Hi Girls! I hope you’ve all been having a great week! I’m really excited to share this post with you all because quite a bit has changed in my nail care routine since my last mani-related blog in May!
Disclaimer: I am not a professional nail technician, I just have a slight obsession when it comes to my nails & these are the things that have worked best for me! 🙂
I’ve been using a bunch of new products, new polishes, and taking care of my nails in a new way! If you’re looking to whip your natural nails into shape this year, this post is going to be for you. 🙂 Enjoy!
- BYE BYE GEL. This has definitely been hard to part with & I can’t say that I’ll never go back, but for the last 4 months I have been adamant about not using gel polish on my nails. I so badly want my natural nails to grow long & strong. Gel provides a ridiculously durable barrier; the protection that comes with a gel manicure essentially prevents all nicks, chips, and breaks… which in turn helps your nails grow. However, once removed, it’s clear that my bare nails are not actually strong or healthy. 🙁
- SOAKING. This has been such a wonderful addition to my manicure routine. Before I polish, I fill a small bowl with super hot water & some soap (I use the yummiest peppermint hand soap from Bath & Body Works, it smells SO good) and I let my fingernails soak for 10-15 minutes. It helps to remove any dirt under the nail or in the bed, it softens the cuticles, and relaxes the nails. There are so many soaking oils & products on the market that I definitely plan to explore this year, but for now, soap & water works just fine! I love the way my nails feel afterwards & it has become such a crucial part of my routine. Just rinse & dry them very well before polishing.
- NEW BASE COATS. I have been using a couple of new bast coats that I really love. I had never given much thought to the type of base coat I used, I figured that as long as I was using something to protect my nails from potential polish staining, it was fine — come to find out, a base coat can do so much more for the overall health of your nails! I began using the Nail Tek 2 Ridge Filler Foundation which is great for repairing damaged nails & the Caption base coat which is free of DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde! I use both on and off depending on my mood. 🙂
- NEW TOP COATS! To me, a good topcoat is the most important step in polishing. You want something with the shine, the durability, and the long wear capabilities! I’ve been using my go-to Out The Door quick drying top coat, the Nail Tek 2 Strengthening topcoat, the Glossy Caption topcoat, the Venique Nails Gel-Like topcoat, and the Essie Gel Setter topcoat (not pictured). Similar to base coats, I mix & match them depending on how much time I have to dry & what formula I’m in the mood to work with.
Also! One thing I’ve been consistently doing is adding an extra topcoat to my manicure every 2-3 day! I usually polish my nails once a week, so the extra layer helps to keep them strong & chip-free between polish changes.
- MOISTURIZING. This is so important – especially in the winter. I continue to use cuticle oil like it’s going out of style. All day everyday I keep my hands & fingernails hydrated. I started using the CND Solar Cuticle Oil per recommendation of Polished by Amy & I LOVE this stuff. It works so well, and smells yummy too. I also keep the Nail Tek Renew Cuticle oil on my desk & use that throughout the day & every night before bed as well.
Those are some of my favorite nail care tips & products of the moment! I am still a fan of the rounded shape, the only time I’ll file my nails into a square is when they’re super short – round just works best for my fingers & helps prevent small nicks or chips to the corners! I’m always super cautious when doing anything with my hands, I never use my nails as tools, and wearing gloves to wash the dishes is still a must! I actually ran out of the vitamins I had been taking & haven’t yet repurchased. I will probably pick up another of jar of the Biotin pills, I liked those the best! 🙂
Keeping my nails in good shape has always & continues to be very important to me! I love trying new polishes & products, but all of the above have been tried, true, and good enough to share with you! And yes, I totally meant for that to rhyme.
If you have any must-try mani products or polishes, leave me a comment below so I can go pick them up ASAP!! 😉
I’m going to have to check out some of those top coats! I’ve been looking for a new one! Great post!
Yay!! I’m so glad – they’re all amazing. I’d suggest the Out The Door top coat; it’s the easiest formula to work with & dries SUPER fast!! It’s really affordable & an incredible product to have on hand! 🙂
Thank you for sharing! Your nails are gorgeous.
Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed!! XO
I wish I had nails like yours! Mine are absolutely shocking at the moment. Winter certainly isn’t doing good things to them. 🙂
Aw, I hear you, the winter is so harsh on our nails, but you can definitely whip them into shape! Give them some extra love & have patience…in 2 weeks, I swear you’ll notice a difference in length & overall appearance!
Your nails are so perfect!! I need to pay attention to mine more and use some of these tips…. Thanks for sharing!! 🙂
Thank you!! And yes, I want everyone to have fabulous nails in 2017 – it’s totally possible!!! 🙂
You do an excellent polish and I really love the colors you choose too! Is that a puppy paw you’re holding in the baby pink picture? Because if it is, I’m jealous! <3
HAHA!!! Nooooo! It’s a blanket LOL!! But that would have been so cute! And thank you! I love polishing my nails, but have never been into super crazy colors or nail art. I’m as basic as they come when it comes to nailpolish! 🙂
Me too! I think that less is more. Classier colors!
You have such a gorgeous nail shape! Awesome post! 🙂
Thank you, thank you!! I’ve been loving the shape lately! Rounded/almond nails are my favorite! 🙂
This post was amazing! I am in the very same boat! I’m wanting so badly to grown my own nails out strong and healthy! I will definitely be picking up some of these!!!
Yay!! I’m so glad! It just takes a little patience, maintenance, and being a little more careful when using your hands! It’s totally possible. Good luck!!! 🙂
I would be lost without gel I dont know how you do it!!!
Ohhh it has been so hard!! Gel is amazing, but totally takes a toll on my nails. I’ve almost relapsed a few times LOL!
I cant live without it!! LOL I finally found an amazing job by my house that does gel and it lasts like 3 weeks. Im shocked!
Ahhh that is exciting!!! A good salon or even just a good tech is hard to find!
Ridiculously hard to find!! After 11 years of searching I think I finally found a good one LOL
Thanks so much for sharing these tips! Great manis start with healthy hands and nails. This was a great reminder. 🙂
Thanks for sharing these tips! Great manis start with healthy hands and nails. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂
They really do!! It can be a tedious & long process, but it is so worth it!! Thanks for reading! XOXO 🙂
You have the prettiest nails and I am going to start doing all of these things. I always say I’m going to stay away from acrylic and work on my nails, but I always cave and go back. I’ve got to stay strong (dramatic, I know haha)!!
It really is so hard!! I am so tempted to go back to gel all of the time, but as long as I keep them polished & am careful… I’ll try to focus my attention on other things and within two weeks I’ll notice significant improvement. It’s so worth it, but it’s all about the patience – you can do it!!! 🙂
Wow your nail grew alot and I love the different shade in colors