The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Nail Care

Easy Nail Care

Nails can get overlooked in favour of hair and skin when it comes to pamper time

But pretty nails don’t take much work if you know the right secrets. In 7 years of at-home manicures, I’ve learned more than my fair share so I’m going to bestow them upon you!

Here are 4 minimally time consuming and easy nail care hacks to improve the appearance and health of your nails without even trying very hard.

Upgrade Your Nail File (-50%)

Get yourself a crystal nail file and you’ll find that shaping your nails takes half the time it would with the flimsy cardboard one that came inside a manicure kit someone got you for Christmas 2 years ago (I’ve been there, girl).
The glass nail files that you pick up in the drugstore should have a fine ‘grit’ which means they’re gentle on natural nails. You can tell if a file has a fine or coarse grit by just running your finger along it. If it feels ‘sandy’, it’s probably too coarse to use on the tips of your nails and can do more harm than good; so steer clear.

Lazy Girl’s Protip: You can run a crystal nail file through the dishwasher to clean it

I recommend: Mylee Crystal Nail File

Using Base Coat

Always Use a Base Coat (2 minutes)

Using a good base coat before you apply your colour will make your mani last longer and strengthen your nails while you go about your day. Win win! You only need a very thin coat and they tend to dry very quickly. By the time you’ve finished the 10th nail, the first one is dry and ready for your colour.

I recommend: OPI Nail Envy Original (Read my full review)

(While we’re here, top coat isn’t optional either. Treat yourself to some Seche Vite and you’ll wonder how you ever deprived yourself of the joy of a shiny, rock hard manicure!)

Nail Care at Bedtime

Moisturise Your Cuticles at Bedtime (3 minutes)

Most of us have some sort of nighttime routine that we can’t sleep without. Here’s how mine goes…

  • Moisturise face
  • Apply lip balm
  • Tie up hair
  • Plug in phone
  • Moisturise cuticles

I keep a few choice products on my nightstand so I can do it when I’m already snuggled in bed. I don’t like anything too greasy that’s going to make a mess of my bedsheets, so I go for Nail Butter or Sally Hansen Moisture Rehab.  Nail Butter takes a while to soak in but the Sally Hansen absorbs really quickly.

Generously apply your product to the cuticle area and massage it in. Repeat nightly until it becomes ritual!

I recommend: Nail Butter or Sally Hansen Moisture Rehab
UPDATE: So many of you are interested in Nail Butter but not so sure about the price so I got in touch with the company and now you can use code BUTTERSAURUS for 20% off at (valid until February 19th 2017). This isn’t an affiliate link and I don’t profit from any sales of the product. It’s just a great product!

Cuticle Remover

Crush Those Cuticles! (6-10 minutes)

Most cuticle removers clock in at 1-2 minutes of waiting time. Sally Hansen’s Instant Cuticle Remover only needs 15 seconds to melt away any unwanted cuticle growth. You’ll also need a good tool to push them back and a brush to wash them away. Once you’ve found your flow and practised a few times, you could even get this whole routine down to less than 10 minutes.

It’s got to be: Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover and a Stainless Steel Cuticle Pusher

  • Tam

    I totally agree that a pretty mani doesn’t have to be time-consuming. In fact, I do the exact steps you’ve mentioned, but with different products, after I’ve crawled into bed for the night. Oddly enough, giving myself a mani relaxes me. A quick drying topcoat makes it all possible in 10 minutes.

    • I normally do mine at night too. Thank god for topcoat! What are the products you use? I’d love to try something new as I’ve been using the same stuff for years now!

      • Pupy

        In my personal experience Dior Abricot is the best top coat ever. love it!

        • Pupy

          ps reading your blog is inspiring all the time 🙂

  • Jen

    I find this inspiring… I haven’t bothered to do my nails at all in years now. I used to go all out and now I don’t even file them. Could be good to start real slow and take care of my nails again.

    • Go for it, girl! I would start with the daily moisturising and filing once a week, then work in the rest 🙂

  • This was a nice guide to read.

  • Great article, Sammy, it’s nice to have a peak into your routine! And big thumbs up to the photos 😉

    • Thanks Lucie! Wanted to try some new things with the photos so it’s good to hear you noticed the difference 😀

  • Nice post! I always do those steps!

  • vnssa906

    I loved this post, so inspirational and helpful to me! I’ve been a long time gel manicure wearer, and have gone back to doing my own nails. Back to basics! 🙂

  • Ok… totally honest- I’ve always wanted pretty nails but have had NO idea how to do it. These were such great tips! What do you recommend for those of us who are anxious nail-biters though? btw I’m definitely getting that cuticle remover now.

    • Meredith Nowling

      I’m a nail biter, and using the OPI Nail Envy she mentioned in this post has helped me a lot when I’m not wearing polish.

  • Alesha.

    Cuticle care is also in my nightime routine! I love the Burts Bees Cuticle Butter + it smells so good 🙂

  • That’s my exact same evening routine. Night cream, lip balm, mouthguard in, phone plugged in, then Lush Lemony flutter! I also have a cuticle oil in my desk at work.

  • I didn’t know you could clean a crystal nail file that way! This post is awesome!

  • You tie your hair up at night? Haha, I could never sleep that way. I would be a mess if it weren’t for Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover. It’s the bomb!

  • Refa

    The thing that worries me about Nail Butter is that it’s not an anhydrous formula. It’s an emulsion, there is water in it. If there is water in it, it really, really, REALLY should have preservatives. (say you brewed tea three days ago, in a clean cup, and you’ve stored said cup of tea in the fridge. Are you willing to drink that tea? If that tea is a week old? How about a month?)
    Arguing that we’ll use it so quickly that preservatives are useless is only really a good argument if you 1. store your nail butter at below 4 centigrades, and 2. you use the entire jar within two or so weeks.