Monday, 20 June 2011

My Nail Care Tips & A Small Giveaway

We use our hands every day of our lives so I feel like it’s important to keep them looking manicured and presentable. I always feel really self conscious if I have chipped nail polish or dry hands so I always stick to these following guidelines to make sure they always look good.  I am a bit funny about my nails because if they even get the tiniest bit smudged or chipped then I have to remove all my nail polish and do it again.  I know...I'm a freak.  BUT they do say you can guess the age of a woman by her hands so I intend to keep mine in tip top condition!

Everyone has completely different ideas on what is the perfect nail length and it can depend on the shape of your fingers and nails.  I always find the perfect nail length for me personally is when the white part of the nail tip has grown a couple of centimetres from the pink part of the nail (as shown in the pic above). This gives a nice length but also a manageable one that is less likely to become weak and split or break. I always file them straight across and then curve the edges.

I file my nails around twice a week to maintain their shape and keep them strong. As soon a split appears file the nail to seal the layers and prevent further damage.  I ONLY use crystal nail files because they have a much finer grain to them which means they are a lot less likely to damage your nails.  My favourite is the OPI Crystal Nail File...

I also buff my nails once a week to smooth any ridges and create the best possible base for my nail polish. It also gives them a nice smooth appearance if you want to go without nail polish.  My favourite is the Leighton Denny Quatro Buffer...

You don't have to buy expensive hand exfoliators.  I just use a normal body scrub (preferably containing nourishing oils) on my hands two or three times a week to keep them smooth and moisturised and also to hydrate my nails and cuticles.

This will sound weird but the best hand cream I have used is actually a product that was designed for feet! I find i's the most effective hand lotion I have used because it totally eradicates any dryness in a very short space of time.  It's Soap & Glory Heel Genius....

I always use a Base Coat and let it dry for at least 1 minute. The Base Coat helps to keep your nail polish from chipping, makes polish last longer and stops discolouration of your nails.  My favourite is OPI Natural Nail Base Coat...

I never rush when I'm applying polish because that always leads to annoying smudges and chips.  Always allow your polish to dry thoroughly for several minutes before you apply the next coat. This will avoid the new coat from dragging on the surface of the previous coat and allow the next layer adhere better. Also, remember that darker shades take longer to dry.

Once my nail polish has dried, I always apply a clear top coat to seal it and make it less likely to chip in the days to come. My favourite product to use for this is Mavala Colorfix...

Try to use a nail polish remover that contains hydrating oils and only use the product once or twice a week if it contains acetone as constant use can weaken your nails.

I always wear rubber gloves when doing housework or washing the dishes as subjecting your hands to long periods of being damp or wet will weaken your nails. Cleaning product also contain drying ingredients that will strip your nails and dry our your hands.

You can remove dead skin cells from your hands using a sea salt-lemon solution. Use an old toothbrush to brush it in your hands twice a week. This will help soften your hands and get rid of any discoloration on your nails.

It is not a good idea to remove the cuticles from your nails, as it will make the nail susceptible to infection. I prefer to use a good quality cuticle oil and gently push back the cuticles, with the help of an orangewood stick. My all time favourite fail safe cuticle oil that i apply every day is OPI Avoplex Cutcile Oil To Go...

If your cuticles really need a revamp, then you can always use a cuticle remover.  This stuff is amazing at transforming your cuticles and it's so easy to use; Dr G's Cuticle Healer...

I try to give my nails a break from time to time and go without nail polish for a couple of days. Otherwise, your nails can develop an ugly, yellow tint. If you file and buff your nails then apply a cuticle oil then they can actually look really natural and healthy. If you have brittle nails, it's probably best to wear a strengthening nail treatment, or at least the colorless base coat, as much as you can.

I also wanted to let you know about a Nails Inc giveaway courtesy of the News of the World free beauty magazine, Fabulous, which comes with the newspaper every Sunday.  They will be giving away two free Nails Inc. polishes worth a total of £22.  The two shades, Atomic (orange) and OMP! (pink) were created especially for Fabulous and are great summer colours.  In order to get your hands on these two free nail varnishes, all you need to do is cut out and collect three of the tokens printed over the next four weeks in Fabulous, starting this Sunday (19th June).  I'm sorry, I know that was yesterday but you can maybe find someone who has the paper from then and snab the token that way! You then have to take these tokens to participating Tesco stores from 3rd July to redeem.  Plus, you can also get a half-price manicure for £14 (usually £28) at any participating Nails Inc salon.

I actually have one set of these summer polishes to give away to one of you guys.  You can enter by just posting a comment under here (saying anything you like!) with your email address.  I will pick the winner at random and let them know via email.  Sorry but the giveaway is only open to UK subscribers.  Good luck!


  1. I totally agree with you :) Hands are sooo important. However, as my cuticles are really bad I cut them I wish I could just push them back and they would look good :(

    How long does the nail polish last with the Mavala colorfix? I use seche vite as I love the shine it gives but it never lasts me more than 3 days :( Really annoying.

    Please enter me in your giveaway :)

  2. Wearing rubber gloves and using oil daily are definitely the best things that you can do for hands and nails! OPI Avoplex is great, as you said, and CND Solar Oil is also a firm favourite of mine.

    Re removing the cuticle - it is ok to remove any bits of cuticle that are stuck to the nail, it is the eponychium (the living skin that most people think is the cuticle) that cannot be removed. No one should ever let this be cut when having a manicure!

  3. Your hands look beautiful. Mine look tatty in comparison!xx

    Please enter me into your giveaway.

  4. i used to be a serial nail biter but then i saw how ugly it actually looked! i've been growing my nails ever since and i love painting them a new shade!

    love your blog, been reading for a while now! (:


  5. really useful post, thanks. i'm the same as rosie, used to bite my nails now i'm obsessed with painting them!

    satan_51@hotmail dot com

  6. I'm going to give the hand/feet cream a try although it sounds a bit mad!

  7. useful post thanks so much!!! my nails are horrible im thinking of investing in the cutile treatment thanks!! xxx

  8. My 'local' tesco is too far away to collect these polishes, so it'd be really nice if I could win some :)

    Thanks for the post, you've given me lots of tips to make my nails grow stronger


  9. I am known for my OCD tendencies when it comes to my hands and nail polish in particular so you are not alone. I have to have perfecty painted nails, the slightest bit of tip wear and I have to remove my polish!

  10. I love your nails! :D I've never tried getting a square mani my tips are always round

  11. I am very anal when it comes to my finger nails...I LOVE Clarins hand and nail lotion it's's kind of pricey, but while other makeup artists cuticles and nails are split mine look great, I think you'd really love it!

  12. ps. You have lovely fingers and nails. Very elegant hands!!!!

  13. Wow. What great tips. If I win, I will hand it all over to my daughter - she is nail art obsessed. It's all crackle, crackle polish at the moment.


Please leave a comment if you get a spare mo, I read every single one and I love hearing from you guys! I will always try and answer any questions you leave :)