Naked Nails and My Nailcare Routine

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I’ve been getting a lot of people ask recently if my nails are real or not (yes they are!), so I thought it was about time that I showed my bare nails and talked a bit about my nail care routine.  There is no doubt that I take far better care of my nails since I started blogging as if I don’t have nice nails, I don’t want to blog so I have good motivation! So first up, here is a comparison of my nails back in April of last year and today.

Untitled 2 490x326 Naked Nails and My Nailcare Routine

As you can see, back then my nails were quite stained and short.  At the time I didn’t know anything about shaping my nails and my only objective was to keep them short as they were very soft and flaky so I could never grow them out.  When I shaped them I would try to follow the curve of my smile line.  Past that I would use cuticle nippers to get rid of any hang nails and I had just started using cuticle remover.

So what do I do differently now? Just about everything:

  • SHAPE

I keep my nails square now – this is a personal preference but I find that it plays downs the different width of my nail beds and it keeps them looking tidy.  Ive seen gorgeous examples of the square shape at all lengths and on different types of nail beds (for a long time I thought that you had to have really deep nail beds to pull off square nails).  Some of my favourites include:

Sammy at The Nailasaurus (short nail beds, short nails)

Bregje at Oooh, Shinies! (medium nail beds, medium nails)

Sabine at My Polish Stash (long nail beds, long nails)

Cristina of LTHP! (medium nail beds, short nails)

Rie of Nails and Noms (short nail beds, medium nails).

I shape my nails every one to two weeks and I do it in three stages – firstly while I still have polish on, I use a medium emery board to make them all perfectly square and a similar length (I look for more length to width ratio as my middle fingers have wide nail beds).  If I did this without my polish on, I usually try and get my free edge the same length which makes my nails look out of proportion when I paint them again.  Next I take the polish off and quickly go over the edges with a crystal nail file to tidy them up, make sure they’re perfectly straight and round off the sharp edges.  Finally I use the first two stages of a nail buffer to smooth the edges to prevent me cutting myself with my nails (I often scratch in my sleep and wake up with a large cut).

  • BUFFING
You have to be careful with buffing – too often and it makes your nails thin and weak.  Too shiny and your nail polish has nothing to stick to.  I buff about once a month only using the first two stages (no super shine) to remove any prominent ridges and staining.  If you look at my now picture above you will see my ring finger is a bit stripey – I don’t buff down to remove every last bit of staining otherwise it would leave my nails too thin. My nails are perma painted so I don’t care if they’re a bit stripey!
  • CUTICLE CARE

Tidy cuticles go a long way towards making your nails look immaculate.  I use Orly Cutique to remove any excess cuticles once or twice a week normally.  I also use it to remove any superficial staining when I remove my polish (you would be amazed at how much colour is still there after they look “clean” using nail polish remover).  I don’t use any cuticle pushers.  I still occasionally use nippers just to get rid of hang nails and a particularly stubborn piece of dry overhanging cuticle I have on my non swatching hand.

  • POST CARE

I do use nail polish remover with Acetone in it, plus I use pure Acetone for any clean up so my fingers get very dry.  I use a variety of hand creams two to three times a day (Crabtree and Evelyn, Jurlique and KIT are some of my favourites right now).  I also use Burts Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream two to three times a week (usually the morning after I paint my nails so everything is 100% dry and risk free of smudging).

I also believe the I can attribute the improvement in my nails strength to two things – firstly I try to take Biotin everyday.  It took about 3 months from when I first started taking it to start to notice the difference as my nails grew out.  I also always use Nail Tek Foundation II for my base coat which is a strengthening and ridge filling product.  This product isn’t big 3 free sadly but I believe thats also why it works.  My nails now are incredibly hard, thicker that before, grow faster and nigh on impossible to break (I have broken one nail in about four months and that was a chip off my thumb corner working ropes for rock climbing – pretty extreme stuff).

That’s it.  I’ve now had naked nails for well over two hours (I originally just intended to post a photo) so I’m off to paint my nails…I feel like stamping today :) Have a lovely weekend everyone.

8 thoughts on “Naked Nails and My Nailcare Routine

  1. Thank you! This is really useful as my nails right now as yours in the “before” picture. Now, I really like them short and would still keep them short, but I’d rather it really be due to personal preference not necessity as they flake and brake too much to be kept longer. :)

    • Pleased you liked it – I find my nails look a bit stubby if I go much shorter but I adore short nails on other bloggers. Ive fallen into the trap a few time of cutting mine off after seeing so many short nails only to remember afterwards mine don’t look so hot that way! It should always be about what your happy with, not everyone else.

  2. Thank you for sharing your naked nails! I used to have super strong nails without the aid of anything, now they peel & break easily.
    I’ll be trying Nail Tek Foundation II. I hope it works just as well for me

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  4. Thank you for this article! It’s inspired me to start taking my nailcare routine more seriously than I have been lately. My nails have been rather flakey, so I’ve had to cut them really short. But I’m starting to grow them out again, and your tips are proving to be very helpful.

  5. May I ask how you got your smile lines to be so clean and clear? My smile lines look a lot like your “before” shot, but I’m not sure how to get them to be so well-defined. I didn’t see anything in your routine that would indicate how to achieve it.

    Thank you!

    -Melissa

    • Good question, I have no idea! My nails tend to be weaker when they have those transparent patches on my tips but I’m not really sure what causes it I’m afraid

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