Here are some nail care tips to help keep your nails strong and healthy (especially if you’re like me and like to design your nails a lot ;))
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Certain types of food can make your nails really strong, I have wrote the best ones below (these types of food can also make your hair healthier, making it nice and shiny ;))
Almonds & Walnuts
Not everyone likes nuts, but they are loaded with omega-3 essential fats making them super nutritious. Try them in salads, yoghurts or stir frys – I used to like them grated in to a yoghurt with a sliced banana, yum!
Fruit & vegetables
Vegetables will give you more nutrition than fruit (especially carrots and dark green vegetables), but blending your favourite fruit into a smoothie is such a yummy treat!
I don’t know about everyone else, but growing up I always heard that milk is great for healthy nails. Now that I have looked, research suggests that dairy is in fact good for our nails. Personally, I can’t say if this works as I tend to stay away from dairy, what about you guys?
Meat & fish
Probably the best for good nutrients, and you can implement these into most meals. Fish with the green veg would be one tasty nutritious meal.
Finally, drinking plenty of water is highly recommended for good health. Good health equals strong nails ;)! I didn’t used to like water, but the more you drink it the more you love it. It is definitely my favourite drink now! For a more tasty drink, try adding a bit of lemon.
For me personally, these foods have worked really well. Up until recently, I have always had really weak nails and therefore not been able to grow them nice and long :(! Since changing my diet (I follow the paleo diet) I have seen a massive change in my nail strength so I would definitely recommend that – I can now grow my nails long, yay!
Cuticles can determine the health of your nails, so looking after them will benefit your nails in return. They are also known to prevent germs that may cause infections by acting as a ‘barrier’.
Applying this everyday will help keep your cuticles healthy, soft and moisturised. See here for the one I use and recommend. It will take you to the Amazon page where you can see all the good reviews it’s had :).
If you cannot afford to buy any cream specific for cuticles, then using your everyday moisturiser is a good alternative – just add a small amount to your cuticle area every day. I used to do this on my cuticles for a while and it kept my cuticles nice and soft.
Having soft cuticles is really helpful when it comes to doing a manicure; most manicures recommend pushing your cuticles back first so that your design will last a lot longer. If your cuticles are dry then this could cause soreness/damage when pushing them back.
Tip – If you need to push back your cuticles but they are not soft enough, then bathing them in warm water for a couple of minutes will help to soften them up.
Tip 2 – Try to avoid cutting your cuticles whenever possible, always try to push them back first. Cutting your cuticles is risky because if you accidentally cut too much away, there will be no cuticle left to protect your nail from infection :(. Some people find that once their cuticles have been pushed back, the excess cuticle needs to be cut off which is fine if it is done with care (I don’t think I would trust myself to do mine :/).
This will protect your nails from getting dryness. Dryness can cause your nails to easily break and crack. If you use cream for your cuticles, then smoothing it over your whole nail will do the job.
I wear hand cream almost everyday because my hands get quite dry, so when I put some on I apply it over my nails as well to keep them hydrated – it really helps. I use this no7 one, it’s the best one I have found so far. This one is also great because it is for both nails and cuticles.
Hydrated nails will also make your nails more flexible over time i.e. when you bend them they will not crack, they will be flexible.
Filing occurs in almost every manicure so I have wrote below the safest way to file your nails 🙂
Filing nails in only one direction is a general rule with manicures (filing both way in a ‘sawing’ action can split/crack your nails). However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Filing one way is only important when the nail file is ‘rough’. It is possible though, to file back and forth in either direction with this recent trick I learned; get 2 nail files and rub them against each other until the roughness disappears and the nail file becomes almost blunt (but not too blunt). You can test this by smoothing it along your skin. Once near blunt it is then safe to do the ‘sawing’ action of filing your nails back and forth in either direction.
If you only have one rough nail file then it is important to only file in one direction, otherwise it creates friction that can cause your nail to crack/split. Here is an image of the different ways you can shape your nails with a nail file.
Cutting your nails is a simple process, but it can still cause damage if not done in the recommended way. Personally, I tend not to cut my nails as I like them quite long, so I just file them now and again.
Clippers are recommended over nail scissors; nail scissors can cause tugging/tearing of the nail because they aren’t very sharp. Biting your nails is also not recommended (though we all like a little nibble now and then); this again can cause peeling and tearing of the nails.
To cut your nails using clippers, it is best to start at one corner of your nail, working your way to the other side with small snips. This is opposed to taking one big snip from the centre of your nail and then cutting either side – which is said to cause splitting of the nails (I used to always do it this way and I never had any problems, but I thought it best to still note down just in case it helps someone else).
Nail Polish Manicure
We all like to paint our nails so here are a few tips for protecting your natural nails and protecting your nail polish.
Tip 1 – Store your nail varnish in the fridge. This will make some nail varnishes last up to twice as long. Not only this, but when you come to apply them to your nails, it will glide on a lot easier and create faster drying times.
Tip 2 – Roll the nail varnish bottle in your hands, making sure the lid is tightly screwed on (I’ve experienced how tough it is to get nail polish out of carpets). This trick should help the nail varnish distribute a more even colour across your nails.
Tip 3 – Smooth a clear base coat over your natural nails before applying your coloured nail varnish. Not only does this help your manicure last longer, but it helps to prevent your nails from getting stained (coloured nail varnish overtime can create yellow stains :().
Tip 4 – A nail strengthener applied first, under the base coat and then again after the base coat (before your nail varnish and top coat) will help protect your nail from potential breakage, whilst also securing your manicure for longer. This is quite time consuming but it pays off in the end because it means you have a longer lasting manicure, woo ^_^!
For more information, I have an article coming out soon on getting the best out of your nail polish manicure – including more tips :)!
This here is an all in one polish; nail strengthener, base coat and top coat. I recommend this as it’s a great value for money by getting all 3 products in one nice bottle. It has amazing reviews which you can see through the link I have provided.
I have tried to cover the main areas for nail care here. If you have any suggestions that I’ve not covered then please do comment in so I can add them to the list :). Also, there are some tips here that I have learned but haven’t even tried myself yet, so I am intrigued to know if they work or not. So again, if you try them then please comment or send me an email to fill me in =). I will be happy to share people’s stories.
Extra ideas and tips:
1. Placing newly painted nails in cold water can help your nails to dry quicker (I’m eager to try this one!)
2. Apply milk to each nail using a cotton bud. Let the milk soak in. This can apparently make your nails strong and shiny!
3. Treat your nails to a lemon bath. Soften a lemon (by rolling it between your hands) and half it. Take off any nail polish. Apply cuticle cream/oil if available. Make a nice bowl of warm water (maybe add a small amount of bubble bath) and then gently work your fingers into each lemon. After 5 minutes remove from the water. This trick is said to leave your nails clean, white and full of vitamins!
I’d love to add more to this list so feel free to comment in =)…