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My manicure essentials

Being a fan of nail varnish and nail art I like to try and take care of my cuticles and the skin around my nails. If I neglect them for a few days it's not a pretty sight and I find myself picking at any dry skin to try and get rid of it until I can reach for something to add some moisture to them. I thought I'd show you a few of my favourite products and how I like to use them to help keep my fingertips in good condition.

Manicure essentials
Manicure essentials

My nails naturally grow quite square so I don't shape them as such I just soften the corners, but occasionally I do break a nail and need a nail file to help me correct the shape. I used to use traditional rough emery boards but I've now switched to a glass file from Leighton Denny. This can sometimes send a vibration up my finger that goes right through me (even just thinking about it makes my teeth feel funny, is that normal??) but in general I prefer using this as it's kinder to nails and can last for a long time if you take care of it. 

The strange scissors pictured I believe are called cuticle nippers, but I very rarely use them for removing cuticles as they're there for a reason and cutting them away can result in problems such as infections. The only thing I do with my cuticles is gently push them back after applying a cuticle oil etc. Although I haven't bitten my nails for years for some reason I do tend to suffer from hangnails. Cuticle nippers are perfect for cutting these away as they can get as close to the base of the hangnail as possible. They're also good for any little flaps of skin you may get on the skin around your nails. Be very careful when using these though as it's easy to nip skin that you don't want to cut. I can't be without these and am lost when I forget to pack them for staying at my boyfriends house.

Manicure essentials
 
I tend to use several different products on my cuticles and the skin around my fingers depending on how dry they are and often use a few products one after the other. One of my favourite products to use is Leignton Denny's Expert nails Slick tips touch & go cuticle pen, which is a little bit of a mouthful! This is a lemony scented oil in a pen format with a brush. I apply this around and over my nails before leaving it to sink in for a while. I usually then massage around my nails to encourage any remaining oil to be absorbed. Other products I currently use include Dr PAWPAW multipurpose soothing balm, The Body Shop's Wild argan oil solid oil and also whatever hand cream I'm using at the time. I tend to have a lighter cream to use in the day, such as The Body Shop's Almond hand and nail cream, and a heavier cream to use at night, such as Elemis Spa home pro-radiance hand and nail cream. Each of these products I just massage around and into each nail for a minute or so.

If I'm painting my nails I'll actually use oils, balms, moisturisers etc after my nails have dried as using them before can mean that your nail varnish won't last very long if there's any residue left on your nails. Although I have several different base coats I use the only one I have that might provide any benefits to my nails is the Nail HQ Protect & Repair base coat (not pictured). Although my nails are in quite good condition I am planning to invest in some OPI Nail envy soon to try and get them into the best condition possible.  

One of my favourite brands of nail varnish is currently Soignè. They're five free with 85% plant-sourced natural ingredients, are a pleasure to apply and last well on my nails, which is unusual. I've recently added a few new shades to my collection (two of which are pictured here) that I'll be posting about in the future. Despite it's ability to transform into a gloopy, spider web producing mess half way through the bottle my favourite top coat is definitely Seche Vite. I haven't had a bottle for a while now but after discovering several in TK Maxx for just £3.99 each it's back in my life and I couldn't be happier. It's fast drying, tough and provides a super glossy mirror like shine. I'll definitely be investing in a nail varnish thinner so I can try and make my way through the whole bottle.

What are your manicure essentials?

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6 comments:

  1. I have and love some of the same Body Shop products you've shown here, although am currently loving their absinthe hand cream.

    http://fourcatsplusus.co.uk - Amy

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    Replies
    1. I've not tried the absinthe one, I have no idea what that would smell like! I'll have to have a sniff next time I'm in store x

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  2. Great post! I need to pick up Seche Vite again, I just hate that it goes so gloopy so quickly xx

    Ramblings of a Beauty Bird | Beauty Blog

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    1. Nip in your local TK Maxx and see if you can find one in there. I'm definitely investing in a nail varnish thinner soon so I can actually get through whole bottles of top coat x

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  3. Lovely colours and I swear by my Leighton Denny nail file, I don't know how I managed without them in my life! I bought some of the Seche vite to try a little while ago and don't know if I'm doing anything wrong but it makes my nail polish just peel off in one strip???!!! I haven't used it since.
    Steph
    x
    www.pricelesslifeofmine.com

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    Replies
    1. Oh that's strange, I'm not sure what's making it do that. I find that my nail varnish lasts quite well when I use Seche Vite. Although when it does start to chip and I start picking it off (which I really should stop doing!) it does often come off in one sheet when I pull it x

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