I know I've been MIA Sparklers. I'm so so sorry! Life has been...well life. Sometimes you have to put something you love on the back burner to make sure other parts of your life shine and sparkle too! However, lets just jump right back into it. Over Chinese New Year dinner (I realize this was ages ago...), my Aunt mentioned that she liked my Wet n' Wild Mega Last Nail Polish* Review and Comparison post. We got on to talking about how we both have weak nails that like to peel and break. I learned a tip form her which is also included! Thus, I have amassed a quick list of tips that will keep you nail tips looking in tip-top shape! (See what I did there?). Without a long intro, lets get into the tips (in no particular order).
#1: Don't Use Bar Soaps-
This is the wonderful tip that I learned from my Aunt. In order to create all bar soaps, the soap makers have to use lye. Lye is a very harsh chemical that can really affect the quality of your nails. Am I torn because I think bar soap is way more economic than liquid soap? Yes. but if you are battling naturally weak nails, switching to liquid soaps might just help maximize your chances for strong nails.
#2: Use A Base Coat-
Nail polish colors are drying to your nails no matter if it is free of the 3-5 worst chemicals (This post by SilkyPolish.com* does a good job talking about the chemicals in nail polish). Using a base coat protects the nail from all these chemicals and has beneficial ingredients that can help with strengthening, moisturizing, or growing your nails (see my how to get salon perfect nails at home post to learn more). Over time I have tried lots of brands of base coats. Most preform pretty well, how ever, one base coat is BY FAR the best I have ever used. It's a little pricey at $30 for 0.6oz, but Pink Gel Coat rocks my socks. It dries fast and my nails have never been as nice as when I started using this over a year ago. One bottle lasts a long time, so I feel like it is totally worth it. You can also use this as a top coat, which cuts down on the number of nail products you have to buy!
#3: Do Not Pick Off Polish-
I know this is super hard. Your polish is peeling up and it's so tempting just to pick it off. But you inevitably will take off some of the surface of your nail and damage it. I know, the OCD in you might not be able to stop, but try and think about which is worth more to you: strong healthy nails, or picking off polish leaving a trail of a little colored flakes.
#4: Properly Remove Your Polish-
In keeping with tip #3, please try not to use pure acetone to remove your polish. Yes it works really fast (which is why salons use it) but it is by far the most damaging to your nails. I prefer using soy nail polish remover which is actually quite good for your nails. I wrote a review of soy nail polish remover if you are interested in trying it. It's the only remover I have used for over a year and I've been very satisfied with the long term results! Always remember to wash your hands after using nail polish removers and apply a moisturizer or oil to your nails/cuticles for a few minutes before painting your nails again. This will help restore some suppleness to your nails. You'll have to use rubbing alcohol or wash your hands again before painting (since the oil/lotion will drastically reduce the life of you manicure, but even a few minutes without polish and adding moisture will help the condition of your nails a lot.
#5: Nourish From the Inside-
Your body appearance reflects your overall health. If you are not eating healthy and getting enough water, your hair, skin, and nails will be some of the first places you will show this. Make sure you are drinking enough water, and eat enough vegetables, protein, and nutrient rich foods. You might be surprised how much this improves the condition of your hair skin and nails. I'm not a huge supplement taker, but I do think a high quality daily multi-vitamin can be a good place to start.
I hope you found this post helpful, and I promise to start posting regularly again every Wednesday!
Shine & Sparkle!
*I am not paid or contacted by any of the companies mentioned in this post. These are my honest feelings and opinions. Also, like all my images, I'll gladly give someone credit for their image used in this post or take it down if someone throws a hissy fit.