Know your Nail Type
Fed up with spending time on your nails only for them to snap minutes after
your manicure? Well, if the products you're using aren't right for your nail
type, you could actually be killing your nails with kindness. Truth is, just
like skin and hair, nails come in types- five, in fact. Nails can be dry,
brittle, damaged, sort or normal, and they need to be treated accordingly.
Here's how to diagnose your particular nail type - and how to treat it property.
nails lack lustre and look dull; plus, if you run your thumb over the nail, it
will drag slightly instead of sliding cleanly across. The secret to treating dry
nails is to rehydrate them -
vitamin E is
fantastic for this (just like it is on dry skin) so open vitamin capsule and rub
it directly onto the nails morning and evening. It'll also help if you always
wear a moisturizing base coat to hydrate the nails twenty - four/seven and
prevent further drying by switching from soap to hand washes. Finally, steer
clear of pearlized polish. The ingredients used to make them sparkly can be
press the sides of your nails together. If your nail doesn't bend, chances are
you have brittle nails. These have no moisture left in them at all. Which also
means they have no flexibility and shatter as soon as they bash on something.
This causes most people to reach for the nail hardener, but this is the worst
thing you can do as it makes the nail even more rigid. It's better to boost
flexibility by oiling the nails nightly with almond oil instead. The shape of
your nails will also add strength. The best is a squoval shape ( where the sides
of the nail are left straight and only the top is rounded ), as this helps the
nail absorb shocks better.
If your nails are flaking or splitting, you have damaged nails. These are most
commonly caused by severe dehydration. Help them with a treatment base
to heal the nail, but make sure that, as you apply it, you stipple it into any
flaky spots (just like you would cover peeling paint). This will prevent air
bubbles forming under the polish and stop flaking - which is important, as
flaking polish takes nail cells with it, increasing damage.
You also need to ensure that the cells that grow through next time are strong
and healthy, so use cuticle oil twice daily; if the cuticle is supple, the new
cells can push through more easily so they arrive at the nail bed in the best of
If your nails bend at the slightest touch and rarely grow past your fingertip
you've got soft nails. To get them back into shape, you need to harden them up.
The simple way to do this is to apply a nail hardener or try rubbing in a little
essential oil of elemi (order this at health food stores). In fact, any oil will
help strengthen soft nails as it keeps out their main enemy, water, which
softens them even further.
Always wear gloves when you're washing up and apply hand cream after washing
If you have none of the above problems - your nails bend slightly when pressed,
look pink and shiny and will grow easily - you're lucky, you naturally have
normal nails. Try to keep them that way by moisturizing them regularly with hand
creams, and avoiding harsh detergents and overly hot water.
Top 5 Tips for Nails
Always wipe nails with a cloth before painting. Any oils left on the
nail will prevent polish from sticking and increase the risk of chipping.
a nail chips, the best thing to do is remove the polish and start again. If
you don't have time, dip your finger in nail polish remover and smooth it
over the chipped area to soften the edges. Now, repaint that area and then
cover with top coat to reseal the nail.
If you smudge polish while it's drying, dab your fingertip in remover
and use it to smooth the surface, then repaint with top coat.
If nails break, the only thing you can do is cut them off. however, the
break is low down, take a teabag and cut a tiny strip of the gauze. Apply
this to the nail and paint over with polish.
Don't apply nail polish remover to gunky nail varnish, as it will dry
out the nail. Instead, use specialist thinners that are available from
Top 5 Colour Tricks for Nails
Dark colours make nails look shorter. Beat this by leaving a white strip
on the side of the nail as you paint.
Small nails look bigger if you use shimmery or metallic polishes.
Pale colours are best for girls in a hurry. They show fewer mistakes and
chips are more easily disguised.
To make unpainted or natural nails look longer, run a white nail pencil
under the tip.
Bluey red nail polishes can make mature hands look older. Stick to
vibrant reds or paler shades.
Dated 21 January 2012