The first #NailGlossip chat of the year focused on bad habits and solutions to help your nails look better in the coming year. The best place to start is by nailing down (pun totally intended) a set manicure routine and scheduling a regular nail date with yourself.
To inspire you, I’ve teamed up with Sally Hansen to share the manicure steps that rescue my genetically weak digits from looking a hot mess. Using these simple tips, you can proudly take your naked nails in public.
Push and Trim Cuticles
They say that brows frame your face and, in the same respect, cuticles frame your nails. You may be wearing a Picasso on your hands but raggedy cuticles will wreck the overall picture.
Start with clean, dry nails. Apply cuticle remover and let it sit for a minute. Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover is a fan favorite for its ability to dissolve even the toughest skin and calluses. I’ve been using it for over a decade.
After the remover has a chance to work, push back cuticles to create a smooth, curved shape. I prefer rubber-footed cuticle pushers, like the Sally Hansen Push-N-Trim, because they are more gentle than an orange wood stick. If you push too hard, the soft nail that lies beneath can grow out with ridges.
Remove the excess skin that grows onto the nail bed by gently pushing the metal side along the sidewalls.
Buff Away Ridges
If you are blessed with naturally smooth, ridge-free nails, you can skip this step. I am not that fortunate.
Buffing helps achieve a smooth finish but can cause damage if you do it too often or press too hard. To avoid that, I apply cuticle oil (Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil) to my nail surface before lightly buffing with a 240 grit buffer. The oil protects and moisturizes the nail bed.
Even Out Tips
Because I paint my nails so often, I like to give them a break from polish every now and then. But my tips are pretty uneven and discolored. So, when my nails go naked I pull out a nail whitening pen to fill in the odd spots.
Dip the Sally Hansen 2-in-1 Nail White Pencil in water to activate and run it under the free edge. It won’t turn yellowed nails bright white but it will even things out.
As you can see, after these simple manicure steps, my nail beds are smoother, my cuticles less ragged and my free edge is brighter and more even.
Protect, Strengthen & Shine
Finally, add a tinted strengthening treatment, like Sally Hansen Nail Rehab, to protect and add gloss to the manicure. I’m on my second bottle, it’s that good.
The bonus of Nail Rehab… its milky, slightly thick consistency has a ridge-filling effect so it’s a great treatment to wear under creme nail polish. I often use it as a base when I swatch cremes.
What are your key steps to a flawless manicure? How often do you let your nails go out naked?
Sally Hansen products are available at drugstores and mass retailers nationwide. For more info, visit SallyHansen.com.Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sally Hansen, who provided samples of the products featured. All opinions are my own. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.