Sunday, 23 February 2014

My Manicure Routine

A few years ago (many more than I care to admit) I was taken in by the hype of acrylic nails and committed the ultimate nail crime of heading to cheap, fast paced, no appointment necessary nail bars that were popping up in abundance around town. Now while these nails looked great at the time the techniques and tools used were not doing my natural nails any favours, so when I got bored of the expense and maintenance of these nails I had them taken off once and for all. Having had the acrylic removed the poor condition of my natural was revealed and I decided then it was time to take action, look after my own nails so that I could grow them and then there would be no need for me to have acrylic or any other kind of nails done. So from that point once a week I give myself a manicure at home and I often receive compliments on my nails and how they look. Here is my little routine and the tools and products I use.


Step 1. Remove nail varnish.
There's a wide variety of nail varnish removers out there for a range of different prices and some have big claims about what they do for your nails but for me I have found that the basics are the best. I use Boots Clean Off Nail Polish Remover and it gets the job done effectively and easily. I used to use Boots Conditioning Nail Polish Remover but in the bottle this is a pale orangey colour and I found that  this stained my nails. Instead of using cotton wool I like to use nail wipes as they don't leave any fluff behind, I was given some by a friend but you can get them on the Sally's website here. Even if you don't have nail varnish on when you start its a good idea to just wipe over  your nails with nail varnish remover to cleanse any hand creams or oils from your nails.

Step 2. Shape, Condition & Care.
I'm not to fussy when it comes to nails files, I have this yellow one that does the job perfectly. If you have seen my #NOTW posts you will probably already know that I like the file my nails square and round off the corners. Everyone is different though so find a length and shape that you like and use a nail file to achieve the look your after.

Next I use Premier By Dead Sea Premier cuticle oil, I have had this for years and once received it in a gift set one Christmas but there are plenty of cuticle oils out there and this stuff lasts a long time as a little goes a long way. I tend to put a dot of the oil on my middle finger cuticle and then spread the oil across the rest of my cuticles using my finger. I rub the oil in and then use my rubber tipped hoof stick to gently push my cuticles back.

With cuticles taken care of I then use a 3 way buffer, again you can get various different nail buffers but they all achieve the same result. Mine looks just like a nail file but on one side it is split into 2 rough sections one being slightly rougher than the other and this is the one you use first, then the second section and then flip over the nail buffer and it has a soft smooth side that is the final stage and gives your nails a nice shine. By buffing your nails you not only improve the surface of the nail ensuring you get the perfect finish when you paint them but you are also encouraging the blood flow to the nail beds so they will get all the goodness they need from your blood to stay strong and healthy. 

Step3. Prep, Paint & Protect.
Now you have created the perfect canvas its time to create the master piece. Start with a base coat, this is an important step as its protects your nail and ensures they don't get stained by your choice of nail varnish.

Now for the best bit, be as creative as you want or keep it simple and classic its time to paint those talons. I chose my #NOTW colour which is Essie's Chincilly. 

I always finish with a top coat and my current favourite is Seche Vite. It make my nail varnish touch dry in no time at all, protects my manicure efforts and ensures my polish stays chip free for at least a week.

Now I am by no means a professional but there you have my personal manicure routine. This is a great time out for me and I find it rather relaxing and i love the feeling of freshly manicured nails, not to mention the perfect paint add a nice finishing touch to an outfit.

Kayla xx


  1. Great post! I love at home manicures too and I love that they can be done for half the price and just as god as if you went to the salon for it.

    1. If u break it down to cost per use it's a fraction of the price of a salon manicure lol and u can't sit in a salon cosied up in ya pj's with a film :)

      Kayla xx