A Nail Care Routine for Long, Strong, Nails!
Here is my nail care routine with a list of tips, tricks, and products of how I achieve smooth, soft, healthy, hydrated hands and cuticles. Let’s get started!
1. Remove polish: First things first, I remove any nail polish I have on my nails at the time with cotton balls and nail polish remover. I am a huge, huge, fan of Onyx Professional’s 100% pure acetone to remove my polish. I know, I know, I know, they say pure acetone is a ‘no-no’ for
natural nails but it works well for me. It gets all the polish off quickly and easily, so I’m not sitting there rubbing away the polish for hours haha. It also dries the nail and removes any oils that may prevent polish from adhering to the nail.
2. Hand washing: Next, I wash my hands with soap in warm water. I do this to remove any remaining oils, and most importantly to remove any residual acetone. Because I use 100% acetone, I make sure to wash my hands immediately after nail polish removal to prevent my nails and cuticles from drying out, reduce possible damage to the nail bed, and re-hydrate the nail. Make sure to dry nails thoroughly (you can also use a bit of acetone as well to dry the nail)!
3. Cut + shape + file: I do this step every few weeks as needed. First I cut my nails straight across into a square shape and then file the edges.
*TIP* File your nails in one direction to prevent future breakage and chipping. Filing nails back and forth in mutiple directions creates micro-shearing of the nail growth which will weaken it and lead to damage later on.
4. Nail food: After cut + shape + file and before applying base coat, I apply nail treatment to my nails. I don’t always do this step, only maybe a few times per month. Right now, I’m really liking ‘Nutra Nail Growth Formula Plus Green Tea & Acai Berry Polish (0.45 fl oz)’. I massage it right onto the nail bed and cuticles and let it dry. It doesn’t leave a shine/shiny residue after application which i really appreciate as it cuts down the layers of polish added to the nail.
5. Base coat application: At this point, I would buff my
nails but I only buff them about once a month so I will omit this step for now. After I wash my hands an
dry them, I apply my favourite base coat. I typically use ‘OPI’s Start to Finish’ or ‘Sally Hansen’s Diamond Straighten Diamond shine Base & Top coat’. They both strengthen and protect my nails as well as prevent polish staining.
6. Polish time! After I apply my base coat and let it dry, I apply 2-3 coats of my nail polish of choice and let that dry for at least a good 10 minutes.
8. Lotion hands: Once my nail polish has dried, I apply a generous amount of moisturizing lotion to my hands to keep them soft and smooth. I use high-moisture body lotions (such as St. Ives, Lubriderm, Palmer’s cocoa butter, etc.) and not hand creams as I find body lotions offer a bit more hydration/moisture. If my cuticles are particularly dry (thanks winter :p), I will massage Vaseline onto my cuticles.
9. Hydrate cuticles: Last but not least, cuticle care. I always make sure my cuticle stay hydrated as I feel they are important in maintaining nail length and health annddd prevent those pesky hang nails ughh. I either apply Vaseline OR Unrefined/virgin coconut oil and massage into the cuticle. I usually opt for coconut oil but if I’m all out, I’ll use Vaseline. Either of these products keep my cuticles happy and hydrated.
10. That’s it!
- Onyx Professional’s 100% pure acetone
- Nutra Nail Growth Formula Plus Green Tea & Acai Berry Polish (0.45 fl oz)
- Sally Hansen’s Diamond Straighten Diamond shine Base & Top coat
- Seche Vite Top Coat
- OPI Start to Finish- Formaldahyde Free Formula
- Body lotion (St. Ives, Lubriderm, Palmer’s cocoa butter, etc.)
- Unrefined/virgin coconut oil