Monday, 6 October 2014

Manicure Monday: Naked Nails

I'm having a break from painting my nails this week.

For some reason, the nail polishes I've used over the last fortnight (Graphic Berry from Dior and The ELLE Grey from Mavala) have left my nails a little stained despite using a base coat, so I'm taking this week off to try and restore them back to tip-top condition.

As such, although I'm not reviewing a polish this week I thought I'd share the products I use to help keep my hands and nails nourished and healthy.

I don't use many products at all, and the ones I have seem to last me forever!


Before doing anything with my nails I like to give them a quick once over with my favourite nail varnish remover, whether I'm currently wearing a colour or not. Over the years I've tried lots of different brands of nail varnish remover, but none have come close to Chanel's Dissolvant Doux. The smell isn't too overpowering at all, it's the best for removing even the most stubborn of colours and it's the only one I've found that doesn't leave my nails horribly dry and sensitive after using it. Admittedly it's a little on the pricey side at around £14 a bottle, but it lasts ages: I can easily remove all traces of varnish off both hands with a maximum of three round cotton pads soaked in DD. For me, it's excellent value for money, and I wouldn't dream of using anything else now!


I've always had strong nails but over the last few weeks they've become really soft and bendy, which is freaking me out as this has never happened before and I'm terrified they're going to break! When I recently had a manicure at Trevi Beauty I asked Lucy about this and she said it might be because I've been filing them down each week before I painted them. I've now stopped doing that just in case it was the cause of the problem, and in a belt-and-braces move I also purchased this Sally Hansen Miracle Nail Thickener. It had good reviews online so I felt it was worth a shot, and at the moment it seems to be doing the job! You apply one coat of it onto clean, dry, bare nails daily for up to four days, and it fills in ridges and strengthens the nail. It can also be used as a base coat under a colour which is definitely an added bonus. So far my nails feel stronger, but as I haven't used it for long the jury's still out…


Confession time: I am yet to try either of these products… My cuticles are always extremely dry, and in the past all I've done to combat that is to constantly rub moisturiser into my nail beds. Hopefully this Mavala Cuticle Remover and Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil will help to keep them softer and in a much better condition than they are now. If you've used either of these then do let me know in the comments below - I'd love to know what you think of them!


My best friend bought me this for my birthday as I always moan about my dry hands, and this Hemp Hand Protector from The Body Shop is an absolute life saver. It's such an intense moisturiser that the tiniest squeeze of it can sort out my hands for hours. Unfortunately it doesn't smell fantastic - it almost reminds me of hospitals? - so I don't use it as often as I should. It's more of an emergency product for when my hands are really bad, but I can tell I'll be using it a lot more as the weather gets colder and my skin starts to protest.


This is my absolute favourite moisturiser. I've always had a massive tub of The Body Shop's Strawberry Body Butter but recently I purchased a smaller one to keep in my handbag as a makeshift hand cream. It smells absolutely divine - sweet but not sickly - and keeps my skin perfectly hydrated without being greasy. The Body Shop have lots of different flavours but the strawberry is the one I keep coming back to - it's like having a little tub of summer all year round.

There you have it - my favourite hand and nail products! I'm aware that I hardly use anything, but I'm very unfussy when it comes to makeup and beauty and would rather rely on a few wonderful products than have drawers full of things I'd hardly use.

For now I might have unsightly Naked Nails, but normal service should resume next week with Manicure Monday

Are there any products you love to use on your nails? Is there a hand cream you feel is worth investing in? Let me know in the comments below!

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