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Monday, January 9, 2012
Nail Care / Manicure Routine
I'm not really a 'minimal' person, I have an excessive skin care routine, an excessive hair care routine and an excessive manicure routine.
My hands are excessively dry from the recycled air in my office, it has turned me into a hand cream junkie and made keeping my nail beds well treated quite a task.
So here is a rundown of my basic manicure routine:
1: Remove all nail polish
It's important to start with clean nails and hands. I am not loyal to a nail polish remover, generally it's Cutex or Sally Hansen but I would love to find a better one. I use cotton squares rather than rounds because the squares have a sewn seam on the sides which holds them together for longer.
2: Cuticles need love too
It's up to you whether you want to push or trim or leave your cuticles alone but whatever you choose to do, make sure you are keeping your cuticles hydrated and soft. Cuticle oil is very common and easy to find, or you can try a cuticle butter. Cuticle butter is usually a solidified oil, it's less messy and often more hydrating. I like Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter from Lush. I apply a good amount to each nail and let it sit for a few minutes, I'll then take time rubbing in the cuticle butter to each nail as it turns into an oil. Once it's rubbed into my cuticles I will rub the rest around my hands.
I choose to trim my cuticles. Use a pusher (these can be found in any pharmacy for a few dollars) and then use a base trimmer to cut away the cuticles. I find that a base trimmer is far easier then using cuticle scissors. Cutting your cuticles doesn't hurt at all. If you have any pain then you are cutting too far down.
3: Scrub and soften those grimy little paws
I use Ocean Salt Scrub from Lush to exfoliate my hands. Onto dry hands place a small scoop of the salt and massage it into your hands. It should dissolve into grains and your hands may tingle a little from the deep exfoliation. Rinse off with warm water and voila! Super soft hands. You'll need to moisturise your hands after using any form of scrub, I like Creme Anglais from Lush for a hand treatment after scrubbing. On a day-to-day basis I will use Helping Hands from Lush.
Wait until all the moisturiser has soaked into your hands before applying nail polish.
4: Prime, Polish and Finish
Clip your nails to the same length, I like my nails to be quite flat on top so I prefer to use toe nail clippers. file the edges and corners gently to finish your perfect shape.
Give your hands a good rinse to remove any excess oil from your nails and apply a base coat. I like Sally Hansen Hard As Nails, it helps nail polish apply streak free and stops cracking and splitting of the nails. When that has dried continue with your nail polish, a few coats is best with time to dry in between.
Finally, clean up any edges with cotton tips and nail polish remover and finish with a super strong, super glossy top coat. I've been trying Seche Vite top coat (which is pictured above) but I recommend INM Out The Door Top Coat - it's actually amazing.