I’ve never been able to invest in fabulous nail art and gel polish makes me break out in contact dermatitis, so I’ve always had to keep my manicures on the safe side. This is the biggest bummer of having my hands in the kitchen almost every day.

But, when I get a break from cooking, and can pamper my hands a bit, these are far and away my favorite products. Some are old standbys and some are recent discoveries.

Ten over Ten nail polish in Jane

If you’re expecting or you’re just trying to keep your beauty regime as clean as possible, it’s hard to beat the ten over ten eight-free polish line. All of the colors are beautiful; a perfectly edited spectrum, and my go to ballet pink shade is “Jane.” On me, it’s the right balance of not too girly and not too nude, and just barely sheer.

Sally Hansen Blushed Petal 
Finding a good blush at the drugstore can be a challenge, and I love the color tone here. It’s a bit dustier than your average blush, and has a bit of edge, which I love.

Sally Hansen Cool Cucumber

I usually do a bolder shade on my toes, and I love this lush, dark green hue. It reminds me of something a silent film femme fatale would wear.

Essie Sand Tropez

This was my sister’s wedding manicure color, and I’ve bene obsessed with it ever sense. It’s such a nice buff without getting too grey or too beige.

Essie Marshmallow

This sheer white is gorgeous on its own or as an accent polish. I love using it to create a small dot in the center of each nail for some 30 second nail art.

Deborah Lippman Like Dreamers Do

I have gotten so many compliments on this color. It reminds me of that film, “The Last Unicorn” in its slightly melancholic lavender shade. It’s sheer and dainty, and just…special.

Chanel Organdi

This is such a sexy hue to me. It’s deeper than blush, more of a dusty rose.

Seche Vete Top Coat

This top coat does not mess around. It dries in what seems like seconds and the shine is glassy and intense. I use it a few days after my manicure to brighten everything up.

Deborah Lippman Rich Girl hand cream with spf

The name of this hand cream is spot on – I feel like Cher Horowitz cruising in a Jepp Wrangler when I wear this stuff. First off, it smells like barbies and gardenias, in the best way. Secondly, as being a vampire of sorts, I love the idea of sun protection for my hands – one of the first places on your body to show the signs of aging. Formulated with shea butter, avocado, jojoba oil, and with a botanical brightening complex helps to even skin tone this is so much more than just a hand cream or sunscreen.

Dior cuticle cream

The smell alone is insanely old school, so it’s no surprise this cult classic first appeared in 1963.  This creamy salve encourages nail growth, improves nail strength, and conditions cuticles. Also, my pets are strangely enamored with it, and would not stop trying to lick my hands. But it’s worth it for the perfectly soft cuticles.