Hello people of the internet! It’s yet another Hump day 🙂 We’re 6 days away from Halloween! If you don’t care about Halloween like I do, we’re also 28 days away from Thanksgiving, 61 days away from Christmas and 68 days away from 2018. Time flies when you’re not doing much, like me!
After having a glitter polish manicure for the past 5 days, it’s time to furiously rub it off. Glitter polish is certainly my kryptonite. It’s so damn beautiful and doesn’t show any sign of error, but as soon as it’s on, I already know it’s going to be a pain to remove. And then comes bringing your brittle and fragile nails back to life.
Lucky for you, you’ve clicked on the link in my Instagram bio because you want to know how my nails go from “please… help…” to “girl, I’m ready for the next glitter mani!” I do this at the end of every week. The reason I took my polish off in the middle of the week is because I really want my nails to breathe!
Note: This post is focused on manicures, since I don’t wear toe polish in the colder months (I’m one of those who don’t shave my legs during these months either xD). I included the toenail clipper and toenail crystal file (big green one) to show you what I use for my toenails. What I’ll be discussing in this post is everything I do for my toes, too!
In the above image, I laid out all the tools. There are many because any type of “care” for yourself is serious business. Just because you put on polish and makeup doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of what’s underneath just as much, if not more. Detailed pictures are below in the routine!
- Polish Remover: I have 2 here because I used up the purple bottle to where there isn’t enough for my nails anymore, but enough to where I use it for left over spots. I definitely recommend it. You can purchase both from Amazon! Get the purple bottle or blue bottle. Read my post about both and why I use natural nail polish removers on IG here. Basically, if you care about the health of your nails, you’ll stop using acetone- and non-acetone-based removers.
- Large Cotton Squares: I love these for nail polish removal because I can knock out 4 nails at a time with the size of them! You can cut these in half if you want. For glitter polish I use an entire square. For all else I use half.
- Cotton Tip Applicators: Now, these are from a nurse’s office at a school, but you can buy pointed Q-tips and they’ll work just the same. I use these for 2 purposes: 1) To clean up around the cuticle when I apply nail polish, and 2) to clean up nail polish that I missed when I remove it. Works great for getting right under the nail when you remove any color as polish always seeps to underneath the nails. You can get pointed/precision Q-tips on Amazon here or at Target, where I get them!
- Nail Brush: I love these horse-mane-brush look-a-likes for really cleaning the surface of and under my nails. You don’t have to use these just for after removing nail polish. Use these whenever your nails are dirty from cleaning or working outside! I also got it on Amazon here.
- Aquaphor: I use this as a cuticle softener! Sally Hansen used to make a cuticle treatment that softened the heck out of my cuticles and made all this gunk come off but they discontinued it and I haven’t been able to find anything as good as that one was :'( Thankfully, I like to experiment with things I already have and Aquaphor works perfectly! Vaseline works, too, but I find Aquaphor to be more moisturizing.
- Cuticle Pusher & Spoon Nail Cleaner: This double-ended tool has a cuticle pusher on one end (spatula-looking end) and a spoon on the other to clean under the nails. I don’t cut my cuticles (I find that to be super scary and dangerous if you don’t know how to do it properly, and with constant moisturizing, I find I never get hang nails or dry cuticles), but I sometimes push them back to get a cleaner shape. This gives your manicure a more beautiful look. I use the spoon to scoop out whatever’s under my nail, which could be dead skin or polish. Underneath my toenails, I’ve found sock lint!! :O
- Nail Clippers (1 for finger, 1 for toe): I prefer Korean-made clippers, but the store at which my mom gets them no longer sell them!!! Haven’t been able to find ANY made in Korea, but these clippers are fine. They’re sharp but don’t leave jagged edges in my nails. I have no idea where she gets them, but I’ve heard Revlon clippers are pretty good. Though, there are plenty on Amazon to check out!
- Crystal Nail Files: Ever since crystal nail files came out, I ditched those cheap plastic ones that were so rough on my nails that they felt like sandpaper. *Cringe* The colored ones are my favorite. Crystal files are much gentler on the nail. I believe my mom got them from QVC, but they’re not available anymore! Why do companies keep taking away things that work!? Here’s a picture of a set (includes a travel size one, so cute!!) that I ordered from QVC recently below! They work well 🙂
As I mentioned, I had glitter polish on this week. I find that although it’s annoying to remove, it doesn’t leave color and stains all over my nails. The bad thing is that you put more pressure on your nails trying to get the glitter particles off. No worries, though. Here’s how I maintain the strength of my nails. As for the yellow stain we inevitably get, I don’t bother whitening my nails because they get stained in 2 seconds again anyway with the next manicure 😀
Step 1: I apply 1 drop of remover to each nail and wait a couple minutes for it to make the polish sticky and wear down a bit to make removal easier.
Step 2: I drop a bunch of remover onto one side of the cotton pad.
Step 3: I place the soaked part of the pad onto 4 of my nails and wait a couple minutes before I scrub the polish and glitter off.
Step 4: I apply a drop of hand soap to the nail brush and clean my nails with it. Then, I wash and pat dry.
Step 5: Then, I apply Aquaphor to just my cuticles for around 10 seconds to soften them.
Step 6: With my cuticle tool, I push my cuticles back. At this point, I’d use the spoon to scrape any residual polish or dirt from underneath my nails. I wash my hands afterward to get most of the Aquaphor off (it never really all comes off :D).
Step 7: I moisturize with an oil.
Step 8: I clip my nails to desired length and shape. I stopped squaring them off because the edges were so thin, so they were prone to breaking and peeling. I actually prefer long nails, but I like the chic look of dark nail polish on short nails!
Step 9: I file my nails with the crystal nail file.
Step 10: I moisturize with more oil! HOWEVER, I’ve found something that adds a layer of moisturize on top of my nails and that’s Lucas Papaw Ointment! I’ll be talking about this product in the coming months as I bought this about 2 weeks ago and haven’t used it for anything other than as lip balm and just before to see how moisturizing it is for my cuticles and hands.
My nails always feel super conditioned, moisturized and strengthened.
How do you keep your nails strong? Let me know!
Thanks for reading <3
Until next time,