Hey! Guess what! Beth gave me a stupendous idea for a post! She asked what I'd recommend in terms of basics: nail polish remover, cuticle oil – you know, the stuff I use all the time and can't live without. Well, Beth, here you go!
Above: I'ma start right here with remover. It's 100% pure acetone and I get it at Sally Beauty Supply. I think it runs about $24 here in Canada but if I'm lucky, it's on sale for $13. I buy two jugs at a time and it's all I use for removal. 100% pure 100% of the time. I think I go through about 5 or 6 gallons a year.
Above: These lint-free 100% Delon+ cotton pads come from Costco in packages of 800 (8 bags of 100 rounds per package) I am now on my 6800th pad since January 2014 which means I use approximately 4500 of 'em a year. Last time I was at Costco they were $12 for the 800 pack. Do you needa know I have 7 more packs in my bedroom closet? Hahahaa! I do!!
Above: That's the now discontinued Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition Green Tea + Soy Cuticle Oil that I fell in love with a few years ago. It has been discontinued but that doesn't make me sad because I still have 5 more of 'em! I don't actually know how fast I tear through these. Maybe one every 2 or 3 months?
Above: But not to worry, friends! I have another favorite cuticle oil! Yay! It's the Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil and I love it because mostly, the ingredients are the same as the Green Tea one. It is equally as good as the Nail Nutrition but I prefer the brush in the green Nail Nutrition tube so...
Above: Wait.. whaaat? Oh yes, friends, I am nerd. 100% nerd. After I use up my green tube, I refill it from the Vitamin E bottle by way of that handy little eyedropper tool I bought (from my local drugstore) specifically for this job. I just like the brush in the green one better - it's a little stiffer and therefore faster and less messy for me to use. Yep, nerd.
Above: Aside from a nail file, these are pretty much the only nail tools I use on a regular basis. I don't do clean-up so you don't see a brush there and I don't nip my cuticles (what cuticles?) so you don't see clippers there. What you see is a pair of curved craft scissors for trimming unruly brushes, a curved scraper thingy for cleaning out side-wall floods I can't get my thumbnail into, and a pair of tweezers to bend back stray brush bristles so I can trim them off. Yep, that's it for tools and I don't even use 'em all that much.
Above: That's my all-time favourite base coat, friends! And yes, it's soak-off gel polish. I use Red Carpet Manicure or Gelish (they're made by the same peeps) and I do 2x base & 1x top. It's rock solid and completely acetone resistant unless I've scuffed it or haven't applied it properly. Anyone who says acetone eats Gelish or RCM just doesn't know how to work soak-off gel properly. This takes time but it's really worth it for me to not have busted nails all the time. My day job at the bar is hard on the old nails.
- When I'm not sporting my soak-off gel base coat I always roll with the Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat. It is my favorite for stickiness, level, and speed.
- That's my Chanel Mat Top Coat and I love her. When I'm actually wearing a manicure and I want matte, I use this bottle. When I'm swatching, I use one of the 20 other matte coats in my top coat drawer.
- I can't even remember a time when I didn't use the Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat. It's been my go-to top coat for many years. I still use it today even though there's now...
- Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat kicks ass. If it's a sunny day, you know I'm using this when I do my nails. 10 minutes in the sun and my mani is dry. Not only is it dry, it lasts at least one extra day. For me, one extra day is a lifetime. This is my best top coat of ever. Soon to be replaced by version 2.0 which hits shelves later this month.
I might have mentioned my favorite black nail polish once or 900 times. It's Revlon's Black Magic (above) and it is a OCW!!!! (one coat wonder). Yes, I have 6 bottles of it because it is THE BEST pair of black undies EVER.
The photo above is what's littered around my home and on-the-go right now. I collected most of the things from various rooms and just piled them on my desk to show you. From this photo, you can tell I have a some kind of hydrating hand cream of body lotion in every place I spend time in along with a tube of Vaseline.
The ritual is wash hands, pat dry, apply hand cream, let it absorb, then it hit with some Vaseline (or the Mary Kay Satin Hands Hand Softener) to lock the moisturizing goodness in. I do this every single day before bed. Some days my hands need more help so it's twice a day, morning and night. Some days I even do it at work because hey, they're convenience size tubes; I carry hand cream + some kind of white petroleum jelly around with me in my bag.
That's it... I think. Those are my go-to goodies. I don't think I forgot anything and if I did, just ask and I'm happy to tell you what I'm using! Thanks for stopping by and thanks for wondering what The ManiGeek uses - that made me smile big, Beth!