Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Nailed It!

I'm always on a quest to simplify my life and create the perfect routines, and my beauty regime is a particular focus area for this quest.  I've finally come to the conclusion that I don't like my finger nails painted, except for the occasional gel french manicure (which I'm not good at doing myself).  I do still enjoy painted toe nails, and pedicures are my summer luxury.  My at-home kit is simplified though, and I figured I would share it here (mostly because I haven't had time to take any more photos of my sewing progress lately).

One thing that gives me great satisfaction is a perfect container to corral the perfect things, and my nail kit fits the bill.  I think the box originally came with a pair of sunglasses, but I've used it for multiple things since then, but it has come into its own as my nail kit.  I'm not going to lie, I bought this particular nail polish remover because it was square and fit so nicely! :)


After I figured out my perfect tool kit, I made my own leather roll-up to hold them all (again with the perfectly fitting thing).  I just took a piece of leather, laid out my tools and measured how bit each of the pockets had to be, and then hand-sewed them in place.  I added the two snaps to keep everything in place.  My tools are:
  • Seki Edge Stainless Steel Fingernail Clipper:  I've had these for about four years now, and I love them.  I found them via a recommendation on some other blog, I think, and they are sturdy, sharp and do a good job.  They are a uni-purpose tool though, and don't have an attached nail file or nail cleaner, so that brings me to the next tool,
  • Tweezerman Pushy and Nail Cleaner:  I use this to both push back my cuticles (more on that below) and clean under my nails.  I used to use orange sticks for my cuticles, but this works great.
  • OPI Crystal Nail File:  For simple filing, I use this crystal nail file, which has lasted forever and works great.  I've read that crystal is a good material for nail files because nails are less likely to crack or chip.
  • Tweezerman Shape and Shine Nail Tool:  Just because I'm leaving polish behind doesn't mean I want to have ungroomed nails!  I've found this tool super helpful and it's the star of my kit.  One end has three different levels of filing for nail tips (if I want to go more in-depth than with my crystal file) and the other end has three levels for buffing.  I only do it every two weeks or so, because it can be bad for your nails to do it too much, but I can buff them to a shine that rivals clear nail polish!  One thing I had to do though is number the sides in the correct order with a sharpie, because it's only listed on the package, and I would easily forget the order otherwise.

The rest of my kit fluxes a bit more, but here are the general details:
  • On the left are my three nail colors I kept for my toes and for when I eventually break down and decide to paint my nails again (nude, maroon, and a pale blue-grey).
  • Because I've been using 100% acetone remover, it's hard on my nails, so I like to moisturize heavily.  I used to use an oil, but I ran out and am currently using Dr. Lipp nipple balm, which is actually intended for lips.  It's 100% lanolin, and super moisturizing.
  • Before I push back my cuticles, I soften them with Deborah Lipmann Cuticle Remover.  I let it sit for a minute, rub it in, and then push the cuticles back with my stick.
  • The last item was previously the reason I was ok with painting my nails - the Sally Hansen miracle gel top coat.  It used to make my nail polish last several times longer than it used to, but they switched their formula recently, and it just doesn't work as well any more.  
There you have it!  Do you have any must-have nail items or tips?

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