When the summer is filled with beach days, chilled sangria and the most
laid-back beauty routine you’ve ever adapted, some things may fall to the side. Like your nails. Suddenly, pedicures are very high on your list (to fit into those Gucci sandals), but your fingernails? They’ve been lost on the beauty list and now look more dangerous than pretty. Rather than biting those nails into infinity, do major damage control and get them back to nude polish worthiness in just two days. Melissa Forrest, nail artist and expert for Sally Hansen, tells us how to do it.
The problem: Not so pretty cuticles
Your cuticles look more like they belong to a teenage boy than a professional 30-something. Get them back in shape fast.
“Starting off with a manicure is ideal,” says Forrest. “If not, then gently push back your cuticles and nip any hanging or potential hang nails.” Mix together a bit of sugar with hand cream in the palm of your hand, then gently massage around your nails focusing on your cuticle area. “This will help to slough away any dry or dead skin around the cuticle and also clears the pathway for cuticle oil and any other moisturizer applied to soak into the skin well,” says Forrest.
Key tools: A cuticle pusher, cuticle clipper, hand cream and Sally Hansen Cuticle Rehab.
The problem: Dry, cracked hands
You hands are beyond “dry”, to the point where they’ve aged about 10 years. Pump them up with moisture for an instant fix.
“Exfoiliation is key,” insists Forrest. “In order for any type of moisturizing treatment to be effective, dead skin needs to be removed and skin needs to be stimulated, allowing the pores to open for moisturization.” Give your hands a good scrub before applying you favourite,
intense hand cream for maximum results.
Key tools: “Using a lotion that contains shea butter will be nicely soaked up by a freshly exfoiliated hand,” suggests Forrest.
The problem: Brittle nails
There’s nothing worse than nails that are dry, brittle and fragile (you’re constantly worried about breaking them or snagging rough edges). They will need some extra attention to bring them back to healthy nail shape.
“Protection is key if you have brittle nails,” says Forrest. “Wearing rubber gloves while hands are exposed to water and cleaning products is essential. Think of how cleaning products can eat through grease and grime. It will certainly eat through tender cuticle skin as well and make nails dry and brittle.”
Forrest also recommends always wearing a nourishing base coat like Sally Hansen Nail Rehab, before applying your colour coat, to protect your nails from polish."
Also remember to apply hand cream regularly, even during the summer months!” says Forrest. Forrest’s final tip for brittle nails? “If you choose not to use an at home gel polish system, then ensure that proper removal is taking place at the salon and always do your homework. You should feel comfortable with who’s doing your manicure, ensuring that they aren’t adding to your problems by extra scraping, vigorous filing or using dremel tools, which can add to issues of brittle nails.”
The problem: Short nails
You’re totally on the almond shaped, longer nail trend. If only you could get your nails to grow faster, at least look longer.
“Shaping the nails is really important when you’re trying to grow your nails faster, or attempting to make them look longer,” advises Forrest. “Always follow the natural shape of your nail. Most likely, the side walls come straight up, then you can file the sides of your nails so they follow this line.”
If oval is the shape you’re after, you will need to have a bit of growth first to be able to shape them properly. In the meantime file your nail into a soft square look, making sure you only round off the corners. “My biggest tip is to always keep a nail file in your purse at all times,” says Forrest. “If you are able to quickly file a chipped or broken nail, this will help prevent further damage. Also, file your nails evenly every day. You won’t believe the difference this can make. I guarantee you won’t break as many nails!”
Key tools: Nail file, and for an added boost of growth follow this tip from Forrest: “Another little tip I have for making nails grow quicker, is massaging cuticle Oil (like, Sally Hansen Vitamin E Cuticle Oil) into your cuticles as it helps stimulate nail growth.”