Before we get into today’s post I just wanted to give you guys a little heads up that as of today I’m back working (I work seasonally during the tax season, some of you may remember from last year) so I may be a little bit slower at posting/responding to comments/emails/etc. until I get back into the groove of things. I appreciate your patience with me!
You may have also noticed- the blog got a facelift! While I liked some elements of my old layout, the more that time went on it started feeling really busy and cluttered to me and I was craving something simple & clean. I purchased a pre-made design and did a few minor tweaks to it. Overall, I’m pretty happy with it- but now I’m wondering if I went from one extreme to the other and made it too simple. I think I may still end up tweaking it a bit more but I ran out of time last night. Let me know your thoughts!
Especially during these dry and cold winter months, having a good nail care routine is essential to avoiding dried out hands and cuticles. I realized I’d never done a post about mine and figured this would be the perfect season to do so!
NAILS & CUTICLES
I don’t do a ton when it comes to my actual nails- something I’ve learned because of trial and error, some things are better left alone. Confession: my natural nails are pretty terrible. I have psoriasis, which makes them pretty ridged, super dry and occasionally peely.
I have experimented with taking biotin, which made me grow a girlstache (no bueno) but didn’t do anything for my nails. I have tried a variety of nail hardeners (Duri, Nail Envy & Nailtek), trying to use them both frequently as well as just once in awhile and either way seems to just dry my nails out even worse. I’m sure all of the remover I have to use during swatching doesn’t help out with the dryness, either- however, both hands are equally bad so I don’t worry about it much.
With that said, here’s what I do do (and I promised I sat here for five minutes thinking about how to rephrase this so that I didn’t have to use the phrase doodoo but I could not. Maybe because I’m writing this through a migraine!):
Clip AND file my nails
I know, I know, nail clippers are supposedly bad for your nail health. I really use them only occasionally if my nails have gotten super long and I need to take the length down. I’ll clip down near to where I want them to be and then file from there. I always use a crystal file now (I love this one from Cirque Colors)- what a big difference that makes from a traditional file!.
Keep my nails short and round
This is half because of my personal aesthetic and half out of necessity. I have come to realize that I really think my hands and nails look better with relatively short length nails, which is good because they sure are prone to tearing and breaking when they are longer or square! When I used to keep them long, not only did they look pretty bad/wonky but I was dealing with a break constantly! I rarely have to do that now having them short and rounded.
Push back my cuticles frequently and use cuticle remover sparingly
Sparingly about once every six months. I used to use it every couple of weeks but honestly, just keeping them pushed back often I find I don’t really need it! If they ever start looking a little overgrown I’ll use the remover but that’s about twice a year.
NAIL POLISH REMOVAL
Another way I cut down on harsh stuff on my hands is to only use pure acetone when cleaning up- I don’t use it for removal at all! I much prefer using a gentle remover that contains glycerin like Zoya Remove +. And yes, I know there are recipes out there to make your own but I am lazy and perfectly okay with paying for convenience. I do try to at least purchase the large refill bottle when Zoya is having a great sale!
I find that in general I prefer using balm over oils, especially in the winter, but cuticle oils still have their place in my routine- I like using them if I want to just roll/brush something on quickly without having to apply and then rub it in! For this reason they’re great to use at work and I usually keep at least one stashed in my purse at all times. My current favorite cuticle oils are the KBShimmer ones- as with most of her non-polish products, they come in a variety of scents, which I love! I’m also a big fan of brush-style applicators for oil and they are very nicely moisturizing.
I like cuticle balms a little better, although I’m not really sure there’s much of a difference as far as how moisturizing they are- they just FEEL more so to me- especially the thick ones!
FAVORITE LIGHT BALM
The balm that I use most frequently is probably Reverie Nail Lacquer‘s. They’re priced well and I usually also try to stock up when she’s having a store-wide sale. The twist-up container is nice, I apply it by twisting up a bit of product, pushing it down on my cuticle and then rubbing it in. It starts out with a harder consistency but starts melting with your body heat as soon as you start rubbing it in. It seems to sink in pretty fast, too, which I like- no greasy fingers here! She also has a variety of nice scents and is always adding more, which is the secret formula to make me buy. all. the. things.
FAVORITE MEDIUM BALMS
I have two favorites in this category, an indie and non-indie! Neither of these sink in as quickly as a light balm so you do have greasy fingers for a bit but they also feel a bit more moisturizing, too. I usually use these if I’m sitting in front of the TV and won’t need to use my hands for awhile.
Indie-wise, I’ve been really loving Dollish Polish‘s cuticle balm lately. Not only does she have really awesome fandom-themed scents (come on, The Hunger Games and Sherlock themed balms? I’m sold!) but the balm itself is really nice, too! It has a nice, easily spreadable consistency and melts very easily to your body heat.
Non-indie-wise, I received Lush Lemony Flutter as a Christmas gift and I can see why so many people love it! Besides the luscious, creamy formula, it smells FREAKIN’ AMAZING! Not even 10% of an exaggeration there. Ah-ma-zing.
FAVORITE HEAVY BALM
For those times I need to break out the big guns (such as if I have a ton of polish to swatch the next day and have been slacking on my moisturizing) I slather on Bag Balm and wear a pair of cotton gloves overnight. This stuff is THICK, GREASY and will make you smell like an old person but man, it really works. It feels gross yet satisfying (kind of like drinking a 2,000-calorie sonic milkshake) when you put it on but in the morning your hands will be so soft you’ll wonder if they’re even yours.
Because I have sensitive skin, I don’t use any super harsh exfoliators on my skin but what I do love is sugar scrubs! They come in amazing smells, make your hands feel super soft after you use them and often look good enough to eat. (And as you guys know, that’s how I like my bath and body products- hella edible looking.)
KBShimmer‘s Sugar Scrubs are a big favorite of mine. She offers a huge variety of awesome scents and the scrub is soft enough for my sensitive skin but still exfoliating enough to make a difference in the dry patches.
Sometimes, you just need a little bit of good old-fashioned pampering. I love saving these Mani Bombs from Forever Polished for the weekends where I swatch over 30 polishes- it feels so amazing to just sit and soak in the fragrant oils. Good for both moisturizing your hands and giving your mind some time to relax. Especially if you’re super Type A like me, because you can’t do anything with your hands while they’re soaking, so it basically forces you to relax for a bit!
That’s all for now! Hopefully you enjoyed taking a look at the products that I use to keep my skin moisturized & maybe I was able to introduce you to something new as well! Tell me about your nail care routine in the comments- and let me know if there’s any other kinds of posts you’d like to see from me in the future!
|Mugen is…thinking about changes to his nail care routine.|