All frequently asked Questions on my nail care routine tricks, what products I use, etc I’m going to put up here.
All my nail tips and tricks on one page!
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment
Credit to Nemos Nails for her idea of this.
Table of Contents
- 1 Vinegar and Peeling Polish:
- 2 Whitening Nails:
- 3 Removing Glitter:
- 4 Buffing:
- 5 Nail Ridges:
- 6 Nail Filing and File Grits:
- 7 Thinning Nail Polish with Acetone:
- 8 Nail Polish Storage:
- 9 Base and Top Coats:
- 10 Repairing a Broken Nail:
- 11 Homemade Tools:
- 12 Hand Scrub:
- 13 Caring for your Nails:
- 14 My Nail Care Routine Routine Tricks:
- 15 Wrapping Tips:
- 16 Hangnails:
- 17 Peeling Nails:
- 18 Acetone vs Non-Acetone
Vinegar and Peeling Polish:
If you find your polish peels the next day, then it can be because there were excess oils trapped by the polish. Always dehydrate the nail before applying polish.
I use white vinegar but you can also use acetone.
Polish stains your nails especially if you wear dark colors WITHOUT a base coat (which is a NO-NO!)
I use whitening toothpaste but you can also make a thickish paste out of lemon juice and bicarb soda which works just as well.
Please visit this LINK to see what I do to remove glitter polish using the foil method.
You’ll never remove glitter another way again. The reason why this method is better than scrubbing at your nails is that the glitter will just rub off and not scrape against your nail plate from continuous scrubbing.
I don’t buff my nails. The reason why is because the nail is +100 layers of Keratin thick so if those layers look so thin without buffing, WHY WOULD YOU THIN IT FURTHER?! Buffing weakens the nail making them prone to bending and breaking.
Buff here and there if you must but don’t make a regular habit of it.
If you have a lot of ridges in your nails, try a ridge filler base coat before buffing rather.
We all have nail ridges. If you NATURALLY don’t, then you’re very lucky.
Nail ridges can grow lengthwise (vertically) or across (horizontally) the nail.
Vertical ridges: are pretty normal and common. They begin under the cuticles and you’re more likely to get them as you age.
Horizontal ridges: are the ones to worry about especially if they’re deeply grooved or slightly darkened. It could then be Beau’s lines, which happens from mineral insufficiency or injury, resulting in damaged nail growth.
Certain medication as well as dehydration can ALSO trigger ridges.
The most important thing to remember is NOT to buff your ridges away, for the following reason:
Ridges are the healthy parts and the dips are the weaker, thinner parts on your nail plate.
As we get older we think that we are getting more ridges when in fact the dips/concave portions are getting more pronounced.
SO, if you buff, you’re buffing away the stronger humps to level it out with weaker and thinner “dips”. You’re essentially weakening and thinning the whole nail plate.
Use your cuticle oil or balm always, and a ridge filler if they really bug you!
Nail Filing and File Grits:
File in one direction from one corner to the center and then from the other corner to the center.
File after clipping as clipping causes microscopic fractures along the free edge which can split and crack.
The best grit for NATURAL nails is between 180 and 240. The lower the grit, the rougher the emery board, and the more damage it can cause.
Always file the SIDES OF NAILS with a higher grit as they’re more fragile and prone to breaking.
Glass files are less likely to splinter the nail, are easier to clean, can be used to shorten AND maintain the shape of the nail.
Metal files are a big no-no as they’re more likely to cause your nails to splinter.
It is said that 5-10 light strokes are enough to maintain shape and 20-30 strokes are enough to take off the length, approximately.
Thinning Nail Polish with Acetone:
Is a HUGE NO NO!
Acetone dissolves polish and that’s how it is removed from your nail so why would you throw it in your polish to thin it out. It’ll only DIMINISH the quality and lifespan of your polish.
Use a nail polish thinner that RESTORES the polish structure.
Nail Polish Storage:
Polish should be stored upright in a cool place away from heat and light as they break down the drying time of polish.
Keep the neck of your bottles clean so you always get a good tight seal when closing it. Polish thickens when certain ingredients evaporate.
You can clean your bottlenecks with an earbud/brush and acetone, just do so CAREFULLY as you don’t want to get acetone in your polish.
Polish can last for 2 years and you know it’s chuck-worthy when it starts to smell funky and is goopy.
Base and Top Coats:
Base coats are incredibly important because they’re like double-sided tape. They stick to the nail plate and give the polish you paint on top of it something to stick on to. They also prevent peeling. They are stickier and thicker than topcoats.
Nowadays you get ridge-filling base coats to give a smooth surface for people who have lots of ridges, strengthening and hardening base coats, and plain base coats.
Be careful with HARDENING base coats because if you have already rigid nails, it’ll make your nail MORE rigid and prone to break.
I use Tip Top’s Miraculous Results.
Topcoats are one-sided tape. They are thinner and contain more ingredients to create a durable surface on the nail. They seal everything in basically.
They add strength, dry faster, protect polish from wear and tear, add shine.
I use Essence’s Quick Dry Top Coat.
Base and Topcoat in ONE are a waste to me because each product has different functions so you’re not going to get what you SHOULD be getting out of each one if you use a two-in-one product.
Repairing a Broken Nail:
Follow this LINK for a step-by-step on repairing the nail with a teabag.
Follow this LINK for a list of tools you can make or have lying around that you can use for nail art.
I love making my own exfoliating scrubs.
I use a base of sugar and olive and/or coconut oil.
You can add scented oils, zest of citrus fruit, crushed herbs like rosemary or lavender.
Caring for your Nails:
It isn’t necessary to paint your nails more than twice a week unless you’re a blogger or are just used to it, purely because acetone dries out the skin incredibly.
Invest in a HAND cream that works for you. There’s so many on the market these days suitable for every skin type so experiment. Use cream EVERY TIME after you wash your hands or are exposed to water/chemicals.
Invest in cuticle oil OR balm. Why? Because it penetrates microscopically and feeds the Matrix (area between the first knuckle and below cuticle where new nail cells are produced). Use it nightly by rubbing it in on the nail, around the nail, and up to the first knuckle. Tip Top has great cuticle oil; I also use Badgers cuticle balm which is pretty amazing and a cuticle balm from Avon.
You can get a little cuticle pen from Planet Nails (R9) and throw some oil in there to take with you to work if you felt so inclined.
My Nail Care Routine Routine Tricks:
I have some very simple nail care routine tricks that you can use:
File nails while the polish is still on because I can’t shape them evenly any other way.
A good wash and scrub with the nail brush, as well as exfoliation with scrub. If I have any dry, flaky skin hanging around still, I gently exfoliate it off with my pumice stone (this also helps a lot for me as I was a skin picker.) I do ALL of this in the shower by the way.
Then a good moisturize (I change between Palmers, Sorbet, and Good Stuff hand cream depending on my mood) and I’ll proceed to push my cuticles down gently with an orangewood stick.
*Then using a cuticle knife and water I clean excess protein build-up on my nail plate – I started doing this as it forms part of nail prep for a professional manicure or when applying extensions and gel overlays. It isn’t something you need to do for a home mani so don’t stress.*
Vinegar wipes down to prevent my polish from peeling and to soak up any excess oils.
Basecoat – Tip Top’s Miraculous Results.
Topcoat if necessary – Essence Quick Dry Top Coat.
I clean up my cuticles and side walls with pure acetone and an angular brush.
Lastly, I use my Badgers Cuticle Balm to finish everything off.
Wrapping your tips is painting over the free edge instead of just the top of your nails. It helps your mani last a little bit longer.
Regular water exposure (from showering, washing hands, etc) makes polish chip so if you’ve extended the road of your polish, the polish will start chipping from over the free edge instead of the very tops of your nail.
Hangnails are dehydrated skin that you get on the sides of your nails (aka the sidewalls).
It is important to NEVER EVER pull them out because that can lead to infection which is pretty painful!
Cut them with a cuticle nipper if you have one or a nail clipper. It is best to do this after soaking your hands or after a shower as they’re easier to cut when soft.
If your moisture content in your nail is TOO high compared to your oil content, your nails will be soft so replace oils that are lost! Some people just have drier skin and cannot get away with just a good hand cream, they need MORE and we all need something extra from time to time, that’s why cuticle oil is SUPER important.
It helps to be aware of what your nail is doing so you can rectify any problems quickly.
When you’ve been doing your nails for a while and you haven’t really been moisturizing often (or maybe it just happens to me), you’ll notice your nail starts peeling at the very tip, like the layers of the nail itself is peeling off. I’m NOT talking about peeling polish.
Flaking/Peeling nails is due to a lack of moisture. You need to use cuticle oil/balm and lotion regularly to increase flexibility in your nail plate.
DAILY moisturizing and exfoliating conditions your nail plate (the part you paint) and balances the oil-moisture content in the nail plate. You can exfoliate daily in the shower or bath with a nail brush.
Acetone vs Non-Acetone
Acetone dissolves and breaks down polish when removed from the nail. If you have polish on your natural nail, use acetone, please. Acetone does dry out the skin but you don’t want it to overly dry the skin. You want it to remove the polish as quickly as possible from the nail.
Non-acetone doesn’t contain acetone and the only time I’ll recommend you to use it, is if you have polish on tips with a gel overlay because non-acetone remover isn’t strong enough to melt soak-off gel or the tips so there’ll be no damage to your extensions. Non-acetone I find is more drying to the skin if you use it to take off polish from natural nails compared to acetone.
That is the end of the Nail Care Routine Tricks. If you have a question, put it in the comment section