One of my favourite routines to keep up is definitely my nail routine. I love having my nails painted, it makes me feel more put together even when I've not done much with my hair or makeup. I have a reasonable collection of nail polishes but I'm always adding to it as my tastes change, my nail polishes dry out or seasonal shades are released that are just too darn pretty to leave on the shelf.
I used to be a "take it off, whack it on" kind of polish applier, taking off could involve peeling or picking or actually using a remover if I was feeling careful. I'd then pick my polish of choice and slap it on, not bothering about how neat it was and just letting my shower the next morning take care of removing any messy bits.
Now, however, I'm definitely taking pride in being a little more vigilant with my nails and taking better care of them especially when it's cooler and they need an extra bit of care to keep them in tip top shape.
I tend to do my nails about twice a week, starting on a Sunday evening but this can change up depending on what I'm doing during the week/how lazy I'm feeling. I'll start off by removing any nail polish remaining on my nails with the Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover. Following that, I'll soak my hands for about 3 minutes in warm water and apply Sally Hansen's Instant Cuticle Remover to my bare nails and leave it for about 5 minutes (it says don't leave on longer than a minute, but I think it works better after 5 and I've not noticed any ill-effects.) Taking my cuticle pusher, I then push my cuticles back so that they look nice and neat and use the sharp bit to trim any excess. I then rinse all of the gel and whatever it's dissolved of my cuticles and dry them off. If my nails need it, I'll cut them down with some nail clippers to a shortish length and then follow with a large nail file to round any edges off.
Once that's all done, I rinse my hands off again and give them one coat of OPI's Nail Envy as my base coat. I then paint them with my polish of choice and if I'm in a hurry, I might use a quick dry topcoat but most of the time I find topcoats make my nails chip quicker, so I prefer to go without. Once my manicure has dried, I moisturise my hands and around my cuticles to keep any dryness away using the L'Occitane Hand Cream and that's pretty much it!
What's your nail routine? Do you have any essentials to recommend?