getting to grips with products for hands and nails.

There are so many different products available to give yourself a manicure or pedicure at home its hard to make sense of what is what. Whats the difference in nail hardener and nail strengthener. It can get really confusing. So I’ve made up a list of some of the types of products you can come across in your local beauty shop and what they do.

Nail varnish/enamel remover
this is usually a liquid  that is used  to dissolve nail varnish. They are normally a mixture  of acetone, glycerol and perfumes. Acetone can have a drying affect on nails and skin. If your a fan of acrylic nails, look for nail varnish remover which is acetone free. The acetone can dissolve your fake nails as well as the nail varnish.

Nail varnish thinners.
All over the Internet you will find people telling you that when your nail varnish gets thick and gloppy add nail varnish remover to your polish. Yet due to the oil in the nail varnish remover added to condition your nails. It may make the varnish discolour or separate. I’m not saying don’t ever do this but be prepared that it might change the polish slightly. Your best bet is to buy a actually nail varnish thinner, which doesn’t ruin your expensive polishes.

Cuticle cream/oils
This is used to soften and soothe cuticles. Applied to the cuticle it makes it more pliable. Most creams contain soft paraffin, minerals and some also contain lanolin. Oils are normally a mixture of almond and jojoba as well as other mineral oils.

Cuticle Remover
These are designed to break down the cuticle to make removal easier. They contain potassium hydroxide, water and glycerol. Due to harshness of this product it should be rinsed off the nail and skin after use. You can also use this as nail bleach to remove stains.

Nail Hardeners
This is used to strengthen weak nails. It acts as a binder to harden the nail. It is a liquid which is painted on and allowed to soak into the nail plate.

Nail Strengtheners
A mixture of powder acrylic and liquid plastic is painted on. Once dry it will reinforce the nail but still be flexible. This product is often added to base coats.

Buffing paste
This is an abrasive paste used in conjunction with a chamois buffer to smooth out and ridges on the nail. They may contain a mixture of kaolin, chalk, silica or talc.

Hand cream/ Hand massage cream
This is a cream which provides lubrication for massage and softens skin.

Hand lotion
Contains the same elements as hand cream but has more of a water base. Therefore it is less sticky than cream.

Base coat
Applied before colour. A base coat prevents staining of the nail. It also gives a smooth surface for coloured varnish to stick to.

Applied after colour to give extra durability from wear and tear.

Nail white pencils
Used on the underside of the free edge. This looks like an eyeliner and you wet the nib and then fill in the underside of your nail for a quick look French manicure. More of a quick fix as doesn’t have much durability and wears of quickly.

Quick dry spray
contains solvents that evaporate and speed up the drying process.

Hope this helps you get to grips with the difference between the product types. Leave me a comment and tell me what products you use?  What brand do you like? What’s your favourite product for nails?

Lots of Love,
Laura x