Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Top 5: Hand and Nail Care | Summer Edition.

I thought I'd let you all know that I'm currently writing this on a plane whilst flying to Lyon. There are Connacht rugby players sitting all around me... I'm starting to think I'm the only female on this plane - completely okay with that. One of them just offered me a sweet from across the aisle... that's sort of like a marriage proposal, right? I'd like to point out that I am naked faced and have my hair up in a hugely rushed bun. Now that you're all up to speed with that...
At the end of April, I did a post on some of my favourite nail polishes for spring and summer (link here if you're interested!) and I realised that I never really talk about my hand and nail routine. Not the most exciting thing in the world, but I do like to take care of my chubby toddler hands and, more recently since I took my acrylics off, my nails. Taking my acrylics off after a year was the thing that really prompted me to do this post - to say my nails were in bits would be a serious understatement. In any case, I thought I would do a quick post on some of my favourite hand and nail treatment/care products that are nice and light for the summer time.

First up is one of my favourite hand creams of all time. I'm a bit of a hand cream junkie and I always carry one in my bag. Hand Food by Soap and Glory was one of the first hand creams I ever used (years ago) and still buy today. These often come in their gift sets at christmas time and they're definitely worth checking out. The smell is gorgeous - very typical Soap and Glory 'pink packaging' scent. What I like about it is that it's not too greasy and feels very light on the hands. I use this all year round but I think it's a nice one for summer. The formula isn't too thick but it still gets the job done at keeping your hands soft. It contains shea butter, macadamia oil and marshmallow. I can definitely see why they call it Hand Food, it tastes good enough to eat (not recommended though... obviously!) I always keep one of these beside my bed, one in the bathroom and a mini travel size one in my purse. A must have hand cream!

Containing on the hand cream bandwagon, we have Roger & Gallet. Now, I have to admit I don't really have a scooby doo about the brand other than the fact that I know it's a French brand. I only got the opportunity to try their hand cream because my friend in France was kind enough to send me over a tube for my birthday. Well, I instantly fell in love. Mine is Fleur d'Osmanthus but they have rose, lemon, ginger and a few other scents in their hand and nail cream range. This is a nice 'on the go' hand cream and is the perfect size to pop in your bag. It contains shea butter and apricot oil. I can't stress how amazing this smells. I sat in a lecture and squeezed some of this out onto my hand, my two friends either side of me grabbed it out of my hands and started lathering themselves in it (a little dramatic but basically anyone who gets a whiff of this falls in love instantly!) I don't think it's the easiest brand to find in Ireland but they have a stockists section on their website and I believe you can find their products in Marks & Spencer and FeelUnique.com. I can't wait to stock up on these when I return to France in August!

Next up is a product that Laura from Moustache Mouth recommended to me a few weeks back. I always have a problem with my nail polish taking forever to dry - I'm constantly left with finger print marks and duvet creases on them. She suggested I try the Essence Nail Art Express Dry Drops so naturally I went out the next day and bought them! This little bottle is a miracle product, especially for the price. You simply apply 3 drops onto each nail after you apply a topcoat and leave it for a minute. It's a sort of an oil type product and it leaves my cuticles feeling so soft after application. Now, I don't think that these make you nails dry instantly, but I do think they speed up drying time. The reason that I love this product so much is because it takes away the tackiness of freshly painted polish. I'm so impatient that the minute I paint my nails, I like to go off and do other things, meaning I get left with dints in my nails. Whenever I try and lightly run my fingers over them to see if they're dry, I'm left with splodges and I have to start all over again. The Essence Dry Drops prevent that completely.

Lastly is my wonder product of the entire post... if you are to try one thing from reading this, try the Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter. This stuff is phenomenal. It repairs dry and damaged cuticles (which I definitely had after a year of acrylic nails) and can also be used on other dry areas on the skin (knees, elbows, the works!) A lot of people suggested I get cuticle oil after my acrylics came off and this stuff definitely does the job. This little black pot has saved my nails and they've been slowly (but surely) getting stronger after every application. It contains lemons to brighten the nails and soften the surrounding skin, shea butter, avocado oil, mango butter, lavender oil and a whole host of other amazing ingredients. It smells amazing and is lovely for the summer time. Because it's a butter and turns to an oil when you rub it in, there's no mess or leakage. I've found that it completely gets rid of the bumpy ridges I had on my post acrylics nails. A little goes a very long way with this product. I apply a dot to the nail and cuticle, then work the rest of the oil down onto my hands for an extra bit of moisture before I go to bed every night. Seriously, this stuff is fantastic! 

To finish off a hand and nail related post, I had to share a nail polish that I have been obsessed with ever since I bought it. It's Blueberry Nail Paint by Barry M and it's stunning. I'm seriously loving the high shine gelly formula and will definitely be picking up more (I have tried Watermelon which is a beautiful deep green and I can't wait to get my hands on Huckleberry and Grapefruit) Blueberry is a bright pastel that is perfect for spring and summer!

If you have any other hand and nail product recommendations then please let me know below! I'm also trying to pre-write posts so that I have material to upload while I'm in France during August so if you have any requests or something you'd like to see me write about then comment below or tweet me :) x