You can take it home with you: the nail lady

 Sporting Illamasqua's Marquise over OPI's Where Did Suzi's Man-go? (nails by me)

Sporting Illamasqua's Marquise over OPI's Where Did Suzi's Man-go? (nails by me)

I l-o-v-e getting manicures, it's probably my biggest treat. In order to reign in my spending I cut back on weekly manicures, thankfully I took loads of mental notes and pictures and I think I'm now well equipped to paint my own talons every now and again.

My one takeaway tip from watching the pros do what they do is properly wiping off excess polish on the rim of the bottle before bringing the brush to the nail. A giant glob of polish is far more difficult and messier to deal with and takes entirely too long to dry.

 Essie's Apricot Cuticle Oil

Essie's Apricot Cuticle Oil

To keep my cuticles in fighting form (especially in winter) I invested in a bottle of Essie's Apricot Cuticle Oil. Simply dab a small drop where the nail meets the cuticle and gently massage in. I find that if I keep the bottle near the sink it serves as a gentle reminder for me to apply it before hitting the pillow.

Another favourite product of mine is OPI's Avoplex Exfoliating Cuticle Treatment. This mighty tube of goodness helps to prevent hangnails by keeping my cuticles properly hydrated.

 Elemis' Pro-Radiance Hand and Nail Cream

Elemis' Pro-Radiance Hand and Nail Cream

For those times when I don't have cuticle oil in close proximity, I count on moisturiser (the workhorse kind) to keep my hands soft.

These are my go-to hand moisturisers:

  • Elemis' Pro-Radiance Hand and Nail Cream* - I keep this baby at my desk. The lotion melts into my skin and nails without leaving behind a greasy residue.
  • Provence Sante's Hand Cream - merely purchased to keep the French Pink memories alive. This stuff is the cat's pajamas.
  • The Body Shop's Spa Wisdom Africa Honey & Beeswax Hand and Foot Butter - Personally, I really hate the jar it's packaged in, but I'm willing to deal because the scent and texture is pure magic.
  • The Body Shop's Almond & Nail Cream - Why Body Shop, why did you have to break something which didn't need to be fixed? The texture and overall performance is still the same, but the scent! Why?!?!

Hand lotion is my BFFL, can't you tell?

Also, be sure to invest in a really good pair of cuticle trimmers and remember to be super careful when nipping off dry bits of skin around your nail. Here's a helpful video from Cute Polish which showcases her nail care techniques.

Finally, I take one Flaxseed Oil supplement every day which helps to keep joint soreness in my knees at bay (yes I'm getting older) and the other added benefit is my nails have become noticeably stronger.

Healthy hands and nails make for happy hands and nails.

*PR sample provided  –  Thoughts and ramblings written here are completely my own.