Taking Care of Your Nails
Our hands are nearly always visible and so, like our faces, we want them to look their best. But the stresses and strains we put them through can take their toll. When we shake hands, reach for a coffee or even use our phones we want them to reflect our successes (even if it’s just a front!). Media personalities always have great looking hands and perfectly manicured nails, but I bet they have others to do everything we have to do with our nails! They won’t have to scrabble around in the bottom of our bags for car keys, type, or carry out gardening chores, will they? But us regular folks do, and it’s our nails that take the brunt of it.
Caring for our nails so they don’t let us down doesn’t take much out of our daily schedules, but when we’re trying to cram so much in, physically and mentally, it can get trying. And as for visits to the salon – well, as much as I’d love to make it a regular thing, more often than not, my kitchen surfaces are enlisted to play the role of a manicure table.
How to keep your nails looking perfect?
- Keep your nails clean. Make sure you clean gently underneath the nail and all around the edges. A little trick is to put a small amount of soap on an old toothbrush and carefully brush over the cuticles and edges of your nails. This has the added benefit of exfoliating away any dead skin without resorting to harsh chemicals and scrubbing.
- Don’t dig around under the nail or around the edges. Gentle is the keyword, and that way you’ll avoid any nasty infections. Nails are prone to trapping bacteria due to daily use, so any damage to this area can result in discomfort, pain and unsightly blemishes.
- Make sure you trim your nails regularly. This avoids any annoying snags or rough bits that can catch on things, tearing the nail still further. If you do have a loose bit of nail, don’t tear it off. Get the clippers and trim it away.
- Once trimmed, give your nails a swipe or two with a good nail file. Important for avoiding breakages, try and keep a file in your bag for emergencies.
- Always, always, always moisturize. It doesn’t matter how many times a day you do it – the more the better, but at least once a day, use a quality moisturizer on your hands and nails.
- Wear gloves for gardening and other jobs that are tough on nails.
- Make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet, full of vitamin rich green leafy vegetables and protein.
- If you are a mani addict, use a base coat as a protective barrier against staining or chemical damage, before applying the polish.
- Always put nail health above length. Long nails can be stunning, but if your nail bed is unhealthy, then longing for extra length is futile. Natural nails become weaker the longer they are, so growing unhealthy nails isn’t a good option. Tips, false nails and wraps won’t adhere strongly to poor nails either, so it’s worth finding the time to look after your nails properly
There is one more hack that I use regularly – acrylic nails. If you have followed the rules, your nail beds should be looking and feeling healthy and strong, and if this is the case, applying some nice, neat short nails will finish your hands off perfectly.
have produced, with their usual dedication to quality, some lovely sets of full acrylic nails.
Starting out as long ballerina nails, they can easily be trimmed to size, and once you’ve applied a base coat, attached to your nail bed. They take polish extremely well, but sometimes I think it’s nice to have ‘natural’ looking falsies. Once they’ve firmly adhered to your nail, apply a couple of top coats just to keep them looking awesome, and there you go! Neat and tidy short acrylic nails. Perfect!