I did a ‘Current Loved Nail & Hand Care Products’ a little while back now, as my nails have been in awesome shape (pun intended 😛 ) and so I thought I’d do a ‘volume 2’ since there are other products that I love in this category!
My Favourite Brands for Coloured Polish
OPI Nail Lacquer – One of the classic and popular brands for professional nail polish and colour! I find that I can get a full week of wear from OPI coloured nail polish, as long as I am also using a good base to prep my nails (e.g. Revitanail Nail Strengthener). The shades are always super pigmented (what you see in the bottle is what you get) and you get a long bristle brush, which is easy to control. The brush doesn’t flare out over time or get manky. I always apply two thin coats of colour to get as much colour saturation as possible (especially should I paint a nail a little unevenly, I’m no pro after all). The second coat covers up any unevenness or mistakes I may have made. OPI releases limited edition collections but also has permanent colours within their range. It is perhaps a little pricey at $20 a standard bottle, but you can often get past collection colours on sale from Adore Beauty or Myer. Two of my favourite shades are Samoan Sand, a neutral light/medium toned beige, that looks wonderful on pretty much everyone, making your nails looked cared for and polished (pun number 2! :P) and Koala Bear-Y, a perfect pinky-red raspberry. From one angle it might look more pink, from another more red. I love it because it’s a little more complex than your standard pink or red.
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure – Hands down the best ‘drugstore’ nail polish. I would say it rivals OPI in regards to formula and how long it lasts (at least a week on my nails). This nail polish is slightly thicker in texture, which makes it easier to control (watery polish goes everywhere and can settle on the sides of the nail bed, making them look messy). The brush is slightly shorter and maybe even a little more dense than the OPI brush, again, getting more product onto your nails in one swipe. The Complete Salon Manicure nail polish retails for $16.99 at Priceline, but you can wait until a promotion in order to get more bang for your buck! The colour range is great – there are over 30 shades to chose from, and every now and then Sally Hansen releases small seasonal collections, offering new colours. Two of my favourite shades are Gray-T Escape (this was from a seasonal collection I’m afraid) a light off grey that’s slightly warm and Mudslide (pernament) a medium toned red brown, that reminds me of summer (tanned skin and the different spectrums of brown you find in the outback). I usually apply two coats of this nail polish also. While I try and make each coat as thin as possible, my nails end up looking like I have had a gel manicure!
Nail Polish Remover
I think every Beauty Bee should own two types of nail polish remover – one with acetone and one without. Acetone is very drying and can suck the moisture from your nail bed, but it removes glitters and other difficult to get off nail colours (which stain the nail bed) more easily. On a daily basis though, a nail polish remover that is acetone free should suffice. If you very week or peeling nails, always use an acetone free nail polish remover. Hold some damp cotton wool soaked in acetone free nail polish remover over the nail bed for 30 seconds up to a minute, in order to help the remover sink into the polish, lifting it off more easily. Most brands do good nail polish removers (even Woolies the supermarket does a great acetone free nail polish remover!) but I especially like Cutex and Manicare. The Cutex Nourishing Nail Polish Remover contains acetone, but also contains glycerin, vitamin E and mineral oil to help offset the drying nature of the remover. The Manicare Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover also contains jojoba seed oil, vitamin E and B5 to help moisturise nails a touch.
The Revitanail Conditioning Remover Wipes aren’t a ‘must have’ but are brilliant for travel. Sometimes it’s easier to have ‘au natural’ nails when travelling, so you don’t have to fuss around with chipped nail polish and a million little bottles of coloured polish, top coats, liquid nail polish remover etc. However, I give myself a manicure before a work trip so that my hands look more looked after and ‘professional’ 😛 sometimes though, I will only bring along the Revitanail Nail Nail Strengthener if I really can’t be bothered with coloured nail polish. I like to remove the nail strengthener a few times a week and will paint on a fresh coat or two every coupe of days. These nail polish remover wipes are acetone free (yay!) and contain vitamin E, so they aren’t overly drying. Each pad is well soaked in remover and the the little box is sturdy and leak proof. You get 30 wipes for $6.99 which is a pretty good deal 🙂
You need a decent top coat if you are going to wear coloured nail polish! My favourite now for many, many years is the Sally Hansen Mega Shine Top Coat. It’s quite a thick top coat in regards to texture, but seals everything in nicely and gives nails a glossy shine that again mirrors that from a gel/shellac manicure. I don’t find that the top coat itself chips at all, so it keeps everything locked in for a decent 5-7 days.
Hand Cream Plus Sunscreen
Not only is hand cream a must, but now we have a pretty good selection of hand creams that also contain sunscreen, yay! I reviewed the Alpha H Protection Plus Hand Cream SPF 50+ a little while ago and found after some time that if you apply to much of the hand cream, it can leave a tint on your skin which makes your skin look dirty. I wonder if this also happens if you have any residue on your skin, because it seems that the hand cream would ‘grab’ random areas of my hands over others (or it’s just the way it dried on the skin). After experiencing this a few times on the train (on my way to and from work) I was unimpressed. The Mecca Cosmetica to Save Hands SPF 30+ Hand Cream is a wonderful alternative. It is not tinted and still contains a high SPF. Hand creams containing sunscreen help you take care of your hands and protect them from awful sun indued pigmentation on a daily basis. Think of all the sun exposure your hands endure just from driving! No wonder hands age quickly when we are constantly using (and abusing?) them. The Mecca hand cream is a nourishing cream which is lightly perfumed. It definitely doesn’t smell like sunscreen. It sinks in relatively quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy finish. Weirdly, I can’t find an ingredient list for the hand cream (it’s not even on the box or website). The L’Occitane Almond Velvet Hand Cream contains an SPF of 15+. Not the highest broad protection sunscreen factor, but still ok! Especially if you are using this on a daily basis. This hand cream is a little lighter than the Mecca offering but even more nourishing. It contains glycerin, sweet almond oil, sunflower seed oil, sweet almond seed extract and almond tree native cells (proteins), which is supposed to have a regenerating effect on skin. It has a light floral scent.
Tip Try and apply a hand cream containing sunscreen before hopping into your car, so the chemical sunscreens can start to take effect before you drive.
Above: Wearing Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Mudslide, Zoya Pixie Dust in Tomoko and Sally Hansen Mega Shine Top Coat
That’s it for new Beauties! Are any of my nail staples in your kit also? Do you do your own nails or do you get manicures at a salon on a regular basis? I went through a phase of going to local salons for a shellac/gel manicure, but I found that because most nail technicians would file down my nail bed, my nails were weaker. I also had a dodgy manicure once or twice (i.e. wonky filing) so I just gave up. I figured I could even do a better job at filing and shaping my nails, plus it would be cheaper and save me time. Here’s to a more money savvy 2018! 😉 <3
I think I will test and compare OPI’s and Sally Hansen’s gel nail polish line next!
Catch ya next time Beauties!