Nail Care 101

by Hallie @ Moxie Wife on July 9, 2012

Hiya cuties!

Welcome to Nail Care 101 where I’m counting on you to teach the class!

You see, almost every week I receive email in which I’m asked for my advice on caring for nails, choosing nail products, what to ask of your manicurist, etc. And the truth is: I don’t really have any advice!

I so appreciate beautiful nails but I’ve simply never mastered the art. I have a few OPI nail polishes I wear once in a while, and when I’m going to a very, very special event I’ll visit my manicurist and ask for a Pink and White nails (aka French tips), but that’s the extent of my experience.

I just know that some of you are nail care experts, though! Won’t you help the rest of us out? Do tell…

What is your best nail care tip or trick?

 

Thank you bunches!

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathi July 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I’ll tell you privately my super nail cheat that my hair guy taught me…truly crazy, but genius! Anyway, I like natural nails because the nails, like hair, are a big clue to your body’s health! If you have an endocrine problem, or a vitamin deficiency, your nails will show it pretty quickly, if you’re paying attention. You won’t have this benefit if you’re covering your natural nails and not taking care of them yourself, or at the very least going light on the polish. I confess I’m bothered when I shake a man’s hand and his manicure is better than mine :) I’ve been caught lingering in handshake while I mentally make note…embarrassing!!

Cari July 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm

The only nail tip I have is this- file your nails to mirror the shape of your cuticle. So if your cuticle is naturally in oval shape, don’t file your nails to a squarish profile, and vice-versa.
Cari recently posted..7 Quick Takes FridayMy Profile

JessieLeigh July 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I am a believer in choosing a manicure/pedicure color that makes you happy without worrying a bit about whether it’s trendy, current, or even if it matches what you wear. Polish should be fun! (So says the girl currently rocking aqua fingers and toes.) Oh, and don’t trim/cut your cuticles. I’ve heard it’s dangerous.
JessieLeigh recently posted..“My Story… ” Monday: G — Remarkably UnremarkableMy Profile

Christina July 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I’d love a tip on how to help hangnails (not quite nail care, but pretty close). My cuticles are always suffering and bleeding and no amount of lotion seems to help.

Caitie Rose July 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I ALWAYS have my nails painted. Always. Here are a couple things I’ve learned..

Clipped cuticles always makes for a more finished look and cuticle oil is my BFF.
The shellac manicures can really strip my nails and doing it a couple times in a row is rough.
Nail Envy from OPI is the only OPI that I find worth wearing and it’s a great bottom coat.
Revlon colors chip/peel the least.
I always buff my nails and my color chips way less.
I’ve worn the same three colors since I was 16.. Revlon’s Vixen, Cherries in the Snow and Pink Chiffon.
My favorite nail files are a matchbox set. Tiny, portable, so handy! (See below)
http://www.richardsvarietystore.com/612615045057.html
Caitie Rose recently posted..Top 10 Favorite Movies — You haven’t seen them all!My Profile

Caitie Rose July 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Have you tried cuticle oil?
Caitie Rose recently posted..Top 10 Favorite Movies — You haven’t seen them all!My Profile

JessieLeigh July 9, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Oh, I’ve owned and used Revlon Vixen and Cherries in the Snow for years and years too, Caitie! I love Cherries in the Snow so much, I once wrote a whole post about it: http://www.parentingmiracles.net/2011/07/cherries-in-the-snow/ :)
JessieLeigh recently posted..“My Story… ” Monday: G — Remarkably UnremarkableMy Profile

Hallie @ Betty Beguiles July 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Ooh, I love this tip, Cari! I’d never heard this but it makes so much sense!
Hallie @ Betty Beguiles recently posted..Nail Care 101My Profile

Hallie @ Betty Beguiles July 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Oh, yes! Agree 100%! :)
Hallie @ Betty Beguiles recently posted..Nail Care 101My Profile

Hallie @ Betty Beguiles July 9, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Thanks, cute Caitie! xoxo
Hallie @ Betty Beguiles recently posted..Nail Care 101My Profile

Hallie @ Betty Beguiles July 9, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Ha! That’s too funny.

I’ve heard the same thing about nails being a clue to health. The interesting thing is that I’ve heard the same about hair but while my hair is super healthy, my nails are a little thin. Interesting…
Hallie @ Betty Beguiles recently posted..Nail Care 101My Profile

Ann-Marie July 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm

I massage Mary Kay’s Extra Emollient Night Cream into my nails every night and it keeps them super strong and healthy. Taking prenatals is an easy way to improve your nails also.

Lydia July 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Nail care is only something I’ve recently delved into, mostly because of relocating to the South. Women here tend to be very, very done. I’m a Yankee, so I’m less concerned with look, but it’s helped my confidence to keep my nails looking decent. My fingers are usually natural, but I use cuticle oil and file regularly. Toes are another matter. It’s sandal season nine months of the year so you have to keep them nice. Always use cuticle oil on them, too, and cut them straight across. I’ll let them breathe for a couple of weeks at a time before using polish again if I feel like the polish is getting to them. Then I do a base coat, two coats of color and a top coat. Currently, I have super cheap WetnWild in Flaming Poppy or something like that. Basically, it’s hot pink with a little orange in it. Fun :)
Lydia recently posted..What We Saw at the Birth CenterMy Profile

Andrea July 9, 2012 at 8:35 pm

I almost always have longish natural fingernails, but I rarely paint them anymore because I can’t maintain the paint while I care for 5 kids. I just keep them filed nicely and try not to stab the baby. Whether they’re popular or not, I like to have nails.
When it comes to my toes though, I always have them painted. I took off the paint during Lent and it drove me crazy. hahaha I like the little sticker accessories you can get for $2 at the store for just a fun bit of bling on the big toe. Right now I have true red toes with some floral decor. I knew it was cute when my husband commented on them, he almost never tells me what he likes/doesn’t like when it comes to my appearance.
I do prefer the OPI colors, the brush is nice and wide and lush. I hate skimpy nail polish brushes.
Also, I’m pretty sure the only reason I can manage a pretty decent home mani/pedi is that my mom let me do it myself starting pretty young, so I got lots of practice!

Rae July 9, 2012 at 8:35 pm

I, too, am horrible at nail care. My only tip is to use gauze pads instead of cotton balls when using nail polish remover.
Rae recently posted..Dragons….My Profile

jen a July 10, 2012 at 12:53 am

I just got my first gel-polish manicure. I went in to get a regular manicure and the guy told me none of their customers get regular polish on their nails anymore. It is several coats of UV-cured acryllic polish, and it is dry immediately. Chipping is minimal. It’s been a week and a half and it still looks good, though a little grown-out. I will be changing colors in another week or so, so I will see how painful that process is. When I had a gel pedicure this winter (in Beijing, and the guy at the American salon where I just got this mani-pedi told me that gel was not meant for pedicures at all), she just filed off the old stuff and did not use a solution. I don’t think that’s how it is done in the US. If it is painless, though, I think I might be a convert. My husband recently informed me he prefers me to have painted nails, and gel might be the only way I can bother and not worry about chipping and peeling when I am doing the dishes.

But if you are into doing it all yourself, check out Nail Envy. I used to use it all the time when I was in my 20s and got my nails done (regular polish) once a week. I had great nails then, but few dishes (and no kids) to worry about.

Hallie @ Betty Beguiles July 10, 2012 at 6:03 am

Ooooh, thank you! My nails are a little on the thin side so I’ll have to try this. :)
Hallie @ Betty Beguiles recently posted..Nail Care 101My Profile

Hallie @ Betty Beguiles July 10, 2012 at 6:05 am

Do you have a favorite cuticle oil, Lydia? Or will any brand do?
Hallie @ Betty Beguiles recently posted..Nail Care 101My Profile

Hallie @ Betty Beguiles July 10, 2012 at 6:10 am

Yeah, immaculate polish doesn’t last long with five little ones around, does it? Lately I’ve found that if I keep clear polish on it reminds me to take care of them better — which I do have to put some energy into because my nails are not naturally very strong.

My husband always comments when I pull out the red polish, too! ;)
Hallie @ Betty Beguiles recently posted..Nail Care 101My Profile

Hallie @ Betty Beguiles July 10, 2012 at 6:11 am

That’s an awesome tip, Rae! I’ve never tried gauze but I have plenty of experience battling messy cotton balls!
Hallie @ Betty Beguiles recently posted..Nail Care 101My Profile

Hallie @ Betty Beguiles July 10, 2012 at 6:16 am

The last time I got a pink and white manicure the girl next to me was getting gel-polish and everyone on the salon was raving about it. Thanks for the reminder, pretty lady! I’m definitely going to have to try it!
Hallie @ Betty Beguiles recently posted..Nail Care 101My Profile

Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy July 10, 2012 at 6:23 am

My favorite nail tip is this coconut oil and sugar scrub. It takes 5 minutes or less and it’s amazing! http://modernmrsdarcy.com/2012/03/my-favorite-natural-skincare-trick/
Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy recently posted..The Checklist You Need to HaveMy Profile

Hallie @ Betty Beguiles July 10, 2012 at 6:29 am

I cannot wait to try this! I adore coconut oil! Thanks for the tip, love!
Hallie @ Betty Beguiles recently posted..Nail Care 101My Profile

Christina July 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm

My mom uses acrylic, mostly because her nails were destroyed in a chemo treatment many years ago. I’ve had it done too, but for whatever reason it wouldn’t stay on. It’s nice as long as you have it, but if you ever decide to remove it it will take months for the filed nail to grow out and look normal.

Christina July 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm

I did for a while. Well, actually it was some kind of solid cuticle that when rubbed turned into an oil. Coconut oil helps a bit, but I don’t like having greasy fingers so it rarely gets put on.

Caitlin July 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I have a two great nail tips:
1. As cuticle oil use olive oil. IT’S AMAZINGGGGGG. It has improved not just my cuticles but the nails themselves. I put it on while I’m cooking (after cutting everything of course!!!) just because I remember while I’m there, and I use it before bed. Use regardless of whether you have polish on or not. Also, most people already have this so it’s not adding anything to your shopping list!
2. This product from Sally Hansen really helped me. My nails are a lot stronger now and they’re growing. I think it’s cheaper than the OPI nail growth stuff and personally I think it works better!
http://sallyhansen.com/products/nails/nail-care/nail-nutrition-green-tea-olive-growth-treatment
Caitlin recently posted..Fun weekMy Profile

Rose July 10, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Walgreens carries a line called “Sinful Colors”. Stupid name, I know, but people speculate that it’s the same as OPI (Never having used OPI I don’t know) and I think it costs about $1.99 a bottle. It goes on and off great, and I especially like that it doesn’t stain my nails, so I don’t have to worry about a base coat. Also, from the two times I’ve had my nails professionally done I’ve noticed that they paint vertically at first, and then do a horizontal swipe across the bottom of the nail. I think this helps prevent chipping? These tips are so basic that probably everyone knows them, but that’s what I’ve got. Not having a dishwasher means I never paint my fingernails (I never could stand it, anyway – wish I could) but I try to keep my toes painted. Oh, and my most awesome tip is this: Notice, one minute before you have to walk out the door to mass, that your toenails are chipped and gross. Apply new coat of polish in the car on top of the old stuff. This has the double benefit of making your husband high, and kind of remedying a desperate situation. I like to repeat this one for weeks on end, until I’ve got a good ten coats of chippy mess on there.
Rose recently posted..Picking a SideMy Profile

Hallie @ Betty Beguiles July 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Thanks, Caitlin! I’ll try the olive oil thing tonight and look for the Sally Hansen stuff the next time I’m at the drugstore. :)
Hallie @ Betty Beguiles recently posted..PSA: The Vitamin Enriched Face Base EditionMy Profile

Hallie @ Betty Beguiles July 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Well, I didn’t know the horizontal swipe trick so thank you! :)
Hallie @ Betty Beguiles recently posted..PSA: The Vitamin Enriched Face Base EditionMy Profile

jen a July 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm

That was the weird thing—in the US they did not file or rough up my nail before putting on the gel polish. At the Beijing nail place they rough up the nail, so people with already brittle nails don’t like it. So now I’m not exactly sure what is the correct procedure.

Lindsay @ Lindsay Loves July 16, 2012 at 12:25 am

I always do my own nails: only toes, never fingers. I do so much typing and hand-washing during the day that fingernail polish would just be wasted, and my fantastic long nails speak for themselves. I have been very conscious about my toenail polish this summer, though. (In Texas, that started in March.) I’ve got no husband to compliment me, but I am very excited about my own cuteness!

In terms of nail care tips, I usually do a base coat, two coats of color, and then a top coat for extra shinies. I’ve discovered that adding a third color coat on just my big toes extends the life of the whole pedicure by at least a few days if not a whole week.
Lindsay @ Lindsay Loves recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ll Never ReadMy Profile

Cyndie July 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm

I might be too late, but don’t let your manicurist “peel” your gel polish off. Soak in 100% acetone for about five minutes and they will start to flake off. My manicurist doesn’t have 100% acetone, so I soak mine off at home before I go in.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: