A while ago, I wrote about the products I use to keep my nails looking their best. Since then, I’ve refined my technique… but I didn’t realize that post was out of date until I tried to refer someone to it and realized it didn’t include the full story.
I have naturally thin, weak, peely nails. Keeping them polished protects them, and allows them to get a little length (a look I like). I’m always hoping that something that works for me will also work for you — so here is my current ritual.
1. Seche Rebuild
Just over a year ago, Seche introduced three “treatment” products: Rebuild, to strengthen weak, thin nails; Recondition, to add flexibility to nails prone to breaking; and Retain, to maintain strong, durable nails. I use Rebuild as a basecoat religiously.
2. Nail polish
It doesn’t really matter what brand, nail polish adds thickness and strength to my nails. Rebuild also lasts longer combined with other products than it does on its own. And a painted nail is really, really smooth (a detail you might not realize until you get used to it and then rub your unvarnished nail).
3. Seche Vite
The classic topcoat. I like really, really shiny nails, and Seche has just been my favorite so far. But I don’t use just one topcoat…
4. Color Club Vivid
Vivid is a “refresher” topcoat. It’s intended to be applied the next day, or two days later (to dry nails), when you want to restore that first-day color and shine. But I’ve discovered that Seche Vite + Vivid meld to form a compound like industrial-grade shellac. It’s absurdly strong, chip-proof, and very, very shiny. My nails will grow out before they chip. I apply it later the same day, or next day after a new manicure (and yes, you can do more than one coat, if you’re keeping your manicure for a week).
The only hitch with Vivid: I don’t know where to buy it “in real life.” I’ve bought it from e-tailers; I’ve seen it for sale in no-name nail supply stores. I recommend it to everyone, but I don’t know where to tell them to buy it. I’m really hoping you guys know where it’s sold.
5. Remove +
This nail polish remover from Zoya smells like lavender (making it the best-smelling remover I’ve ever used). It contains acetone (so it works faster than many drugstore options), but it’s much less damaging than pure acetone.
A. Always trim/reshape your nails with polish on. Your nail beds probably aren’t all the same length, and the white tip may not be straight (mine aren’t). I file my nails with polish on to eliminate these distractions.
B. Use a glass file. These never wear out, they’re kinder to your nails than other types of files, and they don’t make that horrible rasping noise as you use them. I am never without my Essie glass file (full size in the bedside table; mini in my purse).
C. Moisture! Neutrogena Norwegian Formula is a miracle in a tube (I use it at night). During the day I want something that dries quickly and completely; I’ve been using MAC’s All Over Mineralize Lotion. I have dry skin, so I use something for my hands, rather than focusing on the cuticles specifically.
Did I mention any products you use? Any you think you’ll try? Do you have any more tips for me? And most importantly, do you know where to buy Vivid?