When my mom comes into town the only thing we have in mind is relaxation, girl time and food. What could be better than that, right? Since I’m a professional nail polish hoarder we decided to do an “at home mani” while taking in some vitamin D on the balcony yesterday. From a warm cup of soapy water all the way to drying drops, we don’t hold back on manicures in the Panwar household! Here are some of my favorite nail products and personal tips I use in hopes of helping you pamper those pretty little fingers of yours. So grab a glass of icy, fresh lemon water, kick back and enjoy reading! 🙂
1. Soak unpolished nails in warm, soapy water
One of the most important steps that many people forget to do is soak your nails in warm, soapy water. It may seem like nail salons do this for no reason, but I promise you, it really helps! Warm water aids in softening your cuticles while the soap helps rid the nail of any excess oil or dirt sitting on your nail beds. This step is crucial for making filing and cuticle cutting a lot more simpler. Am I the only one to find this step extremely therapeutic and relaxing?
2. Apply favorite hand cream to cuticles
I got this Marc Jacobs body lotion as a present in a gift set and absolutely love it. It’s always sitting near my couches and I apply this while watching television. Even though it’s a body lotion, the thickness puts the moisture back into my skin that I lost from the previous step and preps my cuticles to be cut. Not to mention, this perfumed lotion smells like the heavens!
3. Cut cuticles
This step is the ultimate game changer. Up until two years ago, I never cut my own cuticles. I realized this is what MAKES a fresh, clean manicure. Push your cuticles up and cut the excess around the nail, be careful and patient while cutting-you don’t want to cut yourself!
4. File and Shape Nails
This step is pretty explanatory but have you all tried glass nail filers?! I’ll never go back to emery boards ever again. Glass filers do a great job smoothing rough edges without tearing away at your nails. The best part is that it never wears down like an emery board (and doesn’t have that awful gritty feeling either). And may I add, the cute, pink packaging is definitely a plus!
5. Apply Base Coat
I was on the hunt for a heavy duty top coat and by mistakenly picked up this bad boy. I decided to give it a go and happy I did. I think base coats are very important to prevent bleeding because nothing is more frustrating than having to scrub red nail polish from the crevices of your nails. Even though I enjoy using this base coat, I don’t think it’s worth the $10. I’ve used other Sally Hansen base coats that do the job perfectly fine for half the price. Regardless of price, DO NOT miss this step! Not only does it prime your nail beds for the polish but it prevents bleeding if you use a bright color.
6. Two Coats of Nail Polish
OH MY GOD. The Brazil collection by OPI is everything to me at the moment! I love all the colors shown, except for the sunshine yellow color, “I Just Can’t Cope-acabana. It’s such a gorgeous yellow, but doesn’t suit my skin tone at all. My favorite go-to colors have always been baby pinks and firecracker reds so half of this collection is PERFECT for me! My two all time favorites from above are “Kiss Me I’m Brazilian” and “Where Did Suzi’s Man-go?” I could probably write a whole post on how adorable and fun OPI nail polish names are but we can save that for another time. When I first started to get into nail polish, I refused to spend money on high end brands. I learned real quick that the more you spend, the better the quality. Hands down OPI has the best lasting power and color payoff than any other brand I have tried. If you’re looking for summer manicured hands and feet, I suggest you choose a color from this gorgeous collection.
7. One Layer of Top Coat
This top coat is the QUEEN of top coats. I’ve tried almost every brand of top coat and nothing compares to Seche Vite. I’ve always loved the glossy finish as opposed to matte nails so if you’re in the same boat as me, this is the top coat for you and definitely worth the price!
8. Drying Drops
This product deserves a moment of silence…
Drying Drops by Nicole OPI has seriously turned my life around (so dramatic) but I can’t not rave about this God sent product. I’m the type of girl who will attempt to carefully curl my hair, eat cheetos and attempt to copy Brittany Spears’ dance moves in “Hit Me Baby One More Time” all with wet nails. Two drops of this magical potion and within three minutes my nails are completely dry!
Go. Buy. It. Right.Now.
9. Cuticle Oil
Moisturized cuticles are the best cuticles. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with Josie Maran products and I’m pleasantly surprised with everything by her! This little bottle is a bit pricey to be used as cuticle oil so I use it sparingly. Some days, us girls deserve to pamper and treat ourselves so why not? I tend to alternate with Argan oil, almond oil or even coconut oil. All of these oils work just as well and get the job done!
And there you have it ladies-my 9-step mani routine! I hope you enjoyed and learned something from me. Let me know what some of your favorite manicure products are!