Simple Pleasure: Manicures at Home

Hello everyone! Sorry I’ve been gone so long. I took a button to the eye. (long story that I will get into later this week) So I took some needed R&R from the writing on the computer but I am back and ready to go. 

I got a few questions about my nail polish I was wearing in the learn to knit videos.  So I thought It would be a great time to tell you about my home manicure system.  Knitting with wool can be rough on your hands. When I lived in LA I would manicures weekly. I’ve never really found a place here in Portland that I like as much as Bellicures or Marie’s Nails.  I just dislike the rows and rows of vibrating chairs with the foot tubs attached. I am not a fan of the factory esque vibe or sit down shut up and let me do your nails as quickly as possible mentality. 

So knowing that regular Manicures are key to keeping your hands from ending up looking like the crypt keeper. I started putting together my own manicure kit.( being a Julep Maven helps sure helps with this!) Every weekend I give my hands a treat.  Plus there is nothing more annoying then wool catching on a hang nail or rough patch of dry skin. It irritates your hands and slows your knitting process down. So let’s take a look at the basic kit I use. 


Basic Home Manicure kit 

Nail File 

Cuticle Tool 

cuticle remover 

cuticle oil / cream 

hand scrub 

hand lotion 

Base Coat 

Nail Color 

Top Coat 




I was 16 years old when Madonna turned 40. I remember watching the interviews and becoming obsessed with how OLD her hands looked. They were dry and wrinkled. From that moment on I started to obsess about hand aging. The #1 thing I learned is that you have to keep your skin moist and elastic. I never go to bed with out slathering on a lotion. I make sure that after every load of dishes I slather on MORE hand lotion. I think about my hands the way most girls think about their crow’s feet. Here are my favorite go to products 

Tokoymilk hand lotion- There isn’t any magical additives, just good old fashion moisturizing. I keep this in my knitting cart and by my sewing machine, it sinks in quick lasts awhile and smells like heaven. My favorite scents are Honey and the Moon and Dead Sexy

Lo Lo Bars– I keep this magical little solid bar in my purse. It does a lovely job of deeply moisturizing my hand on the go. Perfect for winter or a long session of knitting in public. there are so many amazing scents to choose from. I adore Cabana Boy, smells like summer. 

Julep Hand and Cuticle Stick – This stick is loaded with vitamins and peptides that help keep your skin plum and elastic, I slather this on over my knuckles and on my wrists. It also does wonders on scars, the skin round my scars can feel really tight at time this stick helps it feel more plyable. 

Julep Rock Star Hand Creme – I put this on before I go to bed, and after I am done washing my face in the morning. It is a great base layer of moisture it gives your skin a kick start. I have been using this for about a month and i can see a dramatic difference in how my skin feels by adding this product to the routine.  


Manicure Prep 

The difference between your home manicure and a professional one is they take time to prep the cuticles. Once I started managing my cuticles at home my manicures lasted longer and looked a lot better.  

Nail file and cuticle tool- I usually use a crystal nail file, but that had an unfortunate accident this week. I love the metal cuticle tool, you don’t have to push very hard and the other end is perfect for cleaning your nails out after an afternoon in the garden. 

Cuticle Remover– I love using a cuticle remover because my cuticles are thick, and hate to be pushed back. So this is a must for me. I am not happy with this one per say but it does get the job done. I have been thinking of trying the this one instead. 

Julep Glycolic Hand Scrub– This stuff is AMAZING.  It makes my hand so soft and smooth. I didn’t have dry hands once this winter and I have this product to thank for it. Seriously if you do nothing but this and the Rock Star Hand Cream your hands will look 90 times better than they do right now.  


Nail prep and color 

Base Coat– Get yourself a good base coat, find one that helps with your specific nail concerns. I just want one one that will help hold my polish on to my nails. Essie First Base is amazing. Dries quick and helps give my nails a few extra days. 

Nail Color- I tend to use 3- free brands like essie and julep. another favorite of mine is upstart company Mint. The colors I was wearing in the video were both by essie. I wore Demure Vixen (shown above) and Cute as a button.  That lovely shade of green is Julep in Leah. I adore this color on my toes! 

I hope you are seeing some spring weather wherever you are. It is finally getting to be a bit sunny here in PDX. I can’t wait for my new glasses to get here, so I can ride my bike! 

What is your favorite nail polish trend this spring? 

I debated on posting this today. I feel like maybe someone (like me) needs a break from all the talk of tragedy. I know I do, I feel very lucky that my best friend was having a very off pace race and was held up mile 25. She and her husband could have been right in the thick of it. I also just feel so sad for everyone else that was affected. 






2 thoughts on “Simple Pleasure: Manicures at Home

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.