My nail care routine is a bit simpler than most nail artists you’ll see, this is in part because I hate oils and lotions most the time, and my job prevents me from using them as religiously as you usually need to for a good solid regimen. This is why you see such ugly cuticles and skin in my videos, I’m working on it! Despite all of this I do try to take care of my hands and nails, and do have my own set of products and a sort of regimen I will describe, breaking it down between things I use weekly, things I use daily, and things I do before/during/after doing a manicure.
Once a week, usually on Sunday night once I’m done working for the week, I will do some serious hand and nail care. Working from the cuticles up I attempt to rejuvenate my nails from the damage done by my 12 hour weekend shifts, washing my hands 500 times, and using so much hand sanitizer I am probably single handedly funding Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar line. This doesn’t only have to be done once a week, some people do it every other night, every two nights, sometimes I throw in a night of oil, lotion, and gloving up in the middle of the week just to help my skin feel smoother/softer, and overall be in better shape.
- First I begin by washing my hands, then applying Bliss Kiss Simply Pure Nail Oil to my fingernails and cuticles. This is done before bed when I have at least 30 minutes to rub it in then let it completely soak in.
- Once the cuticle oil has soaked in and when I’m fixing to go to bed I then take Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and rub it into my nails and cuticles.
- I leave the cuticle cream on, and then use Burt’s Bees Shea Butter Hand Repair Cream and rub it into my hands completely paying special attention to knuckles and the skin on the top of my hands where it dries out the most from hand washing.
- After this I take a generous helping of Burt’s Bees Almond & Milk Hand Cream and rub it into my hands leaving a layering of it on my hands to soak in. Then I put on a pair of cotton gloves and sleep in it.
All of the items I use for my weekly ritual can be found in the Burt’s Bees Hand Repair Kit, as well as individually, except for the Bliss Kiss Simply Pure Cuticle Oil, which I purchase off of their regular site or Amazon.
When getting the Bliss Kiss I started off by buying one of their nail pen starter kits, which came with four (4) pens of the nail oil in crisp. When they needed refilled though I found a blog post on how to do it, and bought the refill jar in vanilla, and have now used vanilla ever since. I prefer that scent to any of the crisper or more citrusy things, that is all a personal preference thing though. When doing this regimen you’ve got to remember that your results are not going to just be automatic. You’re not going to whip off that glove the next day and have magically soft skin and cuticles that are perfect, your skin will be softer, and your cuticles and nails improved, but you’ve really got to stick with doing it every week or every few days to maintain it.
My daily nail care ritual is extremely simple, I just carry a Bliss Kiss Simply Pure Cuticle Oil pen everywhere I go and rub the oil into my nails and cuticles whenever I have a chance, which is usually anywhere from 5 to 10 times a day. I also carry around Warm Vanilla Sugar Hand Cream, which I have a stock pile of, but Bath and Body no longer makes that hand cream. They have Warm Vanilla Sugar Body Cream, that is similar in formula and ingredients, which I use on my arms, elbows, and anywhere I get dry flaky skin. However when the hand cream I have in stock runs out I will likely switch over to the Vanilla Bean Noel Hand Cream as I am definitely stocking up on it this Christmas Season, since that scent is only all in stock during the holidays. In addition they also have True Blue Spa Shea Cashmere & Silk Hand Cream, this has a musky vanilla and cocoa butter kind of smell and goes on without feeling as greasy as some things I’ve tried out. I cannot stand lotions or oils that when rubbed in leave a lingering feeling on my hands, so I always go for things with a less greasy feel to them.
Before, during, and after your manicure is the time when your nails are most likely to be exposed to something bad for them, you’re using acetone and then applying more polish, slathering it all over, using more remover, drying everything out. It’s a nightmare for your nails, cuticles, and the surrounding skin, but you can take steps to prevent damage. Before Beginning my manicure I always use a cheaper nail oil generally either Beauty Secrets Cuticle Oil or No Lift Nails Cuticle Oil, and saturate my cuticles and the skin around them and the nail with it using a cotton ball for a few minutes. I then leave the oil on and apply a cotton ball with pure acetone, generally I use Onyx Professional Acetone, which is only a few dollars at Wal-Mart here, for about 30 seconds then swiped the polish off in one swipe if it does not all come off in one swipe, after that I use a q-tip to get any remaining polish off to keep from exposing my cuticles and skin to more acetone than is necessary. After this I apply the same cuticle oil to my nails and the surrounding cuticles/skin, then let it all sink in before completing my manicure. Once my manicure is done, I do any clean up that is needed, possibly exposing more acetone or peeling off some Simply Peel. Then apply Bliss Kiss Cuticle Oil again, and use my Warm Vanilla Sugar Hand Cream, and make sure to follow up oiling throughout the day.
In addition to the weekly, manicure, and daily oil and cream regimens, I don’t cut my cuticles, I have a bad habit of pulling my hang nails, but am working on it. When dealing with my cuticles, I just push them back after getting out of the shower or use a cuticle remover to rub on then push them back off my nails. I don’t have a certain one I can recommend because I have only ever actually used one kind, Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle remover, but I do have disastrous cuticles that if not kept up will grow onto the nail and are miserable to remove.
You should never ever cut your cuticles or the skin around your cuticles as when you do this you’re more likely to cut off living tissue and cause an injury, which can then get infected, or cause more tissue damage. A lot of salons when you get a manicure will cut your cuticles and skin without asking if you want them cut as well, so beware when going in to get a manicure from someone else as well. Also never file down that skin, it can get very hard if not oiled/lotioned regularly, but that still also does not mean it should be filed.
Try to keep your nails dry, except for your nail oils, water is a stressor for nails and can cause ridging, white/clear spots, and brittle edges when the nail does eventually dry out. If you’re a swimmer, or you work as a lifeguard or something that exposes you to chlorine water then also use something to keep the water off. When I go swimming I usually like to take and use Bliss Kiss Simply Sealed Lotion Stick Minis, they have these in fuller larger sticks, but I use these and rub them over my nails and cuticles and have found if done every thirty (30) minutes or so while swimming or in water they help keep the water out. When doing other things such as doing dishes, mopping, cleaning around the house you can buy a simple pair of rubber gloves from any local drug store.
Also never ever use nail strengtheners as a religious means to try to keep your nails strong. These things are the devil, I personally used OPI Nail Envy for several months earlier this year under every manicure, and then on my nails when naked as well. It strengthened my nails in the beginning, but then they began to get brittle, and would break when they barely hit anything hard, or caught on something. At one point I broke a nail washing my hair, you heard that right, washing my freaking hair it just busted horrifically, I had so many breaks I made a video of all the breaks I had in just a couple weeks, you can watch it here. While a strengthener might be something you’re interested in, or are currently using they just don’t work for everyone and I’ve found it did more damage than anything else for me.
There you have it, my super basic nail care routine, while it’s not as ritualistic as a lot of other nail artists it does well for me, I just have to break my habit of picking hang nails, and then my cuticles would be gorgeous.
Important Note: While this regimen works amazingly well for me, everyone has a different type of body chemistry, while one cream may feel oily/greasy to me it may not to you and vice versa. There is no way to tell until you try things out, if something irritates your skin, causes drying, redness, rash, or any other negative effects, then stop using it immediately. This can be a simple bad reaction to your body type or a possible allergic reaction. If you have trouble breathing or any other severe issues after applying or using something seek medical attention immediately.
***For Videos On My Nail Care Routine Click The Links Below***