So I thought I would let you know what I consider to be my nail essentials. I know that this differs from person to person depending on taste and preference to smells and flavours of creams etc but here is what I use daily and always carry with me when I go away.
My polish remover of choice is from Superdrug I tend to buy the non-acetone formula as I use acetone separately and don't want it drying out my nails any more.
The blue bottle says it's 'gentle on nails and kinder to skin' and it costs £1.39
The pink bottle says it's 'nourishing and contains Aloe Vera and Vitamin E' and it costs £1.39.
The good thing about Superdrug is they're BUAV approved, their products are NOT tested on animals and are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Also they do a lot of 3 for 2 offers!
I use acetone to clean up once I've done a manicure. You only need a tiny bit and even with the frequency I do my nails I find a bottle lasts ages. I buy mine for £1 from Poundland.
Orly Cutique is brilliant for cleaning up any buildup around your cuticles, it also removes extra cuticle skin and any slight staining that can occur white you're wearing a polish. I always start off a new week by applying this to my nails and giving them a good clean.
I brought my Orly Cutique from Nail Polish Direct. They sell 2 different size options; 9ml is £7 and 18ml is £9.80.
OPI Nail Envy is excellent as a base coat and strengthener, although it is very expensive. I got my bottle from John Lewis is a post Christmas sale when it was bogof. However TKMaxx sometimes stocks them and the OPI website as well as eBay are good for finding them slightly cheaper. It's def worth shopping around to get the best deal on this product.
I discovered how amazing Barry M's 3 in 1 clear polish was when I started using it between polishes when swatching. I tend to use it as an alternative to Nail Envy as it strengthens my nails really well and only costs £2.99 a bottle. Plus if you buy from Boots or Superdrug you can get them on offer and stock on up points.
My topcoat of choice at the moment is Rica's (@justricarda) Glossy Glam. Its amazing and so much easier to work with than Seche Vite. I prefer fast dry topcoats and always apply a topcoat to my manicures. Glossy Glam can be bought from Rica's etsy site if you live in the States and from
Color4Nails, Harlow and Co and Beauty So Fly for around $7.
Moisturising and Cuticle Care
Hand cream, a massive essential to hand care and nail maintenance. I keep tubes and bottles littered around the house so I always remember to use it.
I love Sainsbury's Intensive Hand Cream, it smells like 'holidays' and is so rich and creamy and only costs £1.50. I also adore OPI Avojuice in Coconut Melon as it has a pump on it so getting the cream is really easy. I like to keep a bottle of this by the sinks in my house so I always remember to put cream on after getting my hands wet. Again it's worth shopping around for these! However at the time of posting, Nail Polish Direct has all flavours bar Coconut Melon (which is £9.10) for only £6.90! Bargain.
I use Essie Apricot Cuticle oil to keep my cuticles nicely hydrated and looked after. Shop around for this as sometimes you can find it cheap or on sale.
Lush's Lemony Flutter is such a rich cream that I tend to use it as a hand mask in a similar fashion you would wear a face mask. I cover my nails in a thick layer and leave it on for 5-10mins before removing excess with a piece of kitchen roll. During the time its on I keep rubbing it in to my cuticles and around my nails and after any leftovers have been remover I rub in the remaining cream and have incredibly soft cuticles. You can buy this from Lush stores or online for £6.50 for a pot.
Finally I also take a Skin, Hair and Nail vitamin supplement daily to ensure I have all those vital micro nutrients which are tricky to keep an eye on. I have been using these for months now and my skin is great, hair has grown crazy long and my nails are not peeling or braking any more. However I can not be sure that it's all down to these pills, its probably a combination of everything.
I bought these pills from Superdrug for £4.99 for 30 (a months supply) and while they were on 3 for 2, so it only cost £9.98 for 90 pills or 3 months supply.
What are your nail essentials? Anything you can suggest I should try?