It’s very easy, when you’re feeling lazy, to just throw on one coat of nail polish and call it a day. It’s particularly easy to do this when it’s cold as hell in your house and you want to limit the length of time your fingers are motionless and unable to be crammed into mittens. I’m learning my lesson here though, as lazy manicures make for faster chips and flaky tips. Here are some good things to help rectify this.
Essie All In One is a combo base coat, top coat and strengthener. I’ve been foolishly leaving the base coat step out of doing my nails, ever since my bottle of OPI Nail Envy gooped up so much that the lid glued itself on to the bottle. To me, the most appealing reason to use a base coat is because it stops your nails from getting stained by polishes that are overzealous with their pigment. It means I can leave my nails bare before painting them again, to avoid this happening:
— Morgan Sassworth (@morganeleanor) April 22, 2014
Another solid base from Essie is the Fill The Gap treatment. I picked this up when the tips of my nails were particularly bad for splitting. It’s almost opaque and dries to a matte finish. It’s good because even with a sheer polish over the top, it makes your nails look way tidier and nicer than they actually are. Mine are never particularly nice or tidy, so this is very welcome.
It’s good to keep your cuticles hydrated and the Linden Leaves Herbalist Hand and Nail Treatment* has been doing the job nicely. It doesn’t leave an oily residue on your hands, but it does pay to give your nails a wipe down with nail polish remover after using this and before applying polish, to make sure it adheres properly.
Then there’s the old faithful, Seche Vite top coat. I bought mine on Trademe for a very affordable price, and contrary to reports of some other bloggers, it hasn’t gone gluggy at all. It dries unbelievably fast and every time I use it, people tell me my nails look like gels. The other thing I like about this is that adding a coat helps even out streaky polish or smooth down glitter (as if I ever wear glitter).
What am I missing in my extra manicure steps? This Stuff article recommended using eye cream instead of cuticle cream, because it does the same thing, but I’m sure I’m not the only one whose eye cream costs bundles more than a cuticle cream or oil would. I’m feeling that regular hand cream is doing the job enough for me.