My lack of posts is confirmation of a blogging hiatus. It wasn’t planned but life has been bloody busy! I’ve moved house, changed jobs and been a bridesmaid in the last few months, it’s been amazing but left little time for my writing pepursuits. So in an attempt to get back on track, I’ve spent a day working on a a few posts in an attempt to give the blog some much needed TLC. The first post in my comeback series is all about my top 5 nail tips…
I am completely obsessed with nails. I love manicures and there’s nothing more gratifying than a lovely fresh nail colour when typing on a keyboard. Painted nails not only look great, they’re an affordable way to treat yourself on a regular basis. It’s no wonder nail polish sales have begun outstripping lipstick purchases…
I trained as a nail technician two years ago when I worked for a beauty magazine and I learned so many valuable manicure tips. Here are a few that have really made a difference to how long my nails last and how professional the finished result is.
Tip 1: Always invest in a quality base coat and top coat.
A professional quality base and top coat will really make a difference to the longevity of your mani – even if you’re wearing a cheaper colour. My favourite base coats include OPI Base Coat and CND Sticky Base Coat. For top coats Seche Vite offers glass like shine – it’s the ultimate. If I’m out of Seche Vite I’ll pick an OPI Top Coat. To make these essentials last longer, make sure you clean the neck of your bottles with a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover and seal tightly before storing upright away from direct sunlight. I store mine in a cupboard away from any natural light and they always last ages.
Tip 2: Nail strengthener is worth the money.
Once upon a time I probably wouldn’t have put my hand in my pocket to buy a nail strengthener. At around £15 each (for a quality one), they seemed like a rather expensive addition to an at home manicure. But as a beauty journalist I got to try out loads and now I can’t attest to their brilliance enough. Although the shape and quality of our nails in mostly hereditary, nail strengtheners can really help improve the overall strength and texture of our nail plates. OPI’s Nail Envy is a real favourite of mine, as it uses cross-polymer technology to help reinforce the nails natural proteins. I use this with every manicure and manage to grow relatively strong, long nails with no problem.
Tip 3: Don’t over-file nails
Try not to file nails more than once or twice a week. Over-filing can cause minute tears on the tip of your nail which weakens it over time and causes flakes and breaking. If you’ve got naturally weak nails, try and stick to filing occasionally, removing the length of your nail tip with scissors and only neatening up the end with a file.
Tip 4: Don’t flood your cuticles
A common manicure faux pas is flooding the cuticle with polish. This is where you’ve gone too close to your skin with an over-loaded brush and the nail polish seeps onto your skin surrounding the nail. Instead, use a bobbing technique to get close to the cuticle (the skin at the top of your nail) instead of actually touching it. Dip your brush into the polish, wiping off one side as you pull it out. Then, apply this near the top of your nail, and start pushing the brush up to the cuticle as close as you can go without touching the skin, before dragging it back down the length of your nail to the end. Practice this one as it takes a little while to get a salon-perfect result. Tidy up any mistakes by running a clean orangewood stick wrapped in a little cotton wall and soaked in nail polish remover around the inside of the cuticle.
Tip 5: Always cap your nails
Capping your nails means making sure the tips have some nail polish on them. This helps make your polish last wayyyy longer. Simply polish your fingernail as usual, then with the remaining polish that’s left over on the brush (don’t re-dip to get more polish on your brush as there will be too much on there) simply run the brush along the tip of your nail. It’s so easy to do and gives your manicure a way more polished effect. Cap your nails when you go on to use a top coat too – this really extends the wear of your polish.
I hope you found these nail tips useful and remember; the best way to improve your mani technique is practice, practice, practice…oh and don’t stroke your fluffy dog while nails are wet…
Until next time,