Sunday, January 27

Right on the Nail..

When I started painting my nails, I hadn't the faintest about just how important a good base and top coat are and my cuticles were out of control.

As I started getting into nail polish I was really glad other girls online shared some recommendations and pointed me in the right direction, so I figured I'd show you guys what's inside my nail care box too:

To shape my nails I use a glass file and a four-sided buffer.

Emery boards always wear out so darn quickly, I got quite grumpy about the money and waste. I haven't had it for long, but my glass file seems to do the trick :)
The buffer really help smooth the edges of my nails, and smooth edges don't chip as easily :)

For some time I used one of those metal cuticle trimmers.  They're great to cut ripped cuticles, but if your cuticles are not damaged, using one of those torture instruments will be sure to do just that. You have to be a deft hand in order not to shred your cuticles in the process and damage your nail root to boot (I am not). Your cuticles seal your nailbed and removing them can cause infections, so though you want to keep them neat you definitely don't want rid of them completely.  

Cuticle Remover cream is a far safer bet. The stuff softens/thins your cuticles so you can push them down with a rubber tipped pusher without even a hint of the Spanish inquisition.

Correct and clean up pens are the best thing since sliced bread if like me you don't always colour within the lines ;)
It is perfect for cleaning little mess ups around your nails and to neaten edges.

You just fill your pen with polish remover and though they wear out pretty quick, you can get refill tips as well.

Cuticle cream & oil is really helpful for keeping the skin at the edges of your nails looking neat. I really like Mavala Almond Cuticle Oil.  I am a sucker for almond is all ;)

I used to apply Sally Hansen - Hard As Nails as both a base and topcoat. It's a great product, but that's not really what it's made for, so when I swapped to Seche Vite Dryfast Topcoat I couldn't believe the difference it made (I still use Hard As Nails as a base btw).

The whole shebang dries a lot quicker and my nails rarely chip anymore. I have lazily worn the same nail-do for over a week, where chips would usually prompt a re-do after no more than three days. Usually I still do my nails every other day, simply because I like a bit of variety, but it's nice to know the washing up is no longer my enemy.. at least not from a nail polish aspect ;)

I used to cut shapes from sellotape, which, let's face it: Is pretty tedious.
Nowadays I have a wallet full of self-adhesive nail guides from eBay.
They are just the right kind of sticky, easy to apply and don't cost the world either.

My embossing tool is just perfect for polka dot nails. Just drip a little polish on a non-absorbent surface (sellotape is good) and dip your embossing tool right in. Dot on your nails and Bob's your uncle.

How about you? 
Got any nail related tips or recommendations for me?


  1. Aha! Tools of the trade, thanks for sharing this. I always wondered how you did your complocated nail designs so well. Makes my vanilla all one colour nails seems pretty dump now, I shall have to try some new designs me thinks :0)

  2. Your blog is so perfect! This post was fun & helpful, and I really enjoy your style!

    <3 Megan

  3. I use cotton buds dipped in nailpolish remover to do the tidy up - super cheap and quite accurate :-D

  4. That's a less wasteful option for sure :) I find them a lot harder to aim though - then again I am quite famously clumsy :D

  5. Thanks for sharing this with us, I have to try your dot technique. After have been visiting your blog regularly for quite a while, I think you are the master of pretty nails! If you ever get tired of your dry quick top coat - I really recommend Essies! However, I have not tried the brand you use, so I can't compare.