Makeup & nails

Perfect nails: How to maintain a natural manicure

ImaxTree.com Image by: ImaxTree.com Author: Elle Canada

Makeup & nails

Perfect nails: How to maintain a natural manicure

Sometimes you need to put down the nail polish dotter, the polish pen and the four different nail polish colours that you usually use for an intricate nail art look. Step away, friends, and switch it up with a natural manicure. When we say natural we’re not talking, rough, or unfinished, A natural manicure means you need to pay extra attention to filing, buffing and even polishing (if you’re going with a slick nude shade), because every little detail, cuticle, rough patch will show. Leanne Colley, Revlon Nail Expert, gives us the best tips on creating and maintaining a natural manicure.

It all starts with the nails and cuticles

If you’re going completely natural and skipping the nail art trend, making sure you nails and cuticles are in peek form is essential. Here’s how Colley keeps them looking fresh.

1. “Scrub under your nail often,” advises Colley. “This will keep the nails free from build-ups and yellowing from bacteria.”

2.
"Use cuticle nippers to clip away hang nails or unsightly looking cuticles (instead of picking or pulling them).”

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3. “Always apply cuticle oil or moisturizer daily for healthy shiny nails,” says Colley.

4. “Keep your nails short,” suggests Colley to reduce the risk of breaking or damage. “File and buff them regularly to promote healthy nail growth.”

5. “Finally, push back your cuticles once a week in the shower,” says Colley. “This will help prevent hang nails and keep your nail plates clean.”

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Proper steps for buffing and filing

When sporting a natural hue or going completely bare with your nails, buffing out ridges and proper filing will make your nails look clean and beautiful. Here’s how to do it in three steps:

1.
“Always use a fine grit buffer,” says Colley. “Buffers are intended to remove scratches and smooth the surface.” Colley recommends the Revlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer.

2. Lightly buff the natural nail with the fine side of the buffer (5 seconds a nail maximum), wipe off any debris and use the shine side. Amp up the shine by applying more pressure.

3. “Shaping and filing the nails should always be done with a very fine file,” advises Colley. “Using a harsher file can be vigorous and may weaken the nail and create splitting. File from side to center with single strokes.”

Finally, if you want to still have a coat of polish on your nails, maintain your natural look by opting for a sheer or nude polish colour. “Light concrete and mossy shades, beige nudes and sheer pinks are most universally flattering,” says Colley.

 

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Natural nail care: Top 10 essentials

Natural nail care: The hand scrub

Natural factor: Shea butter extract, grape seed oil and organic sugar How to use: Clean up your nail bed and nix dry skin by rubbing this gentle exfoliating scrub all over hands to enjoy a luxe at-home spa experience any day of the week. L'Occitane One Minute Hand Scrub ($24), at Sephora, sephora.ca. GALLERY: The best organic moisturizers

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Sarah Thompson Source: Courtesy of L'Occitane

Natural nail care: Top 10 essentials

Natural nail care: The nail wipes Natural nail care: The nail wipes

Natural factor: Organic Argan oil How to use: Swipe these acetone free, grapefruit-scented pads over fingertips to remove stubborn polish and rehydrate dry, brittle nails. Josie Maran Bear Naked Nail Wipes in Peppermint ($11), exclusively at Sephora, sephora.ca. GALLERY: Best at-home pedi essentials

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Sarah Thompson Source: Courtesy of Josie Maran

Natural nail care: Top 10 essentials

Natural nail care: The nail brush

Natural factor: Waxed olivewood How to use: Before your at-home manicure, lightly scrub each fingertip with this natural wood brush to remove pesky dirt and bacteria above and beneath the nail for a clean, healthy finish. Keller Bursten Olivewood Nail Brush ($15), at nessentials.com. Beauty essentials: Build a better makeup bag

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Sarah Thompson Source: Courtesy of Keller Bursten

Natural nail care: Top 10 essentials

Natural nail care: The nail treatment

Natural factor: Sweet almond milk, bamboo extract, organic witch hazel water and apricot oil How to use: Scrub this exfoliating cream over the base of your nails to invigorate skin cells and push back your cuticles naturally (and without all the tedious handiwork). Yves Rocher Cuticle Exfoliating Nail Treatment ($12), at Yves Rocher stores and yvesrocher.ca. GALLERY: 8 best beauty products with honey

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Sarah Thompson Source: Courtesy of Yves Rocher

Natural nail care: Top 10 essentials

Natural nail care: The cuticle oil

Natural factor: Vitamin E, safflower seed, apricot kernel and wheat germ oil How to use: Revive peeling skin cells by working this natural apricot oil into the cuticle of each finger for stronger, brighter and more beautiful nails you’ll be proud to show off. Sally Hansen Vitamin E Moisturizing Nail and Cuticle Oil ($7.49), at drugstores and mass-market retailers across Canada. GALLERY: The best cuticle oils

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Sarah Thompson Source: Courtesy of Sally Hansen

Natural nail care: Top 10 essentials

Natural nail care: The nail file

Natural factor: Sapphire ceramic crystals How to use: Gently file nails using smooth, unified strokes using this stainless steel nail file with naturally-derived precious stones (!) as grit that guarantees not to rip your nail’s fragile edge. Tweezerman Sapphire Crystal Collection Nail File ($16), at drugstores and mass-market retailers across Canada. GALLERY: The best nail art tools

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Sarah Thompson Source: Courtesy of Tweezerman

Natural nail care: Top 10 essentials

Natural nail care: The lotion

Natural factor: Vitamin E and organic sunflower seed oil How to use: Taking care of healthy nails starts with the skin surrounding them. Massage this naturally-derived lotion over hands and cuticles to repair any dry or damaged cells for smooth skin. Weleda Skin Food ($21), at Whole Foods, independent health food stores, weleda.ca and well.ca. GALLERY: Best anti aging hand creams

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Sarah Thompson Source: Courtesy of Weleda

Natural nail care: Top 10 essentials

Natural nail care: The cuticle cream

Natural factor: Lemon, beeswax and avocado oil How to use: This citrus-scented cuticle butter is ultra rich in hydrating oils to soothe dry cuticles and boost your nail’s natural moisture barrier. Just spread over fingertips and let the cream do the work. LUSH Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter ($16.95), at LUSH stores and lush.ca. Beauty treatments: Best spa services and at-home equivalents

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Sarah Thompson Source: Courtesy of LUSH

Natural nail care: Top 10 essentials

Natural nail care: The base coat

Natural factor: Argan oil and micro-algae extract How to use: Shield nails from damage, chipping and polish stain using this natural base coat with micro-algae to strengthen weak nails and encourage lightening-fast growth. Essie Grow Faster Base Coat ($9.99), at professional salons and leading retailers across Canada. Must-read: How to get strong and healthy nails

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Sarah Thompson Source: Courtesy of Essie

Natural nail care: Top 10 essentials

Natural nail care: The top coat Natural nail care: The top coat

Natural factor: Vegan, gluten free, water-based and biodegradable How to use: Glide this organic top coat over your favourite shade of polish for extra shine that won’t dehydrate nails or dull your colour. (Your esthetician would definitely approve.) Scotch Naturals On the Rocks Top Coat ($15.50), at nailpolishcanada.com. GALLERY: 7 best top coats

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Sarah Thompson Source: Courtesy of Scotch Naturals

Natural nail care: Top 10 essentials

Natural nail care: The polish remover

Natural factor: Soy ester, corn ester, orange oil, lemongrass oil, coconut and vegetable glycerin (that's it!) How to use: Wipe this mild, chemical-free remover across each nail from base to tip to remove any shade of polish without damaging your nail’s delicate surface. How could you ask for more? Priti Soy Polish Remover ($22.50), at maxandmia.ca. Must-read: 6 unhealthy manicure habits to break

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Sarah Thompson Source: Courtesy of Priti
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Makeup & nails

Perfect nails: How to maintain a natural manicure