Hi everyone! I've got a really fun post for you today, brought to you with the help of Julep!
As I'm sure we all know, especially those of us who are beauty enthusiasts, winter is not always kind to our hands and nails. :( I know for me especially, my hands can get dry, cracked, and painful in the winter. And my nails can get brittle and peely. Worst of all, my cuticles - UGH! They look so gross in the winter if I don't take extra good care of them.
That being said, it's important to "winterize" your nail care routine during these bitter cold months, so that you can keep your nails and hands in perfect health and looking fabulous!
Julep has shared a few helpful tips on how to winterize your nails. I'll show you their ideas, and then I'll give you the rundown on my typical routine! :)
When I read over the tips sent from Julep, I realized that they were very similar to what I do for my nails, so I must be doing something right lol. ;) Here's a look at my nail care routine - the whole gang!
I know, I know. It looks like a lot. But it's really not. And there are very few of these items that I actually use every day. I'll break it down and explain what each item is, what it is used for, how to use it and how often I use it.
My first step? Starting with a clean slate!
Before a manicure, you want to start with clean nails, and that includes removing excess cuticles. I skipped the step about removing old polish, because you knew that already, right? :) Be sure to wash your hands after removing polish with acetone. Dry your hands off well, and then you can grab your trusty cuticle remover. I use Blue Cross, which can be purchased at Sally's, and it's extremely affordable. I think this huge bottle was about $5, and it will last you forever! I drip a bit along the nail bed line and a little underneath the free edge as well. It is a bit watery, so I do this over the sink. After that, I use the curved, spoon-looking edge of the cuticle tool (I got this at Wal-Mart for a few dollars) and push up toward the curve in the nail bed, pushing up and off excessive cuticles. Then, I use the other end of the tool (Careful, that one is sharp) to gently scrape around the curve of the nail and then underneath the free edge to get all that grossness out of there. Sorry, not every part of nail care is glamorous! ;) Once you've scraped off all the excess, wash your hands with warm water and your favorite soap or scrub, I love Sunny's Hand Scrub for this, which of course, I forgot to show in the picture! Then, dry off your hands and get ready for your next step.
The next thing I do is file my nails, both for length and shape. I don't usually cut my nails using clippers unless they're really really long, because that tends to make them crack or peel. I use a very coarse file or emery board to take down length, and also to shape my nails. Lately, I've been keeping the rounded or almond shaped because they grow longer and stronger that way on me. Once I'm happy with the length and the shape, I paint on my base coat. In the winter, I typically reach for strengthening or hardening base coats to help fight off the brittleness that winter brings. This one from Sally Hansen is a good one. Then apply your polish color, which I've left out of the photos because that is up to you (though I'll have some good suggestions at the end of the post). My go-to topcoat is always HK Girl though. It's the best in my opinion!
Now, you're all polished and topcoated...what to do now, you ask?
The answer is simple - MOISTURIZE! If there is one tip you can take away from this post on how to better care for your hands and nails in the wintertime, it is simply to moisturize. The cold, dry winter air is torture on our hands and nails, and you can never have too much moisture at a time like this. For overall hand lotion, I am LOVING the new (at least to me) Carmex hand lotion. It might have existed before, but I'd never heard of it...I'm so glad I found it! It is ultra moisturizing and long-lasting. It's kind of like when winter is really bad to your lips and you know Carmex is the only thing that will do? It's the same with this lotion. It just feels really heavy duty, but in the best sense possible - and it feels amazingly silky smooth!
Now, onto the cuticle products. There is not a day that goes by that I don't use something from Sunny's Body Products hand and cuticle care line. I use her Miracle Balm every single night before bed, her cuticle oil every single time before I take nail photos, and I reach for the Intensive Oil and the Hand Cream for times when I really need some extra moisture. I've shown a few of my favorite scents in the photo. I've been loving Satsuma lately in the Miracle Balm and Caramel Apple Intensive Oil smells good enough to eat! Don't do that. Some other favorite cuticle balms/butters that I use, but less often, are the Burt's Bees Lemon Butter cuticle cream - which smells absolutely fabulous and works wonders on dry cuticles, and Fortune Cookie Soap's Polyjuice Potion cuticle butter. The FCS cuticle butter is aptly named; I would definitely say it is thicker and harder to spread on than any of the balms I've tried. The smell is absolutely phenomenal, I'm so upset I missed out on the "Polyjuice All the Things" sale at FCS, but such is life. Anyway, just due to the consistency, I only use this one at bed time, it's not as practical to use on the go, in my opinion.
See? Pretty simple!
Now, I promised you I'd talk a bit about some up and coming trends in polish colors for winter. Now, everyone's different, but during winter months, I find myself reaching for more subdued, darker, or vampy shades, typically cremes, but not always. I enjoy a good shimmer in the winter also. I always love holographics, but since the sun likes to hide here during the winter, I often feel like I'm not getting the full effect so I do try to save those more for summer.
Julep also shared some great ideas with me, showcasing some of their popular winter shades! Check them out!
You can pick up the above shades of polish and as well as the rest of Julep's products by clicking here. I'm especially feeling Sawyer out of these, I think...but I can also see Joanne making a perfect base for some winter nail art!
So there you have it, my winter nail care routine! To recap, it goes as follows:
Step 1: Remove old polish and excess cuticles.
Step 2: Prep nails by filing for length and shape.
Step 3: Polish! Base coat, polish, topcoat.
Step 4: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! (This step can be repeated as often as necessary!)
I hope you've enjoyed this post and possibly even learned something! Nail care is especially important during winter because as I'm sure you know, healthy nails are pretty nails. Please don't hesitate to ask if you want more information about anything or have further questions about my winter nail routine! Thanks so much for reading!