I am SUCH a nail polish addict, I love the idea of regular manicures and pedicures but nothing beats a fresh coat of paint at home on the sofa watching tele, does it? Recently I’ve discovered a few tools and treatments that I feel put my nails in the best possible shape. I was more in to neutral and pretty than bold and bright for a while and a neutral nail NEEDS a neat cuticle.
This was something I never considered but I was using a really harsh acetone remover to make quick work of the job and more easily remove glitter when I wore it. Little did I know but that remover was completely drying out my skin AND nails!! I switched to an acetone free remover and saw a difference within a week.
This is an obvious one, maybe but I don’t use hand cream often. My HANDS aren’t dry and so I would occasionally use cream or oil on my cuticles at night but a regular hand cream is so much easier and serves double duty. I am yet to find my holy grail quickly absorbed but brilliantly hydrating hand cream so answers on a postcard please but when The Body Shop Peppermint Intensive Foot Rescue is my number one for super soft skin and cuticles!
Filing and Buffing
Another step I ignored for a long time and still do occasionally is filing and buffing. When you use a block like this to file away any less than perfect edges and buff any flakes from the surface of your nails before painting, the manicure lasts so much longer! 50% of the peeling and chipping I experience is thanks to my lack of prep so when I want a really long lasting nail colour I never skip this step.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Tools!
Those metal looking tools they use in the salon may look daunting but there are 2 scary looking things I now could not live without. The Cuticle Cutter – if I have been lazy with my moisturising (or even if I’ve caught my finger on something sharp) is my hero. I used to suffer with really sore, split skin around my nails for weeks, now I trim them back and they heal so much faster. Alongside that, once a week I run an ‘orange stick’ around my nails to push everything back and clean the nail bed which makes tidy polish application SO much easier.
I have discovered products from multiple brands that are designed to treat your nails (strengthen etc) as well as give a little colour. During my neutral nails phase these were a bit of an addiction for me and no matter your budget there’s a version for you. Some offer more colour options than others but if you’re in to the natural look it just makes sense to switch up your nude for another than offers extra benefits. My favourite is the Mani Mask from Barry M because it dries super fast.
I always ALWAYS set my mani with my Seche Vite Top Coat for a super glossy shine and the longest lasting finish and for a long time that was my only real ‘must-have’ but since really trying to take care of my nails I’ve come to realise there’s a lot more to it than the nails themselves and if you’re looking to up your nail game you wont go far wrong adding in any of these tips to your routine.