Nail Care Basics
If there is one question that I get asked frequently by friends and strangers, then it would have to be "How do you get your nails to look like that?". The anti-climatic answer is in fact, the nail salon! However, I do want to take a moment to share with you some of my favorite tips & tricks to keeping your nails long, strong and healthy- whether you get them done regularly like I do, or if you do them yourself. Read along!
1. know your shapes
I guess when people ask how I get my nails to look the way they do, a lot of times they are mainly referring to the shape of them. Back in the day I didn't really realize that there were more nail shapes than just "square"-ish and "round"-ish, but now I always ask for the "almond" shape, which is a bit more narrow than a normal "round" shaped nail. I find it is a timeless look, semi-reminiscent of the classiest of women of the 40s and 50s, and it makes your nails look longer. Unless you show your manicurist a picture of what you want, I think knowing the various shapes is really helpful in knowing what to ask for and achieving a specific look! If you are doing your nails yourself, all you have to do is cut and then file them to the desired shape (always filing in the same direction, not back and forth).
2. give your nails a break
I'm not gonna lie, this is one tip that I for one do not listen to, like at all. I always have nail polish on my nails, and most of the time it's gel too. This is allegedly pretty bad for your nails, but for me, I like having it on consistently because it prevents my nails from breaking. I guess this is a pretty pointless paragraph since I don't even take my own advice, but if you have weak nails it is important to take a break from the nail polish every once in a while and let them breathe.
3. find a good base & top coat
Often times when nail polish chips easily, the problem isn't the polish itself, but rather the top coat. My favorite is the Seche Vite top coat. The formula is a bit thicker so I find that it does a really great job at protecting the colored polish. It also dries quickly and I can go 1-2 weeks without chips when I use this top coat! As for a base coat, there is a wide range of formulas out there that vary according to their use- from protection to growth, and strengthening to nourishing. So this is completely up to what you and what works best! I think the most important part of using a base coat is that it prevents your nails from being tinted, especially from dark nail polish colors.
4. use the right nail file
As I mentioned earlier, it is important to always file your nails in the same direction, rather than back and forth because this protects the nails from breaking! It is also crucial to use a good nail file. If you look closely, often times the nail file you are buying will mention how coarse it is (like with toothbrush softness, lol). For nail files, it's usually extra fine through coarse. Basically you just want to be careful that you aren't being to harsh with what you use to file your nails.
5. don't bite your nails!!!
I understand this can be a really difficult habit to break, but do what you can to break the habit! Keep polish on your nails more often, get a gel manicure, or wear mittens! Just don't do it.