Having pretty nails is something I take great pride in. I don’t wear make-up, or do much to my hair, but for me, having pretty nails gives me a little something feminine that’s just for me. There’s something about the process of taking care of my hands and then starting the manicure routine. Shaping and filing each nail. Applying the base coat, the perfect polish color for my current mood, and finally the top coat. It’s therapeutic. I enjoy it. I look forward to it.
Boring Girl Beauty Tips: The Nails
Tip 1: Keep those nails clean, and well-maintained! If you’re not into manicures, it doesn’t mean you can’t have beautiful nails every day. It’s a matter of keeping them clean, and well-maintained. Just clean out underneath the nail, and file them when they get too long, or chip! My go to filer is the Julep Emery Board. I can file down and shape my nails, with one tool. I like my nails squared off, it’s easier for me to function in life with my nails squared off. Growing up my nails were super long, but after having the kids, I just prefer them shorter. I keep a little length, but not so long I can poke the kids in the back seat from the driver’s seat, if you know what I mean! No matter what, they’re always clean, and filed.
Tip 2: Cuticles need to be kept under control. I have a terrible habit of picking at my cuticles. I used to do it all the time as a kid, which drove my mom nuts. After I got older, I would pick at them when they got all dried out, and there were things to pick at. Now I normally do it when I’m anxious, or “going through it.”
When did it change from picking at dried out cuticles, to just picking my cuticles when I’m “too in my head?” Simply put: I decided to take care of my cuticles! Cutting cuticles invites infection, so instead, use cuticle oil that dissolves the cuticle, making it easier to remove. Vanish Cuticle Softener & Remover helps soften the cuticles, which makes it easier to use a cuticle pusher to push them back. After pushing them back, soak hands in a bit of warm, soapy water for a few minutes. Wash hands, pat dry and those cuticles should be gone without ever having to cut them!
Tip 3: Keep not just your hands, but your nail beds hydrated. Every woman has room for a little cuticle oil roll on in their purse, or pocket. Get yourself the Essential Cuticle Oil, it comes in a 2-pack in the Nail Treatments on the Julep website. Put one in your nightstand, and one in your purse, or coat pocket. When you’re standing in line, waiting for your coffee order, or sitting in the car at carpool, take a minute to roll on some cuticle oil to keep your cuticles, and nails, hydrated and healthy! Before you put your head on the pillow at night, take the oil out of your nightstand, roll a little on your cuticles, and then hit the hay. Doesn’t take long, and it’s well worth it! Crusty, dried out cuticles and skin is not going to make any woman feel beautiful. Take my word for it, because I’ve been there, done that.
Tip 4: Add some color to those hands! STOP. WAIT. BEFORE you slap the color onto your nails, file and shape your nails. WAIT. Don’t put the color on just yet! Once the nails are properly shaped, go ahead and use a great hand scrub, and cuticle treatment! It gets all the garbage off the nails, and hands, giving a clean slate to start the painting process.
We’re not done! Use a base coat! One, it keeps the nails healthier, and if you’re like me and use wild colors, it’ll keep the nails from being stained by the nail polish. Plus, there’s no harm in putting a base coat on nails. It’ll give a nice primer for the nail polish. It goes on smoother when there’s a base coat. After the base coat, it’s all about the color.
Truthfully, my collection of polishes has grown in leaps and bounds since finding Julep. Little Miss always has a hard time choosing when it’s her turn to get a manicure, and normally bases her choice on an upcoming holiday. Currently she’s got on Hartleigh for Valentine’s Day. Super cute glitter polish I painted over Dana. Yes, all the polishes are named after women. It’s just another reason why I love Julep!
When it comes time for me to choose my color, I base it on my mood. If I’m feeling like I need a little bit of a pick-me-up, I choose brighter colors. If I’m going out on the town, I shoot for my favorite Dana, which reacts to black light. Very cool. Sometimes I just want to sparkle, so I go for my glitter polishes. Whatever my mood, I’ve got plenty of color options.
When I’m feeling a bit creative, and daring, out comes the Julep Plié Wand™. It’s the best way to add great details to my manicure, and it’s even more awesome when doing a pedicure, but that’s for a whole different article! The wand is also a great help for painting nails with the less dominant hand! I’m a right-handed person, so my left hand always looked so much better when I did my manicures. After getting the wand, my left hand was given the gift of expertise. The wand sits in my left hand in a way that provides the control I need when painting my right hand. Now my right hand looks just as fabulous once my manicure is done.
Once the color’s been put on, I either use my Freedom Polymer Top Coat for an amazing shine and SUPER FAST drying process, or one of the many other top coats! I’ve got the Oxygen Performance Top Coat, Julep Matte Top Coat and the Silk Effect Top Coat. If I use one of the other top coats, that means I’ll be using the Ta Da! Quick Dry Drops after my final coat of polish. The drops dry the polish quickly, and it smells really good, too.
Tip 5: Removing polish. Go for acetone-free polish removers. My personal favorite is the Clean Slate Conditioning Nail Polish Remover & Pump. It won’t dry out your nails, or your cuticles. You’ve worked super hard to keep your nails, and cuticles hydrated, why screw that up with a polish remover that will dry everything out again!
Are you a Julep Maven yet? I was hesitant at first, too. I thought “who needs a monthly subscription when I can go to the drug store and buy all of this stuff?” I bit the bullet last year, and I’m glad I did. I love all the Julep products, and the unique nail polish colors, and of course, the quality of everything is so much higher than what is on shelves at local drug stores. Plus, if for some crazy reason I don’t want the box to come one month, I can either gift it to someone else, OR just skip the month. There’s no draw backs!