Current Nail Care Favorites
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Confession time: I’m a hardcore nail-biter.
In fact, I’m more than just a nail biter - I bite the skin around my nails as well. I have dry eczema-prone skin and the skin around my nails tend to dry and peel. Instead of using vaseline or some other repairing balm, I have a really bad habit of biting it off, along with my nails. Needless to say, my fingers are not in great shape.
I’ve been working to break the habit this year. I have been trying (and mostly succeeding) in keeping my nails polished, moisturized, and clean so I wouldn’t be as tempted to bite them. Along the way, I’ve picked up a few favorites and today, I’d like to share them with you (in case we have other nail biters in our midst) as well as share my manicure process.
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Tweezerman cuticle trimmer
The first thing I do when I do my own nails is cut my nails, trim my cuticles, and (most importantly) clean up the dead peeling skin around my fingers. I like using my cuticle trimmers for all three tasks and my trusty Tweezerman cuticle trimmers have had my back for years. When I got my nails done at a salon, I noticed that these were the trimmers of choice by the pros so I decided to get one myself for home use. They’re a bit more expensive than your average nail clippers but I really love that I can cut my nails into specific shapes, trim my cuticles (they grow so fast and no amount of pushing with an orange stick gets them down to size), and get all those pesky hang nails!
Swissco Glass Glass Nail File
I have been using a glass nail file since beginning of this year and I gotta say that it’s been a game changer! I’m partial to my Swissco Emery Glass Nail File and the best thing about glass nail files versus the plastic ones - they last MUCH longer and are reusable! Since switching to a glass nail file, I’ve noticed far fewer cracks and chips in my nails when I file them down. They’re also super easy to clean. The only thing I’ll say as a warning about them is that since they’re glass, they can break if you’re not careful. I’ve already broken one so be gentle!
Deborah Lippmann Nail Buffer
Another thing I noticed when I get my nails done at a salon - they always buff my nails as a part of polish prep. I have a buffer from Deborah Lippman, nail expert! I use this to buff the top of my nails, wash them in warm water, then use the shining tool to bring a natural gloss to my nails before using my polish.
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I’m going to go ahead and say that I’m not exactly someone who goes for crazy colors when it comes to nail polish. Most of the time, I’m wearing a nude/blush/rose color or a coral color if I’m feeling “daring.” I can’t help it - I like polishes that are more on the neutral side so that they go with every outfit or makeup look! Here’s a list of my favorite polishes that I wear year- round:
OPI - Steady as She Rose: I really LOVE this mauve-y rose color! I fell in love with it when I first saw it at a random CVS. Unfortunately, it’s discontinued so I stocked up a bit when I found out they were'n’t going to be producing it anymore. Here’s a similar light rosy color, also from OPI.
Essie Gel Couture - On the List: This has been a really fun color to wear this past spring and summer! It’s a lovely coral color that is a perfect complement for my skin tone, and I gotta say, it looks amazing with my summer tan!
Essie Gel Couture - Pinned Up: This polish was a recommendation from Dearly Bethany who has an amazing Youtube channel. She wears this polish a lot and it looks amazing on her and I bought it myself and it looks lovely on me to, if I do say so myself! It’s a great pinky-nude polish that will look great on a variety of different skin tones. It looks especially lovely in the wintertime for me though.
Essie Gel Couture - Princess Charming: This was an Amanda Rach Lee recommendation. I LOVE this light blush polish and it looks awesome year-round!
Essie Gel Couture - Last Nightie: If you’re into sheer nude polishes, have I got a recommendation for you! I actually bought this polish on a whim but I really love how this sheer mauve-y nude shade looks with my professional outfits. It is shimmery so that adds something extra, but it’s quite subtle so it’s perfect for work too!
Essie - Stop, Drop, and Shop: I love my deep rose shades and this walks a fine line between that and magenta. It’s a color I reach for when I’m in the mood for something a bit more fun and playful.
Essie - Eternal Optimist: Okay, so this is the color that’s on my nail, about 80% of the time. This is a nice pink/blush shade that really complements my skin tone, looks good year-round, and is neutral enough on my nails that it goes with everything I wear! If you only get one polish from my list here, make it “Eternal Optimist.”
Essie - Ballet Slippers: If you’re into a paler pink, almost white polish, might I suggest “Ballet Slippers”? It’s such a lovely shade that looks amazing on a lot of different skin tones. I especially like how it looks on me in the winter! I like how my nails almost match the snow!
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel - Proper P-Rose: Another pretty rose shade that I’ve been gravitating towards! It’s a bit lighter than the Essie “Stop, Drop, and Shop” polish, but it’s perfect for the summer!
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As you can see, I like to wear gel polishes because they chip a lot less than my regular polishes (looking at you, Essie!) With the gel polishes, I use whatever top coat is supposed to be used with the specific gel polishes. For the Essie Gel Couture polishes, I’ll use the Essie Gel Couture Top Coat and it’ll add a gorgeous sheen. Same with my Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polishes, I’ll use the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat, though that said, this particular top coat tends to bubble a lot if you’re not careful! For all other polishes, I like to use my Seche Vite fast drying top coat. It gives a gorgeous shine to my polishes and it makes my polishes last longer. Best of all - it’s fast drying so my impatient self can start touching things sooner without worrying if I’ll smudge my nails.
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I wanted to share three things that may not be necessary for everyone but I really need or love to finish off my manicures. First and foremost, I’d like to talk about the bottle of Mavala Stop that you may see in the picture above. I apply it to my nails after my top coat has completely dried and it makes my fingers taste bitter and awful. No joke, I once flossed my teeth hours after I put this on my fingers, completely forgetting I did so, and I had to use so much mouthwash to get the bitter taste out of my mouth! It’s great for nail-biters like me!
Secondly, I love using cuticle oil for that salon-quality luxe feeling for my at-home manicures! My favorite is this Cuccio cuticle oil and I really love the milk and honey scent I have. It really nourishes my cuticles and nail beds and makes me feel luxurious!
Finally, I always end the night with my L’Occitane Hand Cream. I’ve raved about L’Occitane hand creams before because they’re just the best. The exact one I have is from the collab with Rifle Paper Co and has been discontinued recently but I’ve linked to another land cream that they created with Rifle Paper.
What are some of your nail care favorites?