Essential Nail Care Products To Help Keep Your Talons Looking Tip Top

If I was a very wealthy woman I would undoubtedly pay for a manicurist to look after my hands on a weekly basis. Using my digits for a living puts them under immense strain, causing my hands to become dry and my cuticles somewhat embarrassing after only a couple of days away from the manicurist’s chair; my nails often split and chip, while polish only lasts a couple of days before looking worse for wear. As a result I’ve built up a portfolio of products I rely upon to keep my hands looking as good as possible, while ensuring any essential maintenance is kept as faff-free and quick to manage. It may not be glamorous, but these are the products I rely on to keep my hands in as good a condition as I can muster between manicures. 

Ciate Nail Varnish Remover Pot (£6.00)
What did we do before these little pots were invented? I just can’t go back to using nail polish remover and a cotton wool pad, because it’s just so messy and time consuming; even manicurists have started adopting this method because it’s so effective. Although I’ve got so many of these magical tubs (from Maybelline, Sephora, Leighton Denny and even Primark,) this is my current favourite because it’s in mini form. Although you do need to work the nail about a little more to remove all traces of polish, the scent is a little less offensive than many others I’ve tried. Even when I only have a minute or two to remove my chipped polish and rush out the door, these pots do the job incredibly well.

Sephora 4-Way Buffer ($6.00)
The key to healthy and elegant nails is a 4-way buffer; if you don’t have one of these then you need to get yourself one immediately. I adore the Sephora buffers as they’re so resilient and hardworking, not falling apart or looking like they’ve just done a double shift in Tracey’s Nails within a couple of uses – although if you can’t justify the trip to Paris a Boots own brand one is almost as effective. I was tipped off to their brilliance by Lily Pebbles during a trip to Paris and haven’t looked back since; they’re almost worth the Eurostar fare alone. Using the buffing and smoothing sides to perfect the nail will help to reduce any discolouration and uneven surfaces, helping your polish to sit better and nails to grow looking healthier in the long-term. If you’re not a fan of polish, then the ‘shine’ side will create the most light reflecting of surfaces and help your naked nail to look amazing.

Scholl Nail Clippers (£7.60)
Not glamorous, but a nail essential. There’s something about a short and perfectly shaped talon that screams elegance and sophistication, so I regularly clip my nails to ensure they’re all relatively the same length. A good pair of clippers is a godsend because they help create a clean edge and minimise the need for a excessive filing, which often damages the nail if not done correctly. I’ve had these ones for longer than I care to remember and they’ve become a reliable friend, even helping to keep my tootsies sandal ready. 

Stylfile Nail File (£4.49)
I’ve got nail files all around the house – in kitchen drawers, on the bathroom shelf, scattered around my desk… A chipped nail in need of special attention is the most distracting thing in the world, so I’m never that far from a handy tool. However, this nail file from Stylfile helps to create a professional look thanks to the curved nature of the design; it’s been manufactured to mimic the natural curve of the nail for effortless ‘just stepped out of the nail salon’ talons. When I’m sitting down for a proper manicure session this is the one I use… Plus there’s a mini one you can attach to your keyring for use on the move!

Ciate Nail Treatments (£12.00)
Where would I be without nail strengthener? A touch of treatment a couple of days a week definitely helps prevent as much flaking and chipping as would occur without it, plus it helps to nourish the nails when I’m constantly changing colour. (Nail varnish removes the moisture and makes nails more likely to break.) I’m really liking the Ciate nail treatments at the moment as they dry really quickly and leave my nails feeling instantly stronger; the toner is also great for when you’re in a hurry, removing all traces of nail varnish remover and neutralising the nail to ensure it’s in the best state for polish to be re-applied. 

Kiko Nail Polish Fixer (£6.90)
Although I do love dry drops, I’ve recently got into polish fixing sprays. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of being in the salon, but there’s something quite satisfying about spritzing your nails with a fast drying spray and rushing out the door to get on with your day. This number from Kiko is affordable and effective, helping the polish to dry quicker to minimise smudges; although it’s not a miracle worker, it definitely helps to speed up the process by a few minutes.

Do you use any of these nail tools? Do you have any others you rely on to keep nails looking fab? 

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  1. Kiss & Make-up
    May 16, 2015 / 9:04 am

    Now I feel guilty for neglecting my claws a bit, lol… đŸ™‚ Especially my toe nails don't get as much love as they should.

  2. Jenna Suth
    May 16, 2015 / 9:26 am

    I love the look of the Stylfile, I spotted it in TK Maxx and regret not buying it.I've been using a lot of the Nail HQ products recently to give my nails some extra TLC. Jenna Suth: Beauty, Fashion and All Things Girly ♥

  3. Frankly Flawless -
    May 16, 2015 / 11:00 am

    I certainly need to pay a bit more attention to my nails of late so thanks for the tips a good nile file is in order…! sabiha

  4. Emmys Blog
    May 16, 2015 / 4:57 pm

    The fixing spray is something i haven't seen before, sounds great! xEmma | Emmys Blog

    • Hayley Carr
      May 24, 2015 / 6:28 pm

      Fixing sprays and drying drops are definitely the way forward – make a big difference when you're in a rush/have a tendency to smudge!

  5. sonita prinjha
    May 16, 2015 / 7:22 pm

    I have the Stylefile and I think it is genius! Now I find normal nail files really annoying to use! I love your photography!

  6. Saloca
    May 16, 2015 / 8:07 pm

    Really intrigued by the polish fixing spray, I'm always making a mess of my nails when I paint them, especially when I do my right hand, there's always a varnish disaster no matter how painstakingly slow and careful I try to be!Never tried the remover pots but I'm wondering if maybe it's a better way to remove glitter varnish as that takes TOO long with regular cotton pads!Sarah :)Saloca in Wonderland

    • Hayley Carr
      May 24, 2015 / 6:29 pm

      The pots are 100% better for glitter and textured nail varnish – because you 'soak' the nail and more remover penetrates and helps to lift. So much quicker than using cotton wool.

  7. Annabel B
    May 16, 2015 / 11:00 pm

    I had no idea Ciate did nail treatments, they have gone right onto my wishlist!Annabel ♥Mascara & Maltesers

  8. Katherine L
    May 17, 2015 / 1:30 am

    I'm always looking for more things to add to my nail care regime. I'm a biter, so my nails aren't in the best shape. Thanks for the recommendations! Katherine || The Green Bows

  9. Rebecca Goodyear
    May 17, 2015 / 6:24 am

    I just went to the Stylfile blogger event with Tom Pellereau. Rather impressed at how such a simple (but genius) design idea can make such a difference to nail shaping. Not tried them yet but I am very excited about the nail clippers from the range too! x

    • Hayley Carr
      May 24, 2015 / 6:29 pm

      It's amazing how a simple amendment can make such a difference – and nobody thought of it before!

  10. Lottie Dainton
    May 17, 2015 / 3:58 pm

    I will definitely be purchasing these! My nails are in such poor condition and need to be loved. Brill post as always LBQ

    • Hayley Carr
      May 24, 2015 / 6:30 pm

      Thanks Lottie! X

  11. Holly Olivia
    May 17, 2015 / 10:10 pm

    I am so bad at looking after my nails they are constantly chipped (when I can be bothered to use polish) and different lengths. Maybe I need to invest in some of these. Also, I have tried the Gadi 21 minerals nail buffer which comes with a file, a cuticle cream and a hand cream. All these products are really lovely and last forever, I would really recommend them if you're interested. Thank you for the post!Lots of

    • Hayley Carr
      May 24, 2015 / 6:30 pm

      I'll definitely look out for them – thanks for the tip!

  12. Alessia
    May 20, 2015 / 10:43 am

    I couldn't agree more with your first sentence…but as I'm in a similar condition I must take care of my nails at home as well. I only noticed that the nail polish removers pots tend to dry out both my nails and cuticles in a dramatic way. Does this happen to you as well?

    • Hayley Carr
      May 24, 2015 / 6:31 pm

      Unfortunately the more remover the dryer the nail, so it is important to keep up treatments/hand cream/cuticle oil. I try not to change my polish more than twice a week to avoid it – but it definitely is a bit of an issue.

  13. Tendai Ngorima
    May 24, 2015 / 1:54 pm

    Great post. Have u tried getting gel polish eg shellac/gelish? I know mainstream brands have also come up with gel polish that you can do yourself at home eg Sally Hansen etc… I think you will get more wear out of them and because of the technology you won't damage your nail as no buffing is required before

    • Hayley Carr
      May 24, 2015 / 6:32 pm

      I wrote a post a few weeks ago about my horrendous experiences with gel nails. But a lot of the high street brands do textures that provide a similar result without the pain. x

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