I have serious nail envy. Really I do. You see I was not blessed with beautiful long delicate fingers and nails like my bestie (she literally should have been a hand model). Instead I have short fingers and turned up nail beds. So, basically, I’ve spent my entire adult life paying close attention to what makes hands and nails beautiful and learning how to make the most with what I’ve got.
Here is a compilation of the best tips I’ve learned over the years followed by the best products to keep your hands and nails in tip top shape!
Cuticles: Simply do not cut them, EVER. If you already have stop immediately. Your cuticles are there to protect your nail beds from germs and bacteria. They also protect the base of the nail keeping your nails healthy looking. To keep your cuticles looking neat simply wash your hands in lukewarm soapy water and gently push them back every couple of days using your nails, or a gentle cuticle pushing tool. Keep them moisturized to prevent dry cuticles and nails – look for products that contain ingredients like Jojoba and Vitamin E.
Nails: Stick to using 240-grit nail files since they are the least abrasive on natural nails, and, change your nail file every few weeks because they are prone to grow bacteria. You can also invest in a crystal nail file that you can wash and dry after each use for a more eco-friendly alternative.
Hands: Moisturize your hands ideally after each wash and use sunscreen during the day. Frugal tip: I receive lots of facial moisturizer samples that contain sunscreen…I can’t use all of them on my face because I have sensitive skin that is prone to breakouts. Instead of throwing them away I use them on my hands……it works great!
Now, we all know the importance of eating healthy, it goes without saying, eating healthy and drinking lots of water will not only keep the inside of our bodies in good shape but it will also keep our hair, skin and nails looking wonderful too. For added oomph, take over the counter pre-natal vitamins, biotin or a vitamin formulated specifically for Hair, Skin and Nails
Regarding Nail Shape: let me impart some specific aesthetic wisdom….
- For those of you with short stubby fingers let your nails grow slightly beyond your finger tips and keep them shaped like an oval, this will elongate their appearance.
- Square and squoval shaped nails look best on longer fingers.
- Coffin shaped nails look best on very long nails (usually artificial) and do look best on people with thin long fingers.
- Long fingers that are larger in size look best in rounded active length nails.
- Broad hands look best with active length nails that are rounded and kept in neutral colors.
To maximize the staying power of a manicure. You should apply a coat of topcoat mid-week to keep it looking fresh and help prevent it from chipping.
Here are the best nail products you need in your mani toolkit. (Click on photo to purchase from affiliate).