Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Cold Weather Hand Care, More Purged Stuff, and a FOTD

I'm never going to be a hand model. My fingers are bowed and knobby, I refuse to push back my cuticles, and I can't be arsed to file my nails in to similar shapes and lengths. But I have--after a year of skipping polish and pampering--decided to start taking care of my hands again. I'm not working at a grocery store anymore, so I can't use the inevitable cuts from sharp containers and broken nails from fast-moving canned goods to justify icky digits. I took good care of my hands when I was a teacher in North Dakota, and gaddammit, I'm gonna take good care of them while I'm teaching in Pennsylvania!

This is going to be a quick-and-dirty overview of my tool kit for soft, supple hands and professional-ish manicures. Bear in mind that I'm  not MASSIVELY in to nails, so all of the fancy tools used for removing cuticles and preventing specific nail problems aren't here. But if you're like me and you just want to get a decent at home manicure that's quick and long-lasting, these are the products for you!

Sunscreen is the first ingredient for better looking hands. Yes, I know, I'm annoying with the sunscreen, but it really DOES make a difference. I find that our hands tend to age faster than the rest of us, probably because we don't think to take extra care of them and because we use them so much. So if I'm going to be outside or near a window for more than 10 minutes, I rub some of my Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion on to my face, neck, and hands. This should stave off hyper-pigmentation and wrinkles.

That initial sunscreen application can only do so much, however, if you're like me and you wash your hands constantly. I'm still looking for an affordable hand cream with SPF that I can keep in my bag; I'll be sure to update you all when I find one!

Speaking of constant hand washing, it's time to sing praises to Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream. Oh my God, why haven't I tried this stuff before?! A dab'll do you if you just want a quick touch-up to smooth and sooth dry skin, or you can apply a slightly thicker layer and cover your hands with gloves for an overnight treatment. My hands have never gotten so soft so quickly. And that's saying something, because I'm openly addicted to sitting in front of a miniature space heater for hours on end. As an added bonus, this hand cream is super-cheap--I paid about $4 for my tube--and it helps with ragged cuticles.

Beyond moisturizing my nail beds and keeping my talons filed, I don't do much for my nails in the way of treatments. My nails don't grow super-long and they break easily; I've accepted that. But a product that has definitely made it easier for me to grow them out is Sally Hansen Hard as Nails. This has been my base coat for years! I always make sure to dab a little bit under my nails, too, if they're long enough to warrant it, and it absolutely prevents breakage. Once that dries, I apply one or two coats of whatever polish I want--I'm wearing Deborah Lippmann Naked in the header photograph--and a coat of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat before the polish has a chance to fully dry. The Seche Vite stinks, and it gets too thick to use after you've gone through half of the bottle, but it dries completely in less than 5 minutes, so I'll never give the stuff up.

In other news, I've purged two more blushes from my collection: the undeniably beautiful Lancome Cosmopolitan Pink and NARS Cactus Flower. As gorgeous as they are, I just don't use them enough. I'm getting vicious!

Last, but not least, here's a FOTD from this past weekend that I almost forgot to upload. I was hanging out with my friends for their Alma Mater's Homecoming celebrations, and I...maybe...kinda...didn't cleanse this off properly at the end of the night? FORGIVE ME!

BASE: MAC Face & Body foundation in N1 + White, MAC Pressed Blot Powder, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in Sx02, Skindinavia setting spray

EYES: Wet n' Wild Fergie primer, Shu Uemura Hard Formula brow pencil in Seal Brown, Benefit They're Real! mascara, Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner in True Black

CHEEKS: Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Moist Glow in Isadore

LIPS: Elizabeth Arden Lip Fix primer, MAC Satin lipstick in Betty Bright [LE]


  1. That hand cream is holy grail material! (btw i also do the heater thing..and running hands under hot water in the bath..) idiotically, I went and got L'occitane in preparation for the chilly season, but this done slipped my mind! Thanks.

    1. I still love my L'occitane for touch-ups, but this is just...so perfect!