I was in the mood for a different sort of post this weekend, so today I'm going to share my favourite nail and hand care products with you.
These are my favourite and most-used items for keeping my nails clean, strong and in decent condition most of the time. Sometimes my nails break, or my cuticles look dry anyway, but that's usually because I've either neglected them, or because I've done something stupid like trying to prise things open with my nails!
My number 1 most essential, CANNOT live without nail care product, by a country mile, is OPI Nail Envy. I go through gallons of the stuff! I use it as base coat for every mani, and I paint it under my nails whenever they're long enough. I paint it on the free edges of my nails, I paint it on the sides of my nails. If my nails are feeling particularly delicate, I use two coats. I buy mine on Amazon, where it's usually half the price of places like Boots. I always keep empties too, because they're useful for putting stuff in, like homemade peel-off basecoats, or spare acetone for cleanup.
The rest of my essentials, in no particular order are:
HAND CREAM! I'm currently using this lovely Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream, which was a gift. It's pricy though, so I don't buy it for myself! Any hand cream is better than no hand cream at all, and I have some everywhere - on my nail desk, next to my bed, in the bathroom, in my handbag, in the car, in my desk drawer at work... I can't get enough. This Clarins one is gorgeous though, really nice and soft and non-greasy.
Next up is cuticle oil. This is my favourite, China Glaze Peppermint Cuticle Oil, in a mini bottle. This stuff smells AMAZING - it's like Christmas! The brush is stiff, and I like to cover my nails top and bottom, and rub it in and let it soak in, every couple of weeks or so. I also use it on my cuticles only (just a dab) after most manis, just to soften and get rid of any dry bits.
Another cuticle product I really like is Sally Hansen Cuticle Rehab. I use this less often, as it's really greasy and takes ages before nails are ready for nail polish again, but it's a really good product for very dry cuticles. The brush is soft, and the product squeezes out at the base of the brush, and is sort of an oily gel consistency.
Next up is a nail brush. I've always used a nail brush almost daily, and in the past used a cheapy traditional one. I've recently switched to a BruzZ though, and I'm a total convert! See my earlier review here.
Another of my essentials is a glass nail file. My first one was a gift, but I managed to break it (don't drop your glass nail files on concrete!) and I replaced it with a Leighton Denny one, which I'm sorry to say I hated. I didn't like the texture of it, and the blunt, rounded end was a pain to use. My current one is (I think) a Mont Bleu, which I bought on Amazon.
I love the way this one feels - it's so smooth and gentle, but really effective at shortening and smoothing nails, and the pointy end means it's easy to get in to the sides of your nail if you need to (and you can use it to clean under your nail too). The crystals are so pretty, and the file is pretty much everlasting, unless your concrete floor comes into play!
Last of all, I use a basic, traditional cheapy pair of nail clippers. I don't regularly use them to cut my actual nails (only if I have to drastically shorten all of them at once) but I do use them to clip off ragged corners, or those tiny bits of hard cuticles or hangnails at the sides of my nails. The pointy bit it also really useful for cleaning under the nail, for pushing back cuticles, and for helping to peel off latex protector layers round my fingers.
If I sound like an advert in places here, I really don't mean to! I'm not being paid or sponsored or anything else for mentioning these products - I just really really like them. Most of them are things that I have used and loved for years.
What about you? Do you like these products? Is there something else you love and want to recommend?