Wednesday, 10 July 2013

My nailcare toolkit

Behind every NOTD there's an arsenal of unsung products that make a nail-blogger's life easier. People often ask me how I can stand to wait for every manicure to dry, or how I stop my nails from breaking and peeling. This post is about the products I use every time I do my nails, and which make life much, much easier. I couldn't change my polish as often as I do without using these things.

1. Cotton wool pads. 
These are pretty standard, and I'm not fussy about the brand, but I do choose pads that have a textured surface. This is because otherwise the cotton can shred and get very messy during removal, especially when removing those dreaded gritty glitter polishes.

2. Remover in Cien bottle
This bottle is wonderful. I've refilled it about 50 times already. It originally came from Lidl, and has a clever pump mechanism. When you depress the dish-shaped bit, polish is dispensed into the dish. You use it by pressing a cotton pad onto the dish while depressing. It means there's no need to tip the bottle upside down and it's very hard to dispense too much, meaning you save a few £. I refill it with basic remover (usually I don't spend more than £1.50 a bottle), either from Boots, Superdrug or a local chemist. 

3. Muji thin cotton buds
These are superb for tidying up around the nail once a manicure has dried. They're smaller and more precise than ordinary cotton buds, and the tips are more densely packed too, meaning they won't shred or pull as easily (good for using as a dotter or blender during nail art).

4. Renunail nail strengthener* + Mavala Mavadry topcoat
I use the Renunail as a base coat. It comes in a monster-sized 25ml bottle and has lasted many months. The improvement in the strength and integrity of my nails has been marked while using it. You're supposed to use it as an intense course of treatment, but I find slotting it in in place of base coat does the trick.
Mavala Mavadry is the Swiss brand's answer to Seche Vite. I find it to be much less goopy and longer-lasting than Seche, and its pink tint offsets the yellowing effect of the sinister quick-dry chemicals. This stuff cuts down drying time to about 30 mins, even with a full 3 coat manicure.

5. Glass file
I've had a few glass files over the years. I picked this one up at TK Maxx for about a fiver. Glass files give you a much cleaner feeling as you file, and don't have the dragging effect of regular emery boards. They don't really wear down either, making them cost-effective.

What's in your nailcare toolkit?

*press sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating our copyright.


  1. Where are the cotton textured pads from, thanks. Great post.x

    1. Thanks very much :) They're from Boots.

  2. Where are the cotton textured pads from, thanks. Great post.x


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