I've gotten some questions regarding my nail care routine, and what I do to keep my nails healthy. The answer is, not much...I don't do anything special to my cuticles or have an intricate mix of potions to make my nails grow out strong. My routine is very basic, I have outlined it below and added a few pics for reference.
The first step in a fresh manicure is to remove the previous polish. For this, I just use the cheapest remover from whatever store I am at when I remember that I'm out of remover...I use the nourishing formula. The cotton pads I use for removal are Face Secrets Disposable Facial Cloths. These lint free pads can be found at Sally Beauty, and are around $5.99 for 50. I can typically use one pad to remove two manicures, using half of the pad per manicure. For more difficult polish removal I will end up using one pad. I always wash my hands after polish removal, I personally don't like the smell of polish remover.
The next step is to MOISTURIZE! It doesn't matter what you use for this step, as long as you use something to moisturize your nails and cuticles. Above are a few things that I rotate depending on my mood or how my nails feel that day. Pictured are JR Watkins Aloe & Green Tea Hand & Cuticle Salve, LUSH Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter, and Julep Essential Cuticle Oil. Whatever you use, rub the product into your nails, all the skin around your nails, and even into the skin up to your first knuckle. I do this every time I start a new manicure, which is about twice a week.
Step three, shape and clean. After moisturizing, shape your nails however you prefer. Mine are square at the tips, so I use the darker file above to create the squared tip. I put my finger on the desk, use the file to create a T shape with my finger, and use a side to side motion with the file to keep the tips even and straight. The metal file with the rounded tip is great for cleaning under the nails. I purchased the metal file at Walmart, and the darker file at Sally Beauty.
After I moisturize and shape my nails, I wash my hands again to clean away any dust from filing, and any residual oil or product that may still be on the nails. I use this cute little monkey nail brush that my bestie gave me to scrub my nails clean.
Pick your products! Base coat, polish color, top coat. Today I have used one layer of Beauty Secrets Moisturizing Base Coat, two coats of Sinful Shine Royal Flush, and one coat of Seche Vite Top Coat.
And there you have it! All of my nail care/new manicure steps from beginning to finish :)