Google On The Dressing Table: DIY At-home manicure routine

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17 October 2013

DIY At-home manicure routine

I have never been one for going to a salon to have a manicure, I would much rather pay for treatments I can’t do myself (hello massage!) so over the years I've perfected my DIY at-home manicure to keep my nails looking and feeling as good as they can.
After removing any nail varnish i have been wearing with my remover-of-the-moment - currently the Bourjois 1 Second Magic nail polish remover - i start by cutting my nails down with Wilkinson Sword nail scissors. I read that Phillip Kingsley (creator of probably the best intensive hair conditioner) had likened nails to hair and said that in order to keep them strong you should trim first, then shape i.e. Don't file away for half an hour! Enter the Leighton Denny Crystal nail file to create either an oval shape or a squared-off shape depending on how i feel. This nail file is something i will never be without; It literally turns your nails to dust and a quick rinse under water returns it to its as-new state for the next use. No more fighting with files that have been completely worn down!
Next I apply my Cutipen cuticle remover round the cuticles of each nail and leave for a few minutes before using a nail tool I've had for ages (which i think i got from Amazon) to tidy up and push back the cuticle.
I then give my hands a good wash and thoroughly dry them, paying attention to the nails - varnish adheres best to clean dry nails.
The next step i only do every few times because over-buffing can damage the nail but Leighton Denny gets the job done again with the Quatro 4 - in - 1 nail file and buffer, the best of its kind to remove ridges and give the nails a glass-like shine, no polish is really needed after using this because it really does make the nails look amazing.
When i do wear a colour (which is pretty often!) i think the most important step is the one that is often skipped; applying a good base coat such as Leighton Denny Undercover not only protects the nail but really helps to make the polish last and chips to a minimum. I always follow the colour with my topcoat of choice Seche ViteI reviewed  it in full here including the official word from the company re. the safety warning, but suffice to say its an absolute must have for me because it dries nails in super quick time and leaves them pretty much bullet proof!
Last step is a bit of pampering. I'm loving the Ortigia hand cream in the Fico D'India fragrance at the moment, and i always have the OPI Avoplex nail & cuticle replenishing oil on hand to moisturise the area around the nail bed.
I did this up to the base coat last night so now i'm off to finish the routine! Will any of you be trying a DIY manicure? 


  1. Well you have done it again, put my ahem *cough* 'beauty' *cough* routines into shame! haha. In a GOOD way! I need to be shamed. Current nail regime is take off old varnish with cheapo remover, cut with crap clippers, file a bit with some old thing, put on new varnish! And i wonder why they are yellow and peel off (ew!) Now you have made me want a cutipen thing and a proper file! LOVE the new blog layout too, wit wooo! x

    1. Ah Jo you do make me laugh! You can get the cutipens and the crystal nail files in Boots :) Thanks, i love the layout too, your sister is very clever! x

  2. This is brilliant thank you! Will be bookmarking this and trying it out, really want the Bourjois polish remover.

    1. Thank you! If you enjoy doing these kind of things its a nice way to spend half an hour! xx

  3. the ortiga lotion caught my attention even though i am not familiar with the brand. that's a really nice packaging :)

    1. Its not the easiest brand to get hold of, they stock it in Fenwicks in Newcastle and some other bigger department stores. This one smells amazing though, it is the scent of cactus flowers and it reminds me of being on holiday :) x


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