I have been blessed with strong, fast growing nails.The one thing I hate about my hands in my cuticles. I find myself staring at them on occasion, wondering why they need to be in such a state ten days after a manicure.
I hate cuticles.They can make nice nails look scruffy – mine are a holy show at the moment.
I have decided to take matters into my own hands (no pun intended) – since it would cost much more to have a professional take care of them I am committing to regular cuticle care, something I have never done before. I tend to take care of my nails and ignore the rest.
My weapons of choice
Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Cuticle and Nail Oil
Promises instantly healthy looking nails It’s full of vitamins and grape seed oil to moisturise dry cuticles.
Sally Hansen Diamond Cuticle and Nail Créme
This is designed for dry cracked cuticles and provides nourishment and care. I’m in.
The first costs €9.95 and the second €9.55. Keep an eye out for 3 for 2 offers in Boots, that’s generally when I pick up nail care products.
I have also considered buying a cuticle clipper so help me on my mission. I’m sure that there a tonnes of them on sale but I found one by Tweezerman… Amy loves Tweezerman!!
Looks scary. Have you tried one of these contraptions?
Let the grooming begin!
What do you use on your cuticles?
I have taken a break from nail polish removed in bottle form. I misplace the bottle, I spill it (clumsy Amy!) but worst of all I never remember to pick up cotton pads for removal. If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen my little rant recently where I attempted to remove Eyeko Vampira (a dark glittery polish) with nail varnish remover and tissue!
I sat on my sitting room floor surrounded by flitters of paper and I had used half a bottle of polish. Worst of all after all of that I still couldn’t get rid of it all.
I finally found a product that suite my disorganised nature – Quickies.
Let me start by saying that I bought these myself in my local Boots. They cost about €2.20 as far as I remember.
I have actually bought a different brand of pads before, a small red tub – can’t remember who made them. They were about €3 for 20 but they were tiny pads! I needed one for each hand/foot and if it was a dark polish I needed more. Not the case with Quickies – they are huge!
I took the polish off my finger and toe nails last night with one (don’t worry I reversed it!) as a little test.
Love, love, love! I didn’t even have to scrub the pad back and forth. I just placed it on the nail, waited 2 seconds and swiped. I’m off to buy a few more boxes…one for the car, one for my bag… you get the idea.
I posted a Nails of the Day post this morning – click here to see :)
What is your favourite nail polish removing product?
This morning on Twitter I was asked had I any tips to share on strengthening your nails after Gel nail removal. Instead of replying via tweet I thought I would write up a little blog post since I have some experience with crumbling post gel nails.
The first time I had acrylic nails removed My nails looked great for a few days but then crumbled to nothingness over a few weeks. I was not prepared for this and hadn’t taken any extra care of my nails.
The second time around I went for gel overlays and after removal I put a plan into actions. I managed to keep my nails from peeling and crumbling. In fact my nails grew strong and long, which I couldn’t believe. Here is what I used:
1. Vaseline Healthy Hand & Nails
This has been a favourite of mine for at least a decade, I used to keep a tube in my school bag! After my gel nails were been removed I rubbed some of this lotion into my cuticles and left a layer on my nail to absorb twice a day. This might seem like a nuisance but I found it easier to do at times where my hands were still – watching tv in the evening, reading my book before bed etc. I kept this up for 3 weeks.
2. Nail Hardener
I used a few coats of nail hardener to prevent help prevent chipping and peeling. The one I used was Sally Hansen Hard as Nails but to be honest I would use any brand. After a few days I would remove the hardener, do a little nail treatment (see below) and the reapply. My nails were never without hardener for the 3 weeks, with the exception of treatment time.
3. Olive Oil Treatment:
As mentioned, twice a week I removed the nail hardener and used treated my nails to a warm olive oil bath. I used the olive oil from my kitchen counter. Pour a little oil into a small bowl and warm for a few second in the microwave. Treat one hand at a time, pop all of your finger tips into the oil and soak for 10 minutes. You could also add a little Vitamin E capsule into the olive oil for extra strengthening power.
4. Nail Supplements:
I also took a nail supplement daily for a month or so. I started using a Holland & Barrett supplement but then switched to Perfectil Skin, Hair & Nails. They contain Omega-3 and Co-Q10 which apparently strengthen your nails from the inside. I have also heard many people recommend prenatal supplements. If you eat a balanced diet you could just add an Omega 3 supplement and add Flax seeds to your diet.
What was your experience will overlays?
I use to be a serial nail nibbler. It was once suggested that it was the perfectionist in me that led me to ‘even out’ any jagged or uneven nails. This could be true but I was too young to know what a nail file was. I have kicked the habit in the last few years, after many failed attempts.
Here are some tips from my nibbling experience:
1. Resist the urge to pick of nibble a jagged nail. This was my down fall -“Oh no, it’s uneven. I don’t have a file with me so I’ll just try and even it up” 10 minutes later half my nail would be gone. I found the best way to do this was to wear nail polish. Any unevenness is not as noticeable. Plus you don’t want to ruin your polish.
2. Many people bite their nails when they’re anxious. I once nibbled all my nails off before a long flight, piano exam, leaving cert… you get the idea. Since I’m no psychologist and can’t help you with anxiety I can tell you how I stopped this pattern. Anytime I feel very anxious I sit on my hands. Ridiculous I know, but my nails are long.
3. Treat yourself to nail pampering every evening. Even if your nails look like scutts treat them with love and care. Think ‘If you pamper them, they will come’, anyone who hasn’t seen the movie Field of Dreams is going to be lost there but trust us, it’s a good mantra. Simply taking the time to take care of them will make you more aware of your nails and less likely to nibble away your hard work.
4. Try one of those ‘Stop biting’ nail products thattaste vile. As a child they didn’t deter me but they make work for you. My mam used to paint my nails with Stop’n Grow. It tastes like poison. I’m assuming that it has been tested for human consumption since it’s on the market. For me, having this stuff on my nails made me want to nibble them more because I couldn’t. The caring approach worked best for me, positive conditioning rather than negative. (It appears that I may have been listening to my Psychology lecturer in College!)
5. Rub vitamin E cream into the nail bed to help strengthen them. When I finally kicked the habit I was using Vaseline Intensive Care hand cream (pink tube) on my nails twice a day. This also moisturises the skin around the nail, preventing hang nail.
6. Apply a nail hardener. Biting your nails leaves them brittle and likely to flake
I pay a lot of attention to nail care but I often forget the importance of looking after the nail bed. Using particular essential oils on on the nail bed stimulates growth and encourages strong nails.
Here is a synergistic blend of oils I have been using to strengthen my nails. I have already noticed a difference. My nails were starting to split and peel, they much stronger now.
I mixed the oils and pored it into a small, sterilized, dark bottle to stop the oils deteriorating. When I want to use the treatment I add 10 drops of the blend to a tablespoon of advocado oil and massage it into my cuticles. I leave it to soak in and take effect.
- 2 drops Rosemary oil
- 8 drops Lemon oil
- 5 drops Jojoba oil
- 2 teaspoon Grapeseed oil
- 3 drops Carrot oil
It’s best to use this treatment after you have given yourself a manicure.
Even if my skin looks awful or I’m having a fat day, groomed nails make me feel better. Here are a few tips I have picked up over the years. Don’t forget to comment with your tips, I’d love to see hot everyone else looks after their nails.
1. If I use polish regularly I use an acetone free nail polish. Acetone is too harsh for my delicate nails.
2. I leave a hand cream beside the soap in my bathroom so that everytime I wash my hands I use cream. M&S are great for the soap and lotions duos in cute containers.
3.If you’re doing garden work drag your nails over a bar of soap before you go outside. The back of the nails will load up with soap and stop dirt getting down there.
4. Always wear rubber gloves when washing dishes. Water is hard on nails.
5. Never file your nails after a bath, they split (I have done this so many times!)
6. Soak your nails before using an orange stick to push down the cuticle, or use cuticle cream.
7. Use a nail hardener if you’re nails split easily.
8 I swear by Vaseline Intensive Care hand and nail cream (the pink tube). I rubbed this on my nails 3 times a day and 2 months later my nails are long and strong.
9. From my experience, acrylics ruined my nails. It took nearly 6 months to get them back into good condition after having them removed.
What are your nail tips?
This mask is my favourite for smooth and soft hands
- 1 Tablespoon Rolled Oats
- 1 Tablespoon Plain Full Fat Yoghurt
- 1 Teaspoon Almond Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 2 Drops Frankincense Essential Oil
Use a blender or pestal and mortar to grind up the oats. Add all of the other ingredients and mix well. Apply the mask to damp, freshly washed hands. Relax for 20 minutes. Wash it off with warm water and finish with some moisturising cream.
I like to do this hand mask at the same time as a cuticle treatment. Click here to see the post in DIY Cuticle Treatment.
I am plagues by rough cuticles. I like to whip up my own oil on the weekends. Why spend money when you don’t have to!
- 60ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 5 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 2 Drops Lemon Essential Oil
Warm the olive oil gently until it’s warm (not hot or you’ll scald your fingers off!) Stir in the essential oils. Leave your finger tips to soak for a few minutes. If you cover the mixture when you’re finished you can reuse it a few times.
I gave up on acrylics this summer and it has taken 5 months to get my nails back into good condition.
I don’t like my nails long, but I do like them strong.
When I got the last set of acrylics removed I made up some nail oil using a carrier oil, Vitamin E Oil and a blend of essential oils which strengthen nails. It worked amazingly well, my nails have never been so strong.
If you are trying to grow your nails I would recommend snipping a vitamin e capsule and rubbing the oil into the nail bed.
At night I apply a nail and cuticle butter. I get dry skin at the side of my nails which looks pretty gross so I never go to bed without using my nail butter. I experimented with a few recipes before creating the right balance for the butter.
I also like Vaseline Hand and Nail Lotion (the pink bottle) But since I’m avoiding chemicals on the my skin, I’ve had to give this one a miss.
I have been enjoying taking care of my nails lately. It feels like time out for me. Taking care of yourself feels so rewarding :)
Do you have any nail care essentials?