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).”
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.”
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.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.