All through primary and part of secondary school I used to bite my nails and when I tried to stop biting my nails I pulled and bit at the skin around them. So I decided to get a hand and nail care routine to motivate me to take care of my hands and nails.
My two top tips for strong and healthy nails are OPI Nail Envy and OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil. Both are pricey I’ll admit but honestly they are so worth it!
I use the Original OPI Nail Envy to strengthen my nails. It comes in a nail polish bottle and is exactly like a shiny top coat except it strengthens your nails! On a Sunday I put two coats of this on and then every other day add another coat on top, then Saturday evening I take it off, leave my nails to breath for the night and on Sunday restart. You can wear it under or over normal nail polish or OPI even started making coloured nail polish with the strengthener mixed in! I have a lovely mauve colour as well as numerous bottles of the clear strengthener. The OPI Nail Envy range also have a matte version, a version for soft and brittle nails and dry and brittle nails version so there’s a formaula to suit everyone! Have you tried any of the Nail Envy range?
I also use OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil, three times a day, everyday (or mostly everyday!) I rub some into my cuticles morning, afternoon and just before I go to bed. It too comes in a nail polish bottle and I love the wide brush, it makes it really quick and easy to apply! If you use cuticle oil religiously, like I do, your cuticles should stay soft making it easy for you to push them back and remove them without damaging your nail bed. Taking care of your cuticles will also prevent those awful and very painful rag nails!
Another tip for strong nails is filing! I want beautiful talons just as much as the next girl but as soon as my nails pass a certain length they snap off so I religiously file them down. Not insanely short, just enough to stop them breaking. When filing your nails you should only file in one direction, rather than back and forth, as this will make your nails weaker and possibly cause your nails to split. I also make sure to keep on top of any chips or ridges in my nails. As well as I soft nail file, I love to use a 4-in-1 buffing block. When finding a buffing block it’s important to get a soft one. I purchased one off eBay and all of the sides were worse than sand paper and would have butchered my nails if I’d used it! I found this one from Tweezerman and was so impressed that it came with 4 different ‘refils’ for each side! My pet hate with these buffing blocks was having to have 2 or 3 on the go because a specific side was more worn down than the others. You should never over buff your nails as this will make them weak so every other week or so on a Saturday evening when I don’t have any nail envy on I give my nails a gentle ‘buff’, ‘smooth’ and then polish them off with the ‘shine’ side. You’d be amazed at how shiny and healthy your nails can look from doing this!
I think it is really important to not focus on just your nails but your hands too! There is no point in having beautiful, strong, long nails if your hands are a dry cracked mess so I make sure to use hand cream multiple times a day! I personally suffer from a type of ezcema on my hands when I’m stressed or if there’s sudden changes in temperature, which cause my hands to get blisters and then extremely dry so as well as the medical handcream I’m prescribed, my current go to favourite is the Rituals Ginkgos Secret Hand Balm. I love the smell and texture of this hand cream, it melts into your skin very quickly and it does a great job at keeping my hands and cuticles moisturised and super soft!
The final step in my nail care routine is the use of gloves! Both the rubber and woolly kind! Washing dishes and having your hands in hot, soapy water dries your hands and cuticles out and weakens your nails! So I make sure to always wear rubber gloves when doing dishes or washing clothing items by hand. I also wear gloves during the winter months, leather for driving and soft woolly gloves when I’m out and about. Cold weather can be very harsh on your hands and nails and I feel gloves really help to protect them!
As you can see I take my hand and nail care routine very seriously and this may seem like an awful lot and awfully time consuming. Honestly though, once you’ve got into the habit of it you’ll see it honestly doesn’t take that long and your nails will love you for it! I love going to my beautician and getting my nails done with gel polish every now and then (my nail technician is amazing and makes me lots of different insanely glittery mixes of gel polish!) but it’s important to take care of your nails in between!
I hope you liked this post and if you’ve got any nail and hand care tips I’d love to hear them!