These past few months has seen so many new nail polish launches (with more still to come may I add, so stay tuned), that after all the swatching and trying out of formulas, my nails have been left a little dry and a little bit flakey. The condition of my nails isn't exactly helped when pretty much all year round I am sporting a high shine, gel manicure. So I have made it my mission to create a nailcare routine that actually works, so I thought I would share my tips for maintaining healthy, hydrated nails.
Out with the old and in with the moisturiser
Using nail polish remover tends to dry out my nails so as soon as I have removed every last bit of my old, chipped manicure I always use a hand cream to add some moisture back into my skin. The Rituals Ginseng & Ginkgo Caring Hand Balm has been my fave ever since I first tried it out, nothing else compares to this so it stays on my desk at all times. The scent is so beautiful, it feels super luxurious and it just melts into your skin as soon as you apply it -- you can feel it working its magic leaving your skin instantly feeling full of life again.
Work miracles overnight
If you are able to leave a little time between your manicures this can be extremely beneficial, allowing your nails to enjoy a much needed break from the multiple layers of product they have to endure that comes with a manicure. Similarly with skincare and haircare, overnight masks can work wonders for us, utilising the rejuvenation that occurs whilst we sleep. Ciate's Knight in Shining Armour Overnight Nail Mask is perfect for this -- you apply this to bare nails before bedtime and wash it off in the morning with warm water. The formula includes an intense moisturiser which is going to penetrate the nail, leaving your nails feeling hydrated in the morning.
Don't be afraid to go naked
Bare all and let your nails run free with the help of Ciate's Bloom Boost Nail Brightener. It's formulated with advanced oxygen technology that allows the nail to breathe whilst coated in a layer of polish that's going to liven up their appearance -- neutralise discolouration, enhance the pink tone and brighten the white tip. It's the perfect pick-me-up for your nails.
Get the right file
Over the years I have found that the best nail file for me is a crystal one -- they are much more expensive than those cheap emery boards but they will stand the test of time whilst softly and precisely filing the nails. OPI's Crystal Nail File is the one I am currently using, I have used the Nails Inc one before and I also have a travel size one from Ciate that lives in my on-the-go make up bag -- they are much of a muchness, any crystal file should do the trick. I just cannot and will not use those emery boards -- they break and wear down so easily, so it's worth investing in a high quality nail file.
It's all about that base
A base coat is intended to nourish the nail and protect it whilst you are wearing your nail colour so it's in your best interest to always apply a base coat, unless the nail colour you are going to be using specifies otherwise -- some oil infused nail polish formulas now have the benefits of a base coat already included so therefore removes the need for this step. The two that I alternate between also double up as nail strengtheners too, so it's all about getting that added value: Nails Inc NailKale Superfood Base Coat and Ciate's Nail Gym. The NailKale range from Nails Inc is infused with kale extract and keratin to strengthen, hydrate, nourish and brighten, all whilst stimulating nail growth -- it's a pretty powerful treatment. The Nail Gym Strengthener from Ciate is designed for weak nails and is dubbed as the personal trainer for yours nails -- it's going to leave them stronger, toned and healthy.
Top it off
Once your manicure is complete (having finished with a top coat of course -- my fave is Essie's Gel Setter), I like to use OPI's Avoplex Nail and Cuticle Replenishing Oil to inject a bit of life back into my nails as well as the nail bed, especially after all those layers of polish and the tugging away at the skin when cleaning up any mess along the way. This oil applies just like a nail polish, with a brush on the end of a wand, but is gentle on the skin so I just apply around the outside of my nail to nourish my skin.