March 13, 2010, 4:45:00 PM

My current routine & products

Hi everyone! How's everyone doing? I'm getting a lot of questions regarding my routine or products I use and I keep promising making a post about it, so here it is :-).

Nail polish remover is usually the first thing I'll use when I start a manicure. There are many kinds of remover available, but the mildest ones work best for me. My nails don't really mind whatever I use, they can stand straight acetone pretty well. But my skin tends to disagree! To avoid super dry and wrinkly skin I use either Sephora's acetone free remover or the one by Etos (acetone free as well, but way cheaper). I'll use Sephora's remover when my hands are a bit dry to begin with, since it contains Macadamia oil and vitamine E! I also love the smell of this one.

The Etos remover is from a Dutch drugstore and I really like it, it's cheap, works fast and doesn't irritate my skin!
When my nails are nail polish free I like to file them a bit. I use a very fine buffer file to remove ridges and some staining. I don't really know what brand mine is, since it was a gift. I think I do this once a month. However, some times I use this file on the new growth only, to smoothen everything out without the risk of thinner nails.

For shaping your nails I'd strongly advice getting a glass file. These files are so fine, they'll definitely cause less tearing. These may cost you a bit more, but they last you a long time! Mine is from Herome, and I'm not leaving the house without it ;-).
When you file, do this in one direction to minimize any damage.

This is something I absolutely love: Cuticle Remover by Nfu Oh. I apply this on my cuticles and after a bit of soaking I'll use a rosewood stick to get rid of any excess skin. I love it! I always think only little will come of, well usually I'm wrong. Some cuticle removers do absolutely nothing or irritate the hell out of my skin. Not this one!

I've used little scissors in the past to cut my cuticles, but I'm not going there again. Why go through the hassle and pain (if you're as clumsy as I am) if there's stuff like this!
After using this product you'll want to was your hands. Tada, no more messy cuticles! I do this once a week.
Now we're ready to apply base coat. I use different base coats for different reasons. When I choose to wear a sheer or jelly polish, I always grab OPI's Ridge Filler. This BC dries pretty opaque, which is very convenient when you want to avoid a visible nail line! Most of the times I use OPI's Natural Base Coat. It applies pretty well, but I found it doesn't prevent all staining.

The bottle's almost empty, so I started looking for something else, and I've decided to give Sally Hansen's Nail Quencher a shot. I've only used it a few times, but I'm liking it so far. It's hydrating, contains no formaldehyde and I've heard it prevents staining pretty well. If you have any experience with this one, please do share!

After applying base coat and a color, I always finish with a top coat. Not only because of the shine and the fact your polish will last longer, but because I want my polish to dry fast. That's right, I use a quick drying top coat.

I've tried several but OPI's RapiDry and the David top coat work pretty well for me. RapiDry thickens up quite fast though, but nothing a little thinning can't fix.

My current top coat is the David top coat. The formula of this is amazing, and it dries fast! Maybe a not as fast as OPI RapiDry but I think the formula makes up for that. It even fixes some bubbling in my nail polish!
I've heard extremely different opinions about this product, but I like it a lot.
When everything is done, it's time to pamper your cuticles!
Until recently I used different kinds of cuticle oils and balms, but I think I may have found my Holy Grail cuticle treatment: Lemony Flutter by Lush.
Rubbing this lovely lemon scented butter into your cuticles will really help them remain soft and hydrated. I love doing this before I go to bed, so I wake up with really soft and healthy looking cuticles.

I'm not a big fan of cuticle oils as some of them contain mineral oil and actually make my cuticles even dryer.

Another crucial product in my routine is hand lotion, I can't live without it. I've been looking for the perfect hand lotion for quite some time. I've gone through a lot of brands but finally found one I really like. I use Nivea's Anti-Age Q10plus lotion, it absorbes rather quickly and doesn't leave my hands shiny at all. Also, after turning 26, I figured some anti aging stuff wouldn't hurt haha.

I've actually already repurchased this a couple of times, which I can't say about the other 8 tubes of hand lotion that are condemned to the bottom drawer of my Helmer.

So now you know all about my routine and products I use. If you've used some of these yourself, please let me know how you like them!
I hope you find this article a bit helpful. Thanks for stopping by, take care and till next time!