My simple manicure routine

I don’t have a lot of spare time, so I tend to really simplify anything that I can – including my manicure routine. It’s simple, straightforward and works for me. First, I prepare everything I’ll need.

Basically, I put together all the necessary tools – nail files, cuticle nippers, cuticle pusher, small scissors and the likes.

Then, I go through my nail polishes and gather up everything I think I’ll use – sometimes I give myself more than one option (like here, where I debated between matte finish and glossy finish).

Next up, it’s time to get that old nail polish off. I just bought this Delia polish remover which smells like strawberries and doesn’t contain any acetone. I kind of prefer it this way, since I find that acetone really dries up my nails.

I start by working on my cuticles. If I do this every time I change my nail polish they tend to stay nice, but I sometimes skip this step if I’m in a hurry and then I really need to spare an extra minute on them the next time. First, apply a bit of oil and let it sit for a minute or two.

Then, I push the cuticle back with the soft side of the cuticle pusher so I’m not scratching the nail too hard.

If I have problems with a certain stubborn cuticle, I do go in with the firm side of the cuticle pusher so that I can achieve the necessary result. If I find part of cuticle that isn’t firmly attached after I do this, I will trim it with my cuticle trimmer, but normally I leave my cuticles as-is. After this, I will sometimes buff my nails, but since I have very soft nails I usually only do that about once a month.

Then, it’s time to sharpen those claws! Just kidding, I just use nail file to really seal the edges. I usually use a porcelain nail file for this, but I dropped it a few weeks back and it shattered. Remember to only go in one direction when filing your nails; otherwise you won’t seal them properly.

Although many nail experts advise against this just before applying nail polish, I normally do take the time after harassing my cuticles to apply some sort of moisturizer or my argan oil, rub it in and really wait for it to dry perfectly.

And that is manicure – done! Next up – the base coat. I can’t ever skip this step, because my nails are not only soft, but also peel in layers. Believe me, it’s impossible to get nail polish from in-between the layers – I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. I’m using the Barry M 3-1 (basecoat, top coat and hardener), which has quickly become my favorite in the past few months.

I’m sure that thanks to Youtube and Pinterest you all know how to do your nails, but still – you first put a drop of polish on the base of the nail and use your brush to push it toward the cuticles – but please, not over them. Then just do two more swipes – one to each side of the nail.

This is the result with one coat. The nail polish is OPI Do You Take Lei Away, which is a nice neutral beige nude. I was not sure that it would sit well with my skin tone, but I liked it enough with 2 coats.

I then apply the second coat and finish up with cleaning any mistakes on the edges with my beloved Essence nail polish corrector pen.

I decided against matte finished and just applied Essie Good2go to let my nails dry a bit faster. And this is the final result.

From start to finish, this takes me about 20 minutes, which is not too much in my opinion. What extra steps do you take in your manicure to make it better/last longer?

Don’t forget about the giveaway – 3 more days to go!