I’ve been often asked what I do to keep my nails nice/healthy. How do I care for/maintain my nails?
The short answer is: I polish them. A lot.
A healthy nailbed is important… and probably good genes. Prissyness is probably a key quality too. You have to actually care about your nails. You pay attention to what you care about.
I do NOT cut or trim my cuticles. They are there for protection. It’s important to keep them moisturized and pushed back. A good time to push them back is right after washing your hands while you’re drying them with a towel. I use cuticle oil freely. I DO nip hangnails though! As immediately as possible.
Filing has been VERY low on my list of nail upkeep activities. Rare buffing to smooth the nail surface before re-polishing. If my nails are snagging on material or have the slightest jagged edge, I use a fine/medium buffer to smooth it out, but my nails grow better when they are left alone. So, why should I argue with them. *shrugs*
I like the moisturizing in shea butter and oftentimes regular ol’ petroleum jelly for general hand softening. And DRINK WATER. Hydration from the inside out!
My natural nails…. free and unencumbered 🙂
What I use abundantly:
Cuticle Oil, Base coat, Top Coat
Right now my favorite cuticle oil is from Sally Beauty Supply – Beauty Secrets Cuticle Oil. It smells incredible. And it works. Cuticle oil at the end of every manicure…. and any other time I think about using it.
Sally Hansen has some really time-tested products…. they’ve been around forever. I like "Hard as Wraps" Nail Gel Hardener as a basecoat when my nails have grown out. It strengthens my nails and gives them extra protection for the "clumsiness" of my person. I don’t do manual labor or anything…but my everyday wear on my nails can be grueling for a "little ol’ nail". The added acrylic gel fibers in the product are extremely supportive.
So far, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat is my favorite fast drying topcoat. It works as promised, and dries any polish color within a minute after application. Of course, it tells you to wait two minutes before applying it, but still… three minutes for dry polish is a win! Since I started using this topcoat I haven’t had sheet imprints on nary a nailbed. This is telling because I’m notorious for the "right before bedtime" manicure.
When my nails are very short, I opt out on basecoat. Once they have any amount of length that I want to retain, I use a strengthening basecoat.
That’s pretty much my entire nail care routine.
…and do everything as daintily as you can…. your nails will love it. 😉