The top trend for nails right now is an immaculate, lady-like shape. They’re longer and more almond shaped than they’ve been for a long time. Don’t be tempted to file down the sides as this can weaken them.
I love gel manicures, but they must be applied correctly. This means not buffing the natural nail beforehand, keeping it perfectly maintained (applying nail oil daily) and making sure they’re removed correctly (wrapped for five to 15 minutes) to avoid damage. They’re not worth it if you like a frequent colour change but the quick-drying result and two week duration without chipping is definitely a bonus.
A nail oil is the best fix for many nail and cuticle conditions but it must be used daily to get the full effect. Nails Inc has a handy nail oil in a pen but my favourites are Dadi Oil (1) and Liz Earle Superbalm (2).
For a speedy manicure at home, apply the layers of polish thinly. Don’t wait for layers to dry before applying the next as the solvents just make the first layer wet again anyway. My absolute favourite dryer is The Ultimate Fix (3) – it’s used on every layer and makes the polish hard wearing.
Everyone’s manicure kit should include a cuticle remover (like CND Cuticle Eraser (4), wooden orange sticks, a fine nail file (5), a small flat brush, a dotting tool, a make up sponge and the best top coat you can afford. My favourite is Chanel Laque Brillance Extrême (6) which gives nails a professional shine. Together with a good range of colours you can create easy designs at home. I would recommend a conditioner free polish remover too as nails need to be squeaky clean to prevent chipping.
Like hair, you are born with a specific nail condition which can change over time depending on health, hormones and how they are treated. Finger nails need protection as they’re in and out of water all day which weakens them over time. Try to keep them covered as much as possible (with gloves if you’re washing up).
White specks on the nail aren’t a mineral deficiency like many think,
but are actually due to a minor trauma, such as knocking your nails (think of them like bruises) and will grow out.
Although it’s tempting to buff away those ridges, try to leave them.
It’s possible that they’re temporary (caused by illness, anaesthetic or a knock) and will eventually grow out. Buffing them will only thin the nail plate and cause splits down the length of the nail which leaves it open to infection.