Nails Basics

Nail care can be tricky because it really depends on one’s lifestyle. While I do enjoy going to get pedicures at nail salons, I prefer at-home manicures for the most part. Also, since I get bored of nail polishes pretty much every other day, I’m constantly changing my polishes all the time; and, adding glitter here and there; or, doing something random like painting each nail a different color.

While the color and style really depends on my mood, the items featured in this post are my “nails basics.” These are products I need no matter what the situation is, and they’ve proven to be worthy of being re-purchased as well.


OPI Nail Envy
This product is a miracle and should be in everyone’s beauty drawer — whether you’re a male or female; or a nail care enthusiast or novice; or you don’t even wear nail polish. This protects, strengths, and helps nails grow strong and hard. I use it under every polish as my base coat; and, even on days I’m not in the mood for polish, a clear coat of Nail Envy is all I need to feel secure about my nails. Also, it dries instantly which is a bonus.

Butter London Nail Foundation Flawless Base Coat
Much like you would apply foundation to your face as your base, this Nail Foundation is just that for your nails. This is great for super glittery nail polishes that are difficult to remove. After applying OPI Nail Envy, I’ll apply a thin coat of the Nail Foundation Flawless Base Coat underneath my cray polishes. Because glitter adheres well to this nail foundation, it’s easier to remove. Also, this product evens out the tone and color of your nails/nail bed (hence the name foundation) so that your colored polishes stay true to their original colors.

Out the Door Top Coat
I purchased this because it was recommended by MakeupByTiffanyD on YouTube. It’s replaced my Seche Vite Top Coat because it works better without the harmfulness of Seche Vite. The Out the Door Top Coat dries fast like the Seche Vite, and gives you a glossy finish to your polishes. Your nails look and feel hardened and the color is sealed — even if you made some gloopy swipes of color along the way. This top coat evens everything out. It’s also $3.95!

Sally Hansen Salon Manicure Dry & Go Drops
If you’re in a super hurry or if a fast-drying top coat is still taking too long for you, the Salon Manicure Dry & Go Drops will become your best friend. After applying your top coat, drop a few drops of this product onto each nail. Not only will the oil moisturize and nourish your cuticles and any dryness, but it will also dry your polish in two minutes. After using this, you can wash your hands, play with your hair, or be out the door — truly amazing. I’ve re-purchased this a handful of times already.

Sally Hansen Grow Nails Now! Nail Growth Solution
This product is a must-have for me because it contains “Bio-Active Vita-Soy Complex [that] penetrates nail layers to restore and replenish essential nutrients critical for healthy nails.” Just apply 1 to 2 coats on clean dry bare nails, cuticles and under nail tips to help damaged nails. When I’m giving my nails a brief break from nail polishes, I’ll remove any color, do a proper manicure, and apply this before going to bed. I let the product do its magic over night and wash my hands in the morning. My nails are revived and healthy again. I apply OPI Nail Envy and move on with my day polish-free for a day or two.

What are your tried and true nails basics?

Nail Talk: Butter London Nail Foundation & Illamasqua Nail Varnish – “Nomad”

My current favorite base coat is the Butter London Nail Foundation. Much like foundation for your face, this base coat is a beigey-skin color that neutralizes any imperfections your nails may have. Unlike the traditional clear base coats, by starting off with a your-skin-color, the nail varnish you apply afterwards appears truer and bolder.

I’ve also noticed that it helps even the goopiness in some nail polish formuals. For example, Essie polishes are annoying to use because it streaks and thins out when applying; for me, it’s impossible to get a smooth and even application. There’s something about Butter London’s Nail Foundation – I don’t know what it is, but it’s a foundation – for your nails. Clever.

Today’s choice of color is Illamasqua‘s nail varnish in “Nomad.” The shade on the left is “Milf,” which I’ll be playing with next.

“Nomad” is a rich, bright kelly-green shade that is kind of minty as well; the application was smooth, thick but not difficult to work with, and the pigmentation is impressive. It dries well before the top coat application and the opacity of the color is a bonus on top of the vibrant and glossy looking finish. The “formula is hard wearing and chip resistant and contains individual finishes from matte to high gloss,” according to Sephora’s website.

I really like Illamasqua’s polishes and am looking forward to indulging in more fun summer colors. What are some of your new favorite shades? What are your thoughts on the nail foundation?

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)