Nail Maintenance Routine

Hello Lovelies! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. I apologize that I didn't have a New Years' manicure to share with you but between holiday events, traveling, and some family craziness I didn't have time to get one done for you.

Over the past week I have had very little time to do more with my nails besides apply lotion occasionally. I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to share my nail care routine with you. I typically do this routine maintenance every few days or whenever I change my nail art. You can see that after a week without maintenance that my nails are a total wreck. I have broken several of my nails and have filled them down to nubbies. The ridges are out of control and my thumbs are on the verge of peeling. And let's not even get started on my cuticles. So, anyways it's time for a little TLC.

I typically start out my routine by removing any polish and washing my hands with warm water and moisturizing soap. I occasionally use a sugar scrub but in the winter my hands are more sensitive so I skip the scrubs during this time of year.

Once my nails are naked and clean I file them down and reshape them if necessary. If you are removing a significant length of nail you may want to trim them first with clippers, my nails rarely get an opportunity to grow very long and I don't care for clippers because they can cause stress on brittle nails. I don't have before and after picks of this step because I had to file them down after they broke the other day. When filing your nails it is best to file in one direction and not file back and forth in a sawing motion. If you have a break file in the opposite direction of the break, this will help to prevent it from breaking further if it hasn't broken off completely already.

After filing, I like to use a cuticle softener to freshen up my cuticle areas. I have used several different kinds and am not committed to any one kind. Every cuticle softener I have come across has different soaking times, so be sure to read the directions before you use yours. With this cuticle softener it recommends 1-2 minutes but no more than 8-10 minutes. I apply the softener around the cuticles and under the tip of my nail. Using a cuticle pusher I push back the cuticle and scrape the underside of my nail, after allowing the gel to soak in for a couple of minutes. Don't be surprised if you get a lot of gunk and gross stuff when you do this, it's just dead skin, dirt, and oils. I then wash my hands once more.

For this next step I take care of my ridge problems. I use a three sides buffer to smooth them out. I don't recommend this for everyone, if you don't have ridges it's completely unnecessary and if your nails are extremely thin they make them even weaker. I buff out my ridges because if I don't they split and crack, which is very painful and prevents me from growing them to any length.  If you have significant ridges but don't want to buff them I recommend using a ridge filler base coat under polish, it helps to hide them.

I start with evening out the ridges. This makes my nails look absolutely terrible, but makes them feel so much smoother and eliminates surface peeling.

I then use the smooth side to do just that smooth the nail. I also use this along the edge of my nails to clean off any excess after filling them down.

Lastly, I shine the nail. I recommend this step to everyone. It helps remove oils and gives a little shine to the nail. If you don't intend to apply a polish to your nails this is a great way to give them a healthy glow.

After all that my cuticles and hands are a little worse for wear. At this point I typically apply a nail polish base coat/strengthener, cuticle oil, and lotion. Since, I have a little extra time and my hands are in dire need I'm going to go ahead and do a slightly more in depth moisturizing process.

First, I apply a generous amount of cuticle cream nail strengthener to my nails and cuticle. I spread it out but do not rub it in completely.

I then apply a generous amount of hand lotion and spread over my entire hands. I use many different lotions and tend to pick a lotion that strikes my fancy or whatever is in within arms reach.

With my hands greased up I use a pair of moisturizing gloves to cover my hands so that I can give them time to naturally absorb the lotion. If you don't have gloves for this you can use plastic gloves or sandwich baggies. I used baggies for a very long time before I was gifted these gloves by my sister. I then sit back for about 30 minutes and with my gloves hands wrapped relax for a bit. Wrapping the hands warns them up which helps with absorption.

After 30 minutes or so I remove the gloves and rub in any remaining lotion or cream. My hands were so dry this time around that when I took the gloves off I had to apply even more lotion. Yikes!

At this point my hands are ready for polish but I'm going to leave my pretty moisturized nubbies naked for a little longer. Your hands will look better and feel better too. I hope you found this posting helpful,  I'm sorry it's not pretty nail art but I will try to have some posted soon.  Thanks for stopping by, see you next time. Oh, and Happy New Year! I hope it is a successful and prosperous one for all of you. 

Your Fellow Plebe,