The ultimate guide to healthy, strong nails
Do you need both base coat and top coat? What makes a perfectly good nail suddenly chip? And where does the beauty world stand on nail art these days?
TOP OR BASE?
Let’s start off with the basics. A base coat aids your nails, whereas the top coat benefits the nail polish. A good base coat protects the nail from turning yellow and usually has strengthening or hydrating benefits. The nail loves the base coat as it also provides a smooth, even base for the nail polish. The top coat extends the life of the polish. Whether you want both or just one of the coats is really down to personal preference.
WHY YOUR NAILS CHIP
Nails, just like your skin, react to changing of the climate, lack of hydration and nutrition. Two things are essential to nails (as well as skin!): moisture and fat. A dry nail will crack, whereas a thin, thirsty nail will chip. Luckily there are plenty of nail oils and hydrating serums for dry nails and strengtheners and hardeners for thin nails. Again: a base coat may provide a good shield from further damage.
Hand cream is essential for the skin but can also benefit the nail, especially the cuticles. Oils are great for night time and give cuticles an instant healthy glow. Pro tip: Before actually painting the nails, it is important that they are not oily as that will cause bubbles. Soaking your nails in water and white vinegar (or just wiping your nails with paper or cotton dampened with vinegar) will make sure your nails are nice and stripped.
IT IS ALL ABOUT THE FORMULA
The nail polish itself is also important. A good nail polish is light and not too thick. Pro tip: Wipe the top of the bottle with nail polish remover. The nail polish that tends to dry up around the top allows air to enter the bottle, which turns the nail polish stale and thick quicker.
Pro tip for painting nails: Line nails and cuticle with vaseline (use the tip of a cotton wool bud or a small brush) before painting them. It makes polish mistakes so much easier to clean up.
MAKE A STATEMENT
With a good base and a good polish, the possibilities of making a great nail statement are endless. Let your nails reflect the mood of the day or the colours of the season. Pro tip: If you want your bright summer nail colours to really pop, use a white nail polish as a base!
Nails can let your political messages be heard (or seen), which is a rising trend right now, or they can reflect your whimsical or playful side. Nail polish is a truly great accessory that suits any outfit and the best thing is that it is so easy to change.