I’ll squeeze a bit around each nail of one hand, then go around my cuticles with a metal cuticle pusher (like this) and scoop out the removed cuticles with the scoop-shaped end. It’s important to be gentle here since it is metal and you are working near some of the most delicate parts of your nail. I’ll also scoop out any grime or dirt underneath my nails.
When I’m finished with one hand, I wipe it on a little washcloth I keep around all my nail supplies and repeat for the next hand. When both are done, I wash them thoroughly with a nail scrubber and some nice, warm, soapy water.
Finally, I push back the cuticles gently with a rubber cuticle pusher (like this). I prefer rubber because it won’t scratch my nails’ surface. When everything looks good, I’ll add cuticle balm and lotion, then create my manicure!
If you want your manicure to last, do not put on cuticle balm and lotion before your basecoat. This will cause your polish to lift right off your finger the next day, in one nice little piece. I actually kind of prefer this since I change polish every single day, but I recommend against it if you’re not looking to change as often.
Do you have a nail care blog post? ilove your cuticles I'm desperately looking for something to make my cuticles look better. lol
And…not yet, but I have been planning on doing something like that! For now, start with some cuticle balm and lotion. My favorite is the Burt’s Bees cuticle balm and just a nice smelling lotion. Besides that, it’s nothing too special. Every now and then I’ll use cuticle remover gel to get rid of the cruddy stuff around my nails, but if you haven’t pushed your cuticles back in a while, you may need to do this more often.
It’s all about moisturizing mostly. Does any of the skin around your fingernails look a little dry? Moisturize! Just a small amount of lotion (bean sized will usually do it) in your hand is all you need. More and you’ll feel too greasy. Make sure you work it in around your nails especially, and your cuticles will start to look better.
If you’re a nail biter, chances are you’re a skin biter as well. That’s one of the worst things you can do. Just keep your hands away from your mouth unless you’re blowing kisses. That was hard for me to do for a while, but now I’m pretty good about it, and it pays off!
Hi there, I have had acrylic nails for a while because my own nails are very weak and thin. I have recently taken them off because I hate getting them done and know they are bad for my nails, the damage of them has grown out now. My question is do you have any tips for making polish last on my own nails. When I had acrylics it never chipped, like ever! Thanks for your help and inspirational blog.
I’m afraid I’m a terrible blogger to ask about chipping polish. Mine chips regularly and I change polish often.
Here’s what I think about that though. Look for a topcoat and basecoat that is advertised as preventing chipping. According to reviews online, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat seems to work well for that (I can’t clarify that though).
When you had acrylics, you could probably use them for all sorts of business (opening up cans, picking off labels, etc.). Now that your nails are natural and recovering from the acrylic-trauma, you’ll need to be extra gentle with them. They’re not your tools anymore, especially if you’re looking to keep the polish long-lasting. I have nails on the thinner side, and I like to use polish to kind of add an extra layer of strength.
Biotin has also been praised as a great vitamin to take for nail care (as well as hair and skin to an extent).
I hope some, all, or at least a teeeeeeny bit of that advice helps! Let me know how it goes as time progresses. Just be patient, it definitely doesn’t happen over night.
How do you keep your nails healthy? I love painting my nails, but they always end up stained and brittle. :(
Base coat base coat base coat!
I use a variety of Sally Hansen strengthener and thickener nail care products as base coats. I don’t usually keep nail art on for long (I’m talkin’ less than a day), so I never worry about how sticky the base coat is for how long. I’d rather be using some kind of basecoat that is advertised as providing benefits for my nails like hardening rather than adhesion of the polish.
Also, don’t put your fingers anywhere near your face. I was a pretty gnarly nail-biter for a long time, but I just decided that was pretty gross and worked at stopping.
Finally, don’t use your nails as tools. You may never overcome the brittle factor (mine are still quite thin), but you can at least prevent breaking because of that by being careful with them. If they break, damn. BUT, if they do, file the broken one so it’s even. It won’t be long (sad) but it will be safe from further breakage.
To use a stamping plate do you have to specifically use the stamping nail polish? Or can you use regular nail polish?
No, you don’t have to use special stamping polish for stamps. Those are recommended though because their formulas contain a high amount of color pigmentation. Other polishes with a lot of pigmentation will work just as well.
As a general rule of thumb, if you can paint your nail in one coat and achieve complete coverage, that polish will probably work well for stamping.
Additionally, foil and metallic polishes really work well. I used the Color Club Foiled collection for stamping at the bottom of this post. I also use the China Glaze Romatique collection a lot (here, here, here, here, here, and here). It’s my go-to stamping collection. You can still purchase the collection online in many places, like Head2ToeBeauty.com (just scroll down a bit).
can you make a tutorial for your snaky subtlety? (:
I would, but there really isn’t any tutorial necessary.
That manicure was created by using the Bundle Monster stamping set, with plate BM-220. It’s a design that’s meant to be used as a funky french stamp, but I wanted it near my cuticle instead. So I just stamped it down lower.
The colors I used were Nomadic Nude (Color Club)and Poetic (China Glaze).
If you don’t already own that Bundle Monster set, I highly suggest buying it!
I would love your help in winning one of the 25 prizes Bundle Monster is giving away for their nail art contest…a new set of stamping plates! Today’s the last day to vote, and your votes would really help!
What advice do you have on painting with your opposite hand? I don't think I could do your "summer flowers" design with my left hand :/
I know I can’t paint that design with my left hand. It’s really intricate, and though I can do designs on my right hand, I don’t think I can get that intricate.
I can definitely do designs though, and that is just a matter of practice and keeping your hand steady. My pinky is my savior, and I use it to prop up the rest of my left hand and give me some stability. I’ll also contort my right hand into some pretty strange positions to try to make painting the design easier. The muscle movement in my left hand is terrible compared to my right, so it needs to be as stable as possible. Leave your hand in the same position, and focus on just moving your fingers. Also, move your right hand to meet your left hand’s needs, not the other way around (if you can avoid it).
Also…breathe. Don’t hold your breath. Your back will hurt (at least mine does) because you’ll be working so hard to keep your body in control while you attempt the impossible.
Finally, let things dry completely. You’ll find that you’re very prone to smudging and really silly mistakes like that when you’re painting your non-dom hand. Letting everything dry at its own pace will reduce that risk.
How do you get your cuticles looking so amazing? I try everything and I always feel like they still look ratty. Any tips? :)
Aw jeez, making me blush!
The trick is to moisturize the hell out of them. Just washed your hands? CUTICLE BALM! Just did the dishes? CUTICLE BALM! Need a convenient diet plan that keeps you from snacking on that bag of chips? CUTICLE BALM!
I use the Burt’s Bees cuticle balm and whatever lotion I have on hand.
Also, resist the urge to touch them and pick at them. That was tough for me, but once you start taking pictures of your hands every day for the world to see, you get the hang of leaving them alone.
Finally, use a cuticle remover from time to time to get rid of the grimey pieces that inevitably accumulate. Be gentle and push them bag, then kind of scoop out the gunk with your cuticle pusher. I use the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover. No real magic behind it, and it’s available pretty much everywhere.