I believe having good nails is a very simple job and not as time-consuming as we sometimes think it is, so long as you have all the right products and tools to use. Every home care kit should include:
Nail File – Leighton Denny Crystal nail files (£12.50) are the best. It doesn’t shatter or peel the nail as you file and you can file forwards and backwards unlike traditional emery boards. It was a lifetime guarantee, so long as you don’t drop it!
Nail Treatment – Dr. Lewinns Renunail Nail Strengthener (£17.50). It contains calcium to boost weak nails and camphor which is a soother to sensitive nails. It’s an award-winning formula that delivers a lot of TLC!
Cuticle Exfoliator – watching your favourite TV programme – stick this on and rub into the cuticle area. 15 minutes in they will be soft enough to push back. The best one I’ve found is OPI’s Avoplex Cuticle Exfoliating Treatment (£12.80) which contains a melange of AHA’s and the specially patented avocado (very moisturising) lipid complex. It’s a gentle slougher that works amazingly on dead skin cells.
Cuticle sticks and cuticle scissors – these pesky slivers of translucent skin that travel up the nail bed need keeping in control. You have to be extremely careful with cuticle scissors. Only nip what you can see on the surface of the nail or you can draw blood. If in doubt don’t cut. See a nail care professional. I cannot stress this enough.
Hand Exfoliator – keep this at the kitchen of bathroom sink. Every couple of days, scrub your hands. After your face and neck, your hands show age next. L’Occitane One Minute Hand Scrub (£13) contains organic brown sugar for working away dead and dull skin and shea, grape seed and sweet almond oil to moisturise.
Moisturiser – There are so many out there to choose from, and the one you use I think is down to personal preference. Personally for me I love the brand Olivina’s Olive Hand Cream (£15). The list of beneficial ingredients is outstanding – shea, olive oil, grape seed oil, vitamin E, chamomile extract and aloe vera. For a more high-tech scientific punch Sisley Global Anti Age Hand Cream tackles the loss of elastin and brown age spots. Contains UVA and UVB filters (spf 10). It is £70 though so think twice and use sparingly.
Cuticle Oil – Keep a bottle at your bedside. Try and remember to put some on before bed. CND Solar Oil (£12) is excellent and contains ultra moisturising Jojoba oil and vitamin E which will penetrate and protect the nail and surrounding skin. If not OPI Cuticle Oil on the Go (£9.60) is a lovely gel version in a squeezy tube with a brush that you can keep in your hand bag for when you have a spare minute on the train or bus. Nails Inc do a snazzy pen version which too is very handy (£12).
If you wear nail lacquer – I highly rate the following base and top coat.
Base coat – OPI RidgeFiller (£11) – this fills out all ‘nail wrinkles’ giving the smoothest ever surface to paint from.
Top coat – Orly Glosser (£6) – delivers super shiny nails and dries in an instant.
Remover – Sally Hansen Acetone free (£2.45) – takes polish off and is gentle on nails and wallet.
So there you have it. With a little investment and some quality products you can anyone can achieve beautiful hands and nails at home.