Hello there!! This is Bee from Bee Polished and today I want to share some tips on nail care with you! A lot of us already know the basics to nail care: regular manicures, lots of moisture, avoid acetone...these are standard responses when you ask someone. But a better question is, WHEN the best time for nail care is. Do you know how often you should be filing your nails? How often to buff them? Moisturize them? Treat them? Well we're going to break all that down for you today. PLUS I'll tell you when you should be filing and when you shouldn't AND when it's OK to cut your cuticles. So here we go!
When faced with the question of when to get a FULL manicure, most people answered once a week. I've even seen professional sites offering that you should go once a week. That's simply not true and it can be hard on your nails. Think about this: you love your hair right? And it grows all the time. But would you get a cut every week? Of course not! Nails DO require more upkeep than hair of course but the average of us can get away with once every two weeks to once a month. Any more than that and you're just hindering your perfect nails! You should be pushing back your cuticles when you do your full manicure and ONLY when you do your full manicure. I really try to caution people against cutting the cuticle. Done improperly you can seriously harm your nails, plus you open them to infection if you nip too far. Nails look longer and healthier with less cuticle but you can achieve the same without cutting AND you don't have to worry about them thickening over time when you're just pushing. If you do get a hangnail, or a piece which sticks up nip it but keep the nippers OFF the attached cuticle! If you're unsure, get a professional manicure! Just like with eyebrow waxing, it's much easier to maintain the work of a professional than to do it yourself and suffer the consequence of a home treatment gone wrong!
What about filing? This is going to depend on your lifestyle and nail length. If you're doing a manicure every other week then you'll be filing every other week which will work for many people. You'll know when it's time by checking the shape. Only file your nails when they've lost their original shape and need to be maintained. So when those squares start looking squoval, you'll want to shape them up! Never EVER file for length. Filing is harder on your nails than nipping so you should always nip to remove length and only ever file them to shape.
Buffing is sort of a sticky area. You should NEVER buff nails more than once every other week. Doing so will thin them and no one wants that. You should also be very careful about buffing if you have those pesky white spots on your nails. Those are pockets which buffing can bring to the surface leaving a nasty hole in your nail (don't panic! 99% of the time it won't!). As buffing does remove the top layers of your nails I really don't recommend it unless you have ridges or you're applying a gel polish or nail enhancement. It's really unnecessary otherwise and most people at home do it improperly which causes more damage. A few tips: use a high grade buffer and never buff with anything below a 225. I recommend a 400-600 for most people. Don't attempt to buff out deep ridges. Buff them lightly and then use a ridge filler to fill in the rest. Don't use ANY pressure when buffing and go fairly slowly. You're not actually buffing to remove layers. All you want to do is remove the shine from the nail plate. So take it easy so you don't overly thin the nail. Remember, if you don't have noticeable ridges and you're not applying a nail enhancement, you’re just prepping your nail to better adhere polish. You can get the same effect with a dehydrator and that will keep your nails in better shape!!
So that just leaves, when to moisturize...well that's an easy one; as often as you can! If you're using an acetone or acetone based remover I recommend adding oil to the nails after every removal. Let it sit about five minutes then rub it into your hands either alone or with lotion and then swipe the nails quickly with the remover once more. You should be applying a cuticle oil DAILY with polish on---especially gel polishes! If you have a desk job like me, make it a habit to put a good lotion on at least a few times a day. Another great way to remember is to make a habit of doing it after you wash your hands. Most of us do that frequently throughout the day! In the cooler and drier months I also try to give myself a paraffin treatment every other week or so, just to make sure they're good and moisturized. If you don't have paraffin you can simply exfoliate your hands, add cuticle oil and a thick layer of lotion, wrap in plastic and then hot (but not TOO HOT) towels for five minutes and...voila! Perfect baby soft hands. :)
Here are some of our MUST have nail products!
I really love CND Solar Oil and their Cucumber Heel Therapy. Solar Oil moisturizes SO well and smells fab! Plus it's designed to penetrate even gel polishes so you know it's getting into your nails. In winter months I use the Heel therapy on my hands at night. It's really for calloused feet but it does a mean job on hands and it's formula is designed to help skin create moisture from the INSIDE out so it really helps hold in the moisture in colder months!
Vic says her go to is cuticle oil, cuticle oil and MORE cuticle oil. She recommends that if you're using gel polish, it's best to go with the same brand as the gel polish as it'll have been formulated to work with it. She is currently using OPI Avoplex but her favorite is Kinetics.
Jackie and Meghan also love their cuticles! While Meghan loves oil, and has been making and testing her own for her indie brand, Jackie is all about The Nail Junkie Cutie Balm. Meghan says her oil is a nice blend of jojoba and other good-for-you oils.
Ashley loves Trind Nail Repair base coat. If she doesn't use it at least once a week her nails go completely to hell. She says its a real life saver!
Both Kerrie and Laurie swear by Duri Rejuvacote to keep their nails healthy and strong.
I hope this helps some of you to know when the right and wrong times for upkeep on your nails is! Remember if you have any questions about nail care or any of the posts you see on this blog, you can email us using the contact page! We'd love to hear your thoughts as well!