Are you a nail polish addict? If so, you aren’t alone… Once we start painting our nails, it’s difficult to stop. After a while, naked nails feels messy and “undone” – and choosing a polish, painting, and waiting for it to dry can become as important a step in the getting ready routine as picking an outfit to wear.
I fall very firmly into that camp. I have painted my nails since I was in my early teens and rarely go without. I love the fact I can follow trends, experiment, and change the look so easily. I often use my nails to brighten up an outfit, make it more fashionable, or even soften a look (think baby pink nails, worn with a leather jacket).
I wouldn’t even like to guess how many times I have painted my finger and toe nails over the years, but I have picked up plenty of tips and tricks on getting the best possible result (and keeping it for longer). So this week, I thought I’d share a few of my essential tips with readers of this blog. Go forth and paint – and let us know how you get on!
TIP 1 – Bright colours might look great in the summer months, but they are very high maintenance. The chips will be far more obvious and you will need to repaint more regularly. If you want your nails to look groomed for longer, pick a nude shade that will disguise chips when they start to happen. This works especially well for holidays, when you rarely have your home manicure kit to hand.
Tool: For a natural, but pretty look, I love Nailtiques Nail Lacquer with Protein, £10.55 in Vienna, St Tropez, or St Croix.
TIP 2 – Top manicurists agree that the key to a great manicure is cuticle work. Ignore them and the best manicure will look messy. Cutting cuticles should be left strictly to the professionals – so instead, invest in a good cuticle product to soften them, then push them gently back with an orange stick wrapped in cotton wool. It takes minutes and will transform the look of nails.
Tools: Apply a drop of Nailgirls Treatments Cuticle Conditioner, £9.95, to each nail before pushing the cuticle back.
TIP 3 – Whether you’ve spent time painting fingers or toes at home – or have parted with hard-earned cash for a salon manicure or pedicure, you don’t want the colour to start chipping just days later. So treat yourself to a high quality top-coat and apply an extra layer to nails two days after the initial paint job. It’ll keep the colour looking fresh and glossy, whilst preventing signs or wear and tear.
Tool: Dior Top Coat, £12.75, gives impressive shine, whilst protecting colour from chips.
TIP 4 – During the summer months, don’t forget to moisturise the soles of your feet at least twice a week (preferably every day, if you can find the time). A combination of heat, walking in sandals, and dust and dirt can wreak havoc on skin – there’s no point having beautifully painted nails if your cracked, dehydrated heels are grabbing all the attention.
Tool: I love the rich, silky formula of Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream, £16, which leaves soles and heels feeling incredibly soft.
TIP 5 – Invest in a good nail file, as the cheaper versions can easily cause nails to split. When filing nails, start at the outer side and file towards the centre (taking the nail in two halves). Never saw back and forth, as that will damage nails and leave them looking ragged.
Tool: A durable glass nail file, such as Nailgirls Tools Glass Nail File, £7.95 is ideal for the job.