All thumbs when you’re do­ing your nails? Try these seven tips for a per­fect DIY mani-pedi

Amazing Wellness - - CONTENTS - By Lisa Turner

Hol­i­day Nail Hacks All thumbs when you’re do­ing your nails? Try these seven tips for a per­fect DIY mani-pedi.

Fes­tive hol­i­day par­ties and open-toed evening shoes de­mand per­fect nails. But pro­fes­sional man­i­cures are pricey, and hard to fit into busy days—and most salons use main­stream prod­ucts that con­tain harsh chem­i­cals and en­docrine dis­rup­tors. The best so­lu­tion: a DIY sa­lon ses­sion with toxin-free prod­ucts. Nail your hol­i­day mani-pedi with these seven sim­ple steps.

1. Re­move old pol­ish.

Most nail pol­ish re­movers con­tain ace­tone, a sol­vent that can cause nose, throat, lung, and eye ir­ri­ta­tion when in­haled; it’s also hard on nails, leav­ing them dry, brit­tle, and prone to break­age. Choose a nat­u­ral, ace­tone-free for­mula to pro­tect nails (and your health). Soak a cot­ton ball in re­mover, press firmly against nail for a few sec­onds, then swipe off. Use a cot­ton swab dipped in re­mover to clean old pol­ish from edges of nails and cu­ti­cles. PER­FECT NAIL PICK: Min­eral Fu­sion Ace­tone-free Nail Pol­ish Re­mover

3. Soak and scrub.

Soak hands and feet in a bowl or tub of warm wa­ter for five min­utes, then gen­tly rub with a sugar or sea salt ex­fo­li­at­ing scrub to re­move dead skin. Dry hands and feet, and use a pumice stone or cal­lus re­mover on heels to smooth away re­main­ing rough­ness. Mas­sage in or brush on cu­ti­cle cream or oil, then gen­tly push back with an or­ange stick or cu­ti­cle pusher. Never clip your cu­ti­cles—the cu­ti­cle is there to pro­tect nails, and re­mov­ing it can leave you open to bac­te­ria and fun­gal in­fec­tions. PER­FECT NAIL PICKS: Shea Mois­ture Ar­gan Oil & Raw Shea Hand & Body Scrub

2. Clip and trim.

Use a nail clip­per to trim toe­nails to a length that hits just the tip of your toe, cut­ting straight across to avoid in­grown nails. For fin­ger­nails, use a crys­tal nail file, not an emery board, which can dam­age nails. File sides in one di­rec­tion to­ward the tip, then fin­ish by fil­ing the tip in one di­rec­tion; saw­ing back and forth can split and weaken nails. Fin­ish by buff­ing gen­tly to smooth sur­face ridges. PER­FECT NAIL PICK: Sow Good Glass File

4. Choose your pal­ette.

Safe, sub­tle mauves are fine for ev­ery day, but for the hol­i­days, go big­ger and brighter. Try a bold, shim­mery pol­ish, or use a rich jewel tone to make toe­nails pop in open-toed san­dals. Don’t worry about match­ing fin­ger­nail and toe­nail col­ors; you may choose a more of­fice-ap­pro­pri­ate color for fin­ger­nails, with a fes­tive, hol­i­day color on toes. And use only nat­u­ral, toxin-free col­ors; main­stream nail pol­ishes con­tain hor­mone-dis­rupt­ing chem­i­cals that are ab­sorbed into the body. PER­FECT NAIL PICK: Min­eral Fu­sions Gar­net Nail Pol­ish

5. Prep and color.

Dip a cot­ton ball in witch hazel and swipe nails to re­move any oils from scrub­bing and soak­ing. Ap­ply a layer of clear pol­ish to cre­ate a smooth, even sur­face for col­ors to cling to, and avoid streak­ing and smear­ing. Let base coat dry com­pletely, then ap­ply color: start­ing at the base of each nail, use a light stroke on the right side, then the left, then down the cen­ter. Don’t load up the brush; thin coats dry faster and are less likely to bub­ble or streak. Do your big toe last to avoid smear­ing. Let the first coat dry com­pletely, then ap­ply the sec­ond. PER­FECT NAIL PICK: Thay­ers Witch Hazel Astrin­gent - Orig­i­nal

6. Fin­ish it up.

A top coat is a must, to smooth away mi­nor im­per­fec­tions and make your mani-pedi last. Brush on a coat of clear pol­ish, or choose one with glit­tery ac­cents. (A clear coat can also freshen up nails be­tween full treat­ments.) Let the top coat dry com­pletely, then use a cot­ton swab dipped in re­mover to swipe away any bits of pol­ish on cu­ti­cles or edges of fin­gers and toes. Af­ter nails are com­pletely dry, fin­ish with a su­per-rich hand and foot cream to soften and smooth; pay spe­cial at­ten­tion to heels and sides of big toes. PER­FECT NAIL PICKS: dr. or­ganic Vir­gin Olive Oil Foot and Heel Cream

7. Nour­ish nails.

A per­fect mani-pedi starts with strong, healthy nails. Keep yours in tip-top shape with nat­u­ral prod­ucts that fight com­mon nail con­di­tions. For weak, soft nails, add a scoop of col­la­gen to your morn­ing smoothie, or take a daily sup­ple­ment that in­cludes nail-strength­en­ing nu­tri­ents like horse­tail, bi­otin, cop­per, and zinc. For nail fun­gus, try tea tree oil or oregano oil. For brit­tle nails and prob­lem­atic cu­ti­cles, use a nail strength­ener daily and ap­ply cu­ti­cle cream ev­ery night be­fore bed. PER­FECT NAIL PICK: Me­gaFood Skin, Nails & Hair

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