Nails in November | Cutting it Close…

It really is cutting it close isn’t it?  It won’t be November anymore tomorrow so I’ve highly decided to take advantage of the fact that it is still November today and I can very well make use of the title.  By the way, cutting it close just doesn’t have to do with the date.  There’s just an uplifting sense I get when I get my nails trimmed and hands exfoliated for an overall clean.  I had to form the regular “mani” habit by myself because as a freelancer in-salon manicures just really add to monthly expenses and also because as a makeup artist my hands always have to look pristine and worthy of handling other people’s faces, not to mention my own.



Cure Natural Aqua Gel, HURRAW Lemon Lip Balm (Cold-pressed, vegan), CLINIQUE A Different Nail Enamel in “Do Not Disturb”, Trim Mani Kit (Dad got from S&R) Apostrophe Nail Cutter, Trim Nail File (forgot to include my body lotion here, LUSH Celebrate)

I’ve quite outgrown (pun intended) the need for long nails and while my nails will never be kindergarten short I’ve recently been always keeping the length close to the nail bed, not too far out.  My nail growth sadly is in an awkward upward angle, not a lovely forward and downward sort of growth…one lovely example of which is YouTube Jen/frmheadtotoe’s fingertips, she can grow them long and they won’t splay and snag.  So anyway I cope with what I have and learn to enjoy them.  Recently I’ve updated my manicure steps with 2 FACIAL products that do the job with flying colors and just really aid in keeping my fingertips polish-worthy in a more gentle way.  Read more to get the full feature on how I clean my nails, what 2 new current products I use and how I use them.  Click more to make the jump.

After washing hands, cutting and filing I’ve been using Cure Natural Aqua Gel, a gentle facial exfoliator, instead of cuticle remover simply because it does gets the same action done as regular cuticle remover but is formulated to be more gentle.  It softens stray excess skin then plumps it up with gentle thickeners and hydrates the skin at the same time.  If it’s gentle enough for the face it’s more than gentle enough for hands.



Afterwards I don’t like to fuss with cuticle oil unless it’s a special treatment oil I really need for the nails simply because dripping oil over fingers is such a messy process and I don’t like the idea of a bottle of cuticle oil hanging around that might spill so I’ve found a brilliant cuticle treating alternative in HURRAW’s cold pressed vegan Lemon Lip Balm, made of cold pressed natural oils that are good for both lips and nails.


I apply it straight from the balm bullet over the nails and cuticles then I massage in with fingers. I thought this would work spot-on because LUSH’s Lemony Flutter cream and Burt’s Bees Lemon Balm are global favorites when it comes to soothing newly scraped/trimmed cuticles, this is simply tinier to bring and just as effective.  Since Hurraw Lemon balm comes in a stick tube it’s so easy to use, keep, and bring along (it fits inside my pink mani kit along with the tools) and it’s really comforting when you massage it over your cuticles, it absorbs quickly, too.


After the cuticle balm has had time to sink in, about 10 minutes or more you can hydrate your hands with hand cream or lotion.  The one I’m really liking now is a Holiday limited edition body cream by LUSH Cosmetics called CELEBRATE, a water and cocoa butter based lotion scented with orange, lime & cognac.  It’s the same scent as the Golden Wonder Bath bomb, used to only be available in LUSH Japan (not the rest of the world) since it was such a bestseller there but now they’ve brought it in locally for the holiday season.

photo credit:

It can be for anywhere on the body with the exception of face due to essential oils and is rich, just a little heavy (good for dry tired hands) but not greasy and it really sinks in and nourishes hands with almond, orange, and lime oil, it would be excellent for feet as well.  I would think this is a body cream you can use now in the colder months (especially if you sleep with airconditioning) but in summer this might be way too heavy to use when the weather is warm and sticky.


The color I picked out to use today is CLINIQUE’s A Different Nail Enamel in “Do Not Disturb” and this is is from their new “16 Shades of Beige” collection.  I like it because it reminds me of a nail color that advanced global facialist Isabelle Bellis was wearing in this video feature of her by ITG.   I trust the shade that someone like her who has held hundreds of faces likes to use, she may not be wearing this exact one but the shade is pretty close.  It’s a caramel nude that’s in a way unobtrusive but present and has a hint of blush to it that makes hands look healthy.  So, this is a pretty accurate update about my nail routine.  I get really quiet and “in the zone” when I do my nails (with polish I take too long and the right hand isn’t as pretty) without polish my routine of clipping, cleaning, filing, exfoliating and treating takes about an hour, I can…if I was in a hurry do it in 45 minutes, but the reason I take it slow is because I don’t want to accidentally injure myself when working with pokey sharp tools.  I hope my suggestions have provided new perspective on alternative uses for certain products.  Do you enjoy doing nails DIY style or would you rather pay someone else because it’s just “one more thing to do” for you?


Speechless Sunday | Dec. 1, 2013
My Benefit Holiday 2013 Workshop!| FREE On Dec.5, Shangrila Mall Edsa