Hey guys! So you know how I like to switch up my main “obsession”. I wouldn’t say that’s what nails is to me, but I can say they really are becoming a fun and important part of my life. I’ve found some amazing tools and all the best products that I adore and use religiously to keep my nails looking great and also feeling great. The very first step is biotin… I take a multivitamin that has Biotin in it but there’s lots of hair/skin/nails supplements out there and it really strengthens your hair! Now let’s start with all the basics…So the very first thing I actually do with my nails is use Beauty Secrets acetone for natural nails, it’s a beautifully efficient product. I use random cotton pads with this acetone to get polish off but I’ve really been searching for some cotton pads that were made just for nails. I’ve seen them before, I need to buy them! Not only do I use this great acetone but I love Julep’s “Party’s Over” glitter removal kit because it is such a life saver and literally the only efficient way I’ve found to remove glitter nail polish.
So if you know cool cotton pads, let me know. But for now, let’s move on to what I do once I remove my previous manicure. What I do is wash my hands with a nourishing soap (usually Bath & Body Works, my current favorite is Pumpkin Cupcake). After that I use my Kora Organics daily hand cream, then grab my 180 grit Butter London nail file and Julep buffer block to shape and buff my nails. Not everyone really knows the importance of this step, but I only use Butter London’s files because 180 grit seems to always work the best for me, and the Julep buffer blocks are really handy. Not only shaping but also buffing your nails is a great way to prepare them for any sort of treatment; buffing not only helps with any slight staining on your nails but it also smooths the surface so that your base coat and other products go on smoother. This is when I use Julep’s Essential Oil to save my cuticles; I’ll massage the hand cream into not only my hands but also working it into my nails/nail beds then make sure to coat my nails in the oil as well. Adding the cuticle oil is great because it’s like the icing on the cake, and it takes a while to soak in so that’s why I use it before bed. It does take longer to fully soak into your nails but is thus even more hydrating than other serums and creams and oils. So I’d put that on before bed and give my nails a breather for the night. So my nails are shaped, buffed, and moisturized to the best extent! So then the next day is when I start more of the manicure steps. One of my favorite tools is the Julep Mighty cuticle serum, which I’ll definitely talk about next.
I don’t always decide to do my nails right in the morning but I like to continue to let them breathe with no product throughout the day. If you’ve noticed by now, I adore Julep’s products and use many of them; if you’re familiar with Julep then you know that a lot of their current formulas are really crafted to let your nails breathe even through the base coat/color/even top coat. 80% of the time I use Julep polishes (especially because they’re 4-Free which means they don’t have the 4 biggest toxic chemicals in them that a lot of brands have) but even if you don’t, don’t sweat it, because taking some breathing days will help keep your nails at maximum health. So around the late afternoon I start to work on my nails again; I love to use my Julep manicure set which comes with a cuticle pusher, cleanup tool, cuticle clippers, straight-edge nail clippers, and an emery board. I just recently bought it when I stopped at the Julep parlor in Bellevue and it’s definitely vital. So I use my Mighty cuticle pen which is hydrating but dries quickly, and shortly after that I use the cuticle pusher to push my cuticles back. I never usually clip my nails I always file them but it’s nice that the one included is straight, the curved ones are difficult to deal with. Anyway, I then clip the hangnails from my cuticles and at last I’m finally ready to start painting.
Current favorite basecoat has got to be Julep’s (yeah, big surprise) oxygen bonding basecoat, because it actually is so smoothing and nice to apply and really creates a good foundation for color. I add some color (usually a Julep polish) and my favorite top coat has got to be Rica’s Glossy Glam, the one I have is like 3 years old and I really need a replacement (which I just ordered) but in the mean time I’ve been using Glisten & Glow’s HK Girl Top Coat which I gotta say is a close runner up. It doesn’t have as much shrinking as Rica’s but Rica’s is always the glossiest. I’ve tried a lot of topcoats…A couple different ones from OPI, Esscene’s Gel look top coat, and even Cirque Colors’ top coat which I was really excited to try but it was very disappointing. The manicure chipped less than a day of application and it wasn’t even shiny at all. I don’t even know how anyone convinced me to get that.
So, let’s talk about favorites. Favorite nail polish of all time, hmmm… I’ve really gotta say Space Junk by Nail Sauce (not sure whatever happened to that brand but she was my very favorite) or Sweets to the Sweet by Lynnderella (A legendary brand). But can we also throw in “Abby” by Julep? It’s crazy because my favorite color of all time as well as my favorite color to wear on my nails is light pink and that’s the color of Abby, which is my name. Love it. The orange polish showed as an example here is called “Joni” by Julep. Here’s a bunch of random nail pictures I have, I really wish I had one of Space Junk but I don’t know where they are. You can find Sweets to the Sweet in my Unicorn Puke Manicure post here, but I don’t have pictures of it on its own. Do you guys want more nail pictures/posts? Comment below!