31st January 2011

Nail It!

OK, so I’m bored with January now… So many dark mornings, rain-sodden days, and long evenings stuck in front of the TV… I’m aware that the latter is my fault – but I simply don’t have the energy to climb out from my cashmere blanket and pull on my dancing shoes.

So I’ve decided to cheer up the evenings by working on perfecting my DIY manicure – and to ensure I do the very best job, I have consulted a range of nailcare experts for their top tips…

Step 1. Firstly, soften cuticles. Jo Parker, Spa Director at Champneys, explains: “I always advise using a product on your cuticles to help soften them before any cuticle work. Wait three minutes and then wrap a small amount of cotton wool around the end of an orange stick to soften it – then use small, circular movements to gently push back the dead skin.”
For this step, I will be investing in Nailtiques Cuticle & Skin Gel, £15.52.

Step 2. When you come to file nails, guru Leighton Denny recommends: “File nails using a soft grade natural nail file, as emery boards can be damaging to the nail and cause it to split and peel… File nails from the outer edge to the centre – do not ‘saw’ back and forth.”

Step 3. Session Nail Technician and Celebrity Manicurist Trish Lomax warns: “The most important factor in applying a new colour to your nails is to ensure that you have removed all traces of your previous polish in order to start with a clean and smooth surface.”
I’m a big fan of Nailtiques Non-Acetone Remover, £6.59, which dissolves polish without stripping nails of moisture.

Step 4. Next, grab your nail polish. Trish Lomax continues: “Select the nail polish you would like to apply and make sure that it is not more than two months old – outdated nail polishes may harm your nails and makes them look dull. Always apply a single streak of basecoat to prevent the varnish from staining the nails. Depending on the consistency of the polish, you may need to apply 2-3 coats – but always make sure each coat is dry before you apply the next. Finally, prolong the life of your manicure by always applying a top coat the prevent chipping and scraping.”
I will be restocking my polish stocks with Dior Base Coat, £14.81, and Top Coat, £12.77, which both have a fabulous reputation in the beauty industry. For the colour, I am coveting the beautiful Givenchy Vernis Please! Nail Lacquer in Sweet Coral, £12.46.

Step 5. Lynda-Louise Burrell from nailgirls London says: “At this point, you can run your fingers under the cold water tap as the freezing water will dry the top layers of nail colour.”

Step 6. Jo Parker, Spa Director at Champneys, concludes by advising: “Use a hand cream daily to ensure your hands are always soft and supple. It is also good practice to apply nail oil at night before going to bed, to nourish the nails, encouraging strength and growth.”
I need no more encouragement! I will be treating myself to Nailtiques Oil Therapy, £8.12, and the deliciously-scented Tisserand Rejuvenating Hand & Nail Cream Wild Rose & Lemon Leaf, £6.22

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