Nails are totally a "thing" now. Before all you needed was a cute colour, and now it seems you need to turn your nails into a piece of art (hence the term 'nail art') to be bang on trend.
For those of us who don't have the time, money, or steadiness of hand to create killer nail art, we must stick to the basics. The basics meaning a good manicure.
Nothing is worse than seeing an Instagram photo of beautiful nail art surrounded by dry skin, hang-nails and out-of-control cuticles. Sure, you may not have time to create photos of Minnie Mouse on every nail, but you sure as hell find five minutes to use a nail file and some cuticle oil. Moisturise those hooves, ladies!
As your a modern woman with a hectic, on-the-go lifestyle, here are a few of my favourite tools and tricks for having healthy, presentable nails at all times. Even better, they can all be used while you're standing in the pub, or on a train. (Seriously. I've done it.)
Mini Manicure Kit
The set I use is from Radley, but any manicure set with all the fittings will do. You can buy a mini manicure set from Boots which comes in a little case with all the trimmings, or you can move up the price chain a bit and go for a beautiful kit that comes in a leather case, like this Taylor of Old Bond Street set from Selfridges. Having a kit like this on you at all times will not only make you feel like MacGyver, but it's ideal for when you break a nail. (Or have some Mystery Crap under your nail that just won't budge. We've all been there. Don't lie.)
Handy Cuticle Oil
If you're precious about your paws, nothing is worse than having dry cuticles or dry skin surrounding your nails. This Argan Oil with Geranium roll-on is my new obsession as it smells wonderful, is 100% natural, and easily fits in your handbag.
Travel Sized Moisturiser
While having hand moisturiser in your handbag at all times seems much more of a winter essential, with the weather we've been having in the UK, it's definitely an all year round thing. Hand Food is the best hand lotion I've ever used, simply because it's affordable, affective, and doesn't leave your hands feeling greasy. (Who wants lotion slime all over your iPhone?) It comes in a big bottle, but I find the travel sized 50ml bottle is perfect to throw in your bag and is the right size to fly with, as well.
You've painted your nails, and they look gorgeous! And then you get into proper lighting and realise that you've definitely coloured outside the lines, and all over the side of your finger. Or perhaps you thought your nails were dry and then rummaged through your laptop bag to find a business card and WHAM! your nails have smudged. Have no fear! The OPI Correct & Clean-Up pen is here! Filled with nail polish remover, this pen can help you clean-up nail varnish boo-boos no matter where you are, and can even be re-filled. Win.