Having healthy nails is an essential part of being a nail blogger. After all, your nails are your canvas. And if the canvas isn't properly prepped and taken care of, what you put on it won't matter all that much. I like to keep my on the go nail care routine simple - if it requires a bunch of stuff and a lot of steps it's not for me. I keep my list paired down to four essential items that keep my nails healthy and looking great with minimal fuss and effort and today I'm sharing them with you my lovely peeps!
First up is a nail file I have been using for the past two months now (*sent to me courtesy of Aveniro). I had used crystal nail files before but the ones I used were on the cheap side and didn't work all that well for me. After two months of using this one however I am really impressed and happy with the results: crisp clean nail edges and no shredding or peeling, which is something that my naturally dry nails are prone to. Glass nail files last much longer than regular nail files, you can wash them and wipe them down and they will still perform. They are also much gentler on the nails. And you can use them on acrylic nails as well as natural nails. So while, yes, they are more expensive than the nail files you get from your local beauty supply they are well worth the investment. Aveniro doesn't sell directly to consumers but I recommend this one from OPI which I have heard great things about.
Next up is a cuticle oil that I have been using for quite awhile now. I had stopped using it for awhile and was experimenting with other brands but they just didn't do the trick like CND Solar Oil. This is my go-to cuticle oil. I apply this throughout the day (especially after washing my hands) to keep my cuticles hydrated. I have been pretty lax about using cuticle remover every week when I do my manicures and this is what has saved my cuticles from looking awful. Cuticle oil is the holy grail of nail care. If you don't do anything else for your nails invest in cuticle oil and be diligent about using it. Your nails will thank you.
If cuticle oil is the holy grail of nail care then I would say that a good hand cream or lotion is it's partner in crime. You really do need both. Keeping your nails and the skin around it hydrated will protect against breaks and damage to the nails and nail beds. As I stated above, I have naturally dry nails which make them prone to breaks, so the one-two punch of cuticle oil and hand cream is important for me. I wold love to say that I have a must have go to hand cream, but well...I don't. I try lots of different ones and haven't found one that I absolutely can't live without. I have to be extra careful about what I use because I suffer from eczema and psoriasis and just generally have easily angered skin. I don't use anything with parabens (which are just bad in general), sulfates or fragrance. I generally use Dermasil because it's what I use on my body and it works well for me, but I recently ran out and grabbed this sample that I had laying around from an old Birchbox. It's called Skin Clinical Extreme Healing Repair Concentrate and it's formulated for severely dry, itchy and delicate skin. Which is my skin in a nutshell. I've been using it for about a week now and so far I really like it. It's not as creamy as I would normally like in a hand cream, but it lasts a decent amount of time and I don't feel like I have to constantly reapply it like I do sometimes with Dermasil or other creams. I looked online to get info on the cost of it and where you can purchase it and at $24.95 for 3 oz. it's on the pricey side. Will I purchase this once I run out? Probably not. I'm not sufficiently wowed by it to justify the price tag. So it will be back to Dermasil for me once I run out!
And last but certainly not least is what I call my DefCon 5 item. This is for serious nail emergencies ONLY. There is a reason this nail glue is called Mach 5! I have used my fair share of nail glues over the years and Mach 5 by OPI is hands down my favorite. But I only use it when I absolutely need it. Because whoa this stuff dries fast! The bottle and nozzle are a bit cumbersome to use (which is why I managed to glue two of my fingers together the first time I used it!), but it gets the job done quickly. If you are at work and have a sudden and terrible nail break the last thing you want is to have to wait minutes for your nail glue to dry. This dries in about 10-15 seconds. I keep mine in a little plastic baggy in my makeup bag to protect my other items in case of leakage.
So what are some of your must have on the go nail care items? Let me know in the comments!