My blog started as something for my nails and since I started incorporating makeup and bath products I’ve strayed away from its roots and I want to start bringing those nail posts back. My first step towards that is my manicure routine, which I try to do about once a week/when my nails need it. I’m not a nail technician or specialist nor do I have any nail qualifications but this is how I look after my nails! I know people will probably say I’m doing it wrong or I should do it differently but this is just the way I’ve always done it! First of all, my before picture is shameful, I let my nails get really bad because I became lazy/work is still taking it’s toll… Let’s hope the after looks okay 😉
BEFORE: Dry cuticles and chipped, peeling & uneven nails. As you can see even though my nails have grown and improved from my super nubbies (see here), I’m having trouble getting them back to this (or this)! I don’t think square nails are going to work for me while I’m still in full-time work because the corners keep peeling or breaking off. I use a lot of chemicals at work and I frequently have my hands in water.
STEP 1: After I’ve removed all traces of old nail polish I apply the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover (as per instructions) and push back my cuticles making sure I remove the dead cuticles from my nail beds as this helps the polish stay on later on. I normally use the rubber cuticle stick to push and the wooden orange stick to scrape.
STEP 2: I don’t use this every week but I give my hands a soak and scrub with Soap Dodger’s Foaming Hand Scrub. It leaves my skin super soft and get’s rid of all the dead skin, dirt and cuticle remover. If I don’t use this, I just make sure to wash my hands after using the cuticle remover to get rid of any remnants.
STEP 3: Above are the nail files I normally use: a glass file to do the majority of the filing and shaping, a standard emery board to finish off the shaping and to remove any straggly bits that end up getting tucked under the nail – you know what I mean right?? and then I buff, smooth and shine my nails to finish off. When filing I try my best to only file in one direction at a time to help prevent my nails splitting.
STEP 4: Depending on what my nail plans are I either just use my OPI Matte Nail Envy as a base for every day or my UNT peel of base coat for nail art and swatches. When I’m doing an every day manicure I normally use OPI Chip Skip to prime my nails before applying the base coat. It removes any moisture and improves the chemical bonding between the nail bed and the nail polish and is meant to make your manicures last longer.
STEP 5: The second stage of cuticle care is keeping your cuticles and nails hydrated. These are the cuticle oils and balms that I normally use: Bliss Kiss Pure Nail Oil, ‘Ard As Nails Cuticle Oil and Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Butter. I definitely prefer the oil type to the cream as it soaks in much quicker and doesn’t tend to feel greasy after.
STEP 6: Moisturise those hands! and keep moisturising throughout the day/week. This goes the same for cuticle oil too. At the moment I’m using Superdrug’s Hand & Nail Cream that strengthens the nails & moisturises the hands but I do also use Soap & Glory’s Hand Food.
AFTER: They’re not perfect but don’t you think they look so much better? This just goes to show how looking after your nails makes your hands look so much better. I rounded them off because as I said earlier square nails aren’t working for me at all. I’m going to try my best to look after them and help them grow! Only about 7 weeks left of full-time work until I start uni again.
I’ve linked to all the original UK websites where you can purchase the products I use if you’re interested but maybe shop around a bit too, sometimes purchasing elsewhere can be cheaper than directly from the brand.