My Personal Nail Care Routine and Favorite Products

I've been wanting to write this post for quite awhile now and since several of my Facebook followers have asked, I'm guessing this is long overdue! =) I've had brittle, weak nails for a long, long time and years of acrylics didn't do them ANY favors. But when I got back into polish in a BIG way last year, my first quest was to find products that would firstly help strengthen my natural nails and secondly help my manicures last longer--acrylics, besides being so damaging, are too expensive to maintain in this economy and I don't buy cheap polish either lately! So, here's a compilation of some of my favorites that have helped take my nails from embarrassing to pretty-darn-good! =)

First up!!! This is my HOLY GRAIL of vitamins/supplements!! This gigantic tablets are chock-full of nutrients that are SO good for nails and hair, of which the best of the best, is a solid dose of Biotin. For those of you not familiar with Biotin, or otherwise known as vitamin B7, it's a biological compound that is necessary for cell growth. Hence, it stands to reason that it would help in the growth of rapidly dividing cells such as those in your nails and hair. Though scientific data remains inconclusive, these pills have worked wonders for my nails! They're so much healthier, stronger and less prone to breakage! Now, a quick word of caution : these pills are a little smelly (probably from the ingredients in them) and are LARGE-sized, both of which makes them hard to swallow. Take them AFTER a meal and drink LOTS of water with them. Because people HAVE reported instances of breakouts and tummy troubles! So...start out slow, take 1 rather than the recommended dose of 3 and work your way up!

Next up!!! Cuticle care!! Jeez, if you're like me, cuticles can be a pain in the...umm...BUTT! Mine tend to flake and I get these icky little hangnails! YUCK! But with a little extra care, my cuticles have improved quite a bit from just a few months ago. A good friend recommended this--Blue Cross Cuticle Remover and it's really quite easy to use. Just dab on, allow to soak in for a few minutes and gently scrape away your excess cuticles using one of the handy little orange sticks pictured on the right! As for hangnails, I just snip them away with a regular old nail clipper.

Now, after you've scraped and snipped away all those pesky excess cuticles, it's IMPERATIVE to moisturize!! Preferably, multiple times a day! Pictured above are 3 of my favorite cuticle oils. To the left is Glisten & Glow's customizable cuticle oil in White Peach and Sangria, which I ADORE!!! I also have G&G's cuticle oil in Juicy by Juicy Couture and that one is to die for too! I use these for when I need maximum moisture. The one in the middle is Julep's cuticle oil, which I use for blog pictures since it's very light and absorbs super easily. Finally, to the right, is YouPolish's Peachy Keen Cuticle oil, which I love for the fresh, fruity fragrance!

Now I know some of you may be leery about oral vitamin supplements and prefer a topical nail strengthener instead. Well, you're in luck! =) Pictured below are two of my favorites! Duri Rejuvacote and Nailtiques Formula 2. These can double up as a pretty darn good basecoat as well! The Duri is great for nail growth and the Nailtiques has done wonders in preventing cracking/peeling nail tips. Both dry to a smooth, hard finish and make my nails feel so much stronger.

Don't have issues with peeling or weak nails, but just want a good basecoat that would prevent staining and help manicures last longer? For that purpose, I recommend either OPI Ridge Filler or Essie Ridge-filling base coat. Both these dry to a smooth, CLEAR, even surface which allows you to paint your nails with little to no visible flaws. I love them since this is just what need under a good jelly or creme.

Holos,  however, are a different ball game. Due to the holographic pigment itself, many holo polishes have issues with streaking and/or difficult application. A good aqua base coat, like the one pictured below from Nfu Oh, will help with these issues. Now, I know it looks milky in the bottle, but believe me, it dries clear and super smooth! And no more patchy holo polish application. Surprisingly though, another cheaper alternative to the Nfu Oh, is the L.A. Colors blue base coat/strengthener that you can find at Dollar Tree! It does a very similar job at a fraction of the cost! Win-win!

When it comes to topcoats, however, there is only ONE for me! The incomparable HK Girl from Glisten & Glow! This miracle product dries in 45 seconds FLAT, to a super shiny, rock-hard finish and can be worn with cremes, jellies, crellies, glitters, holos and everything in between. Plus it's super-affordable! I've tried SEVERAL topcoats including Seche Vite, Butter London, OPI etc and NOTHING beats this! If you don't have this, you're truly missing out!

Finally, something for those oh-so-challenging-but-oh-so-beautiful glitterbombs. If you're anything like me, you understand when I say I LOVE the look of pretty little hexes, stars and what-nots but HATE the bumpy, gritty feeling. Well, a couple of coats of Gelous and you can wear your glitterbombs with the best of them--no icky texture! This stuff will smooth out even the busiest of glitterbombs!

So, that's it for this post! I hope you enjoyed my little compilation of favorite nail care products and I would love to hear any questions/comments/suggestions!

Til next time,

1 comment

  1. I love the Blue Cross cuticle remover. It's so easy to use and doesn't irritate my skin. I don't use an orange stick, though--I usually find it easier to wipe the cuticle off with my nail or a cotton pad. It's a really great product. I also love the HK Girl top coat. I took it to a nail salon with me once and they tried to conveniently move it and misplace it so they could keep it.

    I'm going to have to look for the LA Colors blue base coat/strengthener though. :-)


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