Confession: My name is Kara. I don't drink enough water... and I wear polish 24/7.
I'm sure I'm not the only one but it sure seems like I'm the only one who's nails keep peeling and splitting no matter what I do. A friend gave me this after listing to me complain but since I wore it as a base coat I couldn't really tell if it was helping so I decided to take drastic measures and go polish free on my tips and toes for 3 weeks! Shockingly going bare on my hands wasn't nearly as hard as going naked on my feet. Maybe because I've become obsessed with conditioning my cuticles, pushing them back, moisturizing my hands and filing any beginnings of a peel, crack or split that I see before it gets too far down but I'm not a feet person and polish only makes them bearable so with 95 degree temps here in Austin I've had to wear sandals with bare toe nails (#DIE) Don't you judge me.
Here's what I've been doing (and using):
Body Shop Almond Nail & Cuticle Oil which I keep in my bathroom and one in my handbag. If I'm honest I buy these 6 at a time because I'm paranoid they are going to up and discontinue it on me! Fortunately they have a buy 3 get 3 sometimes so it's about $40 for all 6 rather than the regular $12 each. Nothing hydrates my dry ass cuticles like this! The trick is remembering to use it daily... that's another store but during this 21 day experiment I've really tried to be diligent.
Deborah Lippmann Rich Girl SPF25 Hand Cream has been a morning staple for me. I can't say that it's my favorite daytime hand cream (this is my favorite) but only because the SPF makes it a little greasy which I don't love but why I use it is for the SPF. I've been working on the skin on my hands for about a year now if you saw my previous post so since I'm trying hard to keep them youthful looking, preventing further sun damage is paramount which this does!
Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover is something that never changes in my routine. I've literally been using this exclusively for 5 years or more and it is by far the best way to keep your cuticles neat without cutting them.
At night I use these two together...
Aveda Hand Night Renewal Serum has been a staple for me ever since I thought I might be getting engaged *wink* so I cheekily started reeeeally taking care of my hands so in the hopes that a sparkler would dance on my ring finger, the rest of my paw would look pretty too - that's between you and me though, k? The reviews are mixed on this and it isn't cheap as chips but until I find a AHA or retinol cream made for hands I'll keep using it.
L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream 5.2oz which is a bit thicker but still isn't greasy because the last thing I want is to put something on before I sleep which could transfer to my face and cause breakouts. I can't really smell it (maybe I'm used to it or not as sensitive) but my fiancé comments almost every time I put it on. He doesn't say it smells bad he says he just notices it.This is nice and hydrating plus I love the obnoxious size of it!
The tools I've been keeping close by are...
Sephora Nail Buffer Block is what I use to keep my nails smooth and shiny while I'm going bare. I have a bunch of these minis and they are super convenient but my favorite is still this one however it's double the price and until I use up the Sephora blocks, I'm refusing to buy the DLs again.
Tweezerman Finishing Nail Clippers are precise, sharp and gentle when I do need to snip a few bits but I make it a point of not cutting the base, only if something is clearly hanging off or a hangnail on the side of my nail bed.
Sally Hansen Cuticle Pusher is a top shelf tool! I just love how quick and easy it pushes my cuticles back because it exactly fits the shape of my nail bed but dreadfully it's not sold anymore so I couldn't link it for you, urgh... but I have this one too and it's great, more gentle but still effective.
So... I bet you're wondering 'was it worth it?' and the answer is YES! A resounding YES! My nails are stronger, brighter, whiter, split-free and really healthy looking. I'm curious to see if the effects last when I start using polish again on Sunday for our trip to Mexico but nevertheless, I'm encouraged to do this 21 Day Detox a couple times a year to keep the overall health of my nails in the best shape possible which is important for a lacquer lover like myself. Try it too and tell me if it really improves your nails too!