September 18, 2013

Tips Thursday: Happy, Healthy Nails

Happy Thursday Everyone,

                 I hope everyone if ready for the weekend because we only have two more days to go. On the agenda for Tip Thursday is happy, healthy nails. How can nails be happy? - You may ask. Well, they can be crack-less, smooth and jagged-edge free and to me, that spells 'happiness'. I have had my struggles with weak, short and brittle nails and now I am going to show you how I take care of my digits. Here are some tips to help you have strong, health AND yes, happy nails.

Tip #1- File Free Edge

I do have a few nails that seem to get jagged faster so I like to file whenever the edges aren't even. This helps me not to bite (I am reformed biter) them and cause more damage. Make sure when you are filing your natural nails, that you aren't using a nail file with a grit too coarse for your natural nail. Some people like to use a 180 grit on natural nails but this is typically used on a thicker nail such as an acrylic or toe nail. This can damage the free edge of the nail and cause it to split the layers. Ideally, use a extra fine grit such as a 280 or 320 grit. This will give a fine file that will simply smooth the edge. When filing, always file in one direction, do not use a back and forth motion. This can also cause the nail to
split. I know this can be a hard habit to break, it looks cool in the movies when the chick is being all sassy, filing her nails. I still do it by accident once in a while.

Tip#2- Buff the Nail

There are a number of reason why we develop nail ridges but it is something we have to come to terms with, because as we age, they will deepen. But you can decrease there visibility and give yourself a smooth surface, whether it be for a clean look or a smooth canvas for a polish or nail design. Whatever the case, you will want a fine buffing block, which you can pick up at your local beauty supply store. The buffing blocks will be used in the same way as a the file, sweep in one direction, no back and forth motion.

Tip #3- Moisturize Your Cuticles

Health nails start from the cuticle. Therefore, if you want health nails, you need healthy cuticles. Do you follow? Day to do routines, such as washing hands, doing dishes and every bathing/showering can dry and damage your cuticles. Use a cuticle cream or oil daily (if possible) to soften and moisturize your cuticles. My favorite cuticle cream is European Secrets Hoofers choice cuticle and nail cream. This is available at Sally Beauty. The product is a thick cream consistency and moisturizes like you wouldn't believe. After filing and buffing, I always massage this product into my cuticles. It makes a big difference.

Tip#4- Minimize (Don't remove) Cuticles

These next few tips are more so for when you get down to an actual manicure. They do sell cuticle nippers, yes, but when possible I suggest to minimize more than cut cuticles. Cutting your cuticles can cause pain, bleeding and infection. The only time you should cut cuticles is when you have a hanging piece. Never cut an intact cuticle. (Trust me, I have done it before and it kills!) Instead, invest in a cuticle minimizer and cuticle pusher. They are usually affordable and easily obtained at a beauty supply store. Apply the minimizer and wait a few moments. Gentle push back cuticles with a cuticle pusher and Voila! Small, hardly noticeable cuticles without the pain and bleeding. Score! My favorite cuticle minimizer is the Barielle Advanced Cuticle care. It also has Argan Oil for more moisture.

Tip#5- Use a Nail Strengthener

A word of caution when using nail hardeners/strengtheners, sometimes with the product, it can be too much of a good thing. Too much protein can actually damage and cause the nail to split more, so use with caution. A nail hardener will tighten the curve of the nail, making it harder to break and/or split. My favorite is O.P.I Nail Envy.

Tip#6- Use a Good Base coat

The final step before applying polish is to apply a good base coat. A good base coat should prevent nail polish from chipping and also create a strong, hard reinforcement for the nail. My favorite is Orly Bonder.This product has a rubberized texture helping the polish to stick better.

Some final words with regards to healthy nails. Make sure to clip them regularly. Like a good trim of the hair helps it to grow longer and stronger, a good nail trim will help keep the nails strong. Avoid hand creams with heavy perfume scents as they contain alcohol with can have a drying effect on your nails and cuticles. When a snag occurs, simple file the edge and re-shape. If a nail breaks, do not be quick to cut it off. Visit a local beauty supply store and purchase a nail re-enforcement. These are relatively cheap and will keep your nails looks good!

I want to know...What are some of your healthy nail tips? What kind of files do you use? Do you use a buffer? A Cuticle Minimizer? Let me know below!

That's it for Tip Thursday! Stay tuned for more tips and tricks EVERY Thursday and keep your eyes peeled for my Saturday Fashion Blog with a special guest! Thanks for all the love and support and do forget to share this one Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. All my links are just one the left- hand side! 

Disclaimer: I am in no way sponsored by any of the products or companies listed above. The opinions expressed are that of my own.

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