PREP - As the old saying goes, a house is only as strong as the foundation and the basis for a long lasting manicure is all in the preparation. Even if you're not painting your nails a myriad of colours every week like myself, these products help to keep you nails in healthy condition.
- Cuticle Oil - I always apply cuticle oil a couple of times a day if my nails are feeling very dehydrated. You shouldn't do this immediately before a manicure as the oil will stop your polish adhering to the nail so do this during the day to keep your fingertips hang nail free. I personally use Inglot Cuticle Oil (which is Orange oil) but there are plently out there, like CND Solar Oil, Beauty Secrets, Essie and O.P.I. If you'd like something for on-the-go, have a look at O.P.I's Avoplex pens.
- Base Coat - Personally I think that O.P.I's Nail Envy is the Holy Grail when it comes to base coats/nail strengtheners. It's pricey but you can think of it as a high-end foundation for your nails. Now I don't use it as prescribed by the bottle (use two coats then apply a coat every other day for ten days, remove and repeat) since I change my nails so often but I do use it every time I paint my nails and I believe it keeps my nails strong and healthy and I always recommend it to people who are having trouble with brittle or dry nails. There's an array of different formulas available but I use the Original and can really see and feel the difference when compared to regular bases.
- Crystal Files - I love my Leighton Denny crystal files with all my heart! They were all birthday presents and I haven't looked at another file since. They're really effective at filing nails right down to the length you need without damaging the rest of the nail. Again, another expensive purchase but if you are serious about your nails then they are worth the investment. I've had mine for more than two years and they're still going strong.
- Buffing Block - I've had a few buffing blocks in my time but my current fave is this one from Wah London. It has a very coarse grit so you can really feel it working when you use it to get rid of the ridges on your nails. You mustn't do this too often but it has to be done so the nail surface is nice and smooth for polish. I also use it to remove the last straggly bits from when I file my nails but this is a heavy duty tool so use it wisely.
So I hope this post has been informative for you and helped answer any questions you might have had about nail care. Remember, I'm not expert but these are products that have worked for me so experiment and find out what works for you! Let me know in the comments below what some of your nail care secrets are, until next time :-)