I am currently recovering from acrylics (don't know what got into me, I should have known better...) All of a sudden I got so sick and tired of them that I decided to remove the nails myself. The pure aceton took forever and I ended up scarping and pulling off the leftovers. Hence my HUGE horizontal ridges and scruffed cuticles. Anyways, I hope you all forgive me the current state of my nails, with time I know they will get back to their original healthy state.
So, my routine manicure would be once a week. I Like to prepare everything I will need so I can totally relax and focus on my mani. Music, cup of coffee, there I go!
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The trimming and shaping of the nail is best to take place with the polish still on it so you can't be fooled by uneven nail lines but you will just look at the contours of your nails. I never clip unless one nail breaks, then I clip down everything to my nail line (So I can stylishly wear my vampy polishes without looking like a witch lol)
When I file to trim, I use my Konad file because it does the job quick. After I retained my desired length, I use my Sephora glass file to shape the contours. I like to try to get my nails squoval wich to me is a feminine, classy shape. To decide your own perfect shape you can try to mimic the shape of your cuticles on the bottem of your nail bed. This is supposedly the most flattering style.
After I shaped my nails, I finish off by running along the edges I just filed with a 3 way buffing file, to take a way debris and smooth the edges. I do not buff my actual nail plates, unless I have some serious ridges going on.
After all off this has been taken care off, I remove my polish. I use cellulose pads because they are not fluffy, but I can't stand the touch, they remind me of chalkboards and squeeky crayons EEWWWWW! I still have to find a good alternative... I like to use a acetone free remover for swatching, but for my actual manicure I use acetone based remover so my nail plates are more dry and therefore improve the adhesive power of my polish.
I choose not to soak my hands because nails have the tendency to absorb moisture so your polish would not stick properly to your nailplate. If you're not going to polish, it is recomended to soak the hands as the cuticles would soften. In the warm water you could add a few drops of soap or bath oil (normal oil will float on the water) After about 5 minutes you can remove your hands from the bowl and gently pat them with a dry towel.
Now it's time for your cuticles. You could apply some cuticle remover, this is a product that contains ingredients such as Alpha-Hydroxy-Acid or Potassium Hydroxide and has a very high PH between 10-13 (The skins natural PH is around 7) so it is able to dissolve tissue. Read and follow carefully the instructions of your product. You can now GENTLY push back you cuticles with either an orange stick or your finger nails. I personally do not recommend cutting and trimming your cuticles as they are there for a reason and that is to prevent the base of your nail from bacteria.
Make sure that you neutralize the effect of the cuticle remover by washing your hands with water and soap.
The skin on my hands has the tendancy to mimic the skin of alligators. For real. My foolproof cure is my 1 minute manicure in a bottle, a oil/sugar based scrub. I like the one from Sephora as it contains many natural ingredients such as olive and sweet almond oil and it smells great, but I guess you can use any brand. Just make sure you shake the bottle well and pour a table spoon of the product on DRY hands. Then scrub your hands as if you were washing them. I like to pay extra attention to my knockles and thums. It is normal that this procedure does not feel all that pleasant but it shouldn't hurt. After about 1 minute you can wash off the scrub and that gives you the best feeling.... Ahhhhhh.... relief! Now I use a soap to rins off any oily residue and pat dry my hands.
A tutorial about polishing your nails is here *insert link*
Wind and water are causing dehydration so make sure you wear gloves when you do house keeping chores or go out in cold weather.
Also, use a good hand cream. When you go outside, make sure it contains a good SPF to prevent sun damage (wrinkles/age spots...) Chanel carries a good one. For the night, you can use a more rich product without a SPF. I am totally hooked on Kenzoki sensual hands balm, it is very rich and full, yet not too greasy. The fragrance is unbelievebly delicious: delicate rice steam.
Every week after applying my nail polish I drown my cuticles in cuticle cream, slather on handcream and slide my hands in Bliss Glamour Gloves. These gloves are lined with a natural, jelly like substance that slowely release their benificial ingrediants such as grapeseed and avocado oils. It completely coveres your hands so the skin will warm op and the pores will open to absorb all the goodies in your cream. This is very luxurious and will make you feel like you don't need no salon, ever!
I use a cuticle product as often as possible, for sure every night, but also in the morning or at work. I prefer creams over oils and I have been using Dior Creme Apricot for about a year now and am pleased with the results.
I hope this information was any helpfull, feel free to let me know how you do your manicure and what products you like to use!
I am not affiliated with any of the mentioned companies. For further information I refer you to my disclosure policy
Hasta la vista, Laqueristas!