Monday, April 23, 2012

My CURRENT Nail Care Routine

Yes, I change products constantly. I mean...I basically use the same types of products, but like experimenting with new things. 

I use these to "exfoliate" my cuticles and clean my nails after I remove my polish and shape my nails

Here are my clean up products. 100% Acetone is all I use. I haven't had any issues with it damaging my cuticles. I get too annoyed to scrub with any other kind. I have tried a few brands, but I always end up going back to plain old acetone. 
I use polish thinner to thin my polishes if they are old or have evaporated. I used to use acetone, but since I've heard this damages the color of polish I switched to thinner instead. It's pretty inexpensive anyway and a bottle lasts you forever. 

Current favorite base and topcoats: 
  • OPI Nail Envy Original Nail Strengthener: I have noticed a marked improvement in the strength of my nails since I started using this. I suggest using a trusted brand of strengthener. I like this one because I noticed a difference. Some people might. Some people might not. 
  • American Classics Bridge the Ridge Ridgefiller: I follow my nourishing base coat with a coat of a ridgefiller. My nails are super ridgy and this stuff really smooths them out and the milky pigment of the polish is just enough to make my naturally dark nails look whiter. Ridgefiller also works great for smoothing nail repairs. I suggest any brand. I like this brand, Orly, Butter London Nail Foundation, or Beauty Secrets Ridgefiller. I like a certain consistency when it comes to nail foundation, but I haven't noticed that any brand is better than another. 
  • Seche Vite Fast Dry Topcoat: I haven't had a problem with the polish shrinking. But let me tell you now...this topcoat dries fast but DOES NOT PROTECT. I don't intend for it to either. I put this over fresh polish and nail art for quick drying and high gloss. I've heard a lot of name dropping for Fast Dry Topcoats. So there are a lot of these to choose from and everyone has their own opinion on them. 
  • American Classics Gelous Advanced Nail Gel Coat: When my polish is absolutely, positively, rock-hard dry (like I'm talking 12+ hours after application, I usually wait a full day or so), I add a nice healthy heaping of Gelous to my nails. I like that it's thick and protects well. I have also used Oh So Wet which also worked very well. I am picky about this coat. It needs to protect, it needs to shine, and it needs to be thick.
  •  I use nippers on hangnails or torn cuticles. It's quick and pain-free. People discourage using these bc you could hurt yourself. But just like with Tweezers or any beauty tool...don't be a psycho with it and be careful. Easy peasy! This is a tool that must be sharp to work. 
  • I use baby nail clipper to shape my nails cut the corners off of my nails as they grow. They work great for rounding my nails. They also prevent the cracking you have sometimes with the large ones.I don't like filing my nails. I do my best to avoid it because my nails peel and break more when I use them. 
  • I use just about anything to push my cuticles. If my nails are long, I use my thumbnails to push my cuticles because it doesn't scratch my nails and its gentle. Orange sticks work good too. They're gentle and they clean under the nail really well. I have a metal spoon I like a lot but I really only use it on stubborn cuticles or when I'm doing someone else's nails. 
  • I use a really fine grit yellow spongy nail block to buff the free edge of my nail for like a few seconds. It's specially made for natural nails. I buff just enough to remove any crust or peeling off the edge of my nail. That's as far as I go with filing. 

Ah yesss...and here she is....
My Holy Grail Of All My Nail Products
I have this product to thank for my nails getting evenly long. I used to have a lot of problems with a few, not all, of my nails peeling and breaking. This product works wonders for quick repairs. I don't follow the directions. I have my own way of using it. I don't brush the whole nail with glue. I just use the glue and powder on a problem area. I do the process twice. Brush. Dip. Smooth (right away..don't wait for it to dry or its harder to smooth out). Brush. Dip. Smooth. Everything comes in a nice user-friendly kit that's cheap and lasts forever. I think it's like $6 at Sally's. They are always have sales on it too. There is enough product to last ages. I had a problem a few months ago with the glue bottle getting stuck. The nice cashier at Sally's Beauty gave me a new kit and suggested I put some cuticle oil around the neck of bottle where the threads are. This worked perfectly. No more stuck glue bottle. I'm still waiting for Orly to hire me to sell their product since I never shut up about it. :P

I like using a lot of different moisturizers in various shapes, forms, consistencies and scents. It's my thing I guess. This is just the collection I have with my Helmer and in my purse. I have a whole 'nother collection in my medicine cabinet and next to my bed. I like oils for manicures, lotions for all day multi-use, and balms once a day to nourish. 

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my nail care routine. I'm not saying I'm right. I'm not saying I'm wrong. And since I switch it up often, I'm ALWAYS looking for new ideas and useful hints. 
So what's your routine?? 
Got any tips???


  1. I used to use Seche Vite Top Coat, but unfortunately I noticed the nail polish shrinkage.

    1. Do you wrap the edges of your nail? I do. I think that must help. Thanks for the comment Miss L. I always enjoy hearing from you. :)

  2. I use many of the same products. I'm pretty happy with how they all work too. I have my little Orly Nail Rescue box sitting on my table waiting. I haven't had to use it yet though. Yay! No breaks in months but I know to be prepared.

    1. GREAT! Yeah, be prepared, you won't be sorry. And congratulations on no breaks. I know my nails have improved ten fold since I've discovered a few new products to use. thanks for your comment!

  3. I loveeeeee the Nail towel! LOL
    Now seriously! I do find this posts amazing and seriously usefull! I really need that Orly nail rescue! ASAP!


    1. I think we're ready for a swap Betty. :) I need some polishes from your country.

  4. I used to use Seche Vite as well, but it's started to turn yellow, especially over lighter or white polish and after about five days the coat of SV is completely brown while any bits of polish I missed with the SV are still pristine in colour. I don't get it and I don't like it. Have you experienced this at all?

    Still searching for a great top coat.

    1. I have not had this issue. Do you think maybe your bottle is older? I know my local Sally Beauty Supply never changes their stock. So you have to check your products for aging and evaporation before you buy. Thanks for the heads up!

    2. What I have now is part year old, part six months old and thinned with the same one you use as needed. It may be the age, I hadn't thought of that. My Sally's is bad about rotating their stock as well (I bought and exchanged an Orly Nail Rescue kit 3 times before I found one where the brush hadn't dried into the glue).

    3. My Sally's is a ghost town. Which is good sometimes and bad others. I usually get the first stab at new ChG colors, but yeah....I guess I'm the only one shopping there so they don't stock often. LOL!