Sunday, February 2, 2014

Keeping Healthy Nails

I've heard from a number of people, "I had my nails done at the salon for years (no acrylic) and they are in horrible shape" or "I can't paint my nails all the time because it will ruin them." I'm here to tell you that this doesn't have to be the case.

Using acetone, polish, filing, etc. is very drying and damaging to your nails and can cause a lot of issues and in effect, ruin your nails. That's why it's so important to take the necessary steps and time to care for yours nails so that doesn't happen. I've been painting my nails consistently for almost a year now and my nails are the strongest and healthiest they have ever been. I thought I would share some products I've used and what's worked for me.

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Use lotions and cuticle balms/oils like there is no tomorrow. There are a million of them out on the market and you will need to find one that works for you. Two products I feel are just okay and will not be repurchasing is Julep's Essential Cuticle Oil and Sally Hansen Cuticle Eraser + Balm.  The oil is pricey (luckily I got mine for only a few dollars) and I don't think it's any better than any other, more inexpensive oils. The balm isn't that hydrating for me and there are better products on the market. I have heard amazing things about Essie Apricot Oil and I'd like to try that one next. Lush's Lemony Flutter is awesome. It is expensive, but it's hand made with natural ingredients; not to mention that it will last for a very long time. It's incredibly hydrating and smells good too. The only complaint I have is it's a little greasy, but I can deal. The Burt's Bee's Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream is good too. I haven't found any miracle hand lotion, and really find that just applying any lotion to your hands and cuticles helps a lot. I just grab any lotion I have lying around and hydrate my hands sometimes multiple times a day.

Lemony Flutter - Retail $16.95

Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream - Retail $6.00

Cuticle Eraser + Balm - Retail $6.49

Essential Cuticle Oil - Retail $18.00

Treatments. It's important to use some type of treatment(s) to your nails. There are lots of different types out there for different problems, and by no means do you need to use all of them. Are your nails dry? Peeling? Thin and weak? Different treatments are made for different uses, so make sure you do some research on what you need. My nails are strong, but can get dry and brittle. I most often use Essie's Feed Me which is a hydration treatment. I was lucky enough to find mine cheaper at TJMaxx, and I will absolutely be repurchasing this. It has helped with my splitting tips and overall drying to my nails. Essie has stopped making this treatment, but you can still find it on Ebay and Amazon. I also use a strengthening treatment and currently I am using Sally Hansen Diamond Strength and while I like this product I think I will try a different one next time. I always use a treatment, then a base coat, and then my polish. These things are made to help protect your nails, so use them!

Diamond Strength Hardener - Retail $6.99

Feed Me - Retail price varies

Cuticle care. I already mentioned some products for hydrating, but there are other things that need to be done to your cuticles. Pushing back your cuticles is a must. I use a manicure stick and the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover. This stuff really does work great and while it doesn't remove all your cuticles, it does help tremendously. About once a week I have a routine that I do. I push my cuticles back, use nail buffers to lightly buff my nails and use a hand scrub. Sometimes I'll do my scrub more, just depends on how much I've been beating up my nails. The H20 Plus hand and cuticle scrub is awesome. I found mine at TJMaxx, but if I'm not able to find it there I think I might fork over the money for more. It makes my hands so soft. There are DIY scrubs that I've found online too, I may give one of those a go.

Instant Cuticle Remover - Retail $4.99

Hand and Cuticle Scrub - Retail $15.00

Nail Buffers & Orange/Manicure Stick 

Some other tips...

File your nails with polish still on. Not only does this help see the shape better while you are filing, but it will help your nails from splitting. Filing instead of cutting with clippers helps with splitting also. 

Never ever cut your cuticles. Unless you are a pro I highly suggest only pushing back your cuticles. Cutting them doesn't look good and it makes your cuticles grow back thicker.

Thanks for checking out my post! Much love and polish!

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Disclaimer: All items shown were purchased with my own money. All opinions are my own and honest.

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