. I probably won’t do it all the time, but it’s really nice to know this option works pretty well for me. Although I’m hoping I can get the polish off at home, and not get sucked into a cycle of going back to get it removed and just getting another manicure. Any tips? 

2. I’ve been using bobby pins upside down all this time. 

Did you know that you are supposed to put bobby pins in your hair with the wavy side down? I’ve been doing it wrong forever. It really does hold my hair better this way!

3. Hanukkah candles are supposed to burn out on their own, not be extinguished. 

This year was our first holiday season as a married couple and so we navigated our interfaith family more than ever before. As we were figuring out how to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, and discussing lighting our new Menorah, Zvi mentioned that you have to let the candles burn down on their own. I knew this was the practice for Shabbat candles, but didn’t realize it applied to the Menorah as well. Now I know! 

4. Electric candles for your window can be automatic!

I've wanted to put candles in our windows during the holidays, and this year I finally went to the craft store to buy some. I was delighted to find some electric candles that are set on a timer. You turn them on and they automatically switch off after five hours, and then (this is really the magic part!) they turn themselves back on nineteen hours later! When I first thought of getting them, I had imagined going around to turn them on and off everyday, and sometimes forgetting. But this is effortless. They are lovely and I love coming home at night to see them glowing in the windows.