Raggedy, brittle, split, yellowing…and don’t even get us started on cuticles. Keeping your nails in a healthy, clean condition might seem like a simple ask but when you’ve got a million over things to do, they often get pushed to the back of the list.
Sure, a quick paint job can cover a multitude of sins but bringing your nails back to life does require a commitment; 6 weeks in fact….
Week 1: Add supplements to your shopping list
We’re a pretty savvy supplement bunch so it comes as no surprise that the first thing you should do is nourish your nails from within with a nail-friendly formula.
Zinc is one essential vitamin, and if you’re deficient in zinc your nails will likely to be dry and brittle; Selenium is often touted as being beneficial to your nails too (some say that a whitening of the nail beds is a sign of low-selenium); while excessively dry and/or darkened nails can signify a deficiency in B12. Look for a supplement that has all three, like Perfectil Plus Nails or add these vitamins to your diet with leafy greens, Brazil nuts and oily fish.
Week 2: Build up your strength
If you’re a fan of nail enhancements like gels or overfills, or regularly paint your nails, now’s the time to give them a break.
Get ready to bare all and have any enhancements removed – you need to give your nails the chance to breathe. If your nails are weak post-removal, cut them down to prevent them from snagging or tearing. It’s better to have short healthy nails than long, weak ones!
Week 3: Don’t overlook an oil
It’s no big secret – every single manicurist will tell you how important it is to keep your nails and cuticles hydrated. One of the easiest ways to do this is with an oil. Keep one on your desk at work or by your bedside and massage a few drops into your nails and cuticles 2-3 times a day.
Nails Inc Superfood Repair Oil, OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil and Dr Hauschka Neem Nail Oil Pen are all great for glossing up your nails or if you’re looking for something more budget friendly, a simple almond oil will do the trick.
Week 4: Make your own scrub
Scrub away years of neglect with a hand and nail scrub – try and do this once a week to keep your hands looking healthy and bright and to boost circulation.
If you fancy making your own, it’s simple. Just mix coconut oil, brown sugar and a dash of honey together and use like you would an exfoliator. This formula is fantastic for your hands as it’s super nourishing – plus you’ll smell pretty great after too! Follow with a hand cream.
Week 5: Tackle your cuticles
Whatever you do, don’t cut your cuticles. It can damage the nail bed and once you start, you have to continue to cut them or else they look, well, ugly.
Instead, apply a cuticle remover to each nail, wrap the tip of an orange stick in cotton wool and gently push the cuticle back. If you’ve been keeping up with your cuticle oil, they should be reasonably easy to remove but for an extra bit of help, try doing it after the shower as they’ll have been softened up.
Week 6: Pick your paint
Finally the week has arrived to show off your hard work with a polish. Here’s what’s hot for S/S17:
The Mirror Ball Nail – Orly’s Lead Nail Technician Ami Streets created this look during LFW S/S17. It’s all about creating a mirror ball effect on the nail for a sleek, minimalistic look. Ami recommends adding a touch of silver glitter over an opaque white colour for extra dimension.
Simply Red – Rosie Fortescue, founder of Nailed London, recommends pure red nails. “They’re the perfect accessory for SS17 as they add a touch of glamour.” Rosie says to keep nails square in shape and super shiny in finish.
Laidback luxe – There’s a buzz around Chanel’s new nail-changing top coat for a reason; it’s pretty damn amazing. The Black Metamorphosis Top Coat is an opaque black that changes the hue of your polish to a moody, cool colour. Talk about extending your colour collection.