Self Care with Soultanicals Day 2: Taking a Mani Moment

Self Care with Soultanicals Day 2: Taking a Mani Moment
Manicures & deep conditioning have a lot in common. 
If you follow me on Snapchat (maneobjective), then you know my latest non-hair and gym hobby is giving myself manicures. Several months ago, I gave up trips to the nail shop because I always found myself shilling out $30-40 for mediocre nail jobs that chipped 3 days later.

I don't know about your local shops, but the ones in LA will nickel and dime you to death. $15 pedicure upsell for a subpar scrub. $5 (gel) polish removal. $5 for a design on one nail. $10 if you want gel. $7 if you sneeze while they're working.

That last one was a bit extreme, but you get my point.

A trip to the nail shop adds up fast - and factor in traffic to get there, looking for parking, and waiting to be seen - and the experience just ends up causing more stress than it's worth.

Some months ago I chanced upon a Sensationail gel polish starter kit (complete with lamp, top/base coat, primer, wipes, and polish color) on clearance at Target. I hadn't painted my own nails since I was a kid, and the only knowledge I had of using gel came from watching nail techs. Even still, my stubborn spirit wouldn't let me back down from the challenge. I did manicure after manicure, practicing and tinkering until my results got decent.

Self Care with Soultanicals Day 2: Taking a Mani Moment
A small sampling of my at-home nail salon.
I added cuticle trimmers, nail files, buffers, more colors, and even the Kiss PowerFile electronic nail file/sander/buffer - and now basically, I've got a portable nail shop in my linen closet.

What started as a movement out of spite, transformed into an act of self care - and here's how.

Manicures require patience, focus, time, and meticulous attention to the tiniest of details. While giving myself a manicure, I literally cannot focus on anything else. Both of my hands are tied up, and I'm forced to slow down. I've got to steady my hand and pay close attention to every step. Soak. Remove polish. Soak again. Trim cuticles. Clean under nails. File. Buff. Prime. Paint.
Self Care with Soultanicals Day 2: Taking a Mani Moment
Bright and summery, inspired by Afrotastic Curl Elastic.
Because manicures force me to stop multitasking and move slow, I've learned to take it all in as a moment to treat and look after myself. There's something therapeutic about taking a deep breath, steadying my hand, and coating my nail in polish. And even though I'm not a certified pro (I definitely make tons of mistakes), the results always look good enough for me to wear proudly. I've gotten lots of compliments on my nails lately, and a few inquiries on how I keep them nice all the time - considering that I work out so much.

I get the same questions about my hair - how do I keep it together when I work out as often as I do? While preserving my hair during workouts definitely plays a part, what I do to my hair before I even set foot into a gym matters more.

Weekly deep conditioning sessions has been my natural hair's saving grace.

Self Care with Soultanicals Day 2: Taking a Mani Moment
Such a treat for my curls. Pardon my left eye, I got shampoo in it while rinsing. 
Afrotastic Curl Elastic

What it is
You guys know that I'm no stranger to Afrotastic Curl Elastic. It's been a Christina's Choice winner two years in a row, and one of my absolute deep conditioning staples. It's a super fruity botanically-based deep conditioner infused with some of the best ingredients for hair and scalp care - like rosemary, burdock root, amla, aloe vera, and avocado oil. The consistency is super creamy and smooth, with great slip for easy detangling and penetration into the hair.

How I used it
With the same meticulous concentration as a manicure, I treated my tresses to a deep conditioning session with Afrotastic Curl Elastic. Smoothing and applying in small sections. Admiring each unique coil, curl and wave as I removed tangles. Sitting under my hooded dryer for 30 minutes. Rinsing gently. After rinsing, my hair was tangle-free, soft, shiny, and smooth.

Key benefits
Afrotastic Curl Elastic is one of my favorite deep conditioners, because it works exceptionally well across the multiple textures of my hair. Gentle heat helps Afrotastic penetrate my lower porosity sections, imparting them with moisture-rich oils and botanicals like olive, avocado. At the same time, aloe and jojoba protein helps to smooth and strengthen my hair from root to end while restoring elasticity, balancing the pH, and calming frizz.

Day 2's lesson in self care, courtesy of Afrotastic Curl Elastic was a colorful reminder:
  • To ease up off the gas pedal and take my time. Not everything has to be done quick, fast, and in a hurry.
  • That whether it be for a manicure, deep conditioning, or even cooking a meal - when you take the time and do it right, the end results always show it.
What's your favorite way to slow down and savor the moment? Let's chat in the comments below!

Catch up with the entire 7 Days of Self Care with Soultanicals series here!