Health - Beautiful nails start with healthy nails, so it's important to address any nail issues first. Breaking a nail from time to time is usually nothing to worry about (albeit rather frustrating), but if your nails are constantly weak, breaking or splitting, then there may be an issue with the overall health of your nails. Use a specific nail treatment such as OPI Nail Envy to treat brittle nails. Attend to any other areas of concern and, of course, drink plenty of water and up your protein intake to promote and maintain healthy nails.
Shape - A well defined shape will instantly make your nails look groomed. Being on trend isn't just restricted to colours, you can also play around with different nail shapes to update your look. A popular shape at the moment is almond, where the nail tapers to a point., though you can choose any shape you want! Be sure to file them all to the same length as this will make them look healthier and add a professional touch.
Buff & Scrub - Buff nails once a week or every fortnight to remove any ridges and uneven surfaces from the nail. This will help create a smooth surface for painting and remove any built up stains too! Scrub away dead skin on the cuticles by using a cuticle remover, or exfoliator to remove flakey skin around the nails.
Moisturise - Just as with hair, nails are more prone to breakage when very dry. This is why hand cream is your best friend! Try to moisturise your hands at least twice a day. If you're likely to forget (like I use to) place a mini hand cream in your handbag so that you can top up during the day. I also place another one at my bedside so that I can apply it at night. My favourites are The Body Shop's Almond Hand & Nail Butter and Ted Baker's Hand Cream.
Protect - Our nails go through a lot, so it's important to protect them to minimise breakage. By wearing a base coat or nail treatment as often as possible, you protect nails from the elements and day-to-day tasks. The base coat or treatment doesn't have to be glossy, so it won't be visible unless you want it to be.
With those simple steps you should be on your way to beautiful nails in no time!
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