You want pretty nails. You need pretty nails to go with your pretty nail designs. But your nails remain frustratingly average. They break when you try to grow them out. They do weird things when you put nail polish on them. Before you resign yourself to wearing mittens forever, it’s time take your average nails and turn them into perfect nails in five simple steps.
HYDRATED NAILS STAY PRETTY, STAY STRONG
If your nails easily break or chip, even without a helpful coat of polish, then it means you’re probably dehydrated. That expensive hand cream you splurged on last week won’t help if you don’t let enough water past your immaculately lipsticked mouth. Keep a small water bottle at your desk and regularly drink 2 or 3 ounces every hour. Try to hit that goal of at least 6-8 cups a day. Add lemon or cucumber to your water if you can’t stand the taste. You’ll be heading to the bathroom more but your nails will look fantastic.
Moisturizing also helps. Add nail oil to your hydrating regime to your cuticles and nails healthy. Rub a small amount into the nail and the skin around it at night. Vitamin E tablets also help and they’ll help your skin too! Break a capsule into your hand cream if you’re really suffering from winter woes and your skin is just dying of thirst.
THE BITING NEEDS TO STOP, NOW
Average nails are often the result of an average habit: nail biting. Everyone knows you stopped in eighth grade. Really? Are you sure? Biters revert to the habit when stress rears its ugly head. Some secret biters don’t chew on the nail, but the skin around it. This results in misshapen nails surrounded by thick skin and ugly cuticles. To transition from average nails to pretty nails, lay off the biting. Invest in specialized anti-nail biter bitter polish that prevents you from gnawing your nails down.
Manage the stress by using your hands. A stress ball works great. Keep a sketchpad or a toy at your desk to play with when you get stressed or bored. Just don’t take it out on the secret stash of candy you have hidden in your drawer.
PRETTIFY YOUR EATING HABITS FOR PRETTY NAILS
Take a long hard look at your hands. Do your nails look like they belong on an albino leopard? Are there weird yellow creases stemming from the nail bed?
As one of the fastest growing areas of your body, your nails give you good hard clues about your health and if you’ve really been eating your kale. It’s time to ditch your fast food nights and eat real vitamins that come from real food. Eating well helps maximize your natural nail color and luster. While how nails use nutrients is not yet fully understood, a diet rich in biotin (better known as Vitamin H), calcium and protein helps keep your nails in top shape. Add eggs, yogurt, peanuts, calcium-rich soy or real milk and green leafy veg to your diet and you should see results in as little as three weeks.
ENOUGH WITH THE DARK POLISH
If you have never seen what your real nail color is like, you might be suffering from Yellow Nail Syndrome. Dark nail polish can slowly suffocate the nail bed and stop blood and oxygen from circulating properly.
Get your nails back to their natural pale pink state with some DIY treatments. Clean, trim and buff your nails as usual. After, take around 10-20 minutes to soak your tootsies and your feet in lemon water or a baking soda and vinegar mixture. Repeat weekly until you see improvement. Need a quick fix because you’re wearing your favorite peep-toe heels tonight? Spread some whitening toothpaste on your nail brush for fast results — use one with blue covarine in it for instantly white nails. The minty feeling is a bonus!
DON’T BE AFRAID TO GO FAKE
If you’re in dire need of a good manicure, it’s time to fake it. Unlike the acrylic horrors of the 80s, these days fake nails come in different shapes and sizes, instead of Cruella de Ville long. Nail technicians apply acrylic or gel extensions to lengthen the nail. They then shape and trim the “fake” nail so that it merges naturally with your nail bed. After, it’s polish as usual.
These treatments cost more than average manicure but they also last up to three weeks longer. It’s a good option if you simply don’t have time and need great looking nails now.
Pretty nails do wonders for your self-confidence and your image. These simple steps turn your nails from drab to fab in just a few weeks without the need to go to a nail salon. Ditch those mittens now and wear your nails with pride!