Hand & Nail Care Routine - Dec '19

After quite a few years of trying a lot of the different hand and nail products on the market, I now have a nail bag that I'm in love with! It has all the products in it that are the best, in my opinion, to maintain my healthy and long natural nails.

I have tried to note how often I use them, but remember, this is my personal preference and shouldn't be used as gospel for anyone else. I have also included products that I like to have access to, but might not use a lot.

Products I wouldn't be without - Dec '19

Orange sticks

Classic every day orange sticks, always useful for so many things!

I prefer the ones with the point and the push, rather than the other sort with 2 wedges. The ones pictured are from Amazon for £3.99 for 100, here. But you can get orange sticks virtually anywhere now, so go where your conscience and wallet dictate!

Antiseptic Wipes

I use the generic Tesco or Asda antiseptic wipes. They come in a pack of 10 for less than £1, and you usually find them with the medicines or first aid supplies.

You can get larger quantities on Amazon, for example, by typing in 'antiseptic wipes,' but I get mine with my weekly shopping, then I don't forget to pick them up!

I use these with the orange sticks to get under my nails to clear out any nasties that might be living under there! I think this is because

Glass Nail File

Personally, I have a Trind Glass Nail File, but any decent glass nail file will do. The Trind Glass Nail File was under £8 in 2016 and it's still going! A search of Amazon will give you hundreds, if not thousands of choices for a glass nail file, not to mention searching on ebay! I like the Trind one because of the metal case that it comes in, remembering that glass is fragile, if you drop it, it's going to break! The only thing that I would recommend when looking for a glass nail file, is to get one with a case, preferably metal, to make sure that it's not going to break if you drop it!

220/220 nail buffer - once a week AT MOST

Remember that you have natural nails now, be gentle with them! I use this at most once a week if my nails are ridged, if they're looking good then I won't use this at the beginning of my manicure.

You don't need to use this very often, as you're making the nail thinner when you do. There are some months when I don't use it at all as a buffer, although I like using it as a nail file after I've used the glass, in case of any missed bits!

I buy mine from ebay in a pack of 3 for £3.75

1000/4000 nail buffer - once a week

I buy mine, again from ebay, for £1.64 for 3, but if you're following that link, make sure that you select 1000-4000 from the drop down.

The Edge Super Shiner - as often as you want

Because I use this shiner a LOT, I buy these in packs of 10 from Amazon, here, for £9.99, which is an amazing price!

OPI Avoplex nail oil - every 2-3 days

I usually get Avoplex from Amazon, however I seem to remember that Boots and Superdrug used to sell it as well, and at the moment I don't seem to be able to find it on Amazon, which is a bit of a blow!

if Avoplex is too expensive (£17 for 15ml), I know it is for me, then try Jojoba Oil which I talk about below.

Jojoba Oil

Having done extensive research online about the best oil to use for nails because Avoplex is so expensive, I came across jojoba, which is actually the biggest ingredient in a lot of premium nail oils. This is really inexpensive from Amazon, where 100ml will cost under £10. I also bought 6 empty nail varnish bottles in the shape of hearts from Amazon for under £4 and 10 plastic pipettes for under £2. This combination is great because it means that I can make up a few bottles to have around the house, as well as in my handbag and also give some to friends in a nail care bag for special occasions, like Christmas. When the bottles are empty, friends can come back to me and I can fill them up again.

There isn't really much of a comparison to Avoplex; £17 for 15ml compared to £16 for 100ml that you can share with your friends. I know some people swear by Avoplex, as I did for a long time, but the cost and availability can be prohibitive, so having a Plan B is always helpful!

Argon Oil Hand & Nail Cream - as often as you want

I buy this whenever I'm in The Range because it's only £1 per tube. I've looked elsewhere, and it can be four-times the price, no thanks!

RX WAX Solid Skin Care Balm

RX Wax is ethically, locally made with love and can be purchased on the RX Wax website. Don't let the fact that it's made for weight lifters and cross-fitters deter you from trying it, it's so wonderful and full of natural ingredients with a custom blend of herbs and does your hands the world of good (not to mention your feet)! I love it so much that I have about 4 bars dotted around the house and in my handbag, and often buy it for loved ones for Christmas! I love that it's 100% natural with no nasty chemicals. It contains local beeswax, which is brilliant for nails too!

Neal's Yard - Bee Lovely Hand Cream - every night

This is expensive, BUT you don't need a lot!

I've found the best place to get it is either directly from Neal's Yard for £10 (plus postage), or from Amazon for £12.99. I keep one in my nail bag as well as in the bedroom, and try to remember to put it on just before bed, as well as when I've given myself a manicure at home

Wednesday 18 December 2019 - Bit of a side note, most nights while I'm catching up on YouTube or TiVo or working on my blog, I rub my RX Wax bar around my cuticles and nails and then massage it in to each nail and pay particular attention to the cuticle. Then I moisturise my hands with Argon Oil hand cream - OMG, it's utter bliss, honestly! It's so gorgeous as a combination. I'm thinking for January 2020, I might couple my RX Wax with my Bee Lovely hand cream from Neal's Yard and see how that works for me, I think that would be utterly amazing! I'm going to carry on with RX/Argon for the rest of December and then switch on New Years Day *note to self - must remember to take pictures!*

Products I like to have, even though I might not use them regularly

NuNale Nail Strengthening Cream

When I was first transitioning from acrylics to natural, this little tube was brilliant! I get it from Amazon and I like to have it in my nail arsenal, just in case. I also have it in my Mother's nail bag for when I give her a manicure, if her nails need it. It's not expensive, and it lasts ages because you don't need very much on each nail. When I used to use it, I put a drop on each nail, roughly the size of a large pin head, maybe 2mm, on each nail and really rub it into each one.

Picture courtesy of Dupes Are A Gurls Best Friend, blog post from 2013.