Winter is always murder on my already weak nails and cuticles. I was not born blessed with great nails. In fact I bit them the first 10 years of my life. That was until I saw a picture of myself lunching on them and that was gross enough to make me stop. I inherited my grandmother’s weak nails and no matter what nail hardener I tried in those days, they would break easily. It drove me crazy.
I TRIED EVERYTHING FOR BEAUTIFUL NAILS
I just learned to live with short nails and it didn’t really matter to me until after college when I started job hunting. So I did what everyone did in the 90’s, I got acrylic nails. BIG mistake. Turns out I’m allergenic. Yes. The skin around my nails itches and blistered and my nails started to separate from my nail beds! It was not only painful but disgusting. Turns out the acrylic gets into my blood stream and I’m allergic (it had nothing to do with the quality of the salon or acrylic since I tried it a few times with the same results). I found a few nail hardeners that worked (Nailtiques and OPI Nail Envy). So I learned to live with well manicured shorter nails with a sheer color and not much has changed in many, many years.
MY OBSESSION WITH HANGNAILS, CUTICLES AND PEELING NAILS
I have a thing about hangnails. I always have. If I have one, I pick at it, so I have learned to carry a clipper with me at all times. This winter has been particularly harsh on my nails. Maybe I have been washing my hands more and using more hand sanitizer, but they have been actually peeling which is a new one for me. So finding the best nail hardener I can that helps solve that peeling problem has been of utmost importance to me. I’m also pretty faithful at getting a professional manicure every 2 weeks which has helped. They are also better at removing my ragged cuticles and filing. But can’t I do that at home, myself?
THE HOME MANICURE
So I set out to try to learn how to do my own manicures at home and therefore needed to find the best products to help me accomplish that goal.
I’m a huge fan of the vegan line SpaRitual and one of my favorites is their SpaRitual Protein Boost Strengthening Treatment which really helps prevent your nails from peeling and chipping with a protein-rich formula. This clear basecoat delivers fortifying calcium, wheat protein and vitamin E. Antioxidants protect your nail beds from free-radical damage.
I adore this cuticle remover because it actually works! It exfoliates and gets through tough dry cuticles in a flash. So pushing back cuticles and maintaining healthy nails is a breeze.
Since my nails “used” to be weak I was lucky to get 3 days before my polish would chip, but with Sally Hansen Diamond Shine Base & Top Coat I get about a week! Woot! I just use it as a top coat, but it seals the color with a high gloss which I love.
I carry a cuticle cram in my makeup bag so I can apply some all day, especially after I wash my hands for the umpteenth time. SpaRitual Cuti-Quench Conditioning Cuticle Creme conditions, repairs and renews brittle nails and unattractive cuticles. Coconut and avocado oils nourish and moisturize while apple extract exfoliates dead skin.
I love this luxurious and deliciously fragrant hand cream so much I keep it handy in my car so I can apply it for driving. Most of us forget to use SPF on our hands, or wear gloves, which is just as important as applying it to your face. But this lotion also helps your cuticles and makes hands super soft! It’s a win-win.
Here are all of the products I tried and loved:
Note: Some samples were provided for review, but opinions are always my own.