In order to sift fact from fiction, we asked Michelle to tell us about some products that actually worked for her and, more importantly, why they work.
Michelle's Top Picks
Blue Cross Cuticle RemoverPrice : $6.05
No More Cuticle Cutters: Clean Up Around Your Nail with this Cuticle Remover
This is really good for cleaning up around the base of the nail. If there’s any stray bits of skin, it preps the surface of the nail for nail polish application. It makes it really smooth and cleans up without the risk of cutting into your living skin. If you use it regularly, you can apply it about once or twice a week. Eventually, you wont have to use any cuticle cutters. It's a huge bottle so it doesn't run out quickly!
Sometimes, I’ve had a small cut near there and a little bit has gotten in and it hurts. Also, if you leave it on too long, it’s not good for you. I find that it is a little bit watery, but I don’t mind it because it's really cheap. I sit still while it's on, but if you want to move your hands around a bit, a thicker one would be better.
LUSH Lemony FlutterPrice : $39.95
Shea Butter-Infused Cuticle Butter for Ultimate Moisturization
The skin around my nails tends to get hard very easily, so I need moisturizers to soften it. This is a very greasy, paste-like balm. And I find that if I put it on overnight, it softens the skin around my nails really well. The Lemony Flutter is a bit too greasy to use during the day because it tends to get on my keyboard and stuff like that.
The scent is a bit strong, but I personally like it. The main ingredient is shea butter and I think that if you find another shea butter-based balm, it would have a similar effect. For overnight treatments, I’m okay with a thick balm. But if I’m moisturizing my fingers during the day, I much prefer an oil; the oils sink in a bit more easily.
Seche Vite Dry Fast Top CoatPrice : $7.75
Don't Fret Over Small Mistakes: Smooth it Out with this Top Coat
I like this top coat because it dries very quickly. It takes about 5 minutes to set reasonably solidly. If you bump your nails while they’re not quite dry, you can use this to smooth them back out. Also, if you didn’t apply the nail polish very well, it evens it out and makes it look very professional afterwards.
You should apply it before your underneath layer is completely dry; otherwise, it doesn’t work quite as well. Also, you need to apply it to the very edge of your fingernails as well. If your polish does chip, then it tends to chip very badly and peel off very quickly. But for me, the fact that it looks so nice kind of counteracts that.
OPI Nail Lacquer Skull & GlossbonesPrice : $15.99
Consistently Good Quality Nail Polish and a Classy Color
I like the fact that OPI's formula is very consistent. If you pick up an OPI nail polish, it will be quite good. I also like the fact that most of their colors are completely opaque in just one or two coats. I also like their brushes; they’re quite fat, so it doesn’t take so many strokes to apply the nail polish.
I personally like "Skull & Glossbones" because it’s a very pretty grey color that looks good on most people. And I like that it's office appropriate without being boring.
Duri RejuvacotePrice : $14.00
Let Formaldehyde Help Strengthen Your Weak, Brittle Nails
Duri Rejuvacote contains formaldehyde. A lot of people are scared of formaldehyde, but it’s not that dangerous. The main thing that formaldehyde does is strengthen your nails because it forms extra chemical bonds in between the nail protein fibers. So if your nails are weak, brittle, and flaky, it can really help with that and make your nails stronger.
In general, if you use it in a well-ventilated area and try not to breathe it in too much, it’s pretty safe. I don’t, however, recommend it to pregnant women. For people who are just doing their nails at home, it’s pretty low risk. But if you’re a nail salon worker, for example, you should be much more careful about ventilation.
CND Solar OilPrice : $49.95
A Not-Too-Greasy Moisturizing Nail and Cuticle Oil
Solar Oil is a light moisturizing treatment, which I typically use during the day. It’s for softening dry skin around the nails. It contains a lightweight mixture of jojoba oil, rice bran oil, sweet almond oil and vitamin E that can sink into your skin easily.
It also keeps them moisturized without being too greasy. I use it maybe once every couple of days.
ZOYA Remove +Price : $10.00
This will Remove Nail Polish while Moisturizing Your Fingers
I like that this remover contains glycerin. Glycerin is really good for moisturizing your fingers. Usually, after you remove nail polish, your nails are dried out a bit because remover is a strong solvent and it removes some of the oils from your skin. But because Zoya Remove + has so much glycerin in it, it makes sure your nails stay hydrated.
It also has acetone, which is the strongest nail polish remover, so it removes polish really quickly while also moisturizing your nails. It’s a bit hard to find in Australia, so I make my own formula.
Orly Basecoat BonderPrice : $8.19
A Basecoat that will Make Your Nail Polish Last
I find that this keeps my nail polish on longer. It’s the base coat that works the best for my nails and it also helps prevent staining of the nails.
I've heard that body chemistry differs among different people, so different base coats will work for different people. That being said, Orly Bonder works for most people. It's one of the most popular base coats amongst nail polish addicts.
VAGA Glass Nail FilesPrice : $4.99
An Efficient, Reusable Nail File
Glass files have a very fine grit, so they’re less likely to damage your nail while filing. They’re also reusable, and they don’t wear down as quickly as a regular nail file. Metal files are also fine, but the grit isn't as fine as that of a glass file.
Glass nail files are all typically similar in both style and quality. However, I've heard that other people have broken them. So be careful, because if you drop them on a hard surface, they will shatter.
Pana Acrylic Nail BrushPrice : $15.99
Clean Up the Edge of Your Nails with a Paint Brush
After I apply color, I dip the paint brush into nail polish remover and then I clean up the edges of my nails. Even with tons of practice, I still find that I paint a little on my skin or the edge of the nail polish is not completely smooth. Using the paint brush means that I can smooth it back out and fix any mistakes.
I found that the nail polish remover does tend to melt the glue inside the brush a bit, so the bristles fall out after a while. So I usually look for something quite inexpensive so I can easily replace it.
Michelle's walked us through her methodology, introducing both nail giants, like OPI, and quirky tools, like paintbrushes. You can try all of them or just a few select items. But, in any case, with Michelle's top 10 nail care products, we hope you'll have healthier, more beautiful nails!
If you enjoy wearing nail polish, top coats make your colors pop and last longer. There’s also a bunch available that’ll change the texture of your finish, making each polish more versatile. These include matte, high-sheen, and tinted coats. Top coats can also be useful, accelerating drying, or moisturizing and protecting your nails. So let’s figure out which top coats best suit your needs. We’ll look at leading brands like O · P · I, Esse, Sally Hansen, and many more. By using different top coats, you can easily change the look of your polish and have even more style options. How to Choose a Top Coat – Buying Guide Top coats make polish last longer by protecting against chipping and increasing intensity of color. They can also care for your nails. In order to choose the right top coat, let’s take a look at the types available and how they work. Choosing a Quick Drying or Glossy Top Coat So, there are two main types of top coat, the fast dryers and the glamorously glossy. Ch
In 2018, nail clippers are common enough to be found at almost every pharmacy, grocery store, even gas station. However, there are still enough nail clipper variations—compound lever, plier, even scissor clippers—that it’s hard to track down the right pair of clippers for your needs. The following is a recommendation of the 10 best nail clippers that you can purchase right online and have delivered to your house, no trip to the gas station necessary. We’ll take into account their ability to cut your fingers, toes, and anything else you might use them for, so let’s get clipping! How to Choose Nail Clippers – Buying Guide When buying nail clippers, what factors should you be considering? Here are the ways you’ll identify the best pair of nail clippers for your needs. Choose a Nail Clipper Depending on the Cutting Method There are basically three types of nail clippers. They can all cut your nails, but they do so in different ways. Let’s choose the best one for you. The Compound Lev
No spice rack is complete without salt. But there are so many kinds: processed salt, sea salt, table salt, himalayan salt, and so on. How are you supposed to figure which’ll suit your palate? Well, it’s important to know what features to consider when purchasing salt. Find out where it’s from, how it tastes, what it costs, what’s inside, and what people have said about it. Then flip through your recipe book, and figure out just how you use salt. Types of Salt A good salt is more than just salty. It can be bitter, sour, or even sweet. So first, ask your taste buds what they like. Differences in the Base Ingredients Salt is divided into two categories: sea salt and rock salt. Surprisingly, one is actually saltier than the other. Sea Salt Has More Minerals Than Rock Salt Sea salt comes from seawater; oftentimes, it’s dried in the sun, and then boiled down to make salt. Salt that’s produced this way has more minerals in it than rock salt. Coastal states like California and New York abound
Beethoven composed music and listened to conversations through notebooks during the last, deaf years of his life. Darwin started a scientific revolution through his field notes, diaries, and notebooks. Da Vinci recorded pretty much everything in his. And Hemingway, journalist and writer, famously said, “I belong to this notebook and this pencil.” Notebooks have been used by pretty much anyone and for pretty much everything for a long time–and you can bet they’ve evolved since the Renaissance. There’s now spiral and bound notebooks, coated and waterproofed paper, lined, dotted, or blank pages–and each innovation is suited for a certain kind of person. So, this time around, let’s talk about how to find a journal that fits you. How to Choose a Notebook – Buying Guide There are many, many ways to stick together a few leaves of paper. We could barely keep track of them all ourselves, so we invited the Stationery Nerd to walk us through everything. Binding: When
Rest assured that, even at under $500, you can find a quality laptop. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when comparing laptops from numerous big names, such as Lenovo, Acer, ASUS and HP. But, just pay attention to the Operating System (OS), storage type, memory capacity, and various ergonomic features. For students, professionals, or anyone in between, our top 10 budget laptops will help you make the right choice, even if you aren’t computer-savvy. In this era of accessible technology, having a mobile computing station isn’t something you have to break the bank for anymore! How to Choose a Laptop Under $500 – Buying Guide Before we introduce our recommended products, let’s talk about what sort of features to look for when comparing options. For laptops, simple operation, memory space, battery-life, and portability are essential, compared to desktop computers. We’ll explain below how to compare these specs within the context of popular budget laptops. Choosing a Suitable Operating System
Providing warmth in the winter and cool comfort in the summer, down comforters are an essential part of every bedroom. However, if you’ve never had to buy one before (or even if you have!), the sheer number of options can seem a bit daunting. You have to think not only of size, but also of things like the quality of the down, whether it’s washable, and the style of stitching—not to mention price. So here’s a quick introduction to the various differences you’ll find when shopping for a down comforter, how to choose the best one for you, and a list of our ten favorites to hopefully make this process a little easier! How to Choose a Down Comforter – Buying Guide There are many different factors to consider when choosing a down comforter, and each of them plays an important role in how a particular comforter works for you. Here are some things to look out for when making your purchase. Is It Even Real? Perhaps the most important thing when choosing a comforter is to make sure that the
After stepping into the world of professionals, ironing becomes an almost inevitable part of life. But that doesn’t mean that it needs to be a chore. In fact, there are so many irons on the market that you’re bound to find one that makes your morning routine as seamless as possible. So here’s a quick guide to choosing the right iron for your needs, as well as ten of the best irons on the market right now! How to Choose an Iron – Buying Guide Doing a quick web search will tell you that there are a million and one different irons on the market. It may seem hard to distinguish between them at first, but there are a few things to look out for when making a purchase. If you pay attention to these six points, you’ll surely be able to find the perfect match. Deciding between Steam and Dry Most irons available for home use billow out steam, but there’s also dry models. They’re each good for different things, so you should figure out what you’ll be ironing most and then decide bet
If you work at a desk, a dependable eraser is essential in your arsenal of stationery implements. There are various brands and types of erasers such as plastic, rubber, and kneaded erasers, some of which are better suited to erase pencil or pen. In this article, we’re going to help you decide which eraser you need and recommend you the 10 best erasers on the online marketplace. There’s a lot to choose from, so be prepared to erase your preconceptions about what an eraser can do! How To Choose an Eraser – Buying Guide If you’re in the market for a new eraser, what qualities should you be looking out for? There are several important factors, such as eraser material, design, grip, and, of course, price. The following is a thorough explanation of each of these factors. The Material Depends on Application What are you using this eraser for? Are you erasing pen, pencil, or something else? There are roughly four categories of erasers, and the answer to the aforementioned questions will guide
Since summer is coming up, bronzer is a must for that beautiful beachy vibe. Nowadays, there’s plenty to choose from. Whether or not you’re a fan, you can’t deny the definition and glowy look that it leaves on your face. A multipurpose compact, bronzer can also be used for contouring and eyeshadow. That’s a pretty good reason to have one or two in your stash. There’s different types to consider, from cream to matte and shimmer powders. Today, we’ll show you the top 10 bronzers we recommend, ranging from Milk Makeup to Hourglass. From subtle glow to full on heat wave, here are a few that’ll help bring out your inner radiance. How to Choose a Bronzer – Buying Guide You may have tried using bronzer before but decided it wasn’t for you. Maybe it was too dark, didn’t apply evenly, or you weren’t sure where to dust it on. We’ve all been there, so let’s go over how to choose a bronzer, what it’s used for, and how it can shape your face. So What’s the Purpose? Though there are many uses for br
One of the hardest parts of travel is packing. Choosing what to bring, getting everything to fit, making sure it’s under the weight limit–it can be exhausting! The last thing you think about is how you’re storing your jewelry. And yet, when you’re unpacking at your destination, it’s your jewelry that gives you the most problems as you scramble to untangle necklaces and match single earrings. That’s why travel jewelry organizers can be a godsend. A lot of jewelry organizers look very similar, so choosing the best one can be a challenge if you don’t know what you need. Luckily we’ve got this quick guide to help you figure out how an organizer could help you. If you’re still stuck after that, we’ve also put together a list of our ten favorites to get you started on your search. How to Choose a Travel Jewelry Organizer – Buying Guide No idea where to even begin looking for a jewelry organizer? How about here? This guide will help you figure out what you need and what kind of organizer m