Nail Care Routine

Cuticle Oil - Nail Care Routine

Although I have pared down my collection of colors and don’t have polish on as much as I used to, my nail care routine is still an essential part of keeping myself feeling human as opposed to some cave-dwelling fiend.

In Shape

Every week or two, I kick my nail care routine off by trimming and shaping my nails. I’m still using the clippers from the kit I shared in January 2015 and these super-inexpensive files from Sally Beauty that I shared this past February. They’re great! I taper the sides and round the edges ever so slightly.

You see all these super squared-off manicures constantly that look nice, but I’m like, “How are they not stabbing everything with the corners of their nails!?” Looks nice, but just like a two inch nail enhancement – not practical.

Care for your Cuticles

Don’t skip cuticle care in your nail care routine! You could have an amazing polish job, but ragged, dry cuticles will bring it down a few notches. Conversely, polish-free nails still look great when they’re shaped and have their cuticles cared-for.

For cuticle care, I slap on Sally Hansen Apricot Cream (shared January 2017) throughout the day. Once per week, I use a Sally Hansen gel to facilitate the removal of dead tissue where my eponychium meets my nail plate. An orangewood stick does just fine, but I like cuticle stones, these plastic pushers (I bought just one at Sally’s), or one of the heavy-duty stainless steel implements salons use. I hate using cuticle nippers for this; they tend to cause more problems than they solve. I do use them, however, to treat annoying hangnails.

Slap a hydrating cuticle treatment on afterwards. I use either the cream I mentioned above or Essie Apricot Oil. At this point, I’m not sure if I would repurchase the Essie product. I don’t dislike it but there are probably more cost-effective solutions out there.

Polish and Beyond

If polishing, I’ll use acetone or alcohol to clean up and slightly dehydrate my nails to prep for polish. After I polish (regardless of method), I apply cuticle oil (yes, again!) and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

If I’m skipping polish, I finish my nail care routine by giving my nails a good scrub with hand soap, then reapplying cuticle oil. In case it is relevant, my soap dispenser is currently filled with SimpleHuman Spring Water – I like it, but will probably just go back to Method; even though I bought it cheaper than Amazon has it for, Method is still cheaper and works just fine!

Nail Care Routine Maintenance

Usually, I can go two weeks before needing to trim and redo my cuticle work. In the meantime, I keep my cuticles from spontaneously bleeding all over my keyboard (yes, it really happened) by applying my cuticle cream at least once a day. I don’t use a crazy-fancy hand lotion, either; Skinfix (shared August 2016) is unscented and awesome.

If I break a nail, I file it smooth lest I lose my mind. Otherwise, I mostly let them be and enjoy a tidy manicure. If I lose my mind and get a shoddy manicure in a salon, however, I usually need to pay extra attention to my hands for the month after (aka defeating the purpose of a salon manicure). Boo.

What does your nail care routine look like?

DIY Hair Gloss – Updated

This is a legacy post that I’ve given a facelift because who doesn’t want shiny hair? I’ve done this four times now, including on my highlights – and it looks great. Opinions are the same, but is formatted and edited for easier reading and flow.

I shared a tutorial on how to DIY Hair Gloss in May 2014. It’s been a while, and it’s time to do it again – mostly to refresh the shine, and partially to make the process easier.

DIY Hair Gloss SuppliesDIY Hair Gloss Supplies

Supplies

Supplies needed are the same as before, with a couple additions:

I picked up a lot of this stuff from Sally Beauty when they had some sales and I had a 20% of, but a lot of that stuff can be found on Amazon, too. Instructions after the jump.

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Look Awake in No Time

Today is my first day back to my day job since the day before Christmas Eve; an unpredecented holiday break (my employer has a use-them-or-lose-them vacation day policy) for me. So, as I’m sure anyone in a similar situation can imagine, this first Monday of the year is a molehill that feels like a mountain as I make my way through the motions of my workday. But hey – at least I look awake!

Professionals, students, and Moms, you can relate: Sleep is a beautiful, precious thing. Even though I find significant joy in makeup, one cannot get through the days as a functional human being on joy and/or a perfectly executed winged liner alone.

On a daily basis, I prefer more sleep over more time to primp. I am a Snooze Button fiend. In spite of my extra sleep, I often still look pretty tired and sleepy until my second cup of coffee (and even then, coffee doesn’t cure dark circles). I’m not always a fan of looking like death-warmed-over, though.

Fortunately because I find myself in this situation more often than I care to admit, I’ve become pretty good at handling it. Regardless of the reason we’re time-deprived, most of us have three minutes. Yes, three. That’s it. This isn’t a, “no makeup-makeup look,” that requires you spend more time than you’d ever expect. This isn’t a full blown morning routine complete with sun salutations and lemon water, though – this is JUST making your face look less exhausted without doing a full face. Give me three minutes and I can look like my cats didn’t wake me up three times last night or like I did more harm than good by thrice-striking snooze.

First, concealer, post haste. I still really love Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer, even though the packaging could be better. I’m cracking open my fourth tube, soon – and let’s face it, how often do we makeup fanciers repurchase something 4+ times? Yeah, I dig it. We understand each other.

Look Awake In No Time
Look Awake In No Time…with my highly sought-after diagrams /s

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Tip2Toe Electric Callus Tool

I am a fan of flip-flops.

Seriously, you don’t know. I wore them in the winter until I moved somewhere Truly Snowy in the Winter (and have since wised up). I have a $50 pair of Rainbows and they are joy.

(I never claimed to be fashionable.)


Tip2Toe - Box

Anyway, as a result of being flip-flop-focused, I need to pay a little more attention to pedicures. Last Christmas, my husband got me a Tip2Toe Electric Callus tool (knowing my pedi-obsession) from Amazon. It is a high-powered (and I do mean high) electric rotary tool that you use to buff dead skin from your feet. I had actually considered just getting a dremel (not because my feet are atrocious, but because I’m lazy) – but I couldn’t figure out what grit(s) would be safe to use.

The Tip2Toe has a long cord with a GFI switch at the plug (like a hairdryer) to protect you – like I said, this sucker is high powered. You need to be very careful or you will hurt yourself. To use it, you attach its little, yellow, proprietary buffing discs (it comes with a few)…

Tip2Toe - Disc

After soaking your feet to soften them (or, you know, showering – that’s usually fine), you can go to work. It works. It smooths them, but for me, didn’t remove the excess like I so desired. I am anti-Credo blade, anti-grater. But then, I figured it out!

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Apply Self-Tanner with a beautyblender

Earlier this month, I talked about how to apply self-tanner to the face with a makeup brush. That’s not the only, “alternative,” way that works really well, though!

Why yes, that is my (old, frankly kind of in rough shape but still going strong!) beautyblender PRO

bbtanapply self-tanner to the face with a beautyblender

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