How to Winterize Your Nails [with Julep] & My Top 10 Winter Polishes

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Today I have an updated nail care post combined with my favorite winter polishes!

The winter months are always tough on my nails. The colder weather is so drying; combine that with the stress we nail bloggers put our nails through by dousing them with acetone several times a week, and you have a recipe for nail-catastrophe :( 
Here's how I keep my nails healthy!

1 // Moisturize

Frequent application of lotion and cuticle cream is essential! It keeps your skin nice and soft, and keeps your cuticles from cracking and peeling (and, heaven forbid, developing hangnails!).

My two personal favorites for moisturizing are:
(1) Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream 
It's a little thick and greasy, but it works great, and smells so good! Also, a tin lasts forever -- I've had mine for over a year.
and (2) Clinique Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream
My mom actually got this as a free sample when she bought cosmetics from Clinique, and I love it! It's really hydrating and it doesn't make your hands super greasy. 
I also like that it's unscented; I always feel self-conscious applying scented lotion in public because everyone seems to be able to smell it!

2 // Pre-Painting

I don't have a super elaborate ritual before I paint my nails, but there are a few things I always do for aesthetic and health reasons!

First, I file my nails. If you use an emery board to do this, STOP!! Go invest in a glass file!! Glass files make your nails so much less likely to split. Also, they literally last forever so in the long run they're definitely cheaper!

Then I push back my cuticles. I always use Sally Hansen's Instant Cuticle Remover and an orangewood stick. 

Third, I moisturize my nails and cuticles with the Burt's Bees cuticle cream, and let that sink in for a few minutes before cleansing my nails with a Q-tip and some pure acetone.

Lastly, I paint a coat of OPI Nail Envy. I swear by this stuff -- before I started using it, my nails were always chipping! It makes your nails less brittle and thus less prone to breakage. It's costly, but so worth it!

And here's a helpful little graphic from Julep with recommendations for winterizing your nails :)

3 // Polishing

Now for the fun part -- actually polishing!! Here are some of my favorite winter shades. (I think nail polish bottles are beautiful, I had a lot of fun taking these photos!)


L to R: Essie Blanc, Zoya Jacqueline, Julep Fiore, Essie Sand Tropez

Neutrals match everything! They're so elegant and understated, but add so much class to your appearance :) White nails in particular look great with anything, at any time.


L to R: Nails Inc Baker Street, China Glaze First Mate

Blues, while not as work-appropriate as neutrals, are usually great winter shades. I usually go for blue-toned true blues more than greenish blues during the winter; the colder colors seem more appropriate.
Try a cobalt blue for a bright pop of color, or a darker navy for a more subdued look!


L to R: Zoya Maria Luisa, Nails Inc Chelsea Bridge Road & Kings Road, NYC Top of the Gold

Gold glitters and foil polishes are perfect for festive occasions during colder weather -- not too over-the-top but not too drab!

Okay, that's 10 polishes, but top coats don't count, right??


You can never go wrong with matte topcoat, especially during the winter! The velvety-matte finish matches so perfectly with the grey skies and frosty ground. My favorite matte topcoat is JINsoon's Matte Maker, but the one from Revlon works really well too and is a whole lot cheaper!

Here's a fun graphic of trending winter colors from Julep -- be sure to check out their nail polish color page!

Hope that wasn't too long, and you got some helpful tips on winter nail care from me + Julep!

Thanks for reading!
Lucy xx


  1. Great photos and I love the glass files too!

  2. I love the burts bees lemon cuticle cream. Also your polish photos are so pretty!

  3. This is a great post! I couldn't agree more with you about switching to a glass file. Best thing me and my nails did! xx

  4. This was so helpful! I am in love with Burt's Bee's - It smells delicious.

  5. This is really helpful. I dont have any rituals before doing my nails. I just start paiting them off. but I do see some product I need to invest on :D and i love your first winter collection - Essie Blanc, Zoya Jacqueline, Julep Fiore, Essie Sand Tropez (:


I'd love to hear what you're thinking!