All you need for beautiful nails is an hour of peace and quiet (already sounds good!) and a little patience.
Hands respond very favourably to a little TLC. Fingertips can go from grubby to groomed in 30 minutes, so here goes…
- Remove old nail polish, using lots of cotton balls if it's a deep colour . File the nails to a uniform, groomed shape with an emery board. Make sure you file in one direction only: never backwards and forwards, as this weakens the nail. Wash your hands in warm soapy water and dry well.
- Apply a cuticle cream and rub it in well. Wrap an orange stick in cotton wool, then gently (the cuticle is the energy source of the nail) push back the cuticles and wipe away any residual cuticle layers on the nail bed.
- Remove the last of the cuticle cream with an ear bud, or it will shorten the life of the nail lacquer.
- Apply a clear base coat and allow to dry thoroughly.
- Apply a first coat of your chosen nail colour using three strokes: one dead center of the nail, then one to either side. Allow to dry (you can speed it along by running your nails under a cold tap if necessary), then apply the second coat of colour . Once that's dry, apply a clear topcoat – this is the secret to nail polish longevity. Finish with a rich, moisturising hand cream.
A regular pedicure isn't just a beauty indulgence, it keeps foot troubles at bay.
- Remove old nail polish and trim toe nails properly. Make a clean-cut straight across the nail and don't shape, as this can lead to ingrown toenails. Use a foot paddle (dry brushing) or pumice (after soaking feet for a while) to remove thick, rough skin.
- Soak feet for about seven minutes in a basin of warm water with a few drops of essential oil: peppermint cools, chamomile softens and lavender heals. Rub a foot exfoliating cream over entire for three minutes, then rinse.
- Dry feet thoroughly, rub on cuticle cream, then use an orange stock and cotton wool to push cuticles back gently. Massage in a rich moisturising cream in circular motion.
- Clean the nail bed thoroughly and apply a clear base coat. Wait for it to dry properly.
- To get the French manicure look, paint a thin white line along the end of the nails. When dry, apply the top tone followed by a clear top coat.