December 15, 2013


Why would you waste your money on 'weekly manicures' when you can do it yourself at home? Today, you will learn about a cheaper alternative that works just as well. Do you have 15-30 minutes to spare- once a week? Dedicate this time for a nail pampering session, where you can grow clean, long, strong, white and bright nails! This is my step by step nail care routine... enjoy!

Step 1- Removal:

Acetone nail polish remover is well-known for having a very bad reputation. They 'supposedly'  weaken and dry out your nails. This is true if you use too much of it, however I find it a lovely product to use in moderation. In all honesty, I actually prefer acetone formulas. Non acetone can contain paint thinners like 'ethyl acetate' which is a very dehydrating chemical anyway. In addition to this, the nail polish doesn't come off very easily, meaning you have to continuously rub the nail, therefore removing all of the natural oils. With regards to branding, anything will do! The one I use, is a simple 'Superdrug' brand, and is my personal favourite!

Choosing the right wipe can be a confusing and difficult decision to make! From personal experience, I wouldn't recommend using tissue. The polish needs to be vigorously scrubbed off, damaging the nail. Instead, I would highly advise using cotton pads, or cotton wool. With these, one swipe if usually enough to remove all the polish for one nail. This saves time, effort, and your nail (from becoming ruined)! Like the nail varnish remover, cotton wool, and pads are easily purchasable from anywhere. A supermarket, drugstore or a high end department store.

Step 2- Strengthening:

Unfortunately, many of us have naturally weak and brittle nails. If you're anything like me then you would've tried these so-called 'miracle' products that claim to 'strengthen' nails. The majority of them don't work, though. So, after extensive research I discovered a DIY tip that does actually work! It has now become a part of my weekly routine, and I would recommend it to both, those of you who's nails break easily, (to strengthen them) and those of you with 'rock solid' nails (in order to maintain them). This brilliant trick is olive oil. Yes, olive oil, as in the kind you buy from a supermarket to use for cooking- It works wonders!

Not only will the olive oil easily penetrate into your nails, it will also hydrate cuticles and the surrounding skin too. All of the absorbed moisture will help to strengthen nails. The oil is very rich in vitamins, so will condition your nails, therefore promoting nail growth.

You simply pour olive oil into a bowl, and soak your nails in it for 5-10 minutes OR pour some olive oil into an empty nail polish bottle, and use the brush to coat your nails. The oil will combine with the polish, making the bottle appear white in some places, like shown in the image.

Step 3- Cuticle Care:

Oils, oils, oils. We have already covered the topic of olive oil, and now, lets talk cuticle oils.

Firstly, "what are cuticles, and why do we need them?" Your cuticle is the dead skin at the base of your nail. It surprisingly has an important purpose of protecting infection and bacteria from going into your skin.

In order to do this, it must be soft- one of the reasons for needing to hydrate them. If you're growing your nails, it's also a good idea to use cuticle oil. Having soft cuticles will allow you push back those cuticles and reveal more space.

When applying it, you simply place a drop of the oil onto your cuticles, and use your thumb to rub it in to the cuticle and nail. The motion of your thumb will improve blood flow, increasing the speed of growth.

All cuticle oils do the same job. Some cost £6.00, like this one, and others cost £1.00. You can purchase them from most drugstores- (like Boots or Superdrug). Cuticle creams/ butters also do a very good job.

Here, I have done a review on 'Burts Bee's Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream'.

I would advise buying a 'cuticle pusher', as it goes hand in hand with your cuticle oil or cream. You should frequently push your cuticles back so that it frees up more space. Don't  push too hard, and never cut your cuticles. The one in this picture cost £3.00 from 'The Ideal Home Show' in London, however you can buy them for much cheaper online. You have two choices: you can buy a metal one, or a wooden one. Although I prefer the metal ones, the wooden ones are much less harsh, and are probably better for beginners.

Step 4- Cleaning:

Despite the fact that all of these oils are very beneficial for your nails, before applying nail varnish, you are going to want to remove all of them. You can do this, by simply pouring some warm water into a bowl, and mixing in some gentle, light hand wash, shower gel or soap. Soak your nails in there for 3-5 minutes, so that the water can clean the entire nail- from the cuticle to the tip. You should then pat dry your nails. Use a 'sharp nail cleaner' to clean all the dirt from behind the tips.

Step 5- Trimming, Filing & Shaping:

Shaping-  When considering nail shapes, there are 5 ones to choose from: 1) Oval 2) Squoval 3) Square 4) Almond 5) Pointed. If you're trying to grow your nails, or simply want less breakage and splitting, then Squoval, Square and Almond are the best ones to  choose from, (these are the middle 3 on the image)!
Filing- When filing your nails, it's very important to only file in one direction, otherwise they will become very weak, and will therefore break. Personally, I prefer using a glass nail file. The one shown in this picture was brought by a friend a few years ago. They are very affordable, and are sold in any nail store, or online. Metal nail files are too harsh to use on nails, and disposable emery boards don't last very long. Glass nail files, though are a more gentle and hygienic option, and they last a very long time. They do need to be cleaned on a monthly basis- just rinse them under warm water!

Step 6- Ridges:

Once a month, if you have ridges in your nails, it's a good idea to use a 'buffer block' to remove them. Don't over buff, or do it too regularly though, because every time you do so, you are removing a layer of your nail- making it thinner and weaker. Usually, on a 'buffer block', there's on option to 'file', 'remove ridges', 'smooth nail' and 'shine nail'. I wouldn't recommend using the 'file', because I'd prefer to use a glass nail file, but if you don't like wearing nail polish, or want to reduce the amount of polish you wear, then it's a great idea use the other 3 sides, to give yourself a quick, cheap manicure.

Step 7- Restoring Colour:

If you are a nail polish addict, then it's very likely that you have discoloured nails. The polish- (especially dark colours) stain your nails, making you feel embarrassed and ashamed to leave them bare. There are several ways you can restore your natural nail colour... For example: dipping your nails into real lemon juice, or mixing hydrogen peroxide and baking soda- (please watch tutorials before you try anything like this). For me, what worked best, was leaving my nails completely polish free for about 3-4 weeks. I know its embarrassing having yellowy nails, but trust me- IT WORKS!

To prevent getting discoloured nails, make sure you use a base coat, so that the polish can't stain. And let your nails breathe. Continuously putting nail polish on, will prevent growth, make your nails weaker and will discolour them!

Step 8- Polish:

If you're not going to reduce the amount of nail varnish you use, then feel free to paint your nails! Go ahead and do a funky design, and show off those beautiful nails.



1 comment:

  1. Wow! This is so helpful! My nails are so weak and damaged from getting gel nails put on and I'm desperate to sort them out! Definitely going to try out all these tips!