Nail Bits and Bobs

I went through a period of dry, peeling nails but I've finally gotten them back to normal so I thought I'd talk you through how I take care of them!

I'm a huge fan of Essie (can you tell?) and I really really like their base coats and treatments. I went through an entire bottle of the Grow Stronger Base Coat and recently finished up the Millionails Treatment. I don't know if you've ever looked at your nails head on, but if they are fairly flat then they are quite weak. Mine were flat at flimsy, but I used the Grow Stronger Base Coat every time I painted my nails and could actually feel them getting stronger. I used this about a year ago, and then switched to a regular base coat and my nails definitely got weak again. I decided to try the Millionails Treatment this time around and it worked wonders. Rather than being peely my nails had been splitting, and this is supposed to really help with that. It contains Kevlar (yes, bullet proof vest kevlar, crazy!), iron, and amino acids to help strengthen. Now that my nails are healthy, I've been using the Fill the Gap Base Coat because it provides a super-smooth finish. I also LOVE that this dries matte. I'm not a huge fan of wearing nail treatments alone when they are shiny, but because this is matte it looks great!

Right, now onto actual manicure products! I'm kind of insane about my cuticles looking nice as they grow so fast! I am always cutting them back. A lot of people say to not cut your cuticles, but I just cut the excess growth rather than cutting all the way to my nail beds. The Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover is a product I've been using for years. It's super easy to remove excess skin and doesn't dry out my nails. I tend to buy cuticle clippers at Marshall's or TJ Maxx because they are cheap and I replace them super often so that they stay sharp. Keeping your nail beds hydrated is also super important for healthy nails (and avoiding awful hangnails), I'm always rubbing oils into them. I really love the Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil, but recently I've been obsessed with the Butter London Handbag Holiday Cuticle Oil (which it seems you can't buy in the US anymore?). I found mine at TJ Maxx for a bargain! I also stock up on glass or crystal files here as they are much finer and better for your nails! Those rough grit emory boards can actually separate the layers of the nail plate and cause cracking or splitting.

As far as actual polishes go, I have a million different brands but definitely a few favourites. I love Essie's polishes along with their treatments as I find the formula really fluid and easy to use. The brush is also perfect. I like Formula X's colour range, and Monumental is my perfect nude. I will say that these ones get thick and gloopy kind of quickly which is quite annoying for the price. Barry M are some of my favourites and super inexpensive! For topcoat I usually stick to the Sally Hansen Mega Shine and I always use my trusty OPI Drying Drops.

Phew! That was a long one! What nail products do you guys use?