Monday, 23 February 2015

Nail Care Routine.

Like most bloggers probably, I'm a huge fan of nail polish.  I own an obscene amount, especially for someone who can't wear it every day.  My job involves handling food, so nail polish is a big no no, so for the most part, my collection of pretty colours often gets overlooked.  That said, I still do like to take care of my nails so that when I'm not at work I don't have to spend too long whipping them into shape; I can just paint on my colour of choice and I'm good to go... well, once I've taken it off and reapplied it 3+ times because I've not waited long enough and it's smudged... anyone else do that?!

First of all, I'll simply wash my hands in some warm soapy water. Aside from the obvious making my hands nice and clean, it also softens the cuticles a little, to make removing them a little easier.  I'll then use one of the cuticle tools to get rid of any gunk that's lurking under my nails... yuk! 

Then it's onto a bit of cuticle work. I'll admit I'm not great at this, and definitely need to work on my technique a little bit.  I'm currently using the Sally Hansen Maximum Strength Cuticle Remover which I picked up in Boots.  I leave this on my nails for a minute or two then gently push back my cuticles with either the tool I was using before, or an orange stick.  I think I'm going to invest in a rubber tipped one soon as I feel I'd get better results with one of those.  This metal one I just bough on ebay for a couple of pounds.  Once that's done I'll wash my hands again before starting on filing and buffing.

I highly recommend the Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File. Although expensive it will last you forever (unless you stand on it like I did with my first one... oops!). I've had this for almost a year and it's still as good as new and files my nails brilliantly.  It's super gentle, yet you can file your nails in no time with it, it's a fantastic product. I love it. I just it came with a bit more of a protective case; for the price you pay a flimsy plastic wallet isn't really good enough in my opinion.    I then buff my nails with this 4 way buffer that was cheap as chips from Boots. I don't do this every time I do my nails as it's not meant to be great for them, apparently it can actually weaken your nails! I tend to do this once or twice a month and mainly use sides 2 and 3 of the buffer to remove any ridges and smooth my nails out ready for polish.

I remember reading somewhere that dehydrating the nail is a good step to do before applying any polish.  All you need to do is take a bit or your usual nail polish remover on a cotton wool pad and just sweep it over the nail.  This just makes sure your nail is properly clean and ready for your polish to adhere to.  

Although I said I'm not meant to wear anything on my nails for work there is one sneaky step I do next whether I'm going to be wearing nail polish or not, and that's apply a nail strengthener.  I'd heard great things about OPI nail envy, and when I saw that they did a matte version I decided to be a little bit naughty and see if I could get away with it for work.  Although not as matte as I was hoping for (there's a definite shine there, especially under the harsh lights at work!) I've so far got away with it and my nails are much stronger as a result.  After this, if I'm not at work, I'll paint my nails then use my Sally Hansen Mega Shine Top Coat to add shine and help my colour last a bit longer; though I only wear nail polish for a couple of days at a time so longevity isn't too much of an issue for me.

Finally, I'll add a bit of moisture back in to my hands and nails and for this I'll either use my Boots Salon Nail and Cuticle Oil, which comes in a glass bottle with a roller ball, making application quick and easy, or if I want something a bit more intensive I'll use Lemony Flutter from Lush.  This take a bit longer to absorb but it's worth it if you've maybe been a bit too harsh on those cuticles! My last step is to apply some hand cream.  My one of choice at the moment is Soap and Glory's Hand Dream.  I got this in the massive gift set at Christmas and I've to say that I think I prefer it to Hand Food! 

So that's my nail routine! It sounds a bit long winded, but it doesn't take that long at all really. Since doing this routine around once a week, I've certainly noticed a big difference in the condition of my nails; they were a bit dry and battered from work and would break really easily.  They're now much stronger, look healthier and generally just make me feel a bit more put together, even when I'm in minimal make up, hair scraped bag, and ready for another 9 hour shift at work.

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