How do you paint your nails without getting polish on your cuticles?
I am a firm believer of the "push and wiggle" technique.  Essentially start with a bubble of polish before your cuticle and push and wiggle into it.  Never try to start at the cuticle!

Here is a link to a great visual post from Lacquerized!

What do you use to keep your nails in such good shape?
My nails used to be in horrible shape.  I could never grow them out at all since they were so brittle, dry and peeled horribly.  I started using a combination of products and have had really great results so far.

1) Phyto Phytophanere Dietary Supplement for Hair and Nails - I purchase these from Amazon as they are typically cheaper, although you can pick them up at Ulta, Sephora and other places that carry Phyto products.  I started taking this originally to help my hair, so the fact it helps my nails grown stronger and quicker was an added bonus.  It does take about a month or so to make a difference, so be patient.  I can really tell when I stop using them, especially in the condition of my hair.
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2) Duri Rejuvacote - This stuff is amazing!  I went through about a dozen brush on nail treatments before I landed on this miracle.  I know it's not chemical free, but it works. Every few weeks I give my nails a week off and just brush on Rejuvacote every day as instructed.  For a boost in between breaks I occasionally use it as a base coat.  It does have a tendency to peel off pretty easily, so don't expect the color you are wearing over the top to last much longer that 2-3 days.  If you have peeling nails, this stuff will fix that in 2-3 weeks of consistent use.  I also find this on Amazon, it's cheaper than buying through Duri.  I have not been able to find this in stores.
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3) California Mango Mend - Michigan winters are not cuticle friendly.  Mine were awful until I found this stuff on a trip to Sally's.  Rub a little bit of this on your cuticles a few nights a week and say goodbye to rough and ugly cuticles.  It smells fabulous, and my dogs swarm around me thinking they are getting a treat.  It also works fabulous on elbows, knees or any other rough patches of skin.  My husband will testify this works great on his winter "monkey knuckles."
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4) Zoya Remove Plus polish remover - I can't even tell you how much I love this stuff.  Considering I have spent many years inadvertently sniffing far too many polish fumes, the spa like smell of Remove Plus was a welcome change.  In the past I used pure acetone, not even making the connection that it was drying out my hands and nails.  Remove Plus works better than acetone, even on the tough to remove glitters, and it leaves your nails and hands moisturized.  I know it is a little expensive, but it is so worth it and a little goes a long way.  On Zoya's website it goes for $25 for a 32oz bottle, but even with my polish changing 3-4 times a week it took me a whole year to go through one big bottle.  I got the small flipper bottle during a promotion, and just keep refilling it.


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