I love a good manicure – whether I’m painting my nails at home or splurging on the paraffin treatment at the salon, I love the way getting my nails done feels and I love the way bright, shiny colors look once the job is done (And yes, I even love my undeniable urge to match my outfits to my nails all week long). However, when I take my polish off after a weeks-long manicure bender (there are just so many colors to try!) I often find my nails are brittle and flaky.
If you share my manicure pain, you’re actually in luck. There are ways to prevent a manicure from ruining the natural beauty (and health) of your nails so you can keep on painting!
Always use a base coat
If you’re a nail art addict, you might skip a base coat to save time during your manicure routine. Don’t! Base coats are meant to protect your nail from the harmful, drying ingredients in a polish, and are usually formulated with some sort of treatment built in to strengthen your nails. Plus, base coats will prevent dark polishes from dyeing your nails, so you don’t have to keep painting to cover up that icky orange hue left behind from your favorite shade of red.
Don’t pick off your polish!
I never was a nail biter, but a nail polish picker? I’m one of the worst I know. Not only does this bad habit leave a dusting of blue, pink or purple paint chips around my desk at work (and distract me from work) it’s harmful for my nails, too! When you chip off a layer of paint, it’s more than likely that one or more thin outer layers of your nail will come off, too. Even if this doesn’t seem like a big deal now, when the bottom of your nail reaches the tip, it will be more prone to breakage (and those obnoxious hangnails that cause runs in your stockings!)
If you’re a chronic polish chipper-offer like me, there are some steps to take. As soon as you see a chip, either slather on a coat of clear polish, or remove the color entirely with a nourishing nail polish remover.
Be sure to give your nails a break every once in a while, too. If they are damaged, wait a few weeks until they’re in good health before your next manicure. In the meantime, moisturize, especially at the cuticles – these determine the health of your nails! Keep up with this hydrating habit even when you’re wearing polish.