Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Nail Care Basics

I love nail polish to the moon and back, but the perfect nail color is nothing if you don't have healthy nails to apply it to. Today I wanted to share a few of my favorite tips and tools for keeping your nails healthy and looking great!

Cuticle Nippers

I don't go around and remove all my cuticles, I prefer to push them back.  Nippers are handy if you have a hangnail or an uncomfortable cuticle on the side of your nail.  These get right in there and nip it away safely. 

Cuticle Pusher

Pretty self explanatory, but I prefer the metal pushers to the wooden stick ones.

Nail Clipper (square end)

I like my nails to have a square tip.  The square ended nail clipper makes it easy to keep that shape.  Regular nail clippers have a half moon shape, so if you like your nails square you need to follow up with a lot of filing to get the shape you want.

Ruby Stone Crystal Nail File

A stone nail file is a must in my book to keep nails strong and protect against splitting. Once I tried the Ruby Stone, I'll never to back to paper nail files. I picked this up at Sally's, its made of aluminum oxide powder crystals, one of the materials found in Rubies (hence the name). It feels much more comfortable on the nails than the paper files. My favorite thing about this file is that its safe for filing in both directions. 

Cuticle Oil

Cuticle Oil is a must for healthy nails. I apply this all around my cuticles when I give myself a manicure. I also use it in between manicures, whenever my cuticles are feeling dry.  I brush it on and then rub it in to instantly moisturize them. This one is by Beauty Secrets and pretty much all the writing has worn off from it jumbling around at the bottom of my toiletry bag when I travel.

INM Out The Door Top Coat

This is my current holy grail top coat. I used to be a slave to the ever popular Seche Vite topcoat, but I got tired of the awful smell, polish shrinkage and the fact that the polish would goop up and become unusable about halfway through the bottle. Out The Door has the same quick dry and high gloss formula as the Seche Vite but without those three drawbacks. Its also a little cheaper! I got mine at Sally's but I've seen it at CVS too.

Be Natural Cuticle Eliminator

This is my manicure secret weapon. It makes getting cuticles under control a breeze. My normal manicure routine is I clip and file my nails, apply cuticle eliminator, let it set for 60 seconds and then push them back. It makes them so much easier to work with. After pushing, wash your hands and you're good to apply polish! I don't usually use this every time I do my nails. I alternate between this and regular cuticle oil, depending on how my cuticles are looking.

Hope these tips and reviews help you on your quest for healthy nails!


  1. Great tip about the Ruby file (love the name!). Does it seem to get dull? I go through paper files like it's my job and I'm sick of buying them all the time.

    My nails (and my hands in general) are always in a state of distress/chaos. Not only am I a lifelong nail biter, but dental hygiene school has wreaked havoc on my hands. I'm on vacation right now and got a gel mani. Even though they can dry out the nails, I love how durable it is and it is the ONLY thing that keeps me from biting my nails! I got the mani four days ago and my nails are already longer than they've been in a year. I'll be sad once September rolls around and I have to go back to having boring, ugly hands. I'm jealous of people who have nice nails!

    I'm actually about to go try making some homemade cuticle balm. I love making my own products and am going to try and replicate the Burt's Bees lemon cuticle cream. Hopefully it will help to get my cuticles into as good shape as my nails.

    - G$

    1. I knew you'd like the Ruby file! I've had the same one for over a year and it still works great! I do love me a gel mani from time to time. They are great for vacations when you want your nails to look good and you don't want to worry about them chipping, etc. Thats so cool that you make your own products, let me know how it goes! :)