Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A Few Nail Essentials

Nail polish is a fairly recent discovery for me. I’ve always loved nail colours, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I actually started wearing it on regular basis and began to experiment with different shades. While I loved the way it looked, I just couldn’t get polish to last more than a couple of days before it started to chip, peel and generally look a bit of a mess. The whole process of applying and having to remove it a day or so later seemed like far too much effort, so I kind of gave up on it for a while. It wasn’t until I started to read beauty blogs on a regular basis and started to follow nail bloggers that I actually decided to give it another go and invested in a few products and tools to help prolong the life of my manis. 

One of the first products I invested in, and the one I feel has made the biggest difference to the condition of my nails is, Leighton Denny’s Crystal nail file. Before buying this, I was using a cheapy Boots own brand glass file and while it did an ok job at shaping, it never really left the edge of my nails completely smooth. Leighton Denny’s file shapes and files quickly and easily, it never drags, and it never leaves the edge of my nails feeling rough, jagged or uneven. Since replacing my cheapy file with one, I’ve seen a huge improvement in peelies and splits, which I was having major problems with before, and as a result have found nail polish stays on much longer. 

I’ve tried quite a few different basecoats from various different brands, but I always seem to come back to Orly’s Bonder. It’s a relatively quick drying, rubbery/gummy textured basecoat, which grips polish to the nail surface. Out of the basecoats I’ve tried, I’ve found Bonder to be the most effective at prolonging the life of my manicures and easily get a couple of extra days wear from my polish when using it as a base. 

If it wasn’t for Seche Vite, I don’t think I’d paint my nails nearly as often as I do. It smells pretty awful, but dries nail colour unbelievably quickly, leaves an amazingly glossy finish, and evens out my sometimes less than perfect polish application, too. Brilliant stuff! 

I picked up Mavala’s Cuticle oil on a whim last year when my cuticles were in a horrible state. I wasn’t really expecting too much from it, but have been pleasantly surprised at how well this hydrates and softens. It absorbs pretty quickly, smells pleasant and although the bottle is fairly small, it seems to be lasting forever.

These products along with generally taking a bit more time over my nails have really helped to prevent the annoying chips, which put me off of nail colour for such a long time. Used together, they make application easier, really extend nail polish wear and generally make my nails look a bit better. I think the Leighton Denny file has been the most helpful thing I’ve purchased though - it’s amazing how much difference a good nail file can make!


  1. I have only tried the Seche Vite top coat, and it is very good. have you tried Poshé Top Coat? Is as good as this one and not so expensive!

    1. Hi Lou, No I haven't tried Poshe yet actually, I've heard good things about it though. Might have to give it a go when my little bottle of Seche runs out!

  2. Want to try Orly Bonder now!

    I was all over Seche Vite two years ago but now I prefer OPI RapiDry over it. It's as speedy as SV, but doesn't smell as bad, and doesn't seem to get as goopy over time either.

    1. Orly Bonder is great stuff! RapiDry sounds like it's worth checking out. I do love the quick drying time with Seche, but the fact that it gets goopy pretty quickly is annoying. That's the reason I've been buying mini bottles actually, because I can actually use up the whole thing before it turns thick and gloopy. Will have to check out the OPI.


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