Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Nail Care Routine

I've been asked many times how I keep my hands/nails/cuticles looking so nice. Well, after taking off my latest polish I realized it's that time of the month — the time when my nails are starting to look a little long and ragged and I have to do a complete work over on them. I do this once, maybe twice a month, and do multiple smaller touch-ups between. So, I decided to snap a few pictures and attempt a short video in an attempt to explain how I keep my nails in shape. You guys asked for it!! :)


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Here are the main things you'll need. I use non-acetone nail polish remover and a cotton ball to remove all my nail polish. I use so much of this stuff that I go for the cheaper Equate option. It works just as well as name brand and costs less! I bought the nail trimmer from the Born Pretty Store over a year ago, and I still love this thing! I recommend getting a six (or seven) sided file; I prefer my Revlon Shape 'N' Buff six sided file. And, the only lotion I will ever use is Aveeno, usually Daily Moisturizing. If you use something else make sure it is not water based. Check the list of ingredients and make sure water is near the end of the list. Water dries out your skin and nails, so I have never understood why you would want to use a water based lotion in an attempt to cure said dry skin. Aveeno Daily Mouisturizing has a dimenthicone skin protectant (a breathable barrier that locks in moisture) and is natural colloidal oatmeal based (which will help soothe and soften dry skin). You'll also need to have a sink and some soap nearby.

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This is my elusive right hand immediately after removing polish and washing my hands. It needs a lot of TLC, right? Sadly, by the time I made the decision to do this tutorial I had already done my (prettier) left hand. What this means is that this hand will be a lot more ragged. Since I am right handed this hand takes all the damage. This also means the results of my overhaul will be a little less perfect since I'm cutting and filing with my non-dominant hand. Here is what I start with: dry skin, long nails that are growing out of their squared shape, peeling tips, and hideous cuticles. The end results will be a drastic change!


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There will be no editing in these pictures (except light quality if needed) so you can see the true, unaltered nail makeover. The first thing to do, after washing and drying your hands, is to trim your nails.


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Be careful after cutting your nails as they will be extra sharp. :)


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Here is where the file comes in.


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I use the previous pictures white side to file some extra length off my nails, creating the squared shape I like, and then round out the edges a bit. After that, I use the blue side to even out my nails. The pink end is used to smooth both the tips of my nails and the ridges on my nails.


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You're nails will start to look worse before they look better. Be very careful if you have ridges that need filing. You never want to file too much off the tops of your nails!!


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Next I use the purple and dark blue sides to lightly buff and shine my nails.


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They look pretty bad, right? They'll look a little better after you wash off some of the dust and dandruff left behind by filing. Use some soap and water and be extra gentle.


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Next up: lotion, lotion, and more lotion. It's far better to have too much than have not enough. Put a large dollop in your palm and cover your hands in lotion; then focus on massaging the lotion into your nails and around your cuticles. See the video below.


video

Forgive me, I really hope this works. This is my first video, and I really don't have the setup for this. I had to balance my camera on my knee and hope I didn't knock it over while filming. It's a bit out of focus in some parts, but it gets the point across. Don't forget to get some lotion under your nails too.

Let the lotion sink in for a few minutes before even thinking of touching your cuticles. The lotion will soften them and make pushing them back easier. After a few minutes go ahead and push your cuticles back. GENTLY!! If they don't move easily use more lotion and wait a bit longer. Better to wait a few extra minutes than to tear your cuticles attempting to push them back. Not only would that be painful, but there's always the risk of infection with damaged cuticles.


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Finally, after the lotion has all sunk in and your hands are silky smooth but dry, apply a base coat. I just got this OPI Matte Nail Envy in the mail (bought with an Amazon gift card I received from Swagbucks.com) so I decided to give it a try. This is two coats. I really love how it's not truly matte but more the matte of your natural nails. It leaves a bit of shine behind that looks really nice. It also left my nails so strong and with a nearly perfectly arched shape after about an hour on my nails! This will certainly contribute to their overall strength. It does leave me wondering if I'm supposed to use my usual base coat over this or if this subs as a base coat. The big question is: will it protect against staining on its own?

My daily routine between these overhauls usually consists of lots of lotion and some less frequent filing between old and new polish. I use nothing but non-acetone remover, and I never trim or in any way remove my cuticles. Really, nothing too intensive.

What do you guys think? Definitely easy enough that anyone can do, right? There's no reason not to have beautiful hands and nails. Give it a try and let me know if this works for you. :)

8 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for posting, this is really helpful! I need to do my monthly TLC as well - maybe I'll make a post too! :)

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    1. It's really not that hard but I'm such a procrastinator. I always put it off and then am utterly shamed by how horrible my nails and cuticles look. I would love to see your routine, Kelly. I'm always looking for new things to try or different ways of doing what we do. Would love to see a TLC post from you. :)

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  2. My right hand stays in worse shape than my "good" hand, too.

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    Replies
    1. I'm always so, so careful about my picture taking hand. If there's something that's nail breaking risky I use my right hand, lol. Sacrifices must be made. :)

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  3. Thank you for letting us in on your secrets!!

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  4. Thanks for your tips, they're so inspireing!

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