Here are the products I use and the things I've learnt throughout the years on how to keep nails healthy and to make my mani look good.
I'm not a pro and I'm so far from perfection, but since the beginning of my passion for nail polish the way my nails look has improved so much (however I still have to improve my cleanup game and the appearence of my dry cuticles...).
- It's better having short but healthy nails rather than long and dry, brittle and peeling ones. I've learnt this after years of wanting my nails to be super long. The fact is, my nails are weak and they tend to peel and break AND I am lazy. So trying to grow them and maintain the length (aka putting effort in taking care of them) has always been a struggle. It was not until recently that I came to accept the fact that my nails are healthier and better looking at a short/medium length. The trick I use to give the impression of longer nails is to try to have longer nail beds.
- My nails bend, so I file them very gently on the sides under the free edge and try to moisturize them regularly.
- Hydration (from the inside out) is the key! I try to drink lots and to apply cuticle oil or balm and handcream as frequently as I can (or better remember to). My arsenal: L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand cream, Love + Toast, Lush Lemony Flutter (which I love more as an all-over hand and nails cream rather than as cuticle butter), Pai Fragonia & Sea Buckthorn Instant Hand Therapy cream, Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme (smells delicious!!).
- Having peeling nails I keep them polished most of the time. That way they have a layer of protection against chemicals, hot, cold, traumas and are less prone to break. I let them breathe when I remove the cuticles. Oh, and I always, always wear gloves when I do the houseworks.
- Take care of the cuticles with cuticle oils and balms is very important. Amongst the ones I've tried so far, CND Solar Oil, China Glaze Orange Cuticle Oil and the Pai Sea Buckthorn Cuticle Balm are my favourites.
- I use the Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover (cheap alternative: Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover) every 10-15 days, usually at night before going to bed. I apply it and let it work for 30 seconds before using a woodstick to remove the dead skin around the nail (ewww!) and push back the cuticles trying to elongate the nail bed using a metal pusher. I then wash my hands, scrub them, apply Lush Lemony Flutter all over, massage it in for a minute and wear a pair of cotton gloves so the moisture can sink deeply into the skin during the night. I then polish the next day after prepping. For maintenance, I use the CND Cuticle Eraser or the Essence Studio Nails Nail Cuticle Softner Pen.
- As soon as nail polish chips, it has to be removed! Chipped nail polish can actually cause peeling.
|Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover // CND Cuticle Eraser // China Glaze Orange Cuticle Oil // CND Solar Oil // Pai Sea Buckthorn cuticle butter // Essence Studio Nails Nail Cuticle Softner Pen // Cuticle nipper // Orangewood stick|
- My nail polish remover of choice is Remove + by Zoya and if, I have them, I use Muji cotton squares: I divide them into two and one half is enough to cover all 10 nails. Other two good removers are both from Kiko: the Nail Polish
- I rarely buff my nails now (unless they're peeling severely) and compared to when I did it more often my nails are healthier. Maybe it's just me so this perfectly underlines how not everything works for everyone.
- Using a crystal nail file have significantly improved the way my nails look. I've noticed they break a lot less than before.
- I shape them with or without nail polish on in a squoval shape: I like square nails but with rounded corners (I put my file under them at a 45 degrees angle and move the file one or two times in the same direction, usually away from the center).
|Muji cotton pads, Zoya Remove+, China Glaze Strong Adhesion base coat, Essie Nourish Me, Deborah Lippmann Rehydrating base coat, Essence Studio Nails Polish Corrector Pen, Sephora Crystal nail file, Nail clipper|
- When I have to take down a significant amount of length I use a clipper not cutting too much but already giving the shape I want and then "cleaning" with the file.
- Hydrating base coats or treatments have become my best friends. My choices are Essie Nourish Me and Deborah Lippmann Rehydrating Base Coat. A good base for me is China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat.
- Fast drying top coats are my go-tos because I'm too goofy and impatient and without them I would always ruin my mani. A couple of favourites, in order of appreciation: INM Out of The Door, Deborah Lippmann Addicted to Speed, Sally Hansen Insta-dri (though after a day of wear causes some "cracks" in the polish... does this just happens to me!?)
I hope you survived to all the article and that at least some of the tips have been helpful!
Take care dear ones!