Thursday, October 4, 2012

How to get your own Gnarly Gnails!

This isn't something I'm EVER asked about - but I see my stash of cuticle care and hand care products growing to the point that even my boyfriend has noticed so I thought I would share with you lovely readers what I use!


This is my "collection" as of publication. Not pictured here is OPI Avoplex, but I do show it further down.


It all fits somewhat neatly in this basket that i keep next to my bed for any skin emergency I may have!


Here is my "cream" style skin products.
Nadinola Cocoa Butter Cream - a nice thick lotion, its not quite a cream, but it does a good job of hydrating hands and body and has a decent smell (I am pretty grossed out by synthetic chocolate smells, but cocoa butter I can handle)
Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment w/Avocado - I know, right? An eye cream? They are actually very emollient, and this one is slightly greasy - it broke me out on my eye area but it works great for some cuticle moisturization!
Lansinoh Nipple Cream - So...when I got into polish in January, I came right in the midst of the nipple cream craze. People couldnt grasp a nipple cream for your cuticles?! I have been using this stuff off and on for about 20 years now, since I was pregnant! It worked great for stretch marks and it works on so many things, cuticles, lips, elbows, etc..It is the thickest product I have ever used and a little goes a long way! I have had this tube since about November of 2011 and though I only use it about once or twice a week, its not even halfway gone yet.
Bebe Cream - This is a recent acquisition I received from my love Angi in Germany who sends me the coolest stuff. It is a super thick lotion/cream for babies that moisturizes my hands awesomely. It smells like baby lotion/powder, which I hate, but since I've only been using it before bed, I don't have to smell it for long, and it works great as an overnight hand cream.
Hard as Hoof - this cream is supposed to harden your NAILS - and truth be told, I've used it about 3 times and put it away. Not enough time to see results, it just turned out I probably bought something else right after and liked it more, so I cant give this a thorough review at this time.


My more "lotion-y" products:
Silk Elements Shea Butter Lotion - picked this up from Sally Beauty a few months ago and I really liked it.  I think it was about 2 bucks on sale. It nice and thick and has an ok smell. My boyfriend really likes the smell of this, while I am a little put off by it, though I can't quite describe why. I do like this as an overnight cream for my hands though. It seems like a lot of product, but I feel like I've only used it about 10 times and it's almost gone.
P2 Ultra Fresh Hand Lotion - Another item I was sent from my friend Angi in Germany. This is a thin lotion that works good for on the go, not greasy or overly thick and I have a small travel size I usually throw in my makeup bag.
Kiehls Creme de Corps - super thick lotion. It smells lovely and is great for day or night use. I have been using this lotion for years and years, it is my go to body moisturizer.


My "Oily Balms" for lack of a better term...
California Mango Treatment Balm - this was something I saw on MUA nail board and thought I'd give it a try. It smells awesome, its consistency is that of a oil based balm. Its just OK. Its not super thick, it blends into your skin very quickly and it gone pretty quickly too. Some may like this, I tend to prefer my treatments to stay on my skin for awhile. However, this is a huge container and will last you such a long time for the 8 or 9 bucks it costs its not a bad value.
Skin Food - this is the little guy in the brown tiny container on top of California Mango. This was something we were given as samples when we were at Earth Fare a few months ago. It's actual for sale container is a push up tube (similar to Bed Head's Original Bed Head Hair Stick but in a paper container, not metal). Its got a terrific scent and is all organic and handmade. A really great product, and I love its application, when I run out of my samples I am totally buying the full size, I believe it's about 10 bucks.
Badger Balm Cuticle Care - Another find from Earth Fare. Love the smell (its citrus-y combination of orange and lemon), its completely organic and contains Shea and Cocoa butter.  It comes in a tin similar to Burts Bees Cuticle Cream, but has a much looser consistency, verging between a cream and a balm.
Burts Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream - Most of us nail-ites know about this stuff. Available all over the place, this lemon scented cuticle balm is a nice thick balm that oils up your cuticles and sinks in nicely. The lemon smell, it puts me off a little, as does the type of balm like this that I feel I don't get enough of unless I can see it. Most people I've read just smooth their finger over the balm and rub it on their cuticles. I however, take the tip of my thumb and scrap it up and spread it on that way.
Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle Serum - eh. I read RAVE reviews of this product so I had to go out and get me some. Sadly, after about a week or two of consistent use, I really didn't see a difference in anything I'd consider a miracle. Its a thick liquid solution you put on your cuticles and nails with the accompanying eye dropper. It runs about 10 bucks.
365 Days of Color Sunny's Miracle Balm - Ok...I've had this and it's companion Cuticle Oil for about 3-4 weeks now. I can honestly say that THIS is my most favorite cuticle product of the moment. It has the same consistency as Burts Bees, a hard oil based balm. It is much more emollient though, and yet it feels much much lighter on the skin. Its like a thin veil of moisture that really packs a punch. I have the creamsicle scent and it is amazing. It smells like eating a cremesicle in a 50 year old vintage shop. Its got that incense/patchouli bottom note in it that is just lovely. Seriously, in the 20+ times I've applied this, I HAVE to smell my fingers each and every time, at least 10 times every time. Its ridiculous.


And lastly - my Oils:
Essie Smooth Trick Cuticle Oil - sigh. Oils seem so hit and miss to me. You'd think an oil can do no wrong, but I guess it can to me. I was itching for a new oil so on a trip to Walgreens about 2 months ago, I decided to give this a try. I really liked the oil application system, its like a ball point pen tip that the oil comes out of and reaches into every corner of your nail. Alas, its just an ok product that I really saw no results from. It moisturized and then it went away like it had never been there.
365 Days of Color Sunny's Cuticle Oil - I like this oil. Its got a roller ball application - which is something I have been wanting ever since I knew it existed. But I didn't want to shell out the 18 bucks Julep wants for theirs, so I was happy to try this out instead. I like patchouli, so I got that scent and it's very nice and not overpowering like uncut patchouli. The oil is nice, its not overly thick and it doesnt disappear right away. That said, its just a nice scented oil that I havent seen excessively awesome results out of. Just a nice solid moisturizer.
OPI Avoplex Oil - THIS is my favorite oil. I like the easy brush on application, even though it's not very travel friendly. But it is hands down my go to oil product. I use it after every manicure I do, it helps to dry my nails a little faster and moisturize them at the same time. After about 10 minutes it has absorbed enough into my skin that I can photograph my nails but its effects last much longer.


SO those are my treatment products. My favorites and top picks are:
Cream Style Products - Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream (available at most mass merchandiser stores like KMart, Target, WalMart - in the baby section)
Lotion Products - Kiehls Creme de Corps (available at most department stores and Kiehls)
Balms - Sunny's Miracle Balm, Badger Cuticle Care and Skin Food (Sunny's is available at http://www.365daysofcolorpolishes.com/, Badger and Skin Food are avilable at Earth Fare and possibly other health food and nutritional stores)
Oils - OPI Avoplex (most places OPI are sold, beauty supply stores)



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Gnarly Gnails

Gnarly Gnails was established in January 2012 with the intent to combine the latest in polish trends, colors, and styles along with cutting edge nail art designs.

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