I always struggle to get my nails looking nice and presentable without polish. There are times where I can go a few days without painting my nails but still want them look well maintained which is where this little routine comes into play. It can sometimes seem like more effort than actually painting them, but hey, it's still a good pampering you can do in front of Netflix on a sunday night.

First off, it's all about the hands - that's what she said - and applying hand cream regularly is an important step. Although I tend to forget this most of the time, when I do remember my hands feel so soft and moisturised. You can't have nicely manicured nails without paying some attention to your hands. You can go all fancy with this step and do a little hand sock by filling up a little bowl with warm water and adding a dash of oil, but hand cream will do too. I'm really liking the L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (£19.00) at the moment (and yes I realise I picked up the foot cream when it came to photographing this...it was an early start to the day...) The shea butter makes it really soft and kind to the skin. It sinks in well and is a beautiful creamy formula which isn't too thick.

Onto the nails themselves, I use a cuticle oil and one of those scary looking metal utensils, which is formally called a cuticle remover, to tidy up the nail bed. I really like the Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil (£8.99). A little bit of this on the base of each nail, leave it to sink in for about a minute or so and then go in with your cuticle remover. I don't do this often but it's a nice step every now and then.

I love my Sephora Nail Buffer ($6.00) it makes an appearance every time I do my nails and I've used it for years. It comes with 4 difference sides; file, buff, polish and shine. This alone makes your nails look amazing, especially when it comes to using the 4th side, shine, which really does give your nails a natural sheen, almost like you've applied a base coat or something. It's a super great tool to have around. They also stock these buffer blocks in the UK at Boots ect, so if you can't get hold of the Sephora one, don't panic.

Lastly, I love all the nail treatment polishes you can get which can add a nice hint of pink and overall help to strengthen the nail. Essie Grow Stronger (£8.99) is my personal fav. It is marketed as a base coat, but I use it on its own and I find it's great for repairing brittle nails and making them stronger. It also evens out your nails so they don't look to dishevelled without polish. I also really like the Nails Inc A&E Treatment Base Coat (£12.00) which does a similar job.