Showing posts with label nail tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nail tips. Show all posts

Friday, June 8, 2012

Nail care tips and tricks

Everything you want to know about proper nail care. ...Here are very useful tips for hand and nails

Health can be determined by your nail color. To keep your nails healthy and beautiful you have to take proper care of your nails and hands as well. Also a manicure and pedicure on a monthly basis will be beneficial for you and for these treatments. Removal of all nail varnish every week and allowing nails for breathing are important. The use of a good nail strengthening cream as well as good quality nail products such as nail polish and nail polish remover is advisable for healthy nail growth. Good nail growth tips also include opting for a healthy diet. A low protein diet is believed to be one of the causes of slow nail growth. Foods rich in group B vitamins for nail growth are recommended.
There are a number of home remedies for nail growth. The best and simplest method to promote nail growth without any hassles is through a regular hand and foot massage, concentrating on the nail beds. After a bath, gently massage your fingers and toes with cream paying special attention to the tips.

• File your nails using a gentle stroke. Avoid corners of your nails.

• Always use a mild soap for washing your hands and finger nails.

• Shape your nails. The most popular shape to use is oval, but choose one that suites to your hand and finger shape.

• A proper cleansing is essential to keep the nails healthy and problem free. After coming from outside, wash your hands and feet properly with a mild body wash and then apply a moisturizing lotion.

• To harden soft nails, soak in warm olive oil for about 20 minutes on alternate days.

• Try to eat sulfur enriched vegetables like cauliflowers and cabbages. Drink lots of fruit juices and water.

• To clean stains from your nails, mix one tablespoon of lemon juice in a cup of water and soak your nails in this liquid for a few minutes. Then, wash off with warm water and apply a hand moisturizer.

• In case you wear nail polish, make sure to give your nails a break from time to time.

• Coconut Oil & Castor Oil Nails can be made to shine by massaging coconut oil or warm castor oil on them.

• One of the most important parts of nail care is taking care of cuticles. A proper care of your cuticles help you avoid many nail related diseases.

• Drink fresh carrot juice daily, this is high in calcium and phosphorus and is excellent for strengthening nail.

• Dipping your nails in a mixture of cup of water with one tablespoon of lemon juice is wanted before a nail manicure.

Publications: Febstore

Monday, May 21, 2012

How to Blend Nail Tips

For some women, 10 long and flawless fingernails make them feel more feminine. However environmental and physical factors can cause nails to peel or chip. Fortunately, alternatives to perfect natural nails exist. Nail professionals apply artificial tips to the nails to lengthen them.

If you have patience and a steady hand you can apply your own tips. Blending the tip well is a critical step in application.

Blending the tip creates a natural-looking nail extension. It also creates a smooth base for the application of nail enhancements such as acrylic, silk, fiberglass or gel nails. Without properly blending the nail, a ridge forms where the product joins, and does not create the stable base needed for a long-lasting enhancement. Blending the nails becomes especially key when you intend to wear sheer or French manicure nail lacquer since an obvious seam detracts from the beauty.

Select a thin, fast-drying glue that dries clear and leaves no reside. Purchase a file to gently reduce the plastic material that forms the artificial tip. To make the job easier and faster, use a tip blender. It has acetone, which breaks down the plastic material of the nail tip. For the finishing touch, use a buffer to smooth the tip and make the transition to the natural nail seamless.

Select a nail tips that fits snuggly between the sidewalls of the nail. Apply glue directly to the tip, using a small dot of fast-drying nail glue, allowing it to spread evenly on the tips, so you do not have air bubbles once you apply it to the natural nail plate. Place the tip at the top of the free edge of the nail plate and gently roll the tip onto the nail. Once the glue dies, apply the tip blender. Use a 180-grit file to thin the tip where it forms a joint with the natural nail. Buff the nail with a 240-grit buffing block to give the nail a smooth natural surface.

Use a soft 240-grit file to remove the natural shine from the surface of the natural nail. A coarse file could disrupt the layers of the nail plate and cause air or contaminates to become trapped between the natural nail and the tip, resulting in the growth of mold or fungus. Dehydrate the natural nail with alcohol to remove the oils from the nail plate and improve adhesion of the tip to the nail.

Publications: Febstore

Friday, May 18, 2012

The French manicure is a timeless classic in the beauty world.

I can lift any outfit and instantly make you feel pretty, feminine and ready for any special occasion.

Increasingly, nail art is expanding with new colorful tricks and techniques being introduced, and we're not just talking glittery acrylics.

Nail wraps, crackle polishes and newspaper print nails are among the new wave of artist designs that are taking the beauty world by storm. And the best bit? You don't need to spend a fortune on having falsies put on to achieve the looks.

None of us have the luxury of having salon perfect nails, but if you want to achieve a quick and simple manicure, then here a quick step-by-step guide.

1. Apply a base coat to the nail and let it dry.

2. With white polish draw two small vertical lines at either side of the tip and draw a thin line along the tip of the nail. The two lines make it easier to keep the line even. A handy hint, keep the brush flat and make sure there is no excess on the nail to avoid dripping.

3. Once you have your basic line on each nail, go back and make it as dark and defined as you like.

4. When it has dried add a couple of coats to add color and pigment to the nail.

5. When dry, add a clear nail polish for extra shine and protection from chipping.

If you struggle to achieve a straight-ish line on the nail, either use paper tape or French manicure stickers for a rough guide.

Following on from the spring/summer season's love affair with color, it is so easy to use this classic style to change it up a bit with a twist.

Instead of using the traditional base coat pink and white tips why not go for something a little more colorful and daring.

You can combine any contrasting or complimentary colors you’d like and chose a different combination for each finger and really follow the block color trend.

Follow the same technique as the above, but empty out your collection of polishes and have fun creating your own personal manicure!

A little nails at the moment are red and bubblegum pink, but instead of a red body, pink tip I've gone a little different and drawn a diagonal line across from one top corner down the nail. You can make the line as fine or big as you’d like.

It's eye catching and is a great tip for shorter or longer nails.

Publications: Febstore

Friday, May 11, 2012

How to do newspaper print nail art

Nail art is becoming more and more artistic with creative and innovative techniques popping up all the time.

One trend about to take the beauty world by storm is the simple to do, but oh so effective newspaper print nails. Here's a step by step guide as to how to achieve this funky look, with a picture of my nails to show you what the finished product looks like.
For this look you will need:

A pale basecoat, a small amount of vodka/rubbing alcohol 10 strips of newspaper cotton buds A clear topcoat.


1. Apply two coats of your pale basecoat and leave to dry thoroughly. The lighter the color the better for this look as it helps the newspaper print to show up better. Go for either a pale pink/white or grey depending on how much you want the nail to stand out.

2. Put a little vodka into a bowl or a lid. Dip a finger into the vodka for about 10-15 seconds.

3. As soon as you remove it, lay a strip of newspaper, words facing down.

4. Press firmly and rock your finger over the strip of newspaper for 15-20 seconds.

5. Lightly peel back the newspaper and the words will be left on the nail.

6. Repeat this process for all the nails and leave to settle for 2-3 minutes before touching anything or moving around.

7. When the ink has dried sligthtly, apply a LIGHT top coat to the nail. Try to make this as thin as possible so as to avoid it running with the ink. If you do it lightly, then it will stay in place.

8. Once this has dried, go on to do a second coat, this time a little more liberal. This will protect the design and add shine to the finish.

9. When your nails are protected, go around the nail with nail polish remover and a cotton bud to clean away the print.

10. Wash your hands in warm, soapy water to clean the hand thoroughly
There you have it, take a look at mine done with exactly the same process.

Apparently, using filtered water in place of the vodka/alcohol is an option for those with irratable skin or brittle nails.

The print may be a little lighter, so you may have to press down a little longer with the print to achieve a darker tone. Keep practising until you have a look you're happy with.

Take a look at mine, and have a go yourself.
Let FemaleFirst know what you think...

Publications: Febstore

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How to Apply Nailtiques

Nailtiques is a line of nail care products that conditions and strengthens the nail. The Nailtiques Nail Protein formulas protect the nail from chipping, breaking and peeling while other products fortify brittle nails and soften cuticles. Human nails can easily become damaged through neglect and exposure to harsh chemicals like acetone. Nailtiques reverses existing damage and protects against future problems.

1. Wash hands and remove all remnants of nail polish.
2. Apply a layer of the Nailtiques Nail Protein treatment on each nail. Give the treatment a few minutes to try. Use it alone or as a base coat before you apply your nail polish.
3. Massage the Nailtiques Cuticle and Skin Gel around the base of each nail to soften rough cuticles and dried skin. Use your finger or a Q-tip to rub in the gel.
4. Pull off some of the excess cotton from the Q-tip. Swab the Q-tip into the Nailtiques Nail Moisturizer and apply underneath your nail tips. Leave on overnight to allow it to absorb into the nail beds. This helps build flexible and strong tips.
5. Remove white spots on the surface of the nails by rubbing the Nailtiques Oil Therapy directly onto the nail.
6. Prolong the life and shine of your nail polish by applying about 2-3 drops of the Nailtiques Formula Fix over the polish. This is also used to thin out thickened nail protein. To use on thickened nails, apply 2-3 drops directly onto the nail.

Tips & Warnings
• Use the Nail Protein and Nail Moisturizer about three times a week for best results. Use all other products as needed depending on your nail condition. Nailtiques can also be used on the toes in a similar fashion.

Publications: Febstore

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nail Care Tips

Your nails are a very important part of your hands and they too need to be well taken care of. Well-kept hands with neat, clean and healthy nails are a pleasure to behold. We can say that for your hands to look beautiful, your nails need to be strong and healthy. To achieve this, you need to undertake certain steps, such as cleaning your nails on a regular basis, treating the cuticles properly and keeping the nails well moisturized. Go through the hand nail care tips given below and know more on keeping your nails healthy and beautiful.

Nail Care Tips
• To harden soft nails, soak them in warm olive oil for about 20 minutes, on alternate days.
• To remove stains from your nails, mix one tablespoon of lemon juice in a cup of water and soak your nails in this liquid for a few minutes. Then, wash off with warm water and apply a hand moisturizer.
• It is not a good idea to remove the cuticles from your nails, as it will make the nail susceptible to infection. Rather, make sure to use good quality cuticle oil and gently push back the cuticles, with the help of an orangewood stick.
• Try to stay away from acetone polish removers as much as you can and stick to the one that make use of acetate. Still, try not to use a polish remover more than once a week.
• In case you wear nail polish, make sure to give your nails a break from time to time. In other words leave them without polish for a few days, every now and then. Otherwise, they will develop an ugly, yellow tint.
• If you want to give a natural shine to your nails, just like the clear base coat, rub petroleum jelly on your nails and then buff them with a soft cloth.
• If you have brittle nails or split and dull nails, then increasing your consumption of Organic Silica, Vitamin B (especially B5) and MSM (Methyl-Sulfonyl-Methane) as it will surely help.
• Never ever resort to nail biting, as it is extremely destructive for the nails as well as the cuticles. If you are in the habit of biting your nails, stop as soon as possible.
• Whenever you wash your hands make sure to dry the nails properly and apply a hand cream or lotion, using it on the nails as well. This is because soap makes the nails dry and brittle.
• The best time to file your nails is when you are already wearing a polish. This will prevent splitting or breaking of nails.
• If you have brittle nails, it is advisable to wear nail polish or at least the clear base coat as much as you can.

Monday, April 9, 2012

3 Basic Nail Care Tips For Healthy Nails

Keep your nails strong, healthy and beautiful with these nail care tips.

The most important aspect in maintaining good looking nails is to protect them from damage. Fortunately, there are numerous ways for us to do this. One is to avoid submerging our nails in water for a long period. This can be very damaging as too much moisture can weaken the nails. The effect is splitting, breaking, and peeling nails due to overexposure to water.

Protect your nails from harsh chemicals as well. Most of the commercial products that we use contain chemicals that may be damaging to our nails. If possible, use only acetone-free nail polish removers as they are milder compared to acetone-based ones. But then again, limit your usage of nail polish remover as they can still dry out your nails.

Never use your nails as tools in opening containers, bottles, and cans. Avoid the habit of opening letters using your nails, too. Avoid scraping things off or prying things open with your nails. There are corresponding tools designed to do such things.

To make your nails a little more resistant to water, wear nail polish or a clear nail hardener. Nail polish application does play an important role in proper nail care. It not only acts as a fashion style and accessory but it also aids in providing a protective layer for your nails. You can settle with clear nail polish if you prefer the natural look. Go for chic colored nail polish or eye-catching nail art if you want your nails to be more noticeable.

But whichever you choose, there are some things that you should still consider. You still need to prepare your nail plate prior to polish application. Clean, trim, file and buff your nails to create a clean and smooth surface. Apply a base coat so the polish won’t stain your nails. Both base coat and top coat will lengthen the life of the polish on your nails, which means lengthening the days before your subject them to the harsh chemicals contained in nail polish remover.

In general, you should not subject your nails to manicure and pedicure more than once a week.

To protect your nails from water, wear gloves when washing dishes, gardening, and doing other house chores. Use gloves as well when using bleach, solvents, and other cleaning products. Also, limit the amount of time that your hands are immersed in water. When removing nail polish, soak them in nail polish remover only in a few minutes.

Eat a healthy diet and go for foods rich in calcium and protein as they can help promote healthy and strong nails. Biotin, a substance in most dietary supplements, and Vitamin E contribute to healthy nails and hair as well. To keep the proper blood flow in your fingers, massage your nails with hand cream. Also, keep your nails at a considerable length to prevent getting caught and breaking.

Publications: Febstore

Friday, April 6, 2012

More Tips for better Nail Care: Common Questions

Why won't nails grow?
Unless you have some type of medical condition that prevents it, your nails are growing. On average, your nails grow about 1/8 of an inch per month. The reason why most people's nails don't seem to grow is because they break before they see results. Many people bite their nails, rip them off, others tend to shed or peel. The best way to see results is to start a healthy nail program with your nail technician.

Will artificial nails keep my nails from growing crooked?
If your nails have always grown a certain way, they will continue to grow that way forever or something changes your nail matrix (the "brain" of the nail). Nail enhancements can only "cover" your natural nail appearance, not change it.

What can you do about ridges in nails?
Actually, nothing. If you've always had them, you always will. If you never had them before and just started to notice them, one reason could be stress or simply the fact that you're getting older. As we get older the nails on our hands & toes become ridged. In order to get a smooth polish application just GENTLY buff the nail surface with a white block buffer, remove the dust; apply a ridge filler base coat, two coats of polish, and finally a topcoat.

How can I help my dry skin and cuticles?
Moisturize, Rehydrate, Oil and Lotion... any chance you get! Keep a good quality hand cream with you always. Whenever you wash your hands, apply it. Also, use a good quality cuticle oil and gently rub into your cuticles twice a day. For really chapped hands & feet I recommend a nice dip in paraffin wax.

Should cuticles and calluses be cut?
NO!! Never cut your cuticles or cut your calluses. These are your body’s armor. The cuticle protects the nails from infections, and the calluses give you shock absorbers. If you cut them, they will grow back thicker and harder, and possibly create an infection. The best way to care for your cuticles is to apply good quality cuticle oil and gently push them back with an orangewood stick. You may carefully trim any hangnails or for best results, schedule a manicure with your nail technician.

What causes finger nail damage?
The nail can be damaged by nail-biting, scratching the nail folds, bad manicuring, or trauma such as slamming a finger in a car door. Damaged nails may appear ridged or cracked and broken. If they do not appear "normal" after about one year, then most likely the nail matrix has been damaged and the nail will never be normal again.

What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a hereditar y disorder which most commonly affects the skin on the elbows, knees, face, and even the scalp with a rash like appearance. In the finger nails, psoriasis may appear as pits in the nail plate, or as the nail plate separating from the nail bed (onycholysis). Other symptoms include the nail losing its normal luster, appearing discolored, or grossly thickening.

What is Paronychia?
Paronychia is an inflammation of the nail folds commonly caused by constant exposure to moisture. Exposure to bacteria or fungus can often cause a secondary infection accompanied by painful swelling of the nail fold. If the infection goes untreated for an extended period of time, the nail plate can become deformed. Paronychia can be treated by draining the infected nail fold, taking oral antibiotics, or using a topical antifungal or antiseptic lotion. If you have paronychia it's best to avoid prolonged exposure to water (e.g. washing dishes), or try wearing gloves.

What do Nails reveal about your health?
Take a look at your fingernails. Are they strong and healthy-looking? Or do you see ridges, or areas of unusual color or shape? The condition of your nails may offer clues to your general health. Illness can cause changes in your nails that your doctor can use to develop a diagnosis.

Here are a few nail disorders that may be linked with illnesses:
Beau's lines - Indentations that run across your nail. This can appear when growth at the matrix (nail root) is disturbed by severe illness such as a heart attack, measles, or pneumonia.

Clubbing - your fingertips widen and become round while the nails curve around your fingertips caused by enlargement in connective tissue as compensation for a chronic lack of oxygen. Lung disease is present in 80 percent of people who have clubbed fingers.

Half-and-Half (Lindsay's nails) - Look for an arc of brownish discoloration. It may appear in a small percentage of people who have a kidney disorder.

Onycholysis (ON-i-ko-LY-sis) - the nail separates from the nail bed. Most of the time, this problem is associated with physical injury (trauma), psoriasis, drug reactions, fungal disease or contact dermatitis from using nail hardeners. Sometimes onycholysis can be related to an over- or under-active thyroid gland, iron deficiency, or syphilis.

Spoon nails - soft nails that look scooped out. Depression is usually large enough to hold a drop of liquid. This condition often indicates iron deficiency.

Terry's nails - the nail looks opaque and white, but the nail tip has a dark pink to brown band. This can be a symptom of cirrhosis, congestive heart failure, adult-onset diabetes, cancer, or aging.

Publications: Febstore

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil & OPI Acetone Free Polish Remover Are Great For Nails

Don´t your nails drive you crazy?

Mine do! Flaking, peeling, splitting, breaking and of course, I don’t really help much as I’m constantly taking the nail polish off, but let’s move on from that.

Every now and then I try to take care of them. Since I was not able to buy the amazing L’Onglex anywhere nearby, I picked up some ridiculously pricey Opi Acetone Free Polish Remover a while back. I’ll explain: I was in London, any other product was very small, very expensive or one of those awful removers that take your lacquer off down to the bone. I hate that stuff, so Opi it was.

Anyway, expensive as it was (£7.35 according to it’s pretty good. It’s hassle free, whips off stains and brightens in seconds. Great job! Will I replace it? Hmmmm. I might, but I might just get some L’Onglex instead.

The other thing I’ve been using recently is Essie Apricot Cuticle oil in an attempt to strengthen my nails. My nails are prone to weaken, peel and split at the tips. I can never keep a manicure in place for more than a day or two at the most because there’s so much going on with my nails.

Needless to say, I’d like to fix this.

I’m not very high maintenance and neither do I want to look over-groomed but just occasionally it’d be nice to hear a complement about my nails. The Essie oil was about €14 at Boots Liffey Valley from what I recall – although I’m sure you could find it a lot cheaper online.

Publications: Febstore

Monday, March 26, 2012

12 Things Your Nail Salon Doesn't Want You to Know Part 3

When you shave matters
You shouldn't shave before getting a pedicure, says Choi, as pedicurists do not care if you have hair on your legs. Also, shaving your legs makes you more prone to infection as newly shaved legs have opened pores (and often tiny nicks you can't see) that are susceptible to infectious diseases. So don't be wary of showing off some stubble at the salon, she says.

Some tools can't be sanitized
You can only put metal tools in the autoclave, says Choi. And as we stated before, only an autoclave kills a 100 percent of all bacteria and viruses. Nail salon tools like pumice stones, emery boards, nail buffers and foam toe separators need to be swapped out after each use to prevent the spread of bacteria. That's why you're best off bringing your own -- just in case the salon doesn't follow this practice. If you see any white residue on a nail file, it means it's been used on someone else.

Footbaths aren't your friend
"Whirlpool footbaths," though seemingly safe, are filled with city water, which may or may not be free of microbes, says the doctor and are typically difficult to clean. Even though most nail salons disinfect their tubs, researchers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention typically find bacteria that could cause boils and rashes in most according to the "New York Times." And it's extremely hard to bust these salons with having microbe growth, as many times salons aren't linked to the infections because boils can take as long as four months after a pedicure to develop.

You don't need your calluses removed

Many salons will try and talk you into callous removal, as it is usually an additional service and charge. But Skyy Hadley, celebrity manicurist and owner of the As "U" Wish Nail Spa, says it is not always necessary. "If you're an athlete then you should never remove your calluses as these actually help level your performance. If you are not an athlete, you should have your calluses removed with a deep soak and scrub once they become thick and uncomfortable," she says.

If you do opt for callous removal, always choose scrubbing or a chemical remover. Never allow your nail technician to cut or shave the skin off your feet. "Cutting is cutting," and "not recommended," says Choi. Not to mention, the more you cut, the thicker the calluses will grow back, she advises.

Publications: Febstore

Friday, March 2, 2012


One large area of the modeling industry is named 'parts modeling', comprising those models whose legs, body or hands are used for adverts that require only a small part of the model's body. Hand models are a great resource for beauty tips, because their career depends on the beauty of their skin and nails.
Strong and beautiful nails are a great sign that you're a healthy person. Good nail care is not only good for any close-up photos you might do, but is an important part of being an attractive person.

Stronger Nails
Wearing nail polish actually strengthens your nails. If your nails are delicate and easily broken, try to wear nail polish as often as possible. Using a good clear nail polish every day will give your nails a great natural look and strengthen them in the long run too.

Here's a good tip for making your nail polish dry faster - dip your nails in ice water a minute after application. Alternatively, put on a light coating of baby oil.

One thing you should be careful off - never open soda cans with your nails. Instead, slip a knife under the ring pull and lever it up gently. There's no sense in getting beautiful nails then ruining them on a can of Coke!

Exposing nails to water causes them to expand and contract, contributing to weakened nails; Wearing a set of rubber gloves while cleaning is a good idea to protect them.

Making Small Nails Appear Larger
If you have short or narrow nails, clear nail polish sometimes only makes your nails appear small. A darker nail polish will make them seem narrower, and hence longer.

For those of you with very small nails, using a nail polish with a metallic color can make them appear larger.

Moisturizing Nails
Julia Roberts soaks her nails in olive oil for a few minutes each week. Why? Olive oil moisturizes your nails without weakening them, and softens your cuticles too. It also prevents "hang nails" that are caused by dry skin.

Softening Cuticles
Never cut off cuticles or calluses, they will just grow back harder and you run the risk of infection. It’s far better to soften them if you can. Just as with nails, dipping in olive oil will make them more supple, softer and less prone to splitting.
Another good tip for softer hands is to dip them in milk for 3 minutes. This is a great tip to do before your manicure.

Bubbly Nail Polish
If you keep getting bubbles in your polish, remember not to shake the bottle before use, this just increases the bubbles. If you want to mix it up, try rolling it between your hands first.

Split Nails
If you're one of those people who suffer from consistently split nails, here are some great tips. Never grow them too long, as this just makes them more vulnerable. About one quarter of a centimeter beyond your finger is a good length. Make sure that they are always neatly filed into a nice curved shape.

Your nails lose moisture a lot faster than your hands, so always keep them very well moisturized. Also keep your use of polish remover to a minimum - the alcohol it contains can suck out moisture.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Make Your Manicure Last

Wish your polish could outlast a few shampoos, keystrokes, or simple chores? Make it stick with these 11 tricks.
1. Never push back dry cuticles. Doing so can crack polish at the base, which leads to chipping, says New York City celebrity nail pro Deborah Lippmann, who offers tips like this in her master class, held at upscale department stores. But if you're about to change your polish, you don't want any cuticle skin on the nail's surface (it can interfere with your base coat) — so loosen ragged edges by rubbing in a softening cream. Then gently nudge cuticles back with an orangewood stick.
2. Don't soak fingertips. There's no real reason to do so (at salons, it's just part of the pampering), and, says Tom Bachick, executive vice president of the Young Nails Company, it can actually have a negative effect: When you soak your nails, they absorb water, which temporarily puffs them up — but they revert to their normal shape when the water evaporates. This expansion and contraction is the top cause of chipping, peeling, and cracking of polish, says Bachick
3. Get the surface clean, clean, clean. Any traces of moisture, dust, or leftover enamel will get in the way of new-polish adhesion. To pave the way for true staying power, drizzle an old toothbrush with hand soap; then use it to "get into the corners and under nail tips, where oil — the great enemy — may be hiding," suggests Jan Arnold, cofounder of Creative Nail Design. (Steer clear of lanolin-based soaps, which interfere with adhesion.) Then swipe on an acetone polish remover to temporarily dehydrate the nail plate.
4. Shape up. "To maximize nail strength, tips should be rounded and corners left somewhat square," says Robyn Gmyrek, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia University, in New York City. Filing is healthier than clipping, which can crack the nail plate. Use a fine-grit nail file and work in one direction. "Filing back and forth with an abrasive board will cause the nail's delicate keratin layers to peel away from each other," says Elsbeth Schuetz, international educator for Orly.
5. Apply a base coat (no, it's not just a marketing ploy). Not only does a bottom layer give lacquer something to latch on to, says chemist Doug Schoon, vice president of research and development for Creative Nail Design, but studies show that a base coat sticks to nails better than polish does. For uneven nail surfaces, choose a base that also smooths out roughness.
6. Once lacquer is on, seal it with a slow-setting topcoat. Quick-dry kinds are certainly appealing, but they evaporate so fast, they leave polish soft, mushy, and prone to denting. A slower-acting topcoat leaves a harder, more protective finish. To speed things up without sacrificing protection, use a drying oil or spray over your topcoat.
7. Make the most of metallics. Sure, light shades make chips less noticeable, but you can get an extra couple of days' wear from a metallic polish, says Schoon. One theory on why this works: Small iridescent flecks thicken enamel, so it forms a stronger film as it dries — allowing it to outlast creamy opaques (whose high pigment content can block adhesion).
8. Or try Revlon's ColorStay Always On Nail Enamel. This two-step system — which consists of polish and a protective sealant and doesn't require a base coat — promises to resist chips for up to ten days. The Good Housekeeping Research Institute put it to the test while moving office buildings (talk about active conditions). Despite a few complaints about surface scratches, nearly all of the panelists agreed that it was the longest-lasting polish they had ever tried (50 percent got ten days of wear; one person, 14 days). As one tester put it, "This product has revolutionized the nail polish industry."
9. Polish should be applied in three narrow, even strokes — one down the center and one down each side — and then be allowed to dry for two minutes before a second coat is applied. The thicker the layer is, the more difficult it is for the solvent — the liquid agent in enamel — to evaporate, boosting the chances that polish will peel.
10. Practice good maintenance. "Everything you touch wears away your polish," says Lippmann. Every other day, apply a layer of quick-dry topcoat (it's OK to use on already-dry polish) to form a protective shield and increase shine.
11. Give your polish a drink. The more your enamel dries out, the greater the likelihood that it will separate from your nail. Since topcoats don't seal in hydration, apply oil to nails and cuticles before bedtime, and slather on a thick hand cream twice a day.

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