I am obsessed with nail polish. For those of you ladies who know that glorious, wonderful sense of achievement of having the perfect manicure (putting on the nail polish SUCCESSFULLY within the borders of your nails, both left and right), and then going straight to your Instagram account to document that moment, you know what I’m talking about. Not trying to come across as dramatic, but my day always seems brighter when I have a perfect manicure that can last as long as 3 days, because 4 days of perfect manicure is just short of a beauty miracle.
I start with the basic routine: keeping my nails healthy and shiny by putting on cuticle oil every now and then, especially when it starts getting dry in the winter, then using a nail buffer to keep it smooth and shiny. But note, buffing your nails everyday thins out your nail, so beware and buff only when necessary. Investing on a good cuticle lotion or hand cream is also part of my routine. My personal favorites vary from Crabtree and Evelyn (any scent is good depending on your preference), to my budget favorites like Herbacin and even Vaseline Jelly when I need extra moisture (FYI: Vaseline is so versatile that you can use on any part of your body/face, and it WORKS MIRACLES, even on babies).
When I want to achieve and maintain a certain length and/or nail shape, I always try to start short then work my way up. For ladies with strong cuticles, shape ‘em, file ‘em, and keep doing what you’re doing. If you have brittle nails, or thin cuticles, then perhaps keeping it short is your best option. Going to the nail salon, paying up $40-70 per visit for Shellac nails or nail extensions will only destroy your nails even more; it goes under the UV light twice (once for the base coat, and then again for the nail polish), and having it on for more than a month does not let your nails “breathe”. But don’t get me wrong, Shellac (gel) nails are great if you want a manicure that can outlive everything, and they are pretty to look at. But honestly, I for one can’t stand using the same color for more than a week, so when I have gel nails on, I just start peeling it off and I also ruin my nails in the process (not a pretty sight).
Step three (base-color-top):
ALWAYS put on a base coat for two reasons; first, it protects your cuticles; and second, it makes it easier to put on the nail polish. Any brand will do. I’ve tried Sally Hansen, Essie, O.P.I, Sephora, L’Oréal, Maybelline, Ciate, and they all work the same way and deliver the same results. For color, I get a little bit more picky because I want a lacquer that lasts and is perfect after two coats (applied twice on the nail). I would recommend my Top 5 brands; these brands achieve maximum nail coverage, have a wide variety of colors, and lasts for 3-4 days before the tips start chipping off:
Other brands are great too, like Ciate and even Sephora’s nail polish, but I find that these brands only last 2 days max, 3 days at most before the tips start chipping off. Finally, the top coat; similar with choosing the base coat, any brand will do so it just comes down to your preference.