As painting my nails and taking care of my hands in general is quite a big part of my beauty routine I thought I'll share it with you. I don't paint my nails every day (obviously!) but I give my hands a little bit of TLC every day. I am a little bit obsessed with hands, it's the first thing I look at when I meet new people...
So to the actual routine: Once I have taken my nail polish off I give my hands a good wash and a scrub to make the skin nice and soft and to soften the cuticles a bit. I then use a cuticle remover - the one below is my latest find and I love it! It is the Sally Hansen Cuticle Eraser + Balm. It makes your cuticles very soft and easy to push back, doesn't dry them out and makes them look really good. I apply the balm, leave it to work for a couple of minutes and then use one of these little wooden sticks to push them back. I generally don't cut them and I would not recommend it unless you really know what you are doing. I find that pushing cuticles back regularly keeps them looking nice with no need to cut them (much safer!) After that it is time for a quick file to shape the nail - nothing too exciting...
After that I give my hands another good wash. if you are applying nail polish, you want to make sure that there is no cream left on your nails (the nail polish will not last at all otherwise). Once my hands are squeaky clean and dry I apply a base coat. My favouirte of the moment is the Butter London Nail Foundation. It's a brilliant base coat and you can actually wear this on its own as too.
After the base coat has dried it's time for a nail polish. I love nail polish but I do like to give my nails a bit of a breather so between changing nail polish I like to give them at least a day of nudity. On the photo below you can see one of my facourites - Laura Mercier's Copa Cabana, a beautiful coral colour from last years summer collection.
You can see I love me some Sally Hansen... my top coat is the Insta Dry Anti-Chip Top Coat. I have been using this for years, it really does speed up the drying process and gives your nails an incredible shine. Also not too expensive, which is always a bonus.
When my nails have dried I always put on a nail oil. I actually try using a nail oil as many times as I can remember during the day - I have one in my handbag for on the go beautifying. This is the Handbag Holiday Cuticle Oil by Butter London. A very nice oil, does the job and smells nice too. Another one I love but have completely used it up is the Jessica Nails Phenomen Oil.
So that is my daily bits I do to keep my nails in a presentable state. I have a few products I use at night that I think are making a huge impact on the state of my nails. I use the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Ultra Rich Cuticle Creme. This stuff does wonders but it is so sticky that it can only be used at night-time or when you are doing absolutely nothing.
I also put a thick layer of a rich hand cream on before sleep every night - my current favourite is the Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater Hand Therapy. It makes the skin lovely and soft and smells amazing too! The tube is huge so you can use a generous amount without running out of cream every 2 days.
My last little thing I do may seem odd to some people - my husband certainly thinks it's hilarious... Every now and then (more often in the winter when the weather dries out my hands) I will slather on my hand cream (and when I say slather I really mean a thick white layer) put lots of cuticle cream on and put on my cute little gloves for the night. You are risking that your partner will start referring to you as Jacko but your hands will be soft like a babies bum and your nails will look amazing! i got mine form TK Max but you can get these pretty much anywhere these days.
What are your favourite hand care products?