Twinsie Tuesday: Nail Care Routine

Hello there, my fellow manicure enthusiasts! Today's Twinsie theme is "Nail Care Routine", and in starting this post, I've realized I've never written one like this in all my years of blogging! How silly, right?  I'm typically blinded by all the glitter and shiny that is on my nails to actually sit down and write about what is a somewhat mundane topic for me. None the less, it's an important one. I've been a nail tech for over 15 years, and I've inevitably tried a plethora of nail care products in that time. Here are some that I keep going back too, and some newer additions to my routine as well:

First, let's talk Removal. I don't have much patience, and considering the sheer amount of polish changes I do on myself a week (roughly 4), I need a remover that is QUICK. Enter 100% acetone nail polish remover. The kicker with this is that, yes, it does the job well, but it's extremely harsh and drying to the skin around your nails. I combat that aspect by layering a thick amount of cuticle cream on my cuticles before starting the removal process (I've been really into this Burt's Bees lemon one for awhile now!). I typically use one single cotton round, ripped off into several, acetone soaked pieces to remove the polish from both hands. I let the cotton sit on my nail for a few seconds and the swipe everything right off:

Other Must Haves for me are the following:

A-Cuticle remover. Let this sit on your cuticles for a few minutes and then using an orange wood stick (D.), gently push back your cuticles.

B-A Gentle Brush. I use this children's toothbrush (came in a 4 pack from the dollar store) instead of an actual "nail brush" because it's super cheap. Also, it has a smiley face on it!

C. A Fine Grit Nail File. The finer, the better for natural nails. I also have a glass file that I enjoy using too!

D. Orange wood stick (see A, above!) You can also use this to clear fresh polish mistakes from the side of your nails.

E. A three way nail buffer. You should not use this every single day, but once every other week or so will help to clear off any uneven spots from your nail beds, giving you a nice smooth surface to polish.

F. Cuticle Nippers. LISTEN! DO NOT use these unless you have a hang nail type situation going on. NEVER, EVER nip at healthy cuticle skin. You end up getting a much better result if you continually push back your cuticles and use remover instead of physically cutting them off. With that said, in the right circumstance, these can be a life saver. The angled tip get hang nails off in a jiffy, without pulling more skin.

Next-Moisturize! It's so important! Here are my current favs:

Barielle Nail cream- this stuff is amazing. I put it on before bed and wake up still completely moisturized. It smells great and has a wonderful, dense texture without being greasy!

Cuticle Oil- this is a must. This Island Girl one smells delightful and has little flowers floating in it!

Hand Cream- duh. I love doing my cuticle oil first, then massaging everything together with hand cream. This Julep Rock Star one is light, yet effective and smells clean and fresh.

Cuticle Oil To Go- you need to be able to oil up at a moment's notice, so carry an oil pen (this one is from Nicole by OPI) in your bag.

Treatments, Base Coats, Top Coats:

Formula X Nail Cleanser- Use this right before you are about to polish to be sure all oils are cleansed from your nail bed. A dry nail = better polish staying power.

Nicole by OPI 3 in 1- although you can use this as a nail strengthener and top coat, I typically use this product as my base coat and LOVE it!

Barielle Nail Rebuilding Protein- I use this to keep my nails from getting weak. On days when I don't feel like wearing a color, I definitely have this on. I sometimes use it as a base coat as well!

Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat- I always try to find others that work as well as this, and I just can't. Super fast drying and SUPER shiny. I swear by it!

And, if you're into Seche Vite as well, you should track down the professional refill size...totally worth it:

So that is what my nail care routine looks like!  Be sure to check out the other Twinsie posts as well!

Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined and Polished
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Traci at DrinkCitra


  1. Very extensive! I'm definitely picking up a lot of tips from all the Twinsie Tuesday posts, this week!

  2. Lol @ the less linty the better.

  3. Very nice routine! We're Barielle Strengthener cream twins.

  4. Ha ha ha, okay so I use 100% acetone too and my hubs saw it one day on my desk and freaked. Apparently they use this at his work, he does commercial maintenance, and was telling me all the dangers of this stuff and how they use all the personal protective equipment when working with it, and he assured me it was the same 100% acetone that I am using for nails. Anyway he freaked when he saw me using it for simple polish removal. Then I got to wondering how dangerous is this stuff? After all, I've used it all my life and never noticed a problem other than the extreme drying and need for extra moisture. I continue to use it when he isn't looking. I don't have any lit candles around it or anything, the worst that ever happened was I spilt the bottle and it ruined the finish on my faux wood floor. Oops! I did some artistic painting with nail polish to cover the damage. Thank goodness for nail art skills! He did notice the floor, but hopefully the apt. folks won't when we move out. Sorry, not meaning to hijack your blog. Just a funny story.

  5. Loved reading your routine! I don't have much patience with remover either! I use reg remover but add pure acetone to it. It def cuts down on removal time but I feel like it's not quite as harsh as pure acetone.

  6. So many products!!! I am going to have to add some cuticle products into my routine for sure.

  7. I have heard of those huge SV bottles. I really should hunt them down. Seems like Burt's Bees is popular with this group.

  8. I loved reading your routine too. I used to soak my fingers in 100% real acetone and swipe off with a cotton round or cotton ball (whatever I had on hand) but my finger pads(?) started changing colors?! Now I use it just for cleanup. But I need a new bottle because I just spilled it all over the carpet today.

  9. Wow so many helpful products! Love this, Maribeth! omg your cuticle nipper section reminded me of when I got my nails done for the first and last time at a salon and the lady used one of those on my cuticles and I hated it! I didn't even have any hang nails :/ I've never been back and have stuck to do doing my own nails :)

  10. I'm the same way when I moisturize. I like to detail the cuticles, then rub it all in together with a hand cream. I just got a Barielle one and it seems to be nice so far!

  11. Love Burt's Bees and I am hoping to love the Barielle cream as well!

  12. I always see that Island girl cuticle oil and it looks so cute with the flowers! I must get some.

  13. That Island Girl oil smells sooooo amazing! ♥

    1. PS: I can't stop grinning at your smiley nail brush. (^_^)