I have pretty lacklustre nails naturally, they're dry, weak and flaky - not ideal. After testing out different nail oils, treatments and base coats to try and tackle my brittle nails, I've finally found a mani routine and a collection of products that I'm SO happy with. My nails are stronger, longer and nourished, nail polish applies better and lasts a little longer too. I've also been making an effort to keep my nails polish free for at least two days a week, normally three, It's completely transformed my nails!
I used to flit between using a daily treatment, strengthener, base coat, oil and growing treatment, now I've completely stripped back my routine, using minimal, essential products that really work for me. The only thing that I'm left to find is a good base coat!
To start off, I file my nails with the Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File, a worthwhile investment (which comes with a 25 year guarantee) this leaves nails incredibly smooth and strong, it turns the nail edge to dust in a few quick swipes and is instantly refreshed with a quick rinse under warm water. I can't ever see myself using another nail file, it's honestly the best!
For nail polish, I'm obsessed with Essie. I love everything about Essie nail polishes - the easy application brush, glossy finishes, quality and the chic shades. The Essie Gel Couture range is divine, a long lasting formula that boasts impressive wear time. They're a game changer for me, most nail polishes only last around 3 days on me as I'm always pottering around, fidgeting or cleaning and therefore chipping my nails. I initially tried the Essie Gel Couture Polish in Take Me To Thread with Topcoat (see me wearing it here), which stayed put for days and didn't budge, I took mine off after 11 days and it was still going strong! The shade above is Essie Sew Me*, a pretty peach nude, I've currently got this with the topcoat on my nails - I'm on day 7 now and there's minimal chips!
Once my nails are polished and dry, I apply the Lush Lemony Flutter Buttery Cuticle Balm to my cuticles. This buttery balm is full of heavenly ingredients to keep cuticles soft and supple - coconut oil, mango butter, lanolin and beeswax to name a few! Throughout the week I use a combination of Lemony Flutter and the dreamy Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil to keep my nails and cuticles nourished and hydrated.
What are your mani essentials?