Not many of us get our mani perfect first time, every time - for me, my right hand is always the issue - the line around my cuticle is never as slick as I’d like it to be! Thankfully there are easy ways to fix these and two staples that I use regularly for tidy ups are a finger dip remover sponge and a clean up pen. Nails Inc have just released new versions of both, which are great… Express Nail Polish Remover Pot and SOS Nail Pen mean messy tips are a thing of the past.
This is my set up pre-manicure (nails already filed, cuticles pushed back etc - separate post coming on my full routine). I started off by making sure my nail beds were oil and dust free with a coat of No7 Nail Cleanse & Prime, which also helps dehydrate the nail. Awful as that sounds, it’s actually a good thing as it helps polish adhere better, whereas moisture will encourage it to lift and peel off. Since discovering ORLY Bonder, I very rarely stray - it really does help bond polish to the nails. I chose a dark shade of polish to really put these products through their paces, a current favourite, Bobbi Brown Bordeaux.
Express Nail Polish Remover is similar product to Bourjois 1 Second Remover, which now has quite a few competitors. Essentially a sponge in a pot, soaked with remover. You dip one finger in at a time, twist and remove - and tada, polish free. The main difference I noticed with Nails Inc’s version is that the sponge feels more dense and compact around my finger, meaning it grips better and removes polish very easily. This is perfect for a nail that has gone wrong and looks patchy or uneven. Painting over an uneven surface leads to a thick layer of polish which usually isn’t pretty and is more prone to peeling. Much better to remove and start again. These little pots are great as you can clean up one nail without damaging the rest of your mani (just me that ends up smudging another nail with the remover soaked cotton pad?).
The SOS Nail Pen looks like a felt tip, soaked in remover and comes with several fresh replacement nibs. Clever design means the lid doubles up as a cuticle pusher and mini nail file, which you can see more clearly in the top pic. Enriched with Jojoba Oil, it is acetone free. Using this to tidy a deep polish shade will mean the nib gets mucky pretty quickly, so wipe off any excess on paper or tissue before moving on to another nail and each nib should last quite a few times.
Left, before - you can see brush strokes next to my cuticle. Right, after - the polish edge is smoother and cleaner (still not perfect, but better!) This isn’t a brilliant example as 1. my mani wasn’t too bad on this occasion and 2. I was tidying up my right hand with an unsteady left hand, so even the clean-up wasn’t 100% perfect, but I wanted to give you an idea of how the SOS Nail Pen works. I had one by Ruby & Millie years ago and have never found a decent replacement, so am delighted to discover this one. I will say that it’s best saved for minor fixes, such as tidying the cuticle line or removing any flecks of polish on the skin next to the nail tip. If you’ve got polish all over your skin, I’d pop the nail in the Express Nail Polish Remover pot and start afresh, otherwise you’ll run out of fresh nibs in a couple of manis!
I hope this helps any fellow wannabe mani perfectionists or other bloggers who post nail polish swatches… it’s pretty unnerving the things you start noticing about yourself when you start blogging - close up pics can be very daunting!
You can buy the Nails Inc SOS Pen on its own here or as part of a duo with the Vitamin E oil here. The Express Nail Polish Remover Pot is available here, where you can currently receive 20% off any two Nails Inc products. I’m a big fan of their nail polish sets, some of which are on offer!