TOP TEN TIPS. FOR THE NATURAL NAIL
To look its best, the natural nail must be in perfect con-dition, perfectly groomed and perfectly shaped. And whether all dressed up in bright enamel or alluringly nude, the beauty of this nail begins with the health of the cuticle and nail plate.
Julie Serquinia, creator and owner of Paint Shop Nail Hair Lounge in Los Angeles (paintshopbeverlyhills.com), has been an advocate for natural nails for more than a decade. Her “No Acrylics, No Attitudes” mantra fills her salon appointment-book with the names of the Beau-tiful People, including Tyra Banks and Janet Jackson.
JULIE’S TOP TEN:
1. WEAR GLOVES when cleaning and house-keeping, especially when working with water. Of course, chores chip polish. And, soaking or repeatedly wetting nails can cause the nail to swell, leading your pol-ish to lift and peel.
2. NEVER PICK cu-ticles and never peel polish. Picking at cuticles invites infection. and can dam-age the nail-bed beneath, resulting in disfigured nails. And peeling polish lifts away layers of protective barrier tissue, weakening the nail surface and making it more prone to splits.
3. GO EASY WITH THE NIPPERS. Don’t go overboard nipping and trimming. Never cut living tissue. To keep hangnails at bay, exfoliate and moisturize faithfully.
4. SHOWER YOUR HANDS WITH CARE. To keep cuticles in line daily, slather them with hair-conditioner and push back gently with a washcloth.
5. SHAPE GENTLYUse only the finest-grit nail file, and file lightly in one direction—see-sawing with a coarse file traumatizes the nail and may actually create snags. Leave sides of the nail straight, even if you shape an oval tip.
6. POLISH WON’T STAY ON? Oil is usually the reason. Swipe nails with acetone polish remover, even if you’re not wear-ing any polish, then apply basecoat and polish. Still having problems? It could be because your skin is naturally oily. Try frosted shades, which “grab” the nail and hang on better than cremes.
7. FORGET THE FRIDGE as a place to store polish. To flow smoothly, polish must be room-temper-ature.
8. ROLL, DON’T SHAKE polish. Shaking the bottle introduces air-bubbles. But rolling warms up the polish and mixes up the ingre-dients for a flawless flow.
9. POLISH LIKE A NINJA Think Jackie Chan: The fewer moves, the better. Swipe on thin coats of polish in three master strokes, center, side, side. Too much brushing introduces bubbles, streaks, and adds time to the drying process.
10. LIGHT-EN UP ON THE LAYERS. Applying multiple coats of polish does not prolong the life of your manicure. In fact, doing this may cause polish to lift off, ripping up layers of nail-bed in the process. Slick nails with top coat a few days after a mani for longest wear.