Looking After Nails

Looking After Nails

Nails are an important part of your total look, and should be cared for regularly. Always wear rubber gloves when doing hard chores and washing up, and always use a good hand cream regularly.

Before you think of applying a nail enamel, give your nails a good grooming first. Start by setting aside at least 30 minutes once a week. Then you can be sure that you have enough time in which to do the job properly.

Assemble all the tools you will need: cotton wool; nail varnish remover (nonalcoholic if possible); emery board; cuticle hoof, orange sticks or cotton buds; base coat; nail varnish; top coat.

First, immerse your fingers in a bowl of lukewarm water for a couple of minutes to soften the cuticles. Then remove all old nail varnish thoroughly with a cotton wool pad soaked in the remover. Go over your nails twice if necessary.

Next, push back your cuticles gently, using the hoof, orange sticks or cotton buds. Don’t break the skin — if you’re gentle enough you won’t.

If your nails need shaping, do so with the emery board, rubbing it against each nail in one direction only. Steel nail files are too hard and may splinter the nails, so don’t use them.

Finally, the three coats of varnish. First apply the base coat, moving the brush from the cuticle to the tip of the nail in a smooth, even motion. Make sure that there’s enough varnish on the brush to cover the nail — but not so much that it drips. The base coat will help set the colour, and both it and the top coat will help prevent chipping.

This regular grooming and polishing will not only make your nails look good — it will strengthen them, too.