There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a lady with perfectly, well manicured hands. I try to spoil myself once or twice a month to a full-on manicure at my nearest Sorbet salon. However sometimes time is a rare commodity and I am not able to treat myself to such luxuries on such a regular basis. So, having said that, I’ve rounded up all my must-have items for when I treat myself to an at-home manicure and when I want to extend the life of a manicure …
♥ Cuticle Products – I tend to suffer badly from dry cuticles unless I use the right products. I swear by Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter which leaves them feeling nourished, moisturised and smelling yummy. I also love Essie’s Apricot Cuticle Oil which I rub onto my cuticles every morning and every night before bed. If I don’t use these two products religiously, my hands will look like the hands of a reptile … Umm, very dry? I did a full review on the Lemony Flutter over here if you’d like to read it. Lemony Flutter retails for R145,00 at Lush and Essie’s Apricot Oil retails for about R180 from Dischem and/or Clicks.
♥ Hand Cream – Between Soap & Glory’s Hand Food and L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Hand Cream I don’t know which I love more. Every time after I have emerged my hands in water I apply one of the two. I also keep a travel size L’Occitane in every hand bag and in every corner of my home 😉 Hand Food retails for about R170 on Rubybox (but is sold out, unfortunately) and L’Occitane’s Shea Butter retails for R145 for 30ml’s at/on L’Occitane.
♥ Nail Polish Remover – If you use the wrong nail polish remover that is too strong you will often be left with dry brittle nails that end up just breaking and tearing! I unfortunately learnt this lesson when I used the wrong one :/ I now use Mavala’s Extra Mild Nail Polish Remover which is so gentle but at the same time does a great job! It retails for about R120 from Dischem and/or Clicks.
♥ Base Coat & Top Coat – The best base coat ever has to be Essie’s Fill The Gap. The reason why I love it is because it fills any ridges you may have in your nails and gives you a smooth surface for your nail painting. It retails for about R110 at Dischem and/or Clicks. After Mavala’s Mavadry I love Seche Vite too – to me, they’re both on par with their fast drying and extra shine finishes. You can get Seche Vite from South Africa’s best online manicure mall, Nail Candi for R99.
♥ Sparkles – My favourite way to extend a manicures life span is to paint glitter over the tips when I notice its starting to chip. This gives you a whole new look and you’ve just killed two birds with one stone 😉
♥ Nail Strengthener – OPI’s Nail Envy is the miracle product of all miracle products 🙂 When my nails were at their worst and were breaking, splitting, chipping and just not growing I swore by this stuff. I applied it regularly to my nails and after just a few weeks my nails were in tip top condition. Nowadays, I will use it as a base coat and a top when my nails need a bit of a health kick. It retails for about R200 from your nearest OPI outlet.
♥ Manicure Tools – A manicure ain’t a manicure without the correct tools … So you’ll need a nail file, a buffer, clippers, a cuticle stick and a nail polish correcting pen (or cotton buds). I got my selection of Sally Hansen and Tweezerman tools from Dischem – they’re great quality!
♥ Favourite Shades – My all-time favourite brand of nail polishes is Essie. Why? Because their quality is great, they’re easy to work with, they have a huge selection of shades and ever since I was small I started collecting them … So I have been a loyal fan ever since my dad used to take me shopping when I was young (thanks, dad).