Monday, October 26, 2009

Nail Care - My Way

I've gotten some request and questions about how I take care of my nails. I'm not really sure that I'm doing it the "right way", but hopefully it can still be useful. I don't have a lot of trouble with my nails breaking. I think it's a combination of genetics, nutrition, and the products I use on my nails.

Genetics
Too late to do much about that one....

Nutrition

I'm pretty sure this is huge. I eat a lot of veggies and some fruit too. Broccoli is good even though I don't love the taste. Carrots are yummy. I believe in getting a very varied diet.


Unsaturated fats like oil are good in moderation. Sugar is bad. I don't eat candy or cake, and I don't drink soda. I just don't like the taste of sweets so it's easy for me. I've heard lots of people reporting that they felt better after they cut down on sugar. I also try to drink a lot of water (in between all the coffee)
I don't take multi vitamins because I should be able to cover my needs through food. I do take a biotin supplement. Some people can take very large amounts of biotin, but it can cause acne. I take 2.5 mg and I haven't had any problems.

Products
Ah, the fun part. First of all, I don't believe you can "treat" your nails. They are made of dead cells just like your hair. Like your hair you can apply products that will support them and make them less likely to break, but after you remove the product; the effect will be gone.
Here is my nail care rutine
1. Remove old polish with acetone free nail polish remover and felt
I feel that acetone free remover is gentler and doesn't dry my skin out as much.
2. Soak the hands in hand cream I haven't found a perfect hand cream yet, so I just use what I've got.
3. Wipe the nails with the acetone polish remover. This will remove any residue from the hand cream and any oils that might be present on the nail.
4. Apply base coat.
Currently I'm using Zoya Anchor which is decent. Before I used OPI Nail Envy. It sucked. It made my nails yellow.
5. Apply polish.
This is actually the most important step. My nails have a much larger risk of breaking if they are unpolished or the polish is chipped. I usually apply 2-3 coats.
6. Apply top coat. For fast drying top coats I like Poshe. Sally Hansen also has some great fast drying top coats.
7. Apply cuticle oil.
I'm currently using a Nubar Cucumber one. I try to let the polish dry for a least 30 minutes first.
8. Apply some more hand cream.

Shaping
I keep my nail polish on when shaping. It makes it easier to get the nails even when you don't have the white parts distracting. You're supposed to be really careful about shaping, but usually I just clip them with clippers. If I don't want to take a lot of length off I use an emery board. After I get them to the length I want, I file them (in one direction only) with a crystal file. Mine is from OPI and it's pretty nice. I prefer a square shape, but "squoval" (square oval) or rounded nails look nice too. Pointy nails would probably make good close combat weapons.


Other advice

Don't use your nails as tools. You've probably heard it before, but it doesn't make it less through. I don't really use my nails for anything besides looking at. If you use your nails to open stuff they are going to break. Just saying... Change your polish when it starts chipping. I usually never have nails break unless I let the polish chip. When the polish chips the nail below is not protected and it breaks easily. Don't soak your hands in water. The nails will suck up water and it will distort them causing the polish to chip. I solve this problem by never cleaning or showering (just kidding... about the showering). I hope that was helpful. Now go eat some broccoli.

5 comments:

Citrine said...

At least it's nice to know that broccoli is good (I love it!) but anyway, I never keep my nail long enough to break them and if I can see nail from looking at my palm, I will probably go crazy...

I actually never use acetone (smell it plenty of times in chemistry lab and don't want to smell it at home)to remove hand cream residue, I just apply the hand cream at night and let it soak and use nail polish when my hands are dry.

Danielle said...

Great tips! Interesting about the brocolli! Definitely a "power" veg. Your nails are always gorgeous so I guess a lot of people will sit up and take notice. Great post! Thank you.

Lucy said...

Thanks for all the tips. I don't understand how anyone can say their product feeds your nails. Your definitely right that the nails are dead. Nothing is going to feed them. The nail polish keeps the nails strong.

Askmewhats said...

you are too funny! I laughed when you said no showering! But so true about removing the polish as soon as they're chipped and of course, not using the nails as tools! I've tried using my nail as a tool once and it chipped so bad!

Anonymous said...

OPI Nail Envy will turn nails yellow if used with acetone. Switching to only non-acetone removers should stop the problem. Some of the discoloration can be buffed off. HTH