Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Crystal File 002: Must Haves and Favorites

Now, lets get this party started right!

I won't show you the condition my teeny-tiny nubbins are in today, seeing as how i just returned from a week at the beach where i did zero nail/cuticle maintenance. Lets just say they're not up to my usual standards.

So how will i return them to their former healthy state? Here are the products i use, and a brief description of how/when i use them.

I care for my cuticles using two HG products daily, CND Cuticle Eraser (1-2 times a day) and Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter (again 1-2 times per day, after my cuticle eraser has been absorbed). I also use Sally Hansen cuticle remover in the blue bottle (once every 3-4 weeks) and Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Cuticle and Nail Refiner (once every 2-3 weeks). I try not to cut my cuticles unless i absolutely have to. I use a Sand Turtle buffing board to smooth the ridges in my nails and remove yellowing once every couple of weeks. When i need to shorten and/or shape my nails i use a glass nail file. I also take a hair/skin/nail vitamin supplement containing 3mg's of Biotin 1-2 times a day.

And when i need a quick pick-me-up mani, a gorgeous color that i know will improve my mood, what color(s) do i turn to? The following are a few of my absolute favorites that i know will never let me down.....

Misa For the Woman With a Secret. Hands down on of my favorite pinks of all time. The base is a deep, cool pink that looks amazing with my skin tone (if i do say so myself) and the fabulous golden shimmer gives amazing depth.


Essie Strawberry Sorbet. Another of my favorite pinks, and a guaranteed pick-me-up! It is bright, incredibly glossy, and has the tiniest hint of shimmer which is really only visible in intense sun, but adds a lovely glow in softer lighting.


Misa Caravan Chic. A mid-toned, warm, shimmery purple. It is simply gorgeous. I love it more each time i wear it.


And one of my favorite additions to any neon mani, China Glaze Wireless Top Coat. Talk about knock your socks off!!!

Over Essie Mini Shorts (my favorite orange neon!)


Over China Glaze Turned up Turquoise (what a great combo!)


These colors are by no means ALL of my favorites. There are many more that i hope to share with you over time. So be sure to tune in for future installments!

What, you may ask, does a complete mani consist of once I've chosen the perfect color? My HG base, Seche Vite Ridge Filling base coat. My HG top coat, Seche Vite Fast Drying top coat. If i use Wireless top coat, i still apply SV over it for added shine and faster dry time. Seche Vite fast drying top coat is an absolute life saver, i can't imagine life without it! A few other items i always keep out and ready while doing my mani: Orangewood sticks, polish thinner, polish remover (usually a small amount in the bottle cap to dip q-tips or orange wood sticks in for clean-up), pointy q-tips, and felt squares for removal.

Well, i think that's it for this "File". Thank you all for reading, see you next time!


Anonymous said...

I think I need to get a ridge filler. Overall I don't see my ridges but I did notice them when I put on a frosty sheer color last week.
Let's see that will make 3 basecoats for me. LOL

Steph said...

Maybe I need to get some CND Cuticle Eraser and Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter - where do I buy?

masa_inn said...

Hey, Hill :)

Tell me please, what's so great about SV ridge filler? I use either Nailteck or Barielle, but want to explore my options.

Hillary said...

Masa :)

I like the SV Ridge Filler because it makes all polishes apply super smooth and it dries quickly. It also helps camouflage the smile lines of my nails for polishes that are a bit more sheer. I haven't tried the nailtek or barielle base coats, but i've tried a bunch of others, always go back to SV Rifge Filling base :)

Hillary said...

Lemony Flutter is a Lush product and can be purchased in Lush stores oor via their website ( I like it a lot because it is a fabulous moisturizer and also smells really fresh. Cuticle Eraser can be purchased some retailers (including Ulta) and at etailers like and

Michelle said...

I think i have to try the SV Ridge Filler... and please tell me why Misa discontinued Caravan Chic?? On one of my last orders, it became OOS inbetween the time i added it to my cart and the time i checked out :( And i'm loving the Cuticle Eraser i got because of you :)

Hillary said...

I can't believe they dc'd it either! I emailed them about Dreamy Purple, i should email about CC too, its just such a great color! And i am so glad you like CE, it is such an awesome product!

Anonymous said...

When you use the cuticle remover, are you just pushing back the cuticle and then removing the excess with the stick? I don't want to cut my cuticles.

What is the main benefit of using cuticle eraser?

Scrangie said...

Awesome post! I like the SV Ridge Filler too :) The word "nubbins" makes me giggle like a schoolgirl, tee hee!

Sanna said...

Yay! Hi Hill, the queen of wireless! They all look awesome on you!

Hillary said...

For anonymous: Yep, when you use cuticle remover it just softens the excess cuticle material that may have grown onto your nail beds, this makes it easier to gently push back and scrape away the excess cuticle using a manicure stick. The benefit of CND Cuticle Eraser (and other AHA cuticle treatments) is that they not only moisturize, they also help prevent the build-up of excess cuticle growth, so you'll find yourself using cuticle remover much less often. HTH!

Hillary said...

Thank you Scrangie my dear!

Davina said...

Strawberry Sorbet is SO pretty!

Sminkan said...

Thank you for showing caravan Chic! I have been thinking about ordering it and now I will! Lovely color!

And a great start on the blog! :D

Hillary said...


Definitely get Caravan Chic, it is such a beautiful purple, and Misa's application can't be beat!

Spashop said...

Привет! Мне бы хотелось открыть салон парикмахерскую. У кого-то из читательниц есть опыт в этом? Очень большой выбор оборудования для салонов красоты. Кто может помочь советом? Какой магазин лучше выбрать для то чтобы купить Аппарат для прессотерапии для дома и это Антицеллюлитный массажер. Я выбираю среди этих магазинов,,,