My Vintage-Inspired Beauty Routine, Part 4: Nails

We’ve covered face and body, and now I’d like to turn to my hands. As someone who does a lot of typing and work with my hands, nail polish is not a regular part of my beauty routine. But I do need to maintain nice-looking nails, and I occasionally like to give them the full treatment.

My main nail maintenance consists of keeping my nails trimmed and filed, and massaging some of my homemade lip and cuticle butter into my cuticles before bed every night. The mango butter and beeswax protects my hands and keeps my cuticles from drying out.


When I want pretty nails, I generally stick to classic colors: neutral pink or bright red. I also occiasionally reach for a gentle grey or a metallic gold, but red or pink are my go-to. When I’m feeling glamorous, I reach for red, but pink is for interviews and most stage shows.

When I’m painting my nails, I butter my nails the night before, but I avoid all creams and moisturizers the day I paint my nails. I trim and file them, and maybe push my cuticles after showing, but I try to keep them free of oils. I wipe them down with a bit of witch hazel just to remove and residual oil

Then, I apply two coats of nail polish, allowing my nails to dry pretty completely between each coat of polish. When that’s done, I apply a coat of Insta-Dri top coat to ensure things stay shiny and chip-free. The last time I did my nails, I was dumb enough to paint them the night before set-building for my play, and they managed to survive intact. Despite having a pretty manual job sometimes, my nails often survive four or five days with no chips at all, and a week with a moderate level of chipping.

It’s a pretty simple nail routine, but it adds just that little something to a vintage-inspired routine.