The Nail Products & Rules 3 Manicurists Swear By
The Nail Products & Rules 3 Manicurists Swear By

The Nail Products & Rules 3 Manicurists Swear By

The nail market is booming but with that comes myriad products and endless to advice. To cut to the chase and find out which tips hold water and which products are really worth the money, we asked three manicurists to give us their insights.
By Sapna Rao

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Iram Shelton says…

Use the right tools. There are two tools I love called the Katey and the Doris from Navy Pro Tools. I use the latter to gently push back my cuticles and then I’ll cut off the excess with the Katey nippers. This leaves a neat cuticle line to work with – if you can get this bit right, your manicures will last so much longer. Also, I’m never without my Crème de La Mer Renewal Oil. I apply this every single day and really work it into my skin in circular motions. Finally, everything is locked down with Jo Malone London’s Oud & Bergamot Body Crème.

Pay attention to how your hands look. I scrub mine at least two or three times a week because I always want to make sure thry look presentable and if you use a good scrub, you’ll be amazed at the difference. After that, I add moisture back in by using both a hand cream and cuticle oil. I love a scented cream – especially woody, oud-based scents.

Apply cuticle oil at least two to three times a day. That might sound like a lot, but our hands and nails lose moisture so quickly, so it’s essential to replenish it. Also, get into the habit of moisturising your hands right after you’ve washed them. Likewise, wear gloves when your hands are exposed to chemicals, as this will prevent dryness and in turn, nail breakage. Finally, don’t pick your gels – it’s a complete no-no. The damage can be extensive, so it’s not worth it. 

Take shortcuts where possible. Butter London’s Quick Dry Drops are a repeat buy of mine for a reason. When using regular polish, I’ll use these to speed up the drying process. They contain rosehip seed oil, which nourishes nails and locks in moisture, too – it’s a product I wish more people knew about. In terms of other brands I love, it has to be OPI. It is – in my opinion – one of the best out there – especially when it comes to colours. The brushes are nice and wide, too, which makes it easier to paint with. OPI’s Top Coat also dries really fast and has some of the best shine I’ve ever seen.

Don’t overlook the power of a good hand or foot mask. When you’re sat watching TV, or just relaxing at home, pop one on. They’re an absolute must if you suffer with dry skin or want to maintain those mani/pedi results in between appointments. There are so many to choose from now, and most are pretty affordable. Nails Inc’s Thirsty Hand & Feet Masks are my favourite as they’re so hydrating, but it’s worth doing some research to find ones which will suit your individual needs.

Follow @IramShelton on Instagram


Faye Louise Dennis says…

Use cuticle oil to bring your natural nails back to life. The Elim Cuticle MD is the one I recommend to my clients as it’s an antibacterial cuticle rescue with a blend of ten oils to keep the cuticles in peak condition. Coconut oil is the hero ingredient, but it also contains a natural SPF and protects against both bacteria and fungal issues. Often, cuticle oils only hydrate but this one is a remedy for dry and damaged nails, feeding, hydrating and protecting at the same time. To go the extra mile, try the BioSculpture Vitamin Dose. A miracle solution for nails, it contains a cocktail of B vitamins which maintains the keratin structure and cell metabolism of the nail.

Do oil your cuticles twice daily. I promise it will make such a difference. It will keep your nails in the best condition but also help to maintain any gel or nail enhancements for longer. Do not pick off any gels or nail enhancements – doing so will remove the top layer of your nail plate and result in thin, weak and damaged nails. If you cannot get an appointment to professionally remove your gels, then follow my tutorial via the Sheerluxe Beauty School series, where I demonstrate how to safely remove your gels at home. 

Keep a couple handbag essentials with you to help freshen up any manicure. I usually start with the Navy Pro Cuticle Balm. The balm turns into a luxurious oil once massaged in circular motions around the nails and surrounding skin – which makes it easier to carry that an oil. Plus, it’s great for hydrating the hands without becoming greasy on the go. Secondly, I like to carry a crystal nail file in my bag in case of any nail emergencies. If you find your nail starts to catch or spilt just softly shape it to prevent it ripping any further. 

Always apply a hand cream that contains SPF. We focus on applying SPF to our face and neck but neglect our hands. Doing this every day will help combat against sun damage, dark spots and fine lines whilst also adding some extra hydration. One of my favourites is the Sarah Chapman intensive hand cream as it contains coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E which helps minimise the appearance of wrinkles and pigmentation. Added vitamin C also helps reduce the look of age spots, while shea and mango butters work to nourish and smooth the skin.

Start following a handcare routine. It doesn’t need to take ages but adding steps into your daily routine, and giving hands some TLC will make all the difference. I love exfoliation and incorporating a hand scrub into my self-care routine. If you are short of time, replace your hand wash with an exfoliating one. One of my favourites is the one by Diptyque as it also comes in refills. 

Use products from quality brands. BioSculpture wins every time for me as every product focuses on maintaining the health of the natural nail. It has great options for professional manicurists but it also has an incredible selection of at-home products for those who enjoy taking care of their nails themselves. Whether you're trying to strengthen brittle nails or encourage healthy nail growth, the Ethos Nail Treatments are perfect. The seaweed calcium base is a favourite as it strengthens and increases flexibility of dry, brittle nails. Meanwhile, the volcanic base supports soft nails and reduces splitting. Finally, my favourite, the lavender base, restores weak, damaged nails.

Follow @FayeLouiseDennis on Instagram

Daisy Kalnina says…

Invest in the right tools. When it comes to tools and prepping my nails, I am never without The GelBottle ProPrep Tool. The flat bladed end makes such a difference to how close you can get the product to your cuticles. The Detailed/Liner Brush also helps to get product super close to the cuticle to make it look fresh and it will also offer extra longevity between appointments, as the nails won’t look outgrown straight away. For nail colours, my current favourite is from GelBottle’s newest BIAB collection: Bunny. It’s a beautiful cream shade with a subtle hint of pink. It’s inspired by the very popular Pina Colada gel colour. Dolly is also another go-to for me. 

Stay on top of your cuticles. I use The Gel Bottle (TGB) Better Balm every morning on my cuticles and hands and the Cuticle Essence on my cuticles every evening. I tend to push back my cuticles and nip any cuticle if needed every week as well. It’s amazing at keeping the skin looking fresh and glowy – and it’s super hydrating. 

Always keep a file with you. It’s always best to file the nail short, even if there is product on the nail, rather than clipping them with nail cutters because using clippers can cause them to crack. Also, using a nail file means you can smooth over any chips that might then catch. Also do use cuticle oil, as it keeps the nails hydrated and the skin around the nail looking good. It will also help your nail tech when you next go for an appointment as the cuticles will be less stubborn to remove. 

Make regular manicure appointments. To maintain strong, healthy nails, the key things to prioritise regular maintenance appointments. Just make sure you’re not over-filing nails to keep them strong and healthy, otherwise you’ll remove too many layers, which can thin the nail plate.

Follow @DaisyKalnina on Instagram


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