I know everyone is excited that it is Friday so I won’t even ask 😉 It’s rainy and cloudy weather here and predicted to stay that way the whole weekend. I love it!
Before I get to the reason for this post I just wanted to share some news. It’s probably not new news anymore but just in case….
Wet n Wild is now available in South Africa. They have rolled out to selected Clicks stores and you can find all the info on their Facebook Page. I was hoping to share this info with some swatches but I won’t have it ready in the next week and I wanted to get the news out asap 😉 The above image is from their facebook page as well.
I often get asked about my nail care routine and the products I use. It is extremely flattering that anyone would be interested in MY routine. I have done a few posts before almost in the same line so if you are interested you can read them as well.
- Know your nails! – Discussing what is important to know when it comes to the health of your nails. How it all works.
- Tip Top Nail Care products – Discussing some of the products I have used and how it helped me at the time.
- How I paint my nails – Showing how I paint my nails AS WELL AS how I clean up after painting.
Ok, so my routine. I have previously mentioned my over the top tendencies. I like to refer to them as my OCD tendencies. So it should come as no surprise that I can be a little excessive. It is absolutely not necessary though. It is probably not even necessary to use as many of the products I do.
First up is washing my hands. Of course hand lotion goes together with hand washing but I will talk about that later. I wash my hands quite often throughout the day. I generally use normal hand soap but I do try to at least twice a day use a moisturising hand wash. I have found the “Good Stuff” Moisture Blast hand wash to be really great.
I also use a scrubbing brush. I use this at least once a day but often use it much more. Using a scrubbing brush to brush your nails and skin up to your first knuckle improves circulation and helps with nail growth. It also gets rid of all the dead loose skin. I do this at least once a day using my body scrub. Every other time I use regular soap like my Moisture Blast. Like I said, I do this at least once a day but when I remove polish I tend to do it after that. I also usually do it after painting my nails and the polish is dry. I don’t think this is necessary. I often find myself doing it a few times throughout the day. Once a day is fine 😉
Next up is hand lotions. I have a hand lotion at every single tap in the house. If there is one thing I can emphasise over and over is how important hand lotion is. Hand washing, dish washing, cleaning, these all strip your hands – and nails – of moisture. This will make your nails weaker. It is super important to use a hand lotion. Especially after you have washed your hands. Therefore I have a lot of hand lotions. I have a few next to my bed, a few on my desk and a few throughout the house as well as all the taps. My absolute favourite hand lotion is Dirty Works (I wrote about it here) but I do have a few others I use as well that are good. If I were to replace I would probably replace with Dirty Works but I might always have one or two of the others lying around.
Dirty Works on the left is an amazing hand cream. Definitely my favourite. Sorbet – on the right – is a nice hand cream with a nice smell but it isn’t my favourite.
The Good Stuff one on the left is one that I really like. I have a few different varieties of this brand but this one is my favourite. It also comes in a pump bottle that I have in the kitchen. The Vaseline on in the middle is an oldie but a goodie. I don’t know if it does much except for moisturise but I like the thin, fast absorbing formula. I keep one of these in my bad because it isn’t a strong or unpleasant smell, it absorbs really fast and should I lose it or it leaks or breaks it wouldn’t be huge loss. It’s perfect for putting on while washing hands in a public restroom or even in the car when you don’t want to spend a long time rubbing it in.
I am obsessed with hand lotion because it really will make such a huge difference. I currently have 11 of these hand creams all over the house. You don’t need 11 but find one you like and use it as often as you can.
Cuticle oil is another biggie. I didn’t realise what a difference it can make until I started using it. I reviewed the Tip Top cuticle cream in one of the posts I listed above. I use cuticle oil at least once a day. I brush it on and around my nails and massage it into my nails and surrounding skin (up to first knuckle) and leave it to soak in all the way. I usually do this when I am watching tv or when I am in front of my computer. Times when I know I will have a few minutes where I won’t rub it off by what I am doing.
So far my go-to cuticle oil has been the Tip Top cuticle oil. It does exactly what it promised to do and has worked wonders. I also recently got the OPI Avoplex cuticle oil. I have only used it once because I want to finish the others first. It smells amazing and judging on my one time use it seems to be as good as the Tip Top. It is also considerably more expensive. I am not sure yet if I will continue to use this brand only as the Tip Top one has everything I could need (for a lot less) but I will re-evaluate after using it. This is my second bottle of Tip Top cuticle oil so you can see it does last quite a long time. The Sally Hanses one I also use. I have that one on my desk while Tip Top is in my room. I am not a big Sally Hansen fan (so far) but I can’t fault this cuticle oil. (I got this one from Gee Whiskers – thank you!) I can highly recommend the Tip Top cuticle oil. Not only is it an excellent product but also really affordable.
I do have a few extra products that I use that I like to call ‘treatments’ but before I get to those I want to talk about another part of my routine. Once a week I soak my hands in warm soapy water. Once my skin is nice and soft I scrub gently with a nail brush. I then push back my cuticles. I have a cuticle pusher and orange sticks but you need to be very careful. These products can easily damage your nails. It is recommended to use an orange stuck with cotton wool wrapped around it. I will admit that I don’t do that. I use either my cuticle pusher or my orange stick. One advantage I have is that because my skin is well hydrated and for some reason my cuticles aren’t stubborn I don’t really have to work hard on pushing them back. I don’t have a lot of that skin that seems to grow over your nail either. So if You use any of these tools then please be careful so as to not damage your nails. Use that is done I wash my hands really well and then make sure they are dried well too. After this I will often use one or more of my ‘treatment’ products.
The first of these is Lush Lemony Flutter. I have been lusting after this product for almost a year. Unfortunately they are only in Cape Town and I had no way of getting my hands on some. I mentioned the product to acidicice and she was fabulous enough to buy me some for my birthday. It was a complete spoil of course.
I know I don’t have to tell you how awesome any Lush product is and Lemony Flutter is no different. It has a strong lemon scent that seems to put some people off but I absolutely love it. It isn’t an imitation lemon scent, it smells like real raw lemons. The smell also fades once you have it on. I use this product at least once a day, usually when I go to bed. I put it quite thick on each nail and then go back and rub it in a bit. I then put on my cotton gloves (I have a Body Shop pair and an Essence pair) and tuck myself in for the night. I used to use this sometimes during the day as well but considering how long I longed for it and hard it would be to get my hands on some more I am now sticking to once a day 😉
Another product that I use is The Body Shop Almond hand and nail butter. This butter is really thick and rich.
I would never be able to use this as a hand lotion because it takes a bit of time to soak in and could leave your hands a little sticky if you put too much. It is really lovely and moisturising though. I usually use a tiny little drop in the mornings (a small amount soaks in quite well with minimal stickiness) and then before bed I rub this all over my hands before I add Lemony Flutter to my nails and cuticles.
Then I have The Body Shop Hemp Moisture High Balm. The hemp products from Body Shop are amazing for super dry skin. I also have the hemp foot butter for my feet and it does wonders!
This balm has an oily feel to once it ‘melts’ but it isn’t actually very oily. I use this on my nails and cuticles when I have used a lot of acetone or remover (usually after I use the nail brush once my polish is dry). I also use it after my weekly soak and scrub session. This is super effective when you have dry skin anywhere. I also used this on my tattoo when I went to have some touchups done and it worked a charm. I also put this on my toes with some cotton socks (also from Body Shop). Before I got Lemony Flutter I used it on my nails and cuticles with the gloves at night as well. I now use it a few times a week (depending on how many times I paint my nails) or when I can see that my skin is getting dry. This balm doesn’t smell amazing (none of the hemp products do in my opinion) but it does work really well and it really is a quick, moisture high balm. This will work well on dry elbows, heels, knees etc as well. My dogs are fascinated with the hemp products. Whenever they smell it they want it. It’s a bit strange.
I do also use coconut oil. Once a week I use coconut oil in my hair and when I have put it in my hair I rub the remainder of what is on my hands into my cuticles as well. You can see more about the magic of coconut oil here.
You don’t need ALL of these products but here is what I recommend:
- Get yourself at least ONE good hand cream and use it as often as you can. (I can highly recommend Dirty Works)
- Get yourself at least ONE good cuticle oil and try to use it at least once a day. (I can highly recommend the Tip Top Cuticle oil)
- Get a nail brush and scrub at least once a day.
- Get yourself one rich, very moisturising ‘treatment’ that you can use while sleeping (with gloves will give a great advantage) (I can highly recommend any of the three I mentioned)
If you read my Know Your Nails post you will also see that even though the condition of your skin and cuticles can – and will – improve very quickly. The condition of your nails will take a little longer to see huge results. Basically the healthier nail has to grow out. Give it a chance because once you see those results you will be pleasantly surprised. I used to have very weak and soft nails that would break at the slightest bump or touch and I could never get them to grow. They are a million times better and healthier now.
Here are a few things I will NEVER do to my nails:
- I will never ‘buff’ my nails. This removes layers of your nails that basically makes them thinner, weaker and causes ‘damage’. I would much rather wear a ridge filling base coat if that was my problem or I would use a very shiny clear coat if I wanted the shine.
- I will never cut my nails. I don’t use nail clippers to cut my nails. It is much healthier to file your nails. The best grit to use is 180. I was super spoilt by Madness Nails for my birthday with a Mont-Bleu glass nail file. I only file my nails down.
- I will never cut my cuticles. No. Just no. It is too risky and can be very painful. It is also the quickest way to get infected cuticles and will have no benefit. The skin is there for a reason!
- I will never not use a base coat. Not only because of the normal staining etc but also because it will protect your nails.
I can’t think of anything else right now but if I do I will update here.
That is mostly it. If you have any questions or if anything was unclear let me know. I would be happy to answer anything. All the posts I mention in this post will have additional info if you’re interested. Also, if you have any products you can recommend I would love to hear. I have used a few different products that I do not mention because they weren’t as good as ones I am already using or I didn’t like them at all. Or share your routine with me.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Thanks for reading!