Spring clean your nails

The Press - Your Weekend (The Press) - - Fashion & Beauty -

Win­ter is the sea­son of chapped lips, parched skin and dry hair, and un­der­stand­ably our nails of­ten come off worst of all. With spring here, it’s the per­fect time to show them some love and get them up to scratch for a fresh new sea­son.

GIVE NAILS A BIG DRINK OF MOIS­TURE

Get your hands on some in­tensely nour­ish­ing hand cream and give them a good slather, mas­sag­ing over your nails and into your cu­ti­cles. Re­peat as nec­es­sary. I love the rich sim­plic­ity of Avène Cold Cream hand cream, $25, and L’occitane’s Shea Melt­ing Honey Hand Whipped Cream, $18, feels and smells de­li­cious.

CUTEN UP YOUR CU­TI­CLES

Peel­ing, ragged cu­ti­cles look less than lovely and can also be painful. As they work to pro­tect and shield nails as they grow and block them from bac­te­ria, our cu­ti­cles play an im­por­tant part in hav­ing healthy nails. Give them the re­spect they de­serve with reg­u­lar doses (right be­fore bed is a good time) of a cu­ti­cle oil such as OPI’S Avo­plex Cu­ti­cle Oil To Go, $20, which is for­mu­lated with a thick gel con­sis­tency for easy, non-drip us­age and con­tains vi­ta­min E, av­o­cado, sun­flower, sesame and kukui nut oils.

SHORTEN AND SWEETEN

Espe­cially in win­ter when your nails’ de­fences are al­ready down, long lengths are pretty much doomed to break, flake or tear, so keep them trimmed to no higher than your fin­ger­tips and tidy up the shape with a glass or acrylic nail file.

TREAT YO’ NAILS

Keep your newly loved-up nails in tip-top con­di­tion with a good nail serum. Fast-dry­ing and wa­ter-based, Re­vi­tanail Ker­atin Strength­en­ing serum, $25, prom­ises to strengthen, pro­tect and hy­drate nails by pen­e­trat­ing and re­pair­ing the nail plate and can be used as a base coat un­der nail pol­ish. Which brings me to my fi­nal point...

A COLOUR CHANGE IS AS GOOD AS A HOL­I­DAY

Well, nearly. What to choose as the fin­ish­ing touches on all your good work? Vogue makes a good case for soft khakis for spring, metallics will add a lit­tle daz­zle – this sea­son it’s all about plat­inum and creamy golds – or try be­ing any­thing but shy with your hue with a vivid wa­ter­melon or trop­i­cal orange. Or if you pre­fer to err on the un­der­stated side try a la­dy­like neu­tral such as li­lac, peach, caramel or nude with a pearles­cent for­mula rather than matte. One fi­nal tip: be­fore you paint, make sure your nails are to­tally clean and free of all the afore­men­tioned good­ies, as ex­cess oils will in­ter­rupt your pol­ish bond.

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