This inspired me do a post on a couple of tips I know.
They are quite simple and I am sure many of you know about them already, but please keep on reading if you are interested. ;)
Ok, I am not going to lie.
I was lucky to be born with strong and nice shaped nails. :)
As far as I know, my mom and my grandmother all have similar shaped strong nails, so I guess genes play a big part in this.
(And it is very possible I might suffer from arthritis for the same reason. ;-/ )
This does not mean that I can do whatever I want with my nails and abuse them.
I have done some visible damages on my nails in the past due to daily change of polish colors and other mishaps, which eventually lead me to learn a few lessons. ;p
1. Taking supplements helps
Maybe a good diet is all you need, but personally I believe in taking supplements for additional help.
Nothing drastic like taking more than 2500 micrograms of Biotin daily, though it has been proven to be effective for hair and nail growth, I still would suggest adding some sort of supplements that generally covers hair, nail and skin health.
You can find this from any health store at affordable price.
Mine contains vitamin C, Biotin, Hydrolyzed Collagen and Grape Seeds extracts, for instance.
Taking Omega-3 is a good idea as well. (If you are allergic or vegetarian, there is flax seeds version, too.)
2. Avoid nail clipper and emery board if you have brittle nails
I admit that my nails are strong enough to open a soda can with, but I still prefer using glass (crystal) files when I shape and trim my nails.
This is more hygienic than conventional emery board since it is washable.
Good thing about crystal files is they do not add unnecessary stress on you nails and provide smoother finish so you nails are less likely to break.
(It will last virtually forever but it is not invincible, so don't drop it or step on it.)
3. Try not to touch your cuticles too much
Too much of thick cuticles can cause pain and they need to be taken care of, but generally speaking, it is just better not to touch them.
Even when you go to a salon for a professional manicure, just politely ask not to cut cuticles too much. Cutting a little bit on the sides should be okay, but most of times, a little bit of push-back is all you need.
Remember, once you start cutting your cuticles, it is hard to stop since they keep growing harder and irregular.
4. Wash your hands
I always wash my hands after I use acetone based remover on my nails.
(If your nails are too weak to handle acetone, go with other alternatives. I personally like acetone based one since it gets the job done quickly and I wash it off right away anyway.)
Nail technicians usually wipe your nails off with remover right before painting to get rid of any oily residue and ensure the color would last longer, but this does not mean it is a good thing for your nails.
I also use a tooth brush for my nails. (No, I don't use the same one.)
Brushing your nails with whitening toothpaste works pretty well on those stained nails. :)
As for painting neatly on nails, I don't have much to say except "practice makes everything better".
There are clearly better polishes with better formula and brushes, but even polishes from the same brand differ depending on the finish (jelly? shimmer? creme..?)
Plus everybody is different with unique nail shapes and preference.
For example, OPI prowide brush doesn't work very well for me since my nail beds are kinda long and curved to sides.
As you keep practicing on your own nails, you will learn what kind of brush works better for you and how much polish you need to dip to cover each nail, etc. :)
6. Invest in nice base coat & top coat
Good top coat and base coat can definitely solve a few problems.
I don't really believe any base coat would make your nails grow faster or stronger, but right kind of base coat can provide nice even surface so nail polish can adhere better.
Fast drying top coat like Seche Vite literally dries polish in minutes.
(Trust me, I can go boil instant ramen noodles 10 minutes after I paint my nails thanks to this. With caution, of course. ;p)
Top coat gives wonderful shiny finish and helps the nail polish to last longer. It also straightens out minor mistakes and flaws.
Most fast drying top coat thickens rather quickly over time, add good thinner in your manicure arsenal.
7. Pee before you paint your nails
This is not my word of wisdom, but I find this one of the wisest of all beauty advice there is.
Ladies, pee before you start painting your nails. :)
Well, I hope you enjoyed my little posting about nail care and self manicure.
Please feel free to share your own tips with me as well. :)