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!
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. 😉