Here is a walk through on my mechanics. The products do change as I try new things and go back to old ones, but this is what a manicure of mine takes.
First up, clean dry nails:
Nice nick in the cuticle there on the birdie finger. I was gardening yesterday and gloves annoy me after awhile. I must have done this then. It stung when I washed my hands! But I put some Aquaphor on it and it's a little better. I haven't been taking care of my cuticles lately.
The important thing here is that Rebuild is also to help strengthen your nails. It has a milky quality but it is sheer. you could wear this plain but note the texture of it, mostly notable on the pinky nail. It's not as rough as Orly Nail Armor, which I love and hate, but it does have some texture.
So that's the mechanics. It's not glamourous, but it IS necessary. These steps help preserve the health of your nails, the length of your manicure and prevent staining from your lacquers. Those rich cobalt blues that I love so much stain badly, so do some reds and rich greens, blacks...anything with tons of pigment can cause bad stains. Take these steps to keep your nails healthy, please! It's worth it. The chemicals in polish are not really good for us, it's worth the time and energy to lay down a foundation that is at least including things that are good. Plus, it just lays a nice canvas to paint on. Any minor ridges or even little divets you might have (I have a divet...lost an argument with a stapler as a child. Right through the nail and I carry the reminder to this day, but you can't see it, can you? I know from whence I speak!) are nicely filled in. If you have serious ridges then please add in a ridge filler. Buffing will only be a temporary help and may actually make the situation worse. See a professional if that is a bad problem for you.
OK? So now when I list the mechanics at the bottom of the post you will know this is what I mean and how I go about it. You still want to avoid your cuticles and keep things tidy here.
It's important to Happy Talons!