I have a red nail polish obsession; it's not a secret. Over the years I have changed the colour a few times but I really love my polished nails. I feel more together with them painted. When I used to pole dance in competitions, I used to break my thumbnails quite far up the nail. So I had to get two acrylic nails to strengthen my thumbnails. I decided to learn how to do acrylics myself to save some cash. Now it's just me and my red polished nails. But how do I look after them? Read on to find out...
When I was younger I used to bite my nails. I bit them quite badly for ages. It was a nervous habit I think. I didn't mind that bitter stuff that you painted on them to try to get you to stop biting either. Once you got past the initial bad taste it was gone anyway. It took my mum offering me $5 for each finger she could see white nail growing on for me to stop biting my fingernails. I mean when I was growing up $50 was a lot of money. I could reach my toenails too. EWWWW, Just thinking about it makes me shudder...
After that I grew my nails long and mum said that I could now try nail polish. Well so began another obsession of mine. I used to change it up all the time. Mum warned that I needed to let my fingernails breathe between polishes. I had a goth period so my nails were long, pointy and black and then I went through a blue polish period. However my red polish phase has lasted years. Sometimes I reach for other colours, but I keep coming back to various shades of red.
I have tried vegan and non-toxic nail polish too. I even compared my signature red OPI infinite shine to Paint nail polish in this post. I was really surprised at how well the non-toxic nail polish I used performed. I wanted to try a base coat with it so I am going to buy one from the same line. The main reason I have put this post together is to lay out my tips for looking after your nails.
Keep Your Nails Clean
Once you remove your current nail polish with an acetone-free nail polish remover it is a good idea to make sure your nails are properly clean. Applying soap to a toothbrush, then gently scrubbing your nails and skin around and under your nails. This will remove dirt and exfoliate any dead skin without the need for harsh, drying chemicals or expensive scrubs.
Trim Your Nails Regularly
No matter the length of your nails, it is a good idea to trim them regularly. If you put aside time every two weeks, your nails are a bit like your hair and they will respond well to cutting them. Another thing to note, using metal nail tools under the nail aren't really a good idea, as too much digging under the nail plate will cause it to separate from the skin.
Take a Vitamin for Your Nails, Hair and Skin
In my healthy winter hair post I suggested taking a multi-vitamin to help keep your hair healthy. I take quite a high dose of zinc for my skin however there are vitamins like Blackmores Nails, Hair and Skin that will help benefit all three beauty zones. This Blackmores vitamin contains biotin which is an essential vitamin for the skin, hair and nails, silica which is found in all connective tissue including nails, hair and skin, where it contributes to collagen formation. Plus it also has zinc and vitamin c in it. Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant.
Don't Forget the Base and Top Coat
I always paint my fingernails at home to save a bit of cash for all the other beauty treatments I love to get regularly. But painting my nails at home shouldn't mean I skimp on the essentials. Don't skip the base coat, it not only protects the nail from being stained by the polish, but also helps the color look more saturated and opaque with just one coat. Remember the top coat too because the top coat seals in the polish's colour and adds a gloss finish to your manicure. You can also add another top coat layer every three days to decrease chipping, so you'll get the most out of your manicure.
Give Your Nails a Rest
It's important to give your nails a rest once in a while by taking off all your polish and airing your nails out if only for a few days. They'll dry them out, turn yellow, and over time, even weaken if you don't.
Moisturise Your Nails and Cuticles
The best time for this is just before bed. You can apply cuticle oil that you buy off the shelf or you can mix your own from almond and avocado oils. Let that soak in overnight. You can add hand cream over the top once the oil has sunk in or apply hand cream after your shower/routine in the morning.
Wear Gloves for Goodness Sake
Whether you are washing dishes, cleaning the house, gardening or washing the car; if you wear gloves you'll protect your nails whether they are painted or not.