Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cuticle Care

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all having a great week!

I've been pondering about what my first 'official' post should be, and I thought 'why not start with the basics?' I get asked frequently how I keep my cuticles so 'nice'. To me, this is such a weird concept. Only because for years I had issues with dry skin & a habit of biting my cuticles.(gross right?) They were so bad at one point that it was literally painful. I knew i had to stop. I was creating art on my nails yet ashamed to show my fingers to anyone. I started this journey with cracked, dry, nasty cuticles. I am now proud of how healthy I have gotten them to be. I hope this post will help anyone who is in the same or a similar boat.

I will try my hardest to give the best advice possible. Please keep in mind that I am not a professional. My 'tips & tricks' are things that have worked extremely well for me.

First, lets talk about nail polish remover. It's a necessity for all of us girls who love polish. I've tried many brands. From Cutex, Sally Hansen, Opi to no name brands. None of them were satisfying. I am a girl who uses a lot of glitter so i NEED a good remover. By a good remover I mean a strong remover that still has vitamins & minerals in it to replenish your nails.

Last June, I purchased a membership to Sally Beauty Supply and thats where I found my dream remover. Beauty Secrets Acetone. This product has Wheat Protein & vitamin E infused into it. It is not 100% acetone. It removes polish without hesitation. Darks, neons, & subtle glitters. Obviously for the heavier glitters you've got to hold the remover on your nail for a minute or two until it penetrates through, but it is much more effective than any other brand(for a GREAT price! this huge litre bottle was around $8 CDN. They come in 3 sizes. Small($3), Medium($4.50) & large($8) (which is what I have.)

This company does make acetone in pure form, but let me just say, if you have natural nails I do not recommend removing your everyday manicure with it. I own a very small bottle of the 100% acetone, and the only time I use it is when I am cleaning up my manicure. I will take a small angled eyeliner brush dipped in the acetone & lightly run it across my cuticles.

When using any nail polish remover, I suggest washing your hands right after.  The last thing you want is the acetone to eat away at your skin & dry out those cuticles!

Second, cuticle products. There are 2 things that I always use.

1. Cuticle 'remover', which I promise isn't as scary as it sounds. All it does is soften your cuticles and makes it really simple to push them back. Some people use a tool to push them back. I just use my thumb on the opposite hand. To make this process even easier, apply it right when you get out of the shower. Your cuticles will be nice & hydrated, super soft, and easy to push back. I will do this before each and every manicure i do.

DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT EVER cut or clip your cuticles. You are just asking for an infection. If yours are way out of control i suggest going to a professional to have them taken care of.

2. Cuticle Oil. This is a must. My new motto is 'oily cuticles are happy cuticles' because it is so true! I apply it at least twice a day. Once in the morning, and once before i go to sleep. I wear latex gloves at my job for 4-6 hours a day, so mine need a little extra love. Most people can get away with just applying it once a day.

Here are the products that i use religiously. I have been using them all since last november & I have repurchased both Essie products 3 times since then.

The green tube(far left) is "Disappearing Trick" by Essie which is the cuticle remover.

The blue tube(far right) is 'Smoothing Trick' by Essie which is the cuticle oil.

& the pretty bottle in the middle is also cuticle oil by Island girl(it has pretty little dried flowers inside & smells amazing!). I prefer the one by Essie, only because i just feel like Island Girl is not as hydrating. It will work fine for those of you who just need to maintain healthy cuticles, not transform them.

That pretty much sums up my cuticle care routine. Some people use lotions on a daily basis. I don't do this very often. I find my process to be very sufficient & it does what i need it to do.

I really hope this blog post was helpful! If I forgot anything, please feel free to leave questions in the comments. Also if there are any topics you would like me to address don't hesitate to leave those suggestions down below as well.

Take care everyone & happy painting!

Jessie. <3