Today's prompt is Your Nail Care Routine... well, I would say for me its Your Nail Care "Routine", because I don't really have a routine. Honestly I'm terrible at routines in general. So when I was trying to write this post mentally I struggled. Then I decided that I would just share my nail care in general. (Please disregard the dog & cat hair in my light box. It's an unavoidable part of life with pets.)
More details after the jump!
I am by no means an expert at this. I'm not an expert at anything... but I have done a lot of research aka trial and error with nail stuff. So I have figured out what works best for me. What works best for me might not be what works best for you, or for anyone else. So this post is just the tips that I've learned that help my nails.
One of the biggest things I've learned since I started this whole nail painting/blogging/swatching adventure is moisturize moisturizer MOISTURIZE! Hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of water, and use plenty of moisturizer. Good moisturizer. Now I don't know what is considered "good" moisturizer, but I know what works for me. Here are a few things I use to keep my nails and fingers and hands moisturized.
Throughout the day I use lotion whenever I think of it, maybe 2 or 3 times a day. More if I'm washing my hands more at work... which has been the case lately because there's been an outbreak of illness that makes me a little paranoid. Usually when I use lotion I also use my Sweet Baby Cuticle Oil. I love this stuff, no lie, I have one within arms reach at all times. One on my desk, one by my favorite spot in the living room, one in my purse, and most importantly one in my polishing area. It rolls on conveniently and soaks in quickly but still moisturizes. I love it. At night I use cuticle cream or balm, and a heavier lotion like the Bath & Body Works body cream or Neutrogena Norwegian Hand Cream. I'm almost out of my Sweet Baby cuticle balm and will be getting some more, but I have a tin of Burt's Bees that I need to use up. It's good stuff too, I just prefer the Sweet Baby. (Pink Sugar is my favorite scent, in case you're wondering.) I might have to order some soon though because I don't think Donna ships this magical elixir in the warmer months.
Keeping your hands and cuticles moisturized is good for your nails. The act of massaging the oils and lotions in to your nail beds not only feels good, but it stimulates your nail growth. It also helps keep the skin around your nails soft so that you get fewer of those pesky hang nails. One of the things that got me into researching nail stuff (that lead to my blogging life) was looking for tips to avoid painful hang nails and nail breaks. Moisturizing was one of the biggest things I found, and boy does it work. I am naturally blessed with soft skin and decent nails, and I'm thankful for that. But I use my moisturizers to keep that up.
Now for nail care products that I have found helpful for my polishing routine and for my nails in general.
As far as mani care, base coat makes a huge difference! I use a half and half (approximately) combo of OPI Nail Envy Matte and Essie Grow Stronger. I don't remember where exactly I read about this mixture, but I love it. I actually pour them into the same bottle and paint them on. I know that I need more Nail Envy when the base gets too shiny. Nothing too scientific here.
For remover I swear by Zoya Remove. There are recipes online to make your own version of this, but I've never had much luck with them. I buy this stuff in bulk, and it is worth every penny in my book. It has saved my skin through winters of nail art and swatching. It removes polish well, and it doesn't dry out your skin. It's not as fast as acetone for glitter removal, but with the foil method and about 5-10 minutes soaking time it works. Plus to me it's worth a little extra work to save your skin. I do use acetone for clean up, but I use it very sparingly and moisturize as soon as my mani is dry.
To shorten my nails when they get too long I use straight nail clippers to get the majority of the length off, then I use a glass file to shape them. I would love to say that I follow the "file in one direction" rule, but I don't. I try, I really do... but it's hard to remember for me for some reason. But I have noticed that the glass files are better on my nails, less fraying and splitting from filing. The file is neater and cleaner, and its faster than the other types of files I've tried.
And that's about it. :) I'm sorry if this post was rambly. It's harder for me to share things like this instead of my beloved polish! Let me know if you have any questions!
Thanks for reading! And thank you Twinsie Tuesday girls for the out of the ordinary post!
Be sure to go check out the other Twinsie Tuesday bloggers to see what they do to take care of their nails!
Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Casey at CaseyLane Loves Polish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Erin at Paint Those Piggies
Heather at Peace, Love, & Polish
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined and Polished
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Tiffany at Polished To Precision
Traci at DrinkCitra
**All products in this post were purchased by me for my own personal use.**