Friday 6 June 2014

Hand And Nail Care Essentials

I get asked quite often how I care for my nails, so I decided to make a new and improved hand and nail care post! You might be surprised to find I don't do all that much to care for my nails. I'm lucky enough to have long nail beds and cuticles that mostly behave, but there's a few things I do and I'll share it all with you in this post, along with my favourite products.

First we'll look at moisturising, because I can't stress how important that is for both hand and nail care! Without moisturisation you'll be prone to hang nails, dry cuticles and general nastiness. I like to moisturise a few times a day, especially after a shower and before I go to bed. 

1. OPI Avojuice. This is my favourite hand lotion ever! It's soft and silky, non-greasy, smells delicious and really works at keeping your hands and cuticles soft. It's quite expensive (in the UK at least) so I don't slather it on all the time, but I use it at least once or twice a day. I'm using the Cran & Berry scent at the moment, but there's so many that smell so good! You can also buy mini versions for your hand bag!

Where to buy - Lena White (£9.10 for 200ml) eBay (prices vary but are usually cheaper!) 

2. Nivea Q10 Plus Hand Cream. This is a cheaper cream, so I don't feel as bad using it multiple times a day. It smells soapy fresh and is non-greasy.

Where to buy - Boots (£4.25) Superdrug (£4.25) 

Next is cuticle care. This may look like a lot of products, but I don't use them all at once and it's good to have options! I have pretty good cuticles, but even mine start to get dry and unruly when I neglect them. Whatever product you choose to use, make sure you massage it really well into your cuticles and all along the sides of your nail beds. Also, never cut your cuticles! It's not a good look and dangerous too!

1. Rococo Nail Apparel Cuticle Cream*. I received this as a press sample and ended up really liking it, it doesn't have an overpowering scent like some cuticle cream, in fact it smells really fresh. A little goes a long way and it's not as greasy as Lush Lemony Flutter, although it's expensive so you might prefer Lemony Flutter as a cheaper alternative. I use this every night before bed and it definitely keeps my cuticles soft.

Where to buy - Space.NK (£15.00) Look Fantastic (£15.00) 

2. M&S Cuticle Care Oil. There are so many cuticle oils on the market, but this one has always been fine for me so I've stuck with it. It's nothing fancy! I only use it a couple of times a week because it's quite messy, but it's always good to have a decent cuticle oil in your kit.

Where to buy - Marks & Spencer (£5.00)

3. Blue Cross Cuticle Remover. I rarely use this, maybe once a month, but it's great for removing stubborn bits of dry/loose cuticle. It's unavailable in the UK, so your best bet would be to ask a friend from the US to send you some in an old polish bottle, like I did (Thanks, Melissa!)

4. Sally Hansen Cuticle Rehab*. This is a new product, also received as a press sample, and has fast become my favourite! It has a brush applicator which means I don't have to touch it (I can massage it in with the brush) and is small enough to put in my bag. I also adore the fresh watermelon scent! I use this a couple of times throughout the day and after long swatching sessions when my cuticles need extra TLC.

Where to buy - Boots (£6.95)  Amazon (£7.50) 

When I first started blogging, my nails were weak and prone to breaking, but within a couple of weeks of using OPI Nail Envy they'd toughened right up, and they grow faster too! I use this as a base coat and rarely get breaks now. It does make your nails pretty hard so don't forget your moisturising routine. 

You can buy Nail Envy in Original and Matte versions, both work the same. You can also buy a Sensitive & Peeling version, but I tried that and it was awful, so give it a miss! 

Where to buy - Amazon (Usually around £10) Boots also stock it but at £18.95!

These are my ever-so-fancy filing tools (that is of course sarcasm) they may be basic but they serve me well! A neat, uniform nail shape is important if you're going to be blogging!

1. 6-way Nail Buffer. A cheap but useful tool, I couldn't live without mine! I don't use this to file my nails, but I use it to buff out ridges and seal the tips after filing. Be careful not to over-buff your nails as it can make them weak; I only lightly buff mine about twice a month. You can also buy 4-way buffers if you prefer.

Where to buy - These can be found almost anywhere. Boots has a 6-way one here & here, and Models Own have a good 4-way one here.

2. Glass/Crystal Nail File. I use this file (bought from Superdrug about 3 years ago!) every 2/3 days to keep my nails filed down to the length I like (I never cut my nails) and it works like a charm; I much prefer it over a standard emery board which feel really horrible to use! 

Where to buy - I don't think the QVS glass file is available any more :( but you can find other brands in Boots, Superdrug and pretty much anywhere. Some work better than others, the very cheap ones probably won't be much good so it's worth investing in a decent one (they basically last forever) If you want more info on buying glass nail files, check out this post on Loodie Loodie Loodie.
TIP: Always make sure your file is made in the Czech Republic and NOT in China. Czech files are the best quality. 

There you have it! I hope this post is helpful to you, and any updates I have will be added here in the future. 

*Press Samples


  1. I love OPI Nail Envy - works a charm!

  2. I use OPI Avoplex cuticle oil and I think I need to branch out my cuticle supplies! Not really very impressed with it as I find it is greasy and doesn't sink in quickly at all. Nail Envy is awesome though! Fixed my nails right up!

  3. I've only just got some Avojuice, not tried it yet because I have about 500 hand creams to get through. I should do one of these posts, but no one asks me to do anything like this so I don't bother. Lazy blogger that I am.


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