Read these 18 Nail & Cuticle Treatments Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Nailcare tips and hundreds of other topics.
If your do-it-yourself manicure didn't turn out the way you hoped, don't blame the nail polish! Top manicurist Eugenya Viner, of the Aida Thibiant Salon, in Beverly Hills, California, says that the condition of your nails and cuticles makes all the difference in your manicure. Here are some common manicure mistakes to avoid, according to Viner (courtesy of Ladies Home Journal):
Mistake #1: Filing nails in the wrong direction. Don't saw your nails; instead gently file them down at an angle to the nail, file from left corner to center for a few strokes, then from right corner to center.
Mistake #2: Neglecting cuticles. Rough, ragged cuticles can lead to painful hangnails. Put a dab of rich cuticle oil on your cuticles after showering and before bed.
Mistake #3: Cutting cuticles. Your cuticles act as a barrier against bacteria - clipping your cuticles increases the risk of skin and nail infections. Instead, dip your hands in warm water and push your cuticles back with a washcloth or soft Q-Tip.
Mistake #4: Skipping base coat. Without a base coat, your nails can become stained or dried out from your polish. Always use a moisturizing base coat on clean, dry nails and let the base coat dry before applying polish.
Mistake #5: Leaving polish on too long. Nail polish has a tendency to dehydrate nails and once the polish begins to chip, it can peel away a layer of the nail. It's good practice to remove nail polish once a week, wash your hands and reapply nail polish for a fresh and cleaner look.
There is nothing more frustrating than admiring your newly manicured nails and finding a chip or break in your nail. Here are some tips, courtesy of manicurists and Ladies Home Journal, to making your manicure last:
1. Keep nails short. Long nails are more prone to chipping and breaking than short, professional-length ones.
2. Take good care of your cuticles by applying a drop of oil daily to the cuticle and pushing the cuticles back with a Q-Tip, wooden tool or washcloth and warm water.
3. Keep your nails clean. Putting polish on nails that aren't cleaned will prevent the polish from bonding to the nail. This will result in peeling or chipping of the nail polish.
4. Use a base coat. Base coats help keep the nail bed strong and help keep nail color from peeling or chipping.
5. Don't overuse nail color. Apply nail polish in thin coats over your nail. Thick coats of polish bubble and peel.
6. Manicure experts suggest leaving time for the first coat of polish to dry before applying a second coat. That way, the second coat will bond better to the first coat of polish.
7. Throw away old nail polish. Nail polish will change consistency over time and become thick and heavy. If you can't bear to part with your favorite bottle of nail polish, invest in some nail polish thinner to even out the thickness of the color.
8. Apply a topcoat of nail polish daily. According to manicurists, it's the number-one way to ensure your manicure lasts.
Want an easy tip on how to get the best manicure? Try doing your nails an hour or two before bedtime. Take a hot shower in the morning. The steam will cause the nailpolish on your cuticles and fingers glide right off. Because you used a topcoat the nailpolish on fingernail itself will stay. This in turn makes nails look perfect for any occasion.
Ever wonder why your nail polish bubbles after your nails dry? This is usually caused by shaking the bottle versus rolling the bottle in between your palms. Shaking the bottle actually causes bubbles in the color! Also, make sure you are using thin coats of polish versus thick coats and wait a few minutes between base coat, color, and top coat for best results.
How do you shorten your nails? Do you use an emery board or nailclippers? Emery boards are better for natural nails because they are softer and have less of a damaging effect. The use of nailclippers on natural nails can actually break, chip, and peel the nail. A good emery board should be replaced every 2-3 months, depening on use.
With summer in season, it's time to focus on pretty feet and toes for your bare feet moments. Pamper your feet for summer with a home spa pedicure. Here are some tips to create a luxurious home spa atmosphere at a fraction of the spa pedicure cost, courtesy of Ladies Home Journal:
1. Fill a tub or foot bath with warm water and drop you favorite bath salts. Some common soothing scents: lavender, vanilla, jasmine. Bath salts soften up dry skin and also provide a soothing atmosphere. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and soak your feet for 10-15 minutes - olive oil acts as a moisturizer for your skin.
2. Massage an exfoliating body scrub into the bottoms of your feet. You can purchase a body scrub from any drug store or beauty supply store. Using a pumice stone surface foot brush, scrub the soles and balls of your feet with the scrub on. This will lessen the appearance of any calluses and slough away dead skin cells. Rinse your feet with cool water.
3. Trim your toenails, cutting them in a square shape to prevent ingrown nails. Gently push back cuticles but never cut your cuticles. Cuticles are necessary for keeping bacteria from entering the skin.
4. Dry off your feet with towel and apply a foot cream. Most common fragrances are peppermint or lemongrass. Massage the foot cream from your toes through your calves.
5. Finish off with your favorite toe nail color. First apply a base coat and then two coats of your favorite polish, followed by a top coat. After your nails have dried (at least 30 minutes), rub a small amount of cuticle oil into your cuticles and nail beds.
Want your nail polish to last and your nails to feel stronger? Try using a very light top coat on nails daily to prevent chipping of polish. The top coat also works to harden nail tips to avoid cracking and breaking. Make sure to remove nailpolish and reapply when necessary.
Keeping nails polished with at least a base coat is a good way to protect the nail and help improve nail growth. Some nailpolish's come with added vitamins or fibers that can help strengthen nails over time with continuous use. Say "bye, bye" to brittle nails.
Want to improve the length of your nails? According to beautifulnails.com, a great hand massage "will boost circulation and encourage nail growth." Who wouldn't want to relax and get optimum results for their nails at the same time? Men, you can do this one, too!
Are you using nailpolish remover on a daily basis? STOP! Nailpolish remover should be used a little as possible as the chemicals in nailpolish remover can dehydrate nails, cuticles, and fingertips. Always make sure to use an acetone-free nailpolish remover with natural nails. However, acetone can be used on artificial nails because the artificial nail protects the natural nail from the acetone. If possible, only use nail polish remover once a week to protect your nails.
Ever wonder what your cuticles are actually there for? According to some sources at Valeriia.com, "The cuticle protects the nail root from bacteria." This is why it's important to always take care of your cuticles. Always use a cuticle polish remover instead of cuticle clippers to remove cuticle clippings. If you open or remove a cuticle, bacteria can form straight to the blood stream.
Ever wonder what those pesky little white spots are on your fingernails? According to SallyHansen.com "Leukonychia, the presence of white spots on the nail surface, is very common. It's often caused by a mild trauma to the nail." White spots can also be from a lot of calcium intake. Never try to buff these spots off as this can lead to brittle nails.
Is the skin on your hands and/or feet always cracking and dry? This could be from lack of hydration. Most people forget to put lotion/creme on their feet, which is where the skin is the roughest. Daily use of a moisturizer with cocoa butter, shea butter, aloe, vitamins A, B, C, and E, even chamomile can relieve some of the driest skin out there. Make sure to exfoliate your skin weekly and moisturize daily.
Are your fingernails and hands quenching for thirst? Try going for a paraffin treatment with your next manicure and/or pedicure. In a paraffin treatment, your hands are dunked in liquid hot wax and sealed on with plastic gloves, which are sometimes followed by warming mitts. Use of a good moisturizer is key before placing hands or feet in paraffin. The heat opens the pores so the moisturizer can really sink into the skin of your hands and feet. The paraffin treatment is left on for 10-15 minutes. Removing the paraffin is enjoyable; it's reminiscent of kindergarten days when peeling glue off your fingers was fun.
Oil can make nailpolish chip and come off easier. Before applying a fresh coat of nailpolish to your nails, take heed of these tips: - Try to keep hands and nails free of oil before applying nailpolish. - Use nailpolish remover and wash hands thoroughly after polish is removed. - Dry your hands with a clean towel and take a Q-tip around nail/cuticle area to remove any excess oil.
An important aspect of nail care is taking care of the skin underneath the nail. Nail fungus and nail disorders are common, but if left untreated can cause the nail to separate from the bed of the skin. Nail fungus occurs more in the toe nails than in the hands, because the feet are generally more exposed to dirt and germs through sneakers, shoes, grass, streets, and more. To cure any infections or fungus in your nails, you should: - Washing your feet with soap and water daily and dry thoroughly. - Wear rubber shoes or shower clogs in communal areas - Wear everyday shoes that have sufficient toe space and avoid shoes made of synthetic materials. - Alternate pairs of shoes to allow them to air out and get out of wet shoes immediately. - If you wear socks and your feet sweat, always bring an extra pair of socks with you and change socks twice a day. - Use drying powders to help keep your feet dry, but avoid corn starch, which feeds any bacteria or fungi that may be present.
Are you a frequent nail bitter? You probably know how bad it is for you without anyone having to inform you. There are clear and colored nailpolish's available at major drugstores that contain ingredients used to combat nail biters. These various ingredients, including cactus extract, taste bitter. You can also buy cremes and lotions for nails that contain bitter-tasting ingredients - use them daily to stop biting habits. Remember: chewed up nails are not attractive.
According to salonweb.com "Fingernails absorb water 100 times faster than your skin does. And they loose moisture just as fast as they absorb it." So caring for your nails can be more demanding than caring for your hands or body. Make sure to drink plenty of water and use a good nail hydrator or creme to keep your nails strong and sturdy.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|