Nail care becomes more important when you get into nail art. Your nails are the canvas for your miniature pieces of art. So it’s only natural that you will want to care for them.
You will probably change your nail design a couple of times a week when you first start. Later on, it could be more often. This means exposing your nails to nail polish remover more often than you used to. And over time this will have an effect on your nails. So what can you do?
Tips To Keep Them Looking Their Best
There are some general nail tips that can help you keep them looking great.
Always file your nails in one direction. Going back and forth will weaken your nails. And weak nails will break more often.
Learn your nail type – are they brittle or weak? If you know this, then you can buy the right product for them. Using the wrong product could make them worse.
Invest in a quality nail file and/or emery board. It is money well spent. A good one will help keep your nails in great shape and not damage them.
Don’t buff too often. Each time you use the really rough part(s) some of your nail is removed. If you remove too much you could end up with thin nails that break easily.
Trim hangnails off as soon as possible. This stops them from catching and pulling on your clothes. And you won’t feel tempted to rip them off.
If you already have a hand care routine, then you may find that your nails pretty much look after themselves. If you find that your nails are breaking often then…
Knowing If Your Nails Are Weak Or Brittle Can Help
Something that works for weak nails will make brittle nails worse – and visa versa.
Have a look at ways to identify weak nails and tips to help them. If you don’t think there is something that you can change to fix them. Incorporate a nail care product that strengthens or hardens them.
If you don’t have weak nails then check to see if you have brittle nails and ways to help them. You will want products to moisturize and protect your nails.
Removing Your Old Polish
Nail Polish Removers And What You Can Use If You’ve Run Out
What you use to remove your old polish will impact your nails and cuticles. Finding a remover that works best for you will be a case of trial and error. You will want to consider your nail type, how often you’ll need to use it and what you’ll use it for.
If you are all out of remover – don’t worry. There are some handy tips for other alternatives.
Looking After Your Cuticles Will Help With Hangnails
Do you get hangnails often? If so, then looking after your cuticles in your nail care routine will help prevent them. Your first line of defense is to keep your cuticles moisturized. The second is to throw away your cuticle trimmers (nippers).
Dry cuticles can cause hangnails. So moisturizing your cuticles regularly will help them hydrated. Dehydrated cuticles are not the only reason for getting hangnails. Are you trimming them? If so then…
A bad job will result in hangnails. Instead of trimming you could try a cuticle remover and an orange stick. Just make sure you read the instructions on the remover. Most have a recommended time limit that it should be left on your cuticles.
Your cuticles protect your nail matrix from bacteria. If you damage them you could end up with a nasty nail infection. So please be careful with them.
Finding A Nail Shape For You
Choosing your nail shape
If you are new to nail art, then you may not have thought a lot about the shape of your nail. It is a very important decision though. How you shape your nail can affect the strength of it. The stronger your nail is the less likely it will break.
It’s also good to choose a shape that suits your nail length. Some styles don’t suit short nails and can make them look chubby.
How Many Nail Care Tools Do You Need?
Nail care tools fall into four groups.
Clippers / Scissors
Nail Files / Emery Boards
Cuticle pushers / Orange Sticks
What you need will depend on what you need to do.
Manicure Scissors / Nail Clippers
These are good when you need to remove a lot of nail. Just cut your nails straight across. Then follow up with your nail file or emery board to shape them. Cutting them after a shower or bath when your nails are soft will help if they are hard to trim.
Nail Files / Emery Boards
There are so many different types of these available. Each type has its own pros and cons. Glass, crystal and ceramic ones are easy to sterilize. Emery boards come in different sized grits but cannot be sterilized.
What you choose depends what you want to use it for in your nail care routine.
If you want to file down large amounts of nail quickly – then an emery board with a low grit number is perfect for this. If you have natural nails the lowest grit you should use is 240. Anything lower may damage your nails. And a higher number will be less coarse.
If you want something that will seal your nail as it files – then a glass/crystal/ceramic file is ideal for this. Just be careful with them as they will break more easily if dropped.
Are you wondering about the metal nail file? Well this is probably best left unused. It will damage and weaken your nails – use only in extreme emergency’s.
Cuticle Pushers / Orange Sticks
These are used to gently push back the cuticle. And they are usually used along with a cuticle remover. The flat end is the pushing end and the other end is used for cleaning under your nails. These can come in both metal and wooden types.
If you are not used to using one, start off with a wooden one. You are less likely to damage your nail or cuticle with it.
Most nail buffers will have three parts to it and could be numbered. The numbering system indicates the order to use them in. Using it in the order indicated will bring a high shine look to your natural nails. The first two steps remove part of your nail. So if you use it too often you may end up with thin nails that break easily.
If your nail buffer has four parts to it – then the really rough part is used to file your nails. The other three parts are used the same as a three part one.