I believe your hands are a huge part of the first impression you make on someone. Therefore I find taking good care of them and of my nails and important part of my daily beauty chores. In this post I want to share with you the nail care routine that has worked great for me in the past months.
In my teen years and more recently in the past two years I have bitten my nails. I blame it on stress and boredom combined. “So much to do, but it’s not the time yet” type of feeling. I have found a way around it and discussed it in this post here. I finally managed to grow my nails over the point where I wouldn’t dare to bite them again because they finally look good. This summer I tried acrylic nails for my wedding (here) and gel polish while on holidays, which left my nails flaking and weak. This is the nail care routine I used to get them back in shape.
I start my nail care routine by removing any nail polish with the Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover. This tub is amazing, it makes it so easy to just dip your fingers in, rub a little and take them out clean. Recently Sephora released their own version where you can fit all five fingers at once and that is on my wish list as well (here). Of course you can also just use a cotton ball and your favorite nail polish remover.
Shaping, filing and buffing are very important steps when it comes to taking care of your nails. Even if you’re trying to let them grow like me, you need to smooth the edges, correct the shape and overall make sure there are no points where they could break. I love to use these simple Revlon Compact Emery Boards which come in a pack of 24 at Ulta, they will last you forever. I use the finer white side to shape my nails. When it comes to choosing the shape of your nail, there are many options that depend of course on your personal taste. However, the general tip is that the shape of your tip should mirror that of the base of your nail. For me this is an oval shape. I have tried almond before and it really looks quite ridiculous.
After you have achieved your desired shape, I love to buff my nails to smooth the surface and prepare it for the nail polish. You can use one of the four-sides nail files out there. The one I’m using and quite liking at the moment is the Revlon Shape n’ Buff Nail Buffer. I follow the four steps for each nail and end up with really smooth and uniform nail beds.
Final prep step is pushing back the cuticles. I have done this with a cuticle remover like the one from Essence (here) and cherry sticks, but it was never really successful. I decided to step over to a metal cuticle pusher (here) after I had a chat with a nail tech, and I am so happy I did. It is quicker and more efficient and the final effect is much nicer using a metal pusher.
Finally time to add nail polish to my groomed nails. I am still a faithful user of the Sephora Formula X 3-Step System that I reviewed here. In short, the system consists in a cleansing step, that gets rid of anything left on the nail after prepping, a base coat and a top coat. The cleanse and base coat still work amazing, but the top coat became too thick and I had to throw it away. While I wait to repurchase it, I am using the travel size one from the Formula X Prescription Strengthening Clix set. From this set I also apply the Cuticle Conditioning Treatment after my top coat has dried, but any cuticle oil will work.
Taking care of your nails once a week is usually not enough if there are any issues you want to fix. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep a cuticle oil and hand cream on your night stand and apply them each evening before going to sleep. My picks are the Essence Nail Repairing Oil and The Body Shop Almond Hand & Nail Cream which I apply each evening in that order.
Some further help can come “from the inside” in the form of a healthy diet rich in vitamins and healthy fats, as well as supplements such as Biotin or Hair, Skin and Nail tablets. I have mentioned before (here) how a healthier diet helped clear my skin, but supplements have done great things for my nails and hair (TMI: with a small side-effect of my leg hair growing way to fast).
Bonus tip: if you have any leftover product from your skincare routine, don’t wash your hands off, but rub it on your cuticles. Whatever is good for your face will also be good for your hands!
These are my tips, tricks and current nail care routine that has helped get my nails back in shape.
Do you also have a nail care routine? What is your go-to product?