Just as you’d use facial scrub or a hair mask, it’s important to give your nails a pampering because they reflect your lifestyle. Thanks to our little guide to having perfect nails, you too can have elegant hands and glam, on-trend nails to match!
Getting started: clean hands and nails
First things first, your hands and nails must be clean, ready for your manicure.
So remove all your nail varnish with the help of cotton pads and nail varnish remover, and wash your hands well with soap and water. Opt for a gentle nail varnish remover over an ‘express’ one, which will be harsher on your nails.
Shape your nails with a file
If your nails really need cutting use nail scissors or a clippers. However, don’t rely on them all the time, as using them regularly will make your nails fragile and more susceptible to risks of splitting, breaking or weakening…the list goes on.
It’s better to use a nail file regularly (approximately once a week) so that your nails are always a good length and you don’t need to cut them.
Make sure to file your nails properly in such a way that you won’t damage them. Go from the go inwards from the edge of your nail in a curve, always in the same direction. Don’t go back and forth with the file, because you will damage the keratin in your nails which will make your nails fragile and uneven.
Nail files come in two types – glass and grains. Glass nail files are the least likely to damage your nails but some people don’t like the sensation. If your nails are natural (without a gel coat) chose the finest grain possible so as to keep your nails even.
Exfoliate with an emollient gel
Once your nails are filed, apply an emollient gel to them in order to tame your cuticles.
Emollient gel will soften your cuticles so that they are better behaved.
It acts like a scrub and gets rid of dead skin cells around your nails.
Apply it all around the edge of your nail. You can use olive oil which has the same effect as an exfoliating scrub but is more sensitive and also nourishes your nails.
Soften and whiten your nails with the help of water and lemon
Then do a finger bath – putting your hands in a little bowl of warm water to which you can add lemon juice which has whitening properties for your nails. Leave to soak for a minute and you will see all the hard skin around your nails soften.
Getting rid of dead skin with a cuticle nipper
Equip yourself with a nail clipper and gently cut (without tugging) the excess dead skin from around your nails. Do this just after your finger bath, as it will be much easier to cut the skin when it is softened by water, and you’re less likely to hurt yourself.
If you tug on the skin you risk bleeding, infection or a less than glamourous result, so use with caution!
Clearing up with our cuticle stick
For a pretty manucure, gently push your cuticles off your nails.
Your cuticles are the little bit of white skin at the bottom of your nails, and it depends on the individual as to how fast they grow, but regardless, for pretty hands you have to eradicate them (very gently!)
To do this, equip yourself with a cuticle stick and gently push your cuticles back to your nail bed, without ever cutting them!
We’ll say it again – NEVER cut your cuticles as you risk them growing back stronger and harder.
Little tip: a cuticle stick dipped in nail varnish remover will also help to get rid of little traces of nail polish!
A buffer for smooth and bright nails
In order to smooth out little bumps on your nails, use a buffer. This will help remove ridges and make it easier to paint your nails. Used regularly, it can get rid of yellow nails. A word of warning though – use frugally to avoid damaging your nails.
Buffers can come in a block with six sides, each with a different grain according to desired effect (smooth, shiny…) or your needs, or are sometimes like a nail file with four different faces.
A buffer will also make your varnish last longer, removing weak imperfections which lead to peeling.
Hand cream: soft hands’ best friends!
For beautiful hands every day, apply a moisutrising hand cream regularly, which is also good for your nails.
Making it part of your daily routine is a must.
The skin on your hands is very delicate and is more fragile than the rest of your skin, even more so because we use out hands so much, so you should look after them all year round with a hand cream. The cold of winter, work around the house…all this can make our hands rough and dry.
There is a wide variety of hand creams, and you can buy them almost everywhere – the supermarket, the pharmacy, the perfumery.
Choose your favourite based on its texture, scent, compact size… we’ve all got them in our handbags at The Beautyst!
Nourish your cuticles with an oil
Every day nourish your nails with special oils which will help your cuticles to grow back softer, whilst hydrating your fingertips.
Protecting your nails with a base coat.
The base coat is what you put on before your nail varnish. It’s transparent and protects your nails against the effects of varnishes, yellowing, hardening and other problems. Even if you’re not putting a colour on your nails and want to leave them natural, it is recommended that you apply a base coat anyway to keep your nails strong and protected. Apply one coat and allow to dry before applying your nail varnish.
You can choose your base coat based on what you need it for – if your nails are soft, then a hardening base coat is for you, if they are broken, opt for a strengthening and repairing base coat.
And if you want to leave your hands to the professionals, try a nail bar, for a guaranteed chill out sesh!