All About Nails - Nail Health & My Mani Tips

tips for nail health & at-home manicures!
^^ my at-home mani after 4 days! color is Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in 'per-suede' 
I've received some reader requests to do a post all about my nails and favorite tips and always get questions from my IG stories, so I put together a little post! I've always had decent nails and been pretty good at painting them, but with lots of trial and error, I have my healthiest, strongest nails yet, and feel like I've finally achieved a great at-home manicure!


1 | be picky with vitamins
I've been taking these Olly vitamins the last few months and have actually seen a significant difference in hair growth and nail growth + strength! This is the first time I've truly seen a difference from vitamins, so I'm really excited lately. I've also heard really good things about these hair & nail vitamins and just ordered, so I'll report back soon! Something I've learned is that those cheap Nature Made vitamins from Wal-mart aren't going to do much or anything for you, so spend a few dollars more and get good ones!

2 | don't overdo gel or acrylic manicures
I don't ever get my nails done anymore! I've never gotten acrylic nails, and haven't gotten a gel manicure for nearly two years. I do think a gel mani is nice for a long trip, but I don't make them a regular thing because they definitely damage my nails. If you want strong nails, don't beat them up with damaging manicures!

3 | wear rubber gloves while cleaning & doing dishes
I originally started wearing gloves to do the dishes because my hands get so dry, but now wear them religiously to help protect my nails and nail polish too! I also like to wear them to clean bathrooms, and to do any kind of scrubbing task. I use these gloves and a pair usually lasts a few months.

4 | give your nails a break
For every 2-3 manicures or pedicures, I like to give my nails a break for a week or two. In fact, I leave my toenails unpainted all winter with a month or two on each end (so about half the year!). Giving your nails a break from polish helps them breathe and return to a healthy color.

Love, Lenore: my favorite polishes for a great at-home manicure


1 | file into an oval or almond shape
Nail shape is totally up to each person's preference, but I prefer an oval or almond shape for mine! I personally think that these nail shapes elongate the fingers versus a squared off line (but you do you girl! that's just my opinion :). I also find that my nails get caught on things less often when I don't have any corners (hopefully that makes sense).

2 | use no-heat gel products
These products are not part of a sponsored post or even gifted (I wish though! ;) - they're simply what I've found to work best for my at-home mani! I've had great luck with the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish line paired with the Essie Gel Setter Top Coat. The Miracle Gel polishes last several days longer than your average polish, and I like that it's a thick formula, but dries fast. I never get smudges an hour or two later like I do with some other polishes. My favorite colors are Birthday Suit (the perfect pinky nude) and Per-Suede (what I'm wearing in the top photo). I've found that the Essie Gel Setter dries quickly and dries hard (no smudging!), has the great shine of an actual gel mani, and helps to prevent chips.

3 | remove the above products with acetone remover...
and then wash your hands and apply a good hand lotion. I find that acetone removes my at-home mani really easily so that I'm not picking/scraping/peeling my polish off and therefore damaging my nails. Acetone is pretty drying, which is why I like to apply a good moisturizer for awhile.

4 | when I do my manicures...
I'll be the first to admit that it's hard to find the time! But this is my personal flow... I pee right before I sit down to do my nails. I also make sure that I'm wearing something comfy and fuss-free (i.e. not jeans or an off-the-shoulder top that may need to be adjusted). Then I multitask and do my nails while we watch a TV show. To keep myself busy while my nails are drying, I'll look at social media, or promote a blog post.

5 | make a kleenex part of your mani set-up
If I "color outside of the lines" so to speak, I simply scrape the polish off of my skin with my opposite thumbnail, then wipe the tip of my thumbnail on a kleenex. This is how I keep my manicures nice and neat!

6 | first apply polish in the middle of the nail...
...then spread outwards.

7 | coat the tips with top coat
My mother-in-law, who used to be a manicurist, taught me this tip! After you coat your whole nail with top coat (starting in the middle and working outward), then run the brush along the tip of the nail to help seal the ends and prevent chipping. This has made a big difference for me!

Do you have any tips or products that you swear by? Please share below if so, and let me know if you found this post helpful! Also, if you have any post requests for beauty or lifestyle posts, holla at me! 💜

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xo, Jacy