So, after I saw Brooke posting on some nail maintenance products she'd recently purchased, it got me to thinking that some of the products I use I don't see talked about anywhere else, & I really like them. So I thought I'd do a post on my little box of tricks.
I have a bigger box of tricks that holds stuff like rhinestones & sparkly top coats, but this is the stuff that I basically use all the time, and I'll give a quick run through of my routine.
To start, I guess this group would be considered maintenance, basically a bunch of product that conditions the nail & really did work well when I was using it religiously:
The brand is ProStrong, from left to right the Calcium Nail Supplement, Fluoride Nail Strengthener, Nail Moisturizer, and (what's basically a cuticle balm) Over-Nite Intensive Moisture Barrier. This stuff is intended for daily use, and I'll admit, coming out of a period of semi-neglecting my nails, I haven't been very good at making the few extra minutes to apply them, and I notice the difference compared to when I do.
On to actually prepping my nails for polish. I have a couple brands of remover, mostly generic, one that is supposed to moisturize & a bottle of 100% acetone that I use for cleaning my Konad plates. Then this stuff:
Buffing block, glass file, and what is referred to in it's actual packaging as a "nail implement" that I use for my cuticles. The file in the picture is actually the one I bought to be my "spare" for $1 at Big Lots & I ended up liking it better than my original (more expensive) file.
So, once the naked nails are all pretty, it's time to start painting:
ProStrong again, ProActivator, which kind of cleans any residual oil & helps the first coat to stick to the nail, which is the Instant Nail Builder, which is followed by the Finishing Sealer. The Nail Builder is pretty thick, helps keep my weak nails from breaking & does a good job on any leftover ridges also.
Insert polish of choice here. 2 or 3 or however many coats you need/want. That, 99% of the time (after cleanup with an orange stick & if necessary remover) will be followed by Konad:
That's my little dish I fill with remover, and I use Q-tips to clean the plates. All this is happening on top of a paper towel, scrape the excess polish right off onto the paper towel & the q-tip is plenty to clean up the residue. If I'm using a small to medium-sized design I usually only use 2-3 q-tips.
Then, of course: