I am someone who is constantly painting their nails; pretty much every week I'll have a different colour on. This constant removing and changing can be pretty tough on the nails, so I have a few go-to products to help care for the nails, cuticles and my hands so they are looking in tip top condition.


First off, my basics for hand and nail care is to have a good hand cream. Slather this on at night especially so it can work into your skin while you sleep. I always have one beside my bed and at my desk, and currently I am loving the Linden Leaves Revitalising Hand Cream Pick Me Up* ($24.99). It smells delicious and is light enough that it sinks into the skin quickly and doesn't leave any stickiness, but it also deeply moisturises.

When it comes to shaping and filing my nails, I always use just basic nail clippers. They are simple to use and you can easily change the shape of your nail with these. A buffing block is one of my nail care must haves. The one I have is the QVS 4-Way Buffer Block* and it's only about $11. Each side is labelled with what the use is; first, you shape, with the traditional filing side (remember to always file in one direction to avoid the nail splitting). Step 2 is to smooth the nails, this isn't as coarse as Step 1 and can be used to remove ridges on the nails. Step 3 is to buff, this will further remove ridges in the nails and isn't as rough as the first two steps. Finally Step 4 is to polish, this gives the nails a lovely shine and makes them look great even if you haven't got any polish on them.

Taking care of your cuticles is a very important step. Using nail polish and nail polish remover really dries out the cuticles and surrounding skin, no matter how nourishing the remover says it is. When the cuticles get dry they are more likely to poke up and rip and be incredibly sore - I'm sure we've all been there and it is not pleasant! You can use a simple orange stick to push back the cuticles, or go for something like the Weleda Cuticle Softener Pen* ($19.90). This has that slanted tip like an orange stick, but has a light oil that you apply around the cuticles which softens and removes them - then you just use the tip to push them back. At the other end of the pen are three replacement tips when they start to get worn. Also from this range is the Nail Care Pen* ($19.90), with pomegranate seed oil to really protect and deeply nourish the nails and cuticles. It has a brush tip, with the pen shape being so easy to use and apply. Click up the oil into the pen, and brush around the nails - I like doing this at night and then I follow up with a hand cream for extra hydration. 


Once you have a well nourished, filed and shaped nail, then you can get onto the painting. If your nails are in a healthy condition, then nail polish is going to last a lot longer on the nails. For those of you who aren't into painting your nails, your job requires them to be polish free, or you're still at school, something like a clear coat or a nail strengthener is the way to go. For treating my nails I love the O.P.I Matte Nail Envy, which you use as a treatment over the course of a week. The first day apply two coats, then each day apply one more coat on top. Once the week has ended I definitely notice my nails are a lot stronger and less of that flaking occurs. 

Before you paint with polish, always use a base coat, Essie has a couple of  great base coat, but my favourite is the ORLY Polish Bond Base Coat. I've been using this for a number of years - it not only protects the natural nail, but it helps to adhere your polish a bit better too. I was noticing that some darker shades would leave a stain or my nails would look quite yellow but by using this every time, I don't have those problems. 

After all these steps are completed it's time for the good stuff - the actual colour. Essie is one of my favourite brands for nail lacquers, with O.P.I being a close second; they have great formulas, shade ranges and finishes and last well on the nails. Apply a top coat and then you are good to go!

So that's my nail care routine in detail, and I think it's very important to take care of your hands and nails, just like your skin, as it's often what people will notice initially. A good manicure will never go out of fashion!

What do you do to take care of your nails? I'd love to know what products or tools you reach for.

*PR Samples.

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