Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Whether it’s the formula or the foundation, it can be daunting trying to keep a manicure fresh-looking and maintain healthy nails and cuticles. A lovely color and texture won’t shine amid leftover lacquer remnants and rough nail ridges in your nail bed. But well-nourished nails won’t look their best in polish that isn’t wearing well, with obvious bubbles and chips. Take a look at these small fixes that make a big difference:
- Chipped Polish: “If you can avoid getting chips by applying top coat once every three days or so, you’ll save yourself major stress,” BeautyHigh advises. But when chips do occur, paint a top coat of glitter over the nail, “You can paint the same nail on the opposite hand for an accent nail effect, or cover up all 10 fingers for a like-new manicure. This tip also works for gel polish.”
- Removing Glitter Nail Polish. The foil trick for taking off gobs of stubborn glitter has been circulating for a long time but BH has provided the clearest explanation: “Cut a cotton ball in half, apply a generous amount of nail polish remover and place it on your nail. Then, take a square of tin foil and wrap around the nail to seal in the cotton ball. Let the cotton ball sit for about 5 minutes, then remove. Glitter polish will lift off immediately.”
- Nail Polish That Won’t Dry: Pinterest suggests a pretty funky fix, which is a spritz of Pam cooking spray to flash dry a fresh manicure at home. I don’t keep the stuff around, so I prefer a blast of the air conditioner on my nails. Beauty High advises taking a dip, “When you’ve got no time to spare and your nail polish just won’t dry, submerge your fingers in cold water for about three seconds. When you pull your hands out, the polish will be rock hard.”
- Peeling Nails: I’ve got a ton of experience with this nasty nuisance. Wearing gloves while doing household chores, like washing dishes or deep cleansing in the bathroom, and being a devoted moisturizer morning, noon, and night, work wonders. But BH says that it can also be a lack of nutrition: “ This could be a result of a poor diet, or of painting your nails so much that they don’t have time to breathe. Up the amount of calcium you’re eating, use a nail strengthening polish and give your nails a few days off in between manicures (when you can).” Favoring five-free polishes over more toxic formulas seems to keep my nails much healthier too.
- Bubbles in the Polish: Play it cool to keep bubbles from popping up. ”Instead of shaking the polish bottle to get the paint mixed, roll it in between the palms of your hands. Also, sticking the nail polish in the fridge for about 15 minutes before you paint your nails will insure a smooth, bubble-free finish.”
- Ridges: “If you’ve got ridges in your nails, apply a ridge filler as a base coat to even things out and give the polish a good foundation,” BH recommends. Also, a quality three-way nail buffer can file down annoying ridges and give un-lacquered nails a clean, glossy look, if you’re trying to give nails time to breathe as suggested above. But be weary of over-buffing and thinning out nails instead of nursing them back to health.