Everyone may not agree on their favorite nail color but what everyone does agree on is that healthy, well-kept nails look great! I never used to have very nice nails. I always enjoyed painting my nails but they were short and ragged, peely at times and were constantly chipped. I’m not going to lie and say there’s some miracle treatment out there that’s going to change this immediately for you, because a lot of it just comes down to how much time you want to spend on your nails, but I wanted to share with you how I take care of my nails.
I did a previous blog post about how I finally got my nails to grow out, and basically it involves dealing with short nails and not even trying to grow them out for a while. You can read about that here. If you want to make your nails look even better, you can follow some or all of the advice below to have awesome, pretty nails 🙂
Nail Care Tips:
- Don’t grow your nails out past your fingertips. If you want extra-long nails for a bit, please cut them back asap.
- Clip or file your nails down before they get all nasty. If you start feeling them being snaggy and fragile, shorten them. Don’t wait for a break.
- Use cuticle oil and hand lotion religiously. I put CND Solar Oil on my cuticles at least every night before bedtime, and I usually have some other cuticle oil near where I sit on the couch and apply some mid-evening (mid-day, when I’m done washing my hands, whenever I think of it) as well. If you have some cuticle cream (my fave brands include: Burt’s Bees, Dionis, Badger Balm, A&D, etc) keep it in your purse and use it whenever it’s possible. You can not OD on soft cuticles. 🙂
- I know everyone’s heard it before but: Do NOT use your nails as tools. It chips your polish, makes the edge of your nail weak and may break your nail. Don’t be afraid to be a LITTLE prissy. You gotta do the cost/benefit analysis.
- Buy quality nail polish. If your nail polish always leaves brush strokes or never reaches opacity (becomes a solid color and not see-through) please toss it and buy some decent polish. You’re not going to like doing your nails if it’s a big pain. Quality does not always mean expensive! China Glaze can be found for around 5 bucks, Sinful Colors sometimes as low as 2, Wet n Wild for around 3.
- Always wear a base coat. I have been using Essie Feed Me and I swear it’s making a huge difference. If you don’t want to shell out $8 for a base coat, try Sally Hansen Hard as Nails which is around $3 last time I checked at drugstores and works well to strengthen your nails. Truthfully though, any clear polish will do just fine. The main purpose of a base coat is to prevent your polish from staining your nails. Stained nails are not cute.
- After you apply your base coat, let it dry a little then apply your polish a little thick. Use enough polish so it’s smooth on your nail. Do not wipe both sides of your brush off when you remove it from the bottle. Only wipe the side that is NOT going to touch your nail, and if you really feel that there’s still too much polish, just touch the other side against the inside of your bottle to prevent it from dripping. Allow that to dry for a few minutes, then apply a second healthy coat.
- Always wrap your tips!!! In case you don’t know, this means to cover the free edge of your nail (the front edge at your fingertip) with polish. You can do this easiest by getting a little polish on the side of the bottom of your brush, hold the brush perpendicular to (at a right angle to) your free edge then lightly drag it along from side to side across the free edge, paying special attention to the corners if you have squarish nails like me. I do this step between coats so that the next coat smooths out any little ridge of polish that’s created by wrapping my tips. Your nail polish WILL chip more quickly if you don’t wrap your tips. Plus, it looks tacky to have polished nails with naked nail at the tip.
- Immediately after applying polish, I do it between coats, use an angled eyeliner brush dipped in polish remover to clean up your cuticles, under the free edge of your nails, etc. This step also gives your polish a little time to dry.
- Apply a healthy coat of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. This is the absolute best as far as shine and quick drying goes. It also smooths out any imperfections in your polish by penetrating all the layers and kind of melting it all together. I love SV, but if you have a different favorite brand, go for it. Just don’t forget top coat!!
- Optional: apply a healthy coat of Sally Hansen Mega Shine for extra shiny and strong nails.
I hope these tips help you grow the lovely, near-perfect nails you’ve always dreamed of! 🙂 If you have more tips, please contribute to this conversation by sharing them in the comments! Wrapping your tips and using Seche Vite (if you haven’t been already) will change your nail polishing life!
Thanks for reading! Till next time, Happy Polishing! 😀