One of the things I took into consideration when I started doing my nails is taking care of them and improving the overall health and appearance of my nails. Tip Top Nails South Africa has a great Facebook page and frequently posts information to help teach followers to take care of their nails and to educate their fans about nail care.
My nails have already come a long way. I have been taking Biotin supplements for several months and have definitely noticed an improvement in the strength of my nails. Initially the Biotin was for my hair, but my hairdresser said it would improve my nails too. This was later confirmed on the Tip Top page with one of their updates. My nails no longer bend backwards at the slightest touch (what a relief!). In fact, I can’t remember the last time that happened! One of the hints Tip Top preaches like the gospel is to moisturize your nails, nail bed and matrix (the part below your cuticles) to improve the health of your nails. It is recommended that you use a good cuticle oil to moisturize at least twice a day and definitely before bed. I had an ‘Obey your body’ cuticle oil and this didn’t seem to make much difference, so I bought myself a Tip Top cuticle oil:
I paid R79.00 for my cuticle treatment and you can pick one up at any Clicks store. I found mine at Durbell pharmacy which has recently started stocking the Tip Top nail care range. They have not yet branched out into selling the actual Tip Top nail polishes. Since I have purchased my cuticle oil I have used it religiously. I have also purchased myself a pair of cotton gloves from the essence range (R30.00 from Dischem). I put the gloves on after oiling to aid the process and to avoid getting oil on everything I touch.
Ordinary Misfit first mentioned Lush Lemony Flutter to me. She was bummed that she couldn’t get her hands on it because Lush had only opened one store in Africa and it was in Cape Town. Luckily, that’s where I am! I did some research and Googled reviews on it and so many people love it. As with everything there are a few haters out there, but the large majority of the reviews are glowing, so I decided to purchase some. I made a special trip to the Lush store at the V&A Waterfront. I phoned ahead of time and they kept it aside for me. A good thing too. I could just walk in, go up to the counter, pay and run out. You do NOT want to get caught in a Lush store with time and money on your hands. You *will* walk out there much poorer. They are not cheap, but their bath and body products are OH SO DIVINE! They have testers around the shop and while I was standing at the counter I picked up a solid hand lotion which was moulded into the shape of a hand. It looks like a small soap, but you rub it between your hands and it feels like a hand lotion. I did this absentmindedly and after we left I realized how amazing my hands felt and smelled.
Anyway, onto the flutter! The Lemony Flutter was a little pricey. R95.00 for 50g, but I think it is going to last a long time. It is made from all natural ingredients, so it expires about a year after it is manufactured. It is packaged in recycled containers and each container has the ingredients list and a sticker showing you who made your product (all products are handmade)! I think that is very cool. My tub looks like this:
Lemony Flutter smells like…you guessed it, lemons! It smells like real, raw lemon though. It smells like lemons picked from the tree or the smell of crushed lemon leaves, not an artificial lemon scent. Once you start massaging it into your hands (I specifically massage it into my cuticles and nails) the cream becomes more like an oil which takes a while to absorb. It is also recommended that you put this on before you go to bed to let it absorb throughout the night. I put my Lemony Flutter on every night before I go to sleep and put my gloves on over it. I don’t know how well this is going to work in summer since the gloves can feel a bit warm. When I arrive at work in the morning I apply cuticle oil, do a quick rub in and put my gloves on for about 30 minutes as not to get oil all over my keyboard and mouse. At night in the shower I take some soap and a nail brush and scrub my nails and cuticles up to my first knuckle. This helps to remove dead skin and stimulates blood flow at the matrix of your nail where the nails are developing and helps improve the condition of your nails and cuticles.
My cuticles are slowly improving. I’m struggling with them, but I really am doing everything I possibly can. I’m hoping over time I can have beautiful, soft cuticles like some of the nail bloggers do. I find when I do a mani and work with acetone my cuticles dry out A LOT. I wash off the acetone as quickly as I can to prevent it from getting too bad and oil as soon as my mani is dry. It takes a day or two for my cuticles to start looking better. I also apply lotion after I wash my hands since working with water dries out your skin. Silly, no?
Just before I did my last mani I filed my nails quite short. Shorter than they have been for a while now. My nails are prone to splitting/peeling and I wanted to get rid of all the splits. Apparently splits in your nails are similar to splits in your hair and will just split further and further if you don’t nip it in the bud. I’ve also started filing my nails instead of cutting them. Sometimes I would watch my nail layers split as I cut them with the clippers, so once I got over the strange sensation of filing my nails and switched to the correct nail file, it has become quick and easy for me to file them. I just know that all this extra pampering that I am giving my nails will improve their condition even further and hopefully result in less splits too!
Do you take care of your nails/hands?