[caption id="attachment_5439" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Courtesy of ImaxTree.com"] [/caption] As you can tell from my multitude of nail polish blog posts ( here, here and here), I’m a bit of a fanatic when it comes to my nails. But as much as I love slicking on that new shade, getting creative with nail art and testing out the latest trends, my nails need a break sometimes – a chance to go au naturel, and time to breathe. This just so happens to be my nail polish-free week. Here are my best tips for getting my nails back to a healthy state after weeks of polish changes. 1. Remove polish for at least one week. After a month of applying nail polish twice a week (if not more -- I’m finicky), my nails start to feel dry and sometimes even get brittle and split. All that polish, remover and filing takes its toll. So I give them a clean slate and apply only a nourishing base coat (try Essie’s Feed Me) to get them back to strength. 2. Keep ‘em short. When not sporting any polish, I tend to keep my nails on the shorter side. If they are fragile, longer nails could split and damage more easily. 3. Natural doesn’t mean unruly. Just because I don’t have a pretty shade swept across my nails doesn’t mean I skip on cleaning up my cuticles – this is an essential step to healthy nails – filing them into the perfect shape, and making sure they’re free of hangnails or dry skin. 4. Buff, buff, buff. This is the time to get rid of any ridges you have on your nails. I use a buffer from Sephora to smooth and shine my natural nails. You might even be able to skip the nourishing coat if you have strong nails because the buffing gives a high-shine finish. Revlon’s Crazy Shine Nail Buffer is also great to tuck into your purse of desk drawer for a shine boost. 5. Load up on oils and creams. I basically douse my hands with argan oil each night to keep them soft. Focusing on your cuticle area and nails. It adds much need moisture and keeps cuticles soft for easy pushing back or clipping. Then slather on loads of thick hand cream during the day to fight against dry heat and office air ( Korres Fig Body Butter sits next to my laptop at work each day). Then my nails are all set to take on the next trend, it’s just a tough job picking one. Encrusted jewels? Newspaper print? Mix of shine and matte? How do you keep your nails looking flawless with polish or no polish?