First, here's my naked nails! ;) (with a coat of Essie Grow Stronger)
Next, here are the products I use every day to moisturize my cuticles and hands.
I also use Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil and Lush Lemony Flutter, but I'm currently out of my Essie Cuticle Oil, and my dog got a hold of my Lemony Flutter so it's not in photo-worthy condition. :/ ;) I absolutely love all of these products, and use them religiously. If you haven't tried any of Julep's hand/cuticle products you definitely should. Although they come in rather small quantities I'd say the quality makes it worth it.
Next up is my cuticle remover and my absolute FAVORITE file.
This is the only brand of cuticle remover/softener I've ever tried, although I've heard good things about the Blue Cross brand. I've only recently started using it, but so far I love the results!
To get my cuticles in good shape, about once a week I soak my hands in warm soapy water (I love using the moisturizing hand soap from Bath & Body Works) then apply a small amount of the cuticle remover to each finger. Then I just use my thumbnail on my other hand to gently push back my cuticles. I don't cut them, ever. I also push them back occasionally throughout the day when I use cuticle oil or butter.Now for the file. This Cult Nails glass file is seriously AMAZING. Since I bought it 6 months ago, it's the only one I've used. I file my nails about twice a week just to maintain the shape and length, as each nail grows unevenly and at a different pace (so annoying..) I've heard that if you file your nails after applying base coat, it reduces the risks of splitting and peeling, so I usually try to do that, although glass files tend to work much better on a naked nail.
About a year ago, when I first got into the nail art scene and started posting photos of my nails, they were terribly soft and thin and split and peeled constantly. After asking around in the nail community for tips and advice I finally tried taking Biotin. After about a month of taking one 5000mcg pill a day, my nails had gotten so much stronger and healthier. I think the combination of Biotin and good quality basecoat was the key to getting strong nails that don't break nearly as often as they used to. So I always recommend Biotin and strengthening basecoat to anyone that asks. :) (Ignore the polish on the lid, I didn't have any nail wheels on hand to swatch on. haha!)
As a bonus, here's a better photo of my favorite basecoat and my current mani.
I'm wearing Rain City Lacquer "Milk And Macarons" and "Strawberry Milk And Macarons." ;)I definitely recommend checking out her shop, she makes some amazing polish, and she's based in the Pacific Northwest, just like me! Click here to go to her store!