The Fingertip Crew.

I used to be quite lazy with my nails, and while I enjoyed wearing polish, I didn't take particularly great care of my nails otherwise. It all changed when I started noticing how even the most beautiful shade of polish would look horrendous against a backdrop of haggard cuticles and misshapen tips. So, I thought I'd show you the main players that have transformed my nail routine.

After removing all traces of existing polish with a non-acetone nail polish remover (I'm not picky on which one, as long as it doesn't contain acetone, which weakens my nails), I run a thin line of the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover along the base and sides of my nail, where the nail meets the skin. After about fifteen seconds have elapsed, I use my thumb nail to gently push back the cuticle on each nail before washing my hands clean. The cuticle remover softens and dissolves the cuticles so that they are easily removed during a simple hand wash. Once in a blue moon, when my cuticles have grown like weeds, I take a cuticle cutter (mine is from Ulta) and carefully trim them just a bit to make them presentable again.

Instead of clipping my nails, I typically opt to use a nail file to create a length and shape I'm happy with. I typically like my nails short and more on the square side. To achieve this, I file my nails straight across until they're quite short, then I use the nail file to ever so slightly round out the edges.

Once the shape of my nails are to my liking, I prep them with OPI Nail Envy. Now, if you read this post, you'll know that I'm not blown away by Nail Envy; however, as I don't necessarily hate it either, I've vowed to use up the entire bottle before trying something new. 

After painting on a few, thin coats of my nail color of choice, always waiting about 5 minutes between each coat, I seal everything in with CND Super Shiney High-Gloss Top Coat. As its name would suggest, it has a brilliant, shiny finish, and the thicker consistency really helps to protect the polish underneath. I've found that it's not ideal over lighter polishes, though, as it can cast a purple tinge. Instead, I've recently started using Essie Good to Go Top Coat on top of lighter nail colors, and so far, so good.

Lastly, to help speed up the drying time and lessen the time spent flailing around helplessly, OPI Rapidry is absolutely brilliant. About 45 seconds to a minute after painting on my top coat, I spritz Rapidry over my nails and they're ready to go in no time. Seriously, it works.

Occasionally, before bed, I apply a bit of the Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Oil. The jojoba oil, coconut oil and vitamin E really help to soften and nourish my dry cuticles. And, the yummy coconut scent doesn't hurt either.


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