There is really only one thing I want to say to you here about nails and that is… not wait hang on hang on… two things… and they are:
ONE: Never let anyone cut your cuticles. If you do, then three days after your manicure you will suddenly have these little hang nails everywhere, which will rip and cause you immense pain and ruin the look of your nice manicure.
I only worked out quite recently why this hang-nail situation happened and since then have said to any manicurist “please do not cut my cuticles” and they don’t and tra la la! No more hang nails. I very occasionally cut my cuticles myself with a cuticle cutter but very carefully and only in an emergency
TWO: Use nail oil. I keep nail oil by my bed and before I go to sleep I dab it on and rub it in. This probably seems neurotic and mad to you but it may not surprise you to learn that I have a real problem with picking at and generally destroying my cuticle area. If they are in the least bit dry or pickable all hell breaks loose.
In the past my attitude has been “My hands and nails are not very nice so I will attack them to punish them” … but now it’s more like “My hands and nails are not my best feature so let’s try really hard not to make them look any more ugly than they already are.”
It is important, in my view, to use an oil especially formulated for cuticles, not just any old oil such as almond – it just doesn’t do quite the same job. I like this one from Opi. If you use nail oil regularly, particularly after a bath or a shower, the natural action of massaging it into your cuticles will help keep the cuticles back. If your cuticles are growing down over your nails, last thing at night, apply nail oil, push them back carefully, apply more nail oil and then go to sleep. When you wake up they will probably look fine.
Another thing I use nail oil for is in the summer if I’m going somewhere nice in open shoes I dab a bit on any visible toes – it makes them look really expensive for almost no effort, or genuine expense, at all.
There are a lot of nail varnishes around at the moment that claim to treat nails as well as providing colour and shine. One I have been sent which I really like is called Kiss Me, I’m Kind by Orly.
It is a lovely pretty, sheer nude colour – every bit as nice as my similar one from Chanel – it comes with a wide brush and so it takes about ten seconds to do your nails.
I rarely use colour on my nails because my fingers are very short and stubby (typing very fast is basically the only thing they are much good at) but sometimes you just want to join in with all the other fancy ladies and paint your nails. You feel me?
I shall definitely buy the kiss me I am kind. My nails are awful. I have just returned from holiday and everyone I saw had decent painted nails false or not I have no idea. But mine are rubbish….as was the holiday! Still off again in June to Ibiza so I shall go there with lovely nails. But I now also need a tan that lasts on my Irish freckled skin. I arrived looking tanned and leave looking pink and freckled and bitten, the midges like Irish skin too…..I hate holidays with my complexion
I also have a bad habit of picking at dry skin around my nails. I found that a good thick hand cream rubbed into hands and nails before bed helps. The one thing that really stopped me picking at them though was to keep a small set of nail clippers in my bag at all times. As soon as a little dry bit of skin lifts up and I find myself fiddling with it, I snip it off with the clippers so that there’s nothing there to pick at. My hands have improved hugely since sticking to this!
Yes I do this too! I have about 3 pairs of special little cuticle snippers and it really helps
My nails are so bad after a lifetime of picking/immersing hands in water/typing etc that I’ve given up painting them and now use stick on ones for things that need my hands to look nice. The ‘Kiss’ brand from Boots are amazing, cost about £5 (and are often on offer) and look just like the real thing. They also last for ten days if you look after them and are really easy to put on, especially if you have a keen 12yr old to help you. A real game changer!
My nails are fine, pretty average, but this means I am guilty of arriving at the fancy party/ wedding/ event of any description and realising everyone else has lovely nails, they have at the very least thrown some nail polish at them at home, and I’m standing there with my plain, boring nails looking very ungroomed and unglamorous and childish. We are off to a wedding in a few weeks and I’ve splashed out on that nice reddish Chanel nail colour everyone uses, but know I’ll catch sight of my nails holding my glass at some point and think ‘who do those nails belong to?’ and then immediately feel like I’ve come to the party in my mums high heels with lipstick smeared all over my face. Elaine x
I have vile, weak nails, and horrid cuticles that I pick and bite. Completely agree that you only leave them alone if you have no hanging bits. I came on here to recommend Avoplex by Opi, but when I went looking online, it was really hard to find (in the handy tube). Does that mean it’s discontinued? Waaaaaaah! Or maybe your stuff is the replacement for it? Hmmm.
Also really good, and cheap, is Rimmel nail nurse, for a nudey shade that takes care of your nails.
God I totally did think you were a bit mad to massage cuticle oil on every night, until I read further and realise that I too pick and generally destroy my nails & cuticles at any given opportunity. It’s a really disgusting habit I seemed to develop in my mid 20s for some reason and have never grown out of it. I’ve never really given it much thought but actually, my fingers and nails are gross & perhaps cuticle oil is the solution…
Does anyone else feel that nail varnish (and tbh lipstick) is just too frickin grown up? I just don’t feel like me. Obvs i’m a bit of a nightmare!
no I am with you on this
Thank you so much for this recommendation. I’m an inveterate cuticle picker and it’s not a good look. So, for when the cuticle oil has done its trick, I will be just buffing & polishing my fingernails to show them off. Summertime toenails always red polish (cherry toes), lipstick never as I just chew it off.
Philippa Hutchinson says
This varnish is AMAZING! You just bung on 2/3 coats and there it stays and stays.
it’s good isn’t it! a wide flat brush is a revelation
I have been terrible to my cuticles over the past few years since I gave up professional manicures (working part time) and got too lazy to do the cuticle cream thing weekly as I used to years ago, you have reminded me to sort them out. Same with painting my nails, however, on the varnish front, a couple of months ago I bought a couple of bottles of Sally Hansen Colour Therapy which says it has Argan oil in it and I LOVE it, it also has a wide, flat brush, comes in some fab colours, dries quickly and wears pretty well on me, amazing considering what my hands go through working in a convenience shop, and I love having pretty nails again.