I get a lot of questions and comments regarding the tools and treatment products I use to keep my nails healthy and in tip top shape. Since my routine changes as I test new products, I’m launching a new series, The Arsenal, to share with you the items that are “must haves” in my nail kit.
Let’s kick off The Arsenal with China Glaze Calcium Gel Fortifier, a new addition to my list of staples. Being that I put my hands though hell and high water with all the polish swatching, my nails end up pretty wrecked looking on a highly productive day. We’re talking dry and prone to breaking/splitting. Since I’m already at a nail health disadvantage due to my DDS (Danny Devito Syndrome), I need a product that not only works in the long term but also provides a quick fix. Enter Calcium Gel Fortifier.
Its blend of Vitamin B and Wheat Protein totally rejuvenates my nail beds. I swear, it’s like a facial for the nails. Shall we call it a naicial? Even if it’s only overnight, I slap a couple coats of Fortifier on my nails and when I take it off in the a.m. for some early morning swatching, the surface of my tips feel smoother. And when I force myself to take a sanity (those polish fumes can make a girl wacky) and nail health break, I see a major difference in how quickly my tips grow using the Fortifier. Plus it makes my naked nails look incredibly shiny. I’m telling you, it’s like magic and stuff!
Looking for the perfect gift for the nail fanatic in your life? Is she the kind of gal that owns 100s of bottles of nail polish so you have no clue what to get? Or perhaps you feel that picking out nail shades is too hard or personal? Well look no further for I have scoured the web to bring you the best holiday gift items for your favorite nail gal.
Hand/Foot Care Gifts: By far, the easiest route is to snatch up a pre-made gift set. Talk about quick and painless shopping. Any of these kits are sure to delight but I’m partial to the ones with gloves/socks because they’re the type of item that I can’t justify splurging on but desperately want.
1. B&BW True Blue Spa Pampering Foot Set Shea Cashmere ($25) 2. Heel To Toe Put Your Feet Up Holiday Kit ($14.99) 3. Bliss The ‘Sock’ettes Spa Set ($68) 4. Bliss I “Glove” New York Set ($64) 5. B&BW True Blue Spa The Model Manicure ($24.50) 6. The Body Shop Peppermint cooling Foot Heaven ($14) 7. Gena Pedi Feet To Go Kit ($14.99)
Make Your Own Gifts: Perhaps you want something a little more personalized well then a make your own gift basket is ideal. Grab a cute bag or basket from a local craft store and fill it with miniature nail goodies. We love anything mini and having lots of nail toys to play with is always fun. I suggest adding a pair of moisturizing gloves or cute slippers, like uber-adorable Lambie’s below.
1. OPI Let’s Play Juicies ($10) 2. CND Scentsations Winterberry Lotion Minis ($3.90) 3. B&BW Lambie Slippers ($10-$16) 4. Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa Beauty Queen Wave ($25) 5. CND Treatment Minis – Stickey, Toughen Up, Air Dry and Super Shiney ($2.25) 6. Poshe Traveling Tootsies Kit ($9.95) 7. CND Solor Oil Minis ($2.25)
Body Care: If your nail fanatic is anything like me, she has a love for all things beauty including indulgent skin care treats. Then I highly recommend Qtica Smart Spa gift sets. The sugar scrub is my all-time favorite “holy grail.” It’s beyond ah-mazing and because it’s gel based (not oil) there’s no messy, slippery residue left in the shower. As an added bonus, these sets include a pair of exfoliating shower gloves and O-M-G are they fantastic. Better than any loofah or sponge I’ve tried.
Qtica Smart Spa Holiday Gift Spas – Lemon Dream & Grapefruit Surprise ($18)
Nail Gal Trinkets: Being from the Midwest, I’ve always heard about the Christmas Wonderland called Bronner’s in Frankenmuth, Michigan but have never been. In case you’re not familiar, it is the world’s largest Christmas store. People travel from all over just to visit. Though I had no idea they have an online store let alone, nail related goodies. A personalized nail polish bottle? Talk about the best ornament ever!!
Bronner’s Nail Tech Ornament ($8.99) and Personalized Nail Polish Ornament ($7.99)
Well there you have it kids. Whether you’re buying for yourself, your wife or BFF, these treats are sure to please. Happy Shopping!
I’ve been exploring my new neighborhood and I discovered a GIANT Bed Bath & Beyond not too far from me. I’ve never seen a BB&B with a beauty section before, let alone an entire aisle for nails. Yippee!!
On the shelves, I found these little gems. I’ve seen ads for Swab Plus products before and have always been curious about their eye makeup and nail polish remover swabs but I have never seen them in stores. So imagine my delight when I saw these Swabplus Cuticle Conditioner Swabs on display. At 99 cents for a package of 12, I had to snatch up a box.
Packaged in a convenient plastic case, perfect for travel, each swab contains enough product for one application.
You just snap the tip along the green line and as air rushes in the tube, the cuticle oil is sent to the cotton tip at the opposite end.
- Purse & Travel Friendly - no bottles to break or balms to melt
- Disposable – not environmentally friendly but convenient
- Non-Greasy – for an oil, it absorbs quickly
- Lightly Scented – these is a hint of scent but it’s faint and fresh (must be the aloe vera)
- Sanitary – You don’t have to worry about getting germs or dirt in your cuticle oil and since there’s no double dipping you can give a swab to a friend.
- Amount of Product - a lot of oil is absorbed in the cotton and you really have to press to cover all your cuticles
- Ease of Application - or lack thereof. The first swipe deposited a lot of product on my nail so I suggest using it on your thumb nail to start. As you continue it becomes more and more difficult to get product on your nails but you can get complete coverage with effort.
Thanks to a great MUA nail board friend I discovered this way cool cuticle care product called Cuti-Cap Gel Sleeves from Earth Therapeutics. They’re like little pink leg warmers for your tips. So fun!
Similar to gel booties or gloves, these little pink wonders consist of a thick piece of gel filled with moisturizing jojoba oil, vitamin E and olive oil surrounded by pink cotton/spandex fabric. It is recommended on the package that you use Cuti-Caps with a cuticle oil for maximum moisturizing.
I’ve been wearing these little beauties for over a month now. I slip them on after applying some cuticle oil and watch TV or play online for a half hour while they work their magic. That’s the beauty of Cuti-Caps. Your hands are still functional while you wear them. And I really have noticed an improvement in the condition of my cuticles since I started wearing them. I’ve always been relatively diligent about cuticle oil/balm usage but I truly feel that this product raises the game. With a suggested retail price of $7.99, I’d say it’s worth it to find out for yourself.
Cuti-Caps are reusable and can be hand washed in water then left to air dry. One suggestion I’d make is to mark each one the first time you use it with a number/letter for each finger. The fabric stretches out on larger digits, like thumbs, which allows them to easily slip off pinkies the next time you use them.
You can order Earth Therapeutics products directly from their website but I’ve also seen them carried at Linens-N-Things, Kohl’s and Bed Bath & Beyond.