Monday 25 February 2013

Monday Manicure #4: My Nail Care Routine

Hallelujah, BBB is back!! I absolutely HATE it when i haven't blogged for a whole week and i don't want this to be a blog where you only get one post per week. However, my life has been so crazy over the past fortnight i haven't even had time to scratch, let alone pick up my laptop. London Fashion Week (more on that later in the week), University and my parents first ever trip to visit me in London have kept me well and truly occupied. So tonight i wanna talk about nails. Not my usual Monday Manicure-type post but i got to thinking last week that i've posted my skincare and haircare routines recently, so why not my nail care picks as well?? 

As with skincare, i am no expert whatsoever with nail care and am just doing what has been working for me. My nails have recently improved dramatically and this has really encouraged me to step up my nail care and invest in good quality products as well as some budget drugstore staples. I am still learning and discovering new products all the time so the routine you see today may well evolve, but the products i'm featuring today have been serving me very well.

Hands and Cuticles: 
You've seen these products, briefly, before on this blog as i featured them at Christmas. They are part of the Nip+Fab Dry Hand Fix Kit* (and also come with a pair of rather fetching gloves for when you want to truly pamper your hands overnight). Regular readers will know that i really rate Nip+Fab products and that they are very much part of my every day life.The hand cream smells like pudding and i carry it around in my handbag all the time as it's a handy size. It's not an intensive treatment by any means but it is infused with Olive Oil and keeps my hands lovely and soft, which also keeps my nails happy. Those with very dry or chapped hands would probably need something richer but, for day to day use on normal skin, i really rate this cream. 

I'll level with you now.... I don't really know squat about what i'm supposed to do with my cuticles. I did initially question whether or not i even HAD any! Of course, i DO, but what i have is barely there and i don't feel the need to push or cut them and they don't obstruct my nails in any way. I know some have very dry cuticles but mine just seem very average so i just give them a blob of the Nip+Fab cuticle cream which i rub into the cuticle and over the nail to keep it soft and healthy. I actually bought the Sally Hansen Cuticle Pen the other day as well but have not used it yet. I'll report back, of course.

Clipping and Filing:
I don't clip my nails often. I used to when i went through a phase of wanting them mega square but, more recently, i've been a bit obsessed with filing them into a more pointed shape. Don't get me wrong, i don't want those scary TALONS i keep seeing all over Instagram, but i am definitely favouring a more tapered shape just lately. I'll be honest and admit that i actually use these to clip the FERRETS' nails more than i do my own (they get washed thoroughly in between, before anyone thinks i'm gross haha). The ones i'm using are Superdrug own brand and are actually meant for toenails, but i found them more robust and less fiddly to use and they work perfectly well for both human and ferret. 

As i travel a lot, i've been buying these cute mini polkadot emery boards from Boots rather than using anything too posh. These were only a couple of pounds for a pack of 3 and i have them dotted around my room and one is permanently in my travel bag so that i'm never far from one if i need it. I think that i will eventually treat myself to one of those beautiful glass/crystal nail files i keep seeing on QVC but i will always use these as they are so handy and so easily replaced if they get lost or worn out. 

Treatment/Base Coat: 
Most reading this will probably be well aware of the existence of OPI Nail Envy. It's been on my shopping list for what seems like forever but i only actually got around to buying it myself in January. I'd like to make it known that i ADORE it and that i will never be without it again. I purchased mine from eBay (Link), where there are some great deals to be had. The one i have is the Original, but they also have other formulas, including a Matte formula which intrigues me.
Before i started using this, although my nails were already improving a great deal, the surface of my nails was still flaking and they would occasionally split, painfully, very far down. I've been using two coats of Nail Envy as a base for my nail polish for just over a month now and you can actually SEE the difference as the nail has grown. The flaky part has almost grown out now. I also find that Nail Envy reduces the staining i get from nail polish and that my nails feel almost indestructible. I scour glass shelves in a pub every Thursday but you wouldn't be able to tell from my nails. This product is worth every penny and then some!

Top Coat:
I'm including this as a nail care product, even though it is a topcoat, because of how well it protects my polish and makes my manicures last for ages. As with Nail Envy, this is a product i'd heard a lot about over a long period of time but only got round to trying for myself just before Christmas 2012. It is the Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat*. This product has completely revolutionised the way i do my nails. I love the glossy finish that it gives and how it dries my nails in a flash! Now i can do my nails every week on the train up to Derbyshire from London for uni and be confident that my nails will be dry and smudge-proof by the time i reach my destination. Usually, this mani will also last until the NEXT Sunday too (unless i get the urge to repaint them midweek). I've heard grumbles here and there that this product is very quick to go gloopy, but i haven't experienced this myself so far. I do, however, have a fresh bottle on standby just in case.
My Seche Vite came c/o QVC from their SS13 Press Event and is available as a great value multibuy on (Link). I'm also aware that Seche Vite is also available in selected Boots stores and from some department stores so it's worth keeping an eye out while you're shopping too. 

So i thought i'd end with a little snap of my (almost) naked nails just so you can see how i'm getting on. Not a fantastic photo by any means (poorly lit iPhone pic from last night while i was curled up in my onesie, doing my nails). All i have on in this pic is OPI Nail Envy and nothing else. There is still a bit of nail polish staining towards the tips but thats almost grown out now and my nails are much stronger thanks to stepping up my nail care habits! 

Have you tried any of these products?? What are your can't-live-without nail fixes?? Any tips or things I should be doing differently??


  1. I've just discovered a Sally Hansen topcoat and I absolutely love it!

  2. I really want to try the SV top coat. I didn't realise you could buy from Boots, so shall keep my eye. Cute blog by the way, consider yourself followed (hope you manage to reach your 500 followers by the end of the week :).

    Laura-Jane :)


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