Confession: I love nail polish and pretty nails, but I dread the effort and time it takes to clean, file, trim the cuticles. I rarely have the patience to wait for polish to dry and will smudge my work because I didn’t sit still long enough between coats. But these tips and tricks have helped a lazy girl like me keep my nails in tip-top condition
1. Invest in a good cuticle oil or cream
I apply this twice a day, sometimes more. This helps keep cuticles healthy and soft so that I don’t spend a lot of time trimming them when manicure day rolls along. If I notice some dead skin or an overgrown cuticle, I will just massage the oil or cream after a long shower than quickly push back with an orange stick I keep on my bathroom counter. This daily maintenance takes seconds.
2. Use a face scrub as a hand scrub
Twice a week I exfoliate during a bath. But what works on the face works on the hands too! i just squeeze a little extra exfoliating scrub and rub along my fingers, keeping the skin around the nails smooth and preventing hang nails. Combining hand care with face care really saves time for lazy girls like me!
3. Get good nail products
I love Sally Hansen’s instant cuticle remover because it melts away dried cuticles in seconds! Just squeeze a bit on your nail then push away. Other great investments are a fast drying base and top coat, plus nail polishes that have intense color and only need two coats to give perfect coverage. The thinner ones need so many coats, which multiplies drying time.
4. Apply Vaseline on nails
Rubbing Vaseline around the nails coats the skin so you can just wipe off any stray or bleeding nail color when you apply. This is so much easier than cleaning the area with a q-tip dipped in acetone. But after applying Vaseline wipe down the nail itself with alcohol or acetone so the color will adhere well to the nail.
5. Do your polish at night
I can apply nail polish, and when I shower the next day I can scrub off any nail polish on my cuticles and skin.
Read our article on 8 tips for healthy nails for nails that look beautiful even without polish.