Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Quick Manicure Tips

I was asked by one of my lovely followers over on Facebook if I had any tips on good nails as she wanted to start doing them herself.  Well yes, I do have a few!  I will admit I don't have painted nails often, I would love to but with one child still in nappies the hand washing (and a little light OCD with the house work) doesn't allow.  However I have mastered a fairly good manicure routine when I am in need of one.  I have got into some good maintenance habits this year, partly I think due to my time spent working in London as I had to always have well groomed nails.  My swear by hand cream is Clarins, I put this on every night.  I  would love to say during the day also, but I forget and just using this at night seems to be enough to keep my hands and nails in good condition.  The only other one I find works nearly as well is The Body Shop hemp hand cream, it is a fraction of the price.  Oh and I think the Queen uses this one?!?

I keep my nails short and tidy with Wilkinson Sword nail scissors.  They are at least 10 years old and have stood the test of time, I even use them on my girls.  I find clippers are too harsh on my nails, they tend to snap more.  I then use Mavala emery boards (my Mum put me on to these) and file in to the centre of my nails.  I hear the glass emery boards are amazing but I have a stash of the mavala ones at the moment so I've not tried them yet.  Only this year have I purchased a buffer (yes I know, I am a little slow with some things).  I really notice a difference when I use this as I have developed a few ridges across my nails now and not only does it blend them but I feel the polish sticks better to them also.  You literally just buff quite vigorously across the whole nail.

During the course of the week I apply a cuticle oil to my whole nail and massage partly down my finger.  I do this probably 2-3 times a week before bed whilst I am switching off and watching an episode of Sex & The City (I work my way through the series, currently on season 5!).  It then has time to seep in.  I love Solar Oil due to the almond smell but have been told any oil will do.  I have also started gently pushing my cuticles back whilst in the shower sometimes. The moist air and hot water makes them really easy to do.  Then before a manicure I use a wooden stick ( I find the metal too hard to use myself) to push them back some more, always after soaking in warm water first.  I don't do my cuticles all the time, it just depends how bad they are and how much time I have.

So the polish. I always apply a base coat, previously Mavala but currently a Helen E one.  If you don't you run the risk of yellow nails.  Now my top tip, always allow time between your coats.  If for example I need them painted for the Friday, I will apply the base and one coat Thursday night once the kids are down.  One coat dries quicker with less chance of smudging whilst you sleep.  Then I will do the second coat before I jump in the car for an appointment (or sometimes whilst sat, strapped in the car so I then don't smudge them moving around!).  If you have a good half an hour in the car driving somewhere this is perfect as again it's only one coat to dry and as you have a base and previous coat it adheres really well.

I am a little slack and don't apply a top coat.  Usually this is a time thing, I just can't factor it in but if you do have time then do, it will probably make them last longer.  As for the nail polish itself, I pretty much use all brands.  I love the colours Chanel do but they stay put best on my toes in the Summer, no more than a day on my fingers usually.  I like Essie, OPI, Jessica but I'm swayed more by colour than brand.

I'm no pro, this is just what works for me.  I hope that helps Jo! x


  1. As someone who is a trained manicurist, I'm happy to see you look after your nails. I use Solar oil but it is true you can use baby oil or even vegetable oil! Don't buff your nails vigorously, little and often is best as you run the risk of damaging the nail plate. Maybe use a plastic hoof stick for pushing your cuticles back, I only use wooden sticks for clean up operations, dipped in remover! Great post xx

  2. You were the lady who told me any oil Sharon! I was apparently not buffing very hard at all as was scared I would ruin my nails hence told not to be too delicate with it. Ok, forgot about the plastic ones, I will look into getting some, thank you x

  3. I love wearing anything on my nails as I am not afraid on putting any nail polish and cleaners to it. I have a very tough nails though and not sensitive. Not only my nails are tough my skin too. I used skin care products from http://TheBodyContourCompany.com

  4. My friend swears by TBS Hemp Cream for everything! I must give it a go! Seriously need to give my cuticles some love! Great post! Ax


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