If you know me, you know I don't typically lean towards nail extensions. Occasionally, I may use polygel or tips for a longer nail design when my nails are short or to hide broken nails, but most of the time, I tend to stick to regular or gel nail polish to paint my natural nails. However, that does require I keep my natural nails as healthy and strong as possible, so they aren't constantly breaking and can look nice without any extensions. I do change my nail shape from time to time, but right now they are squared at about medium length. Once my nails start getting longer, they need a little extra care to prevent things like chips and breaks, so I'll be showing you my routine for keeping strong and healthy nails.
First, I'll start off by using one of the Onyx Brand nail polish removers or 100% acetone to remove any old polish, oils, and residues. Onyx has been my favorite brand for nail polish removers for years now, as they are very effective at removing any type of nail coating and are extremely affordable. They're usually $3 or less for a 64 oz bottle that lasts a very long time and can be found at Walmart, Five Below, TJMaxx, and other stores.
Acetone works the fastest and can remove my regular nail polish in seconds. However, it is extremely drying to the natural nail, so I try to only use it to remove things like glitters and gel polish. For the purpose of this post, I used acetone, so you can see how much it dries out my nails.
After all oils and residues are gone from my nail plate, I use the Maxus Jojobalive It Butter and rub it into my cuticles to bring back some moisture and soften my cuticles for the next step. The formula is a buttery-balmy consistency that melts into an oil with warmth, such as that produced by rubbing the product into your nails. Also, it provides long-lasting moisture as well as beneficial properties to the nail and surrounding skin. It is sold on the Maxus website for $24.99, and you can use my code BROOKLYN15 for 15% off any purchase.
Next, I use a metal cuticle pusher to push back my cuticles for a neater look. I only use clippers to remove dead skin and hangnails, not my cuticles, to reduce the risk of cutting myself.
Then, I'll use my Maxus Nail File to change the shape of my nails or just clean up my current shape. These files are two-sided 180/240 grit files, which makes them perfect to use on the natural nail without any damage as they are very gentle. You can purchase both a single file or a pack of 50 on their website.
Lastly, I paint a thin coat of Maxus Strengthener 2.0 for a shiny clear coat that also helps to strengthen my natural nail. This product not only improves keratin infrastructure, making your nails less likely to break, but reduces ridges, repairs damage from acrylics and gel, and provides anti-fungal benefits for just $20.