Vogue UK – The Gelcream Guide To Beautiful Hands
Gelcream is one of those Instagram concepts that just really, really works. Honest, straightforward reviews of beauty products paired with simple, aesthetically pleasing photographs of said products held in @gelcream founder Sheptovetskaya's elegant, well-manicured hands. And part of the reason the concept works so well is just how well-manicured those hands are.
"Hands were always special to me - from childhood memories of my mom touching me or my hair, to daily interactions with handshakes. Hands are one of the most important body parts - they can create and comfort; they can tell so much about the owner," Sheptovetskaya told us. "Female hands are especially symbolic - they mirror your personality and can add to your character: which length do you wear? What nail polish colours do you prefer? I believe that taking proper care of your nails and hands is essential."
Here, Sheptovetskaya shares her guide to taking care of your hands, alongside @gelcream imagery shot exclusively for British Vogue.
Step 1: Removing old nail polish
I love experimenting with different types of nail polish removers. I use different formulas and forms: wipes, soy-based removers. My forever favourite is Zoya Remove Plus - it is a unique case when a remover is both gentle and effective.
Step 2: Shape and buff
Once a month I visit my nail technician, so in between visits I just need to maintain the shape. I use a basic four-side file/buffer or a glass file - this depends upon how much work needs to be done. I always finish up shaping with downwards movements towards the edge of nail to seal the layers. Then I spend 10 to 15 seconds per nail buffing. It will smooth ridges, clean the surface before the nail polish application and it gives an instant finished look to the nail.
Step 3: Remove cuticles
I try not to use any sharp and cutting objects unless it’s absolutely necessary. Instead I push my cuticle back with a silicone pusher - I prefer silicone to metal as it’s more gentle and feels nicer. I apply either oil or cuticle softener before, depending upon how hard my cuticle is.
Step 4: Cuticle oil
I try to use oil as much as I can - I always carry a little bottle with me and advise to use it regularly. Also it gives an Instagram-ready look. Massage it into the surrounding area too. I currently use oils by UKA and Susanne Kaufmann.
Step 5: Nail polish
I love using nail polish, but always keep my nails polish-free for one week per month. If I am using good-quality nail polish (7- or 10-free ones) I skip the base layer step and put one or two layers of polish and top it with Seche Vite top coat. I also like Smith & Cult top and base coats.
Step 6: Hand cream
The benefits are obvious, especially if your cream contains sunscreen. My hands rarely feel dry so my favourite hand creams, the ones that I carry with me, serve as a ritual - they all are nicely scented and beautiful looking. If your hands feel dry often, try to exfoliate before you put your cream on - it will help to make it absorb better. Also, drink more water! Basically, water is my answer to anything.
Published in Vogue UK