It’s been a really long time since I wrote a full rundown of my nail care routine here. In the time since, I’ve really refined my routine and I’m at a point where I feel like I have the perfect selection of products and tools to get the job done well and with minimal effort. You’ll spot a few favourites that I’ve praised in the past alongside a few new additions to the team.
Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover
Feelunique £6.07 // Ulta $4.99
This one melts away encroaching cuticles to keep my nails nice and smooth, leaving them easier to paint. I use it once a week by apply it around my nails and letting it sit. After 5 minutes, I use a cuticle pusher to gently scrape away the unwanted growth and thoroughly wash my hands with a nail brush.
Born Pretty Store $7.37
I never actually use this for my cuticles as the gel deals with those really well. However, I am prone to hangnails and cuticle nippers are perfect for trimming them away without causing any lasting damage. If I leave them, I run the risk of temptation to pick them and we all know that never ends well!
Protip: Never mistake your Eponychium (the tissue at the base of your nail) for cuticle. I’ve made this blunder in the past and lived to regret it. See The Lacquerologist’s detailed post about nail anatomy and how to properly care for each part.
Once you’ve used a glass/crystal nail file, you’ll never go back, and a good one will last a lifetime if you take care of it. This one has been with me for as long as I can remember and my Mum has one to match! We’re talking at least 7 years and it still works just as well as it did then. I regularly rinse it under hot water and run it through the dishwasher on occasion to keep it clean and in good condition.
Born Pretty Store $1.59
The cuticle pusher is a must with the Sally Hansen Cuticle Remover mentioned above. I use the rounded end to push my cuticles at the very base and the ‘scraper’ down the sides and to go back in for any fiddly bits.
OPI Nail Envy
Amazon UK £10.90 // Amazon US $9.35
My Holy Grail! I use Nail Envy as a base under every manicure and most of the credit for my strong and healthy nails goes to this miracle product. I really can’t recommend it highly enough if you suffer from weak and/or peeling nails. It makes my nails grow at light speed and keeps them from breaking. You can read more of my thoughts about Nail Envy here.
Sally Magpies £18.00 // Nail Butter $24.00
Yet another product that goes above and beyond. Nail Butter is moisturising, strengthening and just generally gives my nails a healthy glow. I apply it just before bed and let it work its magic while I sleep. The price point is higher than other products on the market but I’ve yet to get through one jar and a good cuticle product like this really is essential.
All That Jazz Cuticle Oil
All That Jazz £11.99
Where OPI Nail Envy works so well at strengthening my nails, a good Cuticle Oil is required to keep my nail plate flexible and prevent it from getting too brittle (and breaking). It’s all about balance! All About Jazz’s oil comes packaged with a pipette applicator so it’s really easy to control how much product you’re using and this chocolate orange scent is beyond delicious. I like to use it after a manicure 2-3 times a week all over my cuticles and under the free edge.