I always had iffy nails that were never quite happy. I could never grow them long as they were always pealing and breaking. On top of that I was a nail bitter. And then for good measure I was handling cardboard boxes and visual displays on a daily basis. Just a bad combo all around. I barely ever painted my finger nails and would often play it off as it being "tacky", when really I was just bummed that my nails looked like crap and that wearing polish didn't help hide that fact.
A few years ago I finally sucked it up and started using the nail/hand products that I had bought but never used. Not so shockingly my hands and nails started to look better. And all it took was a few simple products and a nightly routine.
I will file my nails and clip any stray cuticles and nails whenever I need to. I find that if I don't fix a nail right away that I will fall back into picking at them. So I always have a nail file and cuticle clippers close at hand. At night, right before bed I rub cuticle oil/butter onto my nails and then follow it up with a hand cream. Doing it right before bed gives everything a chance to soak in.
Other than adding lotion and cuticle butter to my routine, my biggest realization was that sometimes you just have to let go. And by that I mean let go of failing nails. So many of us want longer nails, so when they break we scramble to do anything to save them. For me, I just have to let go and trim them. Sometimes it's the only way to save them. Nails grow and they will be happier if you trim off anything that is causing problems.
Here's a list of nail products that I feel are must haves:
~Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream: I apply this every night before bed. I have been trying to use this up as I want to try Lush's Lemony Fluffer Cuticle Butter. Though the Burt's Bees has work very well for me.
~The Body Shop's Almond Oil Daily Hand & Nail Cream: I use this every night after applying my cuticle butter. It's nice and light both in feel and smell.
~Cuticle clippers: A must have to keep your nails looking clean. Helps get rid of hangnails, dead skin and, of course, cuticles.
~Rounded nail file: A nail file is a must have to keep your nails smooth and shaped. I really like this rounded on I just got because I can get into corners far easier.
~4 step nail buffer: I just reinvested in one of these and I had almost forgotten how nice it makes my nails feel and look. I use this once every two weeks but no more than once a week.
Now here's what I use for painting my nails:
~CND Stickey base coat: This is a bottom coat that stays a little sticky that helps hold the color onto your nail for longer. I swear by this stuff.
~Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat: It does exactly what it says, it makes your nails dry lightning quick. The only thing I have issues with is color shrinkage.
~Manicure sticks: Perfect to help clean up around the edges.
Now that I've shared my must haves, lets move on to what really brought you here...the manicure! The color here is Lynnderella's Attitude Adjust-Mint over top of Essie's Mint Candy Apple.
Lynnderella is known for her amazing hand mixed glitter polishes and even better known for how hard they are to order. I was lucky enough to get in on her last shop opening and grabbed Attitude Adjust-Mint and 8 others.
I'm in love with Attitude Adjust-Mint, it was far easier to use than expected and is full of shimmer, green hex glitter and opalescent hex glitter. I probably could have gotten it opaque in 3-4 coats, but I didn't bother because Essie's Mint Candy Apple worked so perfectly as a base. For this manicure I used 2 coats of each polish with 2 coats Seche Vite to get it smooth.
You can buy Essie's Mint Candy Apple here and you can check out Lynnderella's blog here to find out when her shop will be open again.
So how do you take care of your hands and nails? Have you heard of Lynnderella? What are some polishes from her than you have your eye on?