Suzanne Shade of Bare Hands

Jul 06 2021

We have the pleasure and privilege of trying a lot of beauty and health products at Covet + Lou and we know a great one when we see it. The Dry Gloss Manicure Kit from Bare Hands is one of those. Today we talk natural, healthy nails with Bare Hands founder Suzanne Shade.

Bare Hands is changing the way we think about our nails.

What is the Dry Gloss Manicure?

The method is based on a glass Polisher that gently uses abrasion to remove the hardest few cell layers on the nail keratin. This is what creates the shine and gives you a more natural way to love how your nails look. The active botanicals in the cuticle oil finish the process to provide nutrients to skin and nails.

How and why did you create Bare Hands?

I had always been searching for a way to take care of my nails without paint or solvents. It just never made sense to me to apply plastics to your nails. Knowing what I did about paint properties from art school, I knew that the oil based formula everyone uses was introducing some pretty harsh chemicals to your skin. So I began searching for a technology that worked much better than a traditional buff which I thought was a bit too time consuming. In doing customer research early on, I found out that so many people hated the way their nails looked when they weren’t straight out of the salon (even beautifully dressed and groomed folks!) so that really motivated me to carry on with the idea and bring it to life.

In addition to natural nails, what else do you keep natural in your skincare, beauty, or hair routine? Any favorite practices or must-haves that you wish to share?

The “Skinimalism” movement happening right now I’ve actually been doing for many years— I had a makeup artist once tell me not to use heavy soaps or cleansers in my 20s. And I’ve just always felt that leaving my skin alone was the best way to keep it healthy. I’ll literally go days without cleansing or moisturizing, just rinsing and letting the skin balance itself. The ideas behind Bare Hands were really influenced by this— just trusting your body knows how to regulate itself with a little support along the way. The thing I’ve noticed from this philosophy is that the body only really needs a boost during environmental transitions. Like going from moist to dry climates or warm to cold. Once it ‘rights’ itself, it can adapt to anything you expose it to.

We love that your kit allows for a moment of restoration or self-care at home. I find myself using the kit at night to unwind. Do you have a time or space that you look forward to using yours?

I have a big Sunday routine with a bath, hair wash, and foot care that I include Polishing my nails into. I like to clump all of the weekly things together and set aside time to do it in a non-hurried way. The cuticle oil is more of a daily routine— I use the Citrine during the day for a pause while I’m working. I really find that the basil in the oil helps me to focus and stay present to what I’m doing. And then again at night for the scent to trigger my body that it’s time for sleep. I’m fascinated with how scent can be a really powerful tool to create positive habits. It’s like a little reward for anything you are wanting to reinforce.

Lastly, any additional tips for strong, healthy, natural nails? We'll gladly take your advice!

This has been a huge focus for me since I launched the brand. There are so many folks who struggle with thin, weak, or ridged nails. It is not just with older folks, so it really led me to do more research into the topic. In both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine, the nails are indicators of overall health. Most of what I’m finding is that micronutrients and trace minerals may be out of balance to keep us from producing a strong nail. I’ve also found that oils are a big help to support the lipids in the keratin. The lipid layer in skin is much more robust than in nails, so it’s important to counteract all of the soap and water we use all day long. I know the advice of wearing rubber gloves seems ‘too old to be true’ but it really helps! Keeping water exposure down and oil use up is really the key.