CustomFoundation wanted to write a post on nails because so many people have asked what they can do to make their nails stronger. When I first started to write this post I had to laugh a little . For most of my life i have bitten my nails. No matter what I tried I could not stop. At one point I even put the nail biting deterrent on my nails. However, the taste must not have been that bad because it did not stop me from biting my nails. My nails were never strong and were always splitting. When I did grow my nails if one of them broke – that would start me biting again. As you know nail biting is a discussing habit. Not only are your hands in your mouth all the time but your hands do not look great with bitten nails.
A year ago I decided I was going to put the time and effort into my nails – yet again. I was tired of looking at my hands and not liking what I saw. The first step was to keep them out of my mouth. So every time I found them in my mouth I would put cream on my hands and after I rubbed it into my hands I would start rubbing my cuticles and nails. This helped but as my nails grew they were still not strong and would split.
People would tell me to get acrylic or gel nails because I would not be able to bite my nails. So I tried them and for me they did more damage to my nails. I also do not like the new gel polish used in salons where it says the nail polish will last two weeks. The way the polish is removed is by using a cotton ball soaked in acetone and putting it on your nail wrapped in aluminum foil. The acetone sitting on your nails is not a good idea and it also drys out your nails.
So the next step for me was to take vitamins. I knew that Biotin would help because of all the research I did on the subject. How was I going to get biotin – Vitamin B complex. I found this Vitamin B complex in an isotonic form. Isotonic, which means “same pressure,” bears the same chemical resemblance of the body’s blood, plasma and tears. In order for a substance to be absorbed and used in the body’s metabolism, it must be transported in an isotonic state. Vitamin B complex has all the Vitamin B’s (B1, B2, B3, B6, B7 and B12). B7 is the one with biotin.
I noticed a difference in my nails in about 3 months. They were stronger and didn’t seem to be splitting as often.
I do a manicure on my hands every week to ten days. Some times not for two weeks. Every two to three months I go to the salon to get a manicure. The reason is so the manicurist can cut my nails and get them back into the perfect shape.
Below are the steps I use to do my own manicures:
Remove any previously applied nail polish. When I use acetone to remove the nail polish I make sure it is done quickly so my nails and cuticles do not dry out.
Shape nails. Gently file into shape. I use a gently abrasive emery board. After the nail file I smooth the tops and sides of the nails with a slightly abrasive buffer to ensure an even surface. Don’t forget, if you buff the nails too smooth, the polish won’t adhere.
Soak away. Place your hands in a bowl of warm (not too hot) water and add a drop or two of dishwashing soap to the water. I soak for 3 minutes. To much soaking actually damages the skin and nails, but soaking the cuticle before trimming is crucial.
Apply cuticle oil. When cutting away the thickened skin around the nail, applying a bit of cuticle oil will be a big help! Don’t let it sit on the cuticle area for more than a few minutes.
Remove excess cuticle and callouses around the nail. Using a cuticle pushing tool, gently push the cuticle back away from the nail, but don’t push it too far because it can damage nail growth. The cuticle helps protect the nail bed from bacteria and damage. Now’s the time to also remove hangnails around the sides of the nail, but again, be careful not to cut into the nail itself or to cut into the skin too deeply.
Moisturize. Massage a rich cream to the cuticles and all over the hands to hydrate and replenish skin.
Prep for polish. Moisturizing ingredients left on the nail will prevent polish from adhering properly. I wash my hands using soap and a scrub brush on my nails. When my hands are dry I use a paper towel with a drop of nail-polish remover to take the residue off the nail’s surface.
Paint nails in layers. The most important part about painting your nails is never get the polish on your cuticles. I start with “bondaid” to help make the nail polish last. I let it dry. Next I use a base coat and let that dry. A base coat also protects nails from staining and prevents chipping. Next, I apply my color twice allowing to dry between layers. I follow that with a top coat to add gloss shine. The easiest way to paint your nails is to make sure your first stroke starts from the bottom edge. Utilize the natural shape of the brush to make sure it is as wide as possible.
It takes time for nails to fully dry, so be patient. A fan helps, but don’t use heat (like from your blow dryer) or the polish will chip and peel. I wait a ½ hour before I even touch my nails to see if they are dry. I normally have a book or magazine handy to read during the waiting time. I look at the clock and time this part because nothing is worse then waiting for paint to dry.
Reapply moisturizer daily. Keeping your hands and the nail area healthy requires moisturizer.
Tip: Take a few minutes to touch up your manicure every four or five of days with a single layer of top coat. This can make all the difference in keeping up that “from the salon” appearance and durability.