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?

2 thoughts on “Nail Care Routine”

  1. Polish or no polish, long or short, I neeeeeed my nails to be nicely shaped and filed. Always. That’s my rule. Especially, like yourself, if I break a nail. Also, hang nails and ugly edges of skin bug me to bits, so I chop them off with a cuticle clipper. (Note: A GOOD, SHARP clipper. I can’t stand crappy ones that just further butcher your skin.)
    If I can’t be bothered to do a single other thing, I try to at least keep a coat of OPI’s Nail Envy on my nails. (stupid dry climate here in Calgary) Truly, nothing in my life has ever worked as well as that stuff at keeping my nails from breaking, chipping and peeling. I don’t even care how much that crap costs. If I can own only one bottle of polish, that’s the one.
    When I feel like I have more time and I want a pick me up, I’ll paint my nails in basically the same steps you described painting yours. Now when I’m really amped up and somehow trick myself into believing ‘this isn’t going to take hours! besides,you’ve got lotsa time!’, then I go all out and go for the DIY gel polish. The stuff lasts forever and I push it even further with various ‘touch up’ and ‘refresh’ tips you find on Youtube or wherever on the interwebs.
    My nail care routine goes through waves – from short and stubby with nothing on them, to long, perfectly shaped and gel-polished with a pretty little accent nail. Current status: short, decently filed, OPI Nail Envy. Don’t get me started on my toe nails, though…

  2. One last thing, about moisturizing:
    I’m bad about remembering to keep my frigging hands (especially cuticles) moisturized, so I really need to get on that! I like that you mentioned unscented moisturizer as I find myself increasingly sensitive to fragrance in products. I used to love good ol’ Bath & BodyWorks lotions (hey, I love me some yummy scents!), but now I either have to tone them down by mixing in a more ‘bland’ lotion or just skip those altogether because the scent just becomes overwhelming and my head can’t even. My beef with unscented moisturizers, though, is that I’ve found that many of them actually do have some sort of scent to them and it’s *gross*! Do you know what I mean? Am I the only one who finds this to be the case?!

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