Here are some nail care tips and tricks I would like to share with you. I will continue to add and edit this as time goes by and I learn new things.
Let me start off by saying that I am NOT a trained nail tech or certified expert on nail care. My credentials are limited to successfully growing nails my whole life and being diligent and careful enough to keep my nails long and manicured through construction phases, 2 kids, several moves, and countless hours of household chores. I have also learned a lot in the past year or so since I really got into nail art. Here are a few tips from me on how to protect your nails.
1. Gloves, gloves, gloves! Washing dishes? Grab some rubber gloves. Giving the kids a bath? Gloves! Handling meat and don’t want any under your nails (because ground beef under your nails is just eeeew!)? Gloves. Working outside? Gloves! I have 3 pairs of rubber gloves in my house used for different things. The less you let your nails get wet the better. My nails are extremely hard and if I get them wet they peel and break. People with soft nails will have other concerns as their already soft nails can become even softer and more prone to tear while wet. Gloves are a simple solution and they help a lot.
One change you can make to your normal routine that may sound unrelated is washing veggies (while wearing gloves) like potatoes and carrots instead of peeling them. They are better for you and you don’t have to worry about playing peeler vs. nails. You can also wear rubber gloves while peeling nails to help prevent peeling your nails. Trust me. It helps.
2. Make it a habit to be extra mindful of your hands when working. I’m talking make your hand into a fist when reaching into the washing machine to avoid catching a nail (it’s happened several times in the past but not anymore!), using your knuckles instead of finger tips to open things or a knife or husband to pry things open that are especially hard to open. Also, never be afraid to ask for someone else to step in and help with something if you think you might break a nail. I’m lucky to have a great hubby who never picks on me about asking for help “so I won’t break a nail”. I’m not very limited in what I can do so it doesn’t happen very often but it’s nice to feel free to ask for help when I need it.
3. If you notice a break beginning then use the teabag method. No need to reinvent the wheel, here’s how it’s done (http://www.chickettes.com/repairing-a-broken-nail-with-a-tea-bag/. Basically you use a tea bag and nail glue to make a patch on the nail where there is a break until the nail grows out. I used to cut down my nails when I had a break and it was always a sad occasion. Now I use the tea bag method and I haven’t had a drastic cut down in over a year. Works for me!!
4. Don’t be afraid to use nail glue to stop peeling. My nails being as hard as they are and the climate what is is in the Philippines has had me dealing with peeling nails for a long time. I don’t have access to nail treatments here by OPI or Essie or other brands like that to try out so what I have found works for me is filing my nails a little bit and if I notice a little peeling I put a tiny bit of nail glue to keep it from getting worse. Again, it works for me! For some great tips on filing and trying to deal with peeling edges check out Loodie Loodie Loodie.
http://loodieloodieloodie.blogspot.com She has tons of info on nails.
5. Do not use Acetone to remove polish. Go for non acetone remover if you can find it. If you are like me and can’t find it locally then find a solution that’s not 100% acetone. Local companies here make a 30% acetone solution which is better than 100% as pure acetone is really harsh and drying. I only use pure acetone to clean brushes as I’m doing nail art and for removing a tea bag patch.
Here are some of my tips for improving your manicure.
Make sure your nails are completely dry before applying any polish. If you have recently washed your hands, wait until the water has completely dried out of your nails. This will help prevent the cursed bubbling.
Work in quiet room for less mistakes. I do most of my work when the kids are in bed so I can focus and not worry about them grabbing elbows or bumping tables, etc.
If you struggle with shakes while you paint, try laying your arms across the table in front of you and steadying your painting hand with your wrist and fingers. This is how I am able to paint with my non-dominant hand. You don’t need a lot of room to move. You will get better with practice.
For the best looking manicure, swiping a flat makeup brush dipped in acetone along the cuticle line for cleanup is a must. After I started doing this, I never went back to messy cuticle lines!
Well, if you read all of this through to the end then I thank you! I hope my tips are helpful to you. Do let me know if you have any questions.