Thursday, November 26, 2009

Great Looking Nails: An Easy Step by Step Guide

One of life's little pleasures is having great looking nails. There's just something about looking down at your hands and staring at a beautiful manicure. It's really not that difficult. Our simple step by step guide shows you how.
Step 1: Remove old polish
Using a cotton ball and nail polish remover remove all traces of existing polish. There are 2 main types of nail polish remover to choose from. Acetone removers take off the polish quickly but can dehydrate your cuticles. You might want to use Acetone removers if you are trying to remove bold, deep or bright shades of nail polish. Non-acetone removers take longer to remove polish but dry the nail and cuticle as well. Remember, if you have artificial nails, you should only use non-acetone polish remover.
Step 2: File your nails
Only file one direction. You'll weaken the nails if you saw back and forth. Starting from the back of the nail, and going to the center, make long, sweeping strokes. Avoid metal files, they are brutal on your nails.
Step 3: Soak your hands
Fill a large bowl with soapy water and dunk your hands in it for several minutes. This helps to soften your cuticles and clean the nails. Dry your hands when done, using a paper towel, not a cotton towel. Cotton towels may leave behind lint that will show up in the polish.
Step 4: Fix up your cuticles
Use a cuticle pusher to push back your cuticles. Then use the pointy end to remove any remaining dirt from under your nails
Step 5: Apply a base coat
This helps prevent nails from staining, strengthens the nails, and also allows for a smoother application of nail polish. Your nail secretes oil, base coat helps the nail polish to adhere to your nail better. Apply a thin, not thick coat. A thick coat will just cause nail polish to smudge or take an extremely long time to dry. Make sure the base coat is COMPLETELY dry before applying nail polish.
Step 6: Apply nail polish
Rest your hand on a firm surface so your nails remain steady when being polished. When you are sure the base coat is dry you are ready to apply the nail polish. Before applying to the nail roll the bottle of nail polish, never shake it. Shaking causes air bubbles to form that will stand out when you apply the nail polish. To apply nail polish place the brush an eighth of an inch away from the cuticle - gentle pressure on the bristles will distribute the polish outward without bleeding over your cuticle. The first stroke should start from the center of your nail's base and be taken out to the tip. Then make two more even strokes. One on each side. Apply the nail polish thinly to prevent smudging then wait five minutes for this coat to dry.
Step 7: Apply a second coat
After you are sure the first coat is dry repeat step 6. Apply the polish thinly to prevent smudging. When you take time between coats it will give your nails a more even finish.
Step 8: Apply top coat
The top coat is what protects your nail polish. Before you apply the top coat, touch your nails and make sure they are completely dry. A top coat gives nails an added extra shine and looks more professional. Top coat will also help to prevent nail polish chipping and help your nail polish to last much longer. Apply top coat every few days for extra protection and shine.
Step 9: Touch ups
Almost everyone gets some nail polish on their fingers instead of their nails. The best way to clean up around the nail is by using a cotton bud. Dip the cotton bud in polish remover and gently rub around the nail to clean up any unwanted polish. It's best to wait to do this until your top coat is COMPLETELY dry.
Wishing you great looking nails.

How to Get Hard Nails - Turn Split Nails and Brittle Nails Into Strong Nails

One of the most common fingernail problems is split nails, brittle nails or cracked nails. You can strengthen your nails with a very simple method. It's easy, inexpensive and just takes minutes each day.
Several years ago I owned a flower shop. I was the owner for 11 years. During that time I had a staff of five, but I did all phases of the business. When you are the owner, you need to know how to do everything - because at some point you WILL have to do everything.
Within a few months my nails had deteriorated from what were really tough, strong nails, to split and brittle nails. As a florist, my hands were constantly wet. Whether cleaning flowers, designing arrangements, washing floral buckets or just cleaning the shop my hands were in water. I had to resort to having acrylic nails applied to protect my real nails. This, of course, had it's advantages. Not only did my nails look pretty, but I had to get away from my business every 10 days to take care of my brittle nails. And, of course, now I had strong nails. Well actually my nails appeared strong, but they were in actuality deteriorating and turning into even more brittle nails. Partly from the acrylic process, and partly from all the water.
When I sold my shop I removed the acrylic nails and found I had extremely thin nails - very brittle nails. I tried everything. Special nail polish, special nail creams that promised to strengthen my nails. Nothing worked.
Thank God I have a fantastic dermatologist who gave me a 'prescription' to strengthen my nails - and guaranteed it would work. And it did. Within three months I had no more brittle nails. My once split nails were almost back to my original hard-as-nails, strong nails. And they just got stronger as they grew. That took about a year. But now I once again have very strong nails and am able to do gardening without fear of breaking my nails.
Ok - here's the prescription to get rid of those brittle nails and get strong nails.
1. Take off all that nail polish ... and leave it off. The polish remover is a killer for your nails. And the nail polish doesn't allow your nails to breath.
2. Get a bottle of Biotin (also known as Vitamin H or B) - the lowest dose and the smallest quantity. Take one a day until gone (probably 30 days) - and then no more!!!
3. Wear rubber gloves when performing household chores. Try not to have your hands in water too long. Repeated wetting and drying causes nails to dry out, resulting in brittle and split nails.
4. Get some hoof dressing. Yes, for horses hoofs. You will only need a little bit. The brand I use is Hoof-Alive, Non-irritating Natural Hoof Dressing. Believe it or not - this works. Just apply a little bit of it to each nail - rub it in. Morning and night. As nails strengthen - you will be able to just use it nightly. Then just on occasion. It's pretty sticky upon first application, but it works its way into your nails. I used to apply it at night just as I got into bed, and then in the morning just before getting into my car to go to work. By the time I got to work (in 15 - 20 minutes) I no longer had sticky fingers.
If you can't find a store that sells horse or barn yard related products in your area, you can find it at I guess just about everything can be purchased through them. When I purchased my Hoof Alive in Malibu, California about 10 years ago, the cost was around $10 for a 4 oz jar. That's a lifetime supply. The Amazon cost is around $6, but the shipping is over $7. As I was researching for this article, I found most other online stores are selling Hoof Alive for around $15 plus shipping.
Another tip - not related to strengthening nails. Bag Balm - for cow tits, is also available at the same places as hoof balm. And guess what? Bag Balm is fantastic for your lips. Once again, another tip from my dermatologist. I actually have seen the green tin of Bag Balm in my local drug store chain.
I'm certain that in about a month your brittle nails will be turning into the strong nails you desire if you follow these four steps. Each month you should see marked improvement as your nails strengthen. And then in about four months you will have the strong nails you desire.
Want to have strong nails and get rid of those split, brittle nails ... It Can Be Done.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Beautiful Nails

It is a myth that beautiful nails can only be achieved through expensive manicures and treatments. It is in fact, very easy to make your nails beautiful, lustrous as well as strong. Simple steps can go a long way to make your nails look wonderful and healthy.
Protecting one's nails is the first step. Nails should certainly not be used as staple removers, scrapers or tools. When making phone calls, do not use your nails; rather use a pencil or the pads of your fingers to dial the number. Likewise, when doing household chores, it is recommended that you wear cotton lined rubber gloves. It is important to make sure that these gloves are not wet or moist on the inside, as this could invite fungus and lead to nail infections. Another important tip is to never cut your cuticles as this leads to nail infection. Look for products which contain organic calcium as this prevents the nails from chipping and breaking.
Hydration is also a very important aspect of making one's nails strong and beautiful. When water content in the body drops to less than fifteen percent, then the nails become weak and brittle and start to chip and break. It is important to drink lots of water, at least eight glasses per day. Your diet should be rich in fatty acids such as Omega-3's and Omega- 6's. These are found in items such as walnuts, sardines, green leafy vegetables and salmon. When moisturizing one's hands, it is important to include the nails as well, especially if they have come in contact with water.
For long nails, some of the beneficial nutrients are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, iron, folic acid, zinc as well as protein. These will stimulate fast and healthy growth of nails.
Finally it is important to pamper your nails by visiting a salon and having them taken care of professionally. There are many simple treatments for the nails available in many salons that are not very tough on the pocket also.