10-MINUTE TREATMENT When you have a few moments to yourself, try this DIY hand and nail treatment...
Soak nails in warm almond or sunflower oil for 10 minutes to condition the nail plate and cuticle area. Put a teaspoon of sugar on to your hands and exfoliate with the oil. Rinse. This will remove dead cells, and brighten and moisturise skin. Wipe your nails with polish remover if you want to apply polish straight away.
ALLOW ONE HOUR If you like to experiment with colour, painting your own nails means you’re spoiled for choice. Go for on-trend metallics, for a luxe look, but keep nails short and slightly square for a modern look. In gold place is Barry M Liquid Chrome in Bright Lights (£3.99). Silver goes to Mavala Pearl Nail Colour in Austin (£4.95, John Lewis), and in bronze medal position is
YSL La Lacquer Couture in No 55 Bronze Fever (£19.50).
Alternatively, red is glamorous and classic. Hold the bottle against the back of your hand to check if the colour will work with your skin tone – the right shade will make it look fresh and bright. For one with a hint of sparkle, try Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Red-y Set Run
(£9.99); for a classic ruby, try George
Gel Effect Nail Polish in Obsession
(£3, Asda); and for a mulberry rouge,
try Nailberry L’oxygéné Nail Lacquer in Rouge (£14.50, nailberry.co.uk).
An application of Mavala Mavadry Quick Drying Top Coat (£11, Boots) speeds up drying. Although nails will be touch-dry in 10 to 15 minutes, avoid doing anything much more taxing than handing round cheese straws and sipping Champagne for an hour or so.