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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My nail care routine Part 1

In my book of "History of Beauty Obsession", nail polish is the latest addition yet it is by far the most fast-growing one. I couldn't remember exactly what sparked off the addiction, all I could remember is my collection grew exponentially from less than 5 to a fully occupied Ikea Helmer cabinet. At the beginning, I found applying polish to be very frustrating - I could never get it dried evenly and shiny. With tons of practice and some very useful advices from the blogging world, I don't afraid to show my painted nails anymore.

nail care routine

In this post, I will show you how I shape my nail and how to apply nail polish. You will see some of my essential tools, favorite products and tips & tricks. If you are just starting to like nail polish and as lost as I was, I hope this post would help you out.

Step 1- Shaping

file nail
Shorten your nails to desired length using a nail file. Always move the file in one direction, never move it back and forth in a seesaw motion, that could weaken your nails.

filing nails
To remove the sharp corners, hold the file at a slight angle and stroke from the corners towards the center.

Don't forget the area underneath - tile the file 45 degree to the nail surface and file slightly.

Repeat these steps to all nails, brush off any dust or remains.

Step 2 - Cuticle removal

cuticle removal
Apply cuticle remover all around the nail, leave it on according to the product instruction. Message gently and soak your fingertips in warm water. Then rinse.

cuticle remover
Gently push back cuticle.

cuticle pusher
Remove cuticle along the nail root with a clip.

nail buff
Slightly buff the nail surface - don't buff too hard too long, the idea is to remove dead cells and remains of nail polish/base coat, not to buff the nail super smooth and shiny.

Step 3 - Applying nail polish

Apply base coat
Apply base coat

Apply nail polish
This is where the fun part starts - take your nail polish, run the brush along the edge of nails

apply nail polish
Apply first coat of nail polish, this layer should be thin and even, so don't take too of the products. The sequence I used is marked in above picture. 

1. Start from a few millimeter from the cuticle in the centre and push towards it. 
2. Pull the brush back towards the edge 
3 & 4 Fill in the sides by painting from the cuticle to the edge

Repeat the above steps on all nails

clean up nail polish
After applying first coat on all nails, clean up the edges.

Repeating painting until you are satisfied with the color. It should be easier by now as you have the first coat as a guideline. You can pick up more polish with the brush on subsequent layers. I found 2 to 3 coats are optimum in achieving the bottle color with most polishes.

Apply a top coat to seal in the color and prevent chipping. It also helps in smoothing out any unevenness.

Tada! Look at your nails, aren't they gorgeous? Now all you have to do is be easy to them, let them dry completely.

Here are some tools I used:

OPI crystal nail file
This OPI crystal file is my favorite. All of the glass files that I tried wore off very easily, they have to be replaced after 5 to 10 uses. This OPI is quite expensive for a nail file (US$7) but it doesn't wear off at all. I've been using this one for over a year and it is still as good as new. It can be used wet, simply dampen it before use, it files down the nail so much faster.

cuticle tools
This blue tube from Sally Hansen is one the most recommended cuticle removers. Having that said, I don't think it works wonder, please share with me if you have a better one.

buffing block
Tools for buffing - I don't use them on a regularly basis as I think the nails are prone to chip and crack when you buff too hard. Use these with light hand.

base coats
Some base coats I often used - Nail Tek Foundation II & III, Poshe fast drying base coat

top coats
Favorite top coats - Seche Vite dry fast top coat, Qtica Half time polish drying accelerator, Poshe super fast drying top coat

orange wood stick
Perfect combo for cleaning up edges, orange wood stick and cotton ball. Wrap a thin layer of cotton around the tip (either the slanted end or pointed end, whichever works best for you), dip it into nail polish remover or acetone, slide it along the edges to clean up excess polish. I prefer orange wood stick to a fine tip brush for more control. 

You can easily shape an orange wood stick with a steel file. Make it sharper, pointier, thinner as you like. 

Let me know if you are interested in reading reviews on any products mentioned here. I will continue with my routine on keeping my nails healthy in part 2. 

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