I love to go to the salon to "get my nails did" as much as the next gal. However, I start to feel guilty for paying for services which could easily been done at home for free (or for the cost of a few products.) Below are a few of the products which have worked their way into my routine.
First, I start by removing the old polish which has inevitably chipped like a mutha. Then, I file my nails into "squovals," which would be squared ovals. I am currently using just a run of the mill nail file, but I have been hearing really great things about the crystal nail files. I think I'll be looking into getting one of those sometime soon. Then, I smooth out the edges and buff my nails so they're lookin' kinda shiny. Next, I grab my Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover, which I leave on for a minute or two. Then, I take a cuticle stick and gently push back my cuticles and rinse off the excess gel.
After my cuticles are lookin' all nice and sweet, I apply a coat of my CND Stickey Base Coat. I got this because my nails were looking very dull and unhealthy. I have only used this a few times, but my nails seem to be looking shinier and healthier without nail polish. It also seems to make my manicure last a bit longer.
For polish, I prefer Essie. I actually like the formula of other nail polishes more, but Essie has the best colors. They just seem to take so long to dry. Here, I used Chastity from Essie (which I ordered from eBay.) I start off with a thin coat and let it dry before adding another. If you just slap on thick coats of polish and don't let them dry in between, it will take forever to dry in the end. You will just end up smudging it and ruining the manicure. Also, I try to keep things neat and clean looking while I'm painting. I try to keep a little bit of distance between the nail and cuticle, so I'm not painting right over it. That looks sloppy. If I make a mistake and go over the edge, I either carefully scrape it off with another nail, or use a pointed Q-Tip dipped in nail polish remover to clean up all the edges.
Once my paint job has mostly dried, I apply a coat of top coat. Now, I don't have one pictured for two reasons. One of them being that I could not locate the one I am currently using and the other reason is that I am not sure if I'm happy with it. I have been using the Seche Vite fast Dry Top Coat, which I loved at first, because of the beautiful, shiny finish it gives my manicure. It also does dry extremely fast, which is great, because I am forever smudging without it. However, I don't feel like it has been making my manicures last any longer. It doesn't chip, it actually makes my nail polish peel off in big chunks. So, I am considering treating myself to the Dior Gel Top Coat, which is ridiculously overpriced, but looks lovely.
After my nails dry, I just sit back and admire those muthas. Oh, also, I have to add rings. They just add such a nice final touch to my freshly manicured nails. I'm also enjoying Lush's Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter. It nicely moisturizes my cuticles and makes things look a bit healthier.
Thanks for reading! What products do you rely on to get your nails in tip top shape? Or, do you prefer to go to the salon?
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