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Beautiful Nails All Year Round

September 11, 2018

Photo by Elena Taranenko on Unsplash

For the celebrities and socialites, this is probably a no brainer with celebrity nail artists looking after their nails with utmost TLC, making sure their digits look absolutely on point, and matching their outfit for every event.  But for the rest of us, it will require just a little more effort, on our own. 

Instead of sharing where to find inspirations for drop-dead-gorgeous nail designs that can be a great conversation starter at any event, it might, on the contrary be more apt to discuss what exactly is preventing us from having beautiful nails all the time, and what can we do about it.

 

HELP! My Nails are as Thin as Paper!

Does this sound familiar to you?  Have you ever experienced paper-thin nails after a gelish removal where you can barely open a metal tin without getting help?

Most of us love gelish, for the ability to have beautiful nails lasting two weeks or more that are picture perfect even after rough handling and housework. The moment we get a fresh coat of gelish, we magically get this perception that our nails are REALLY strong....much stronger than they really are.

So like most of you, we love our gelish too!

But we have likewise met many gelish dropouts who swear never to do gelish again.  So what is it in the process that really damages our nails?

The answer is not so much the process of getting the gelish nails, but rather, the removal process.  But it doesn't have to be that way, if you know what to look out for.

During gelish removal, your nail technician first "buffs" and "roughens" your pretty gelish nails before wrapping them in the cotton wool soaked with remover.  Very often, nail technicians who don't exactly count on your return visit as a priority, or is aiming for a faster turnover to cater for more customers, will intentionally or otherwise, file more than they need to, so that the removal process can be quicker. 


Guard against potential damage to natural nails during gelish removal processThis particular step is really meant to "open up" the gelish seal so that the remover is able to penetrate and remove the polish effectively.  And all that is necessary is for the shiny surface of the gelish to be filed off, nothing more.

However in most cases, the over zealous filing in this step takes off a few layers of the natural nails, making it almost impossible to do another round of gelish before new, healthy nails grow out.

The other potential "harm" in the removal process is when the nail tech "pushes" off the remaining gelish left on the nails.  Time-pressured nail techs are likely to give less than optimum time to the soaking process, resulting in gelish still strongly adhered to some parts of the nails.

 

More "pushing" is required in this case, with a higher chance that some layers of the natural nails could be pushed off too, if the nail tech places more pressure when using the cuticle pusher, in a attempt to speed up the process.

Do this:

Talk to your nail technician about this specific concern and watch that they do not rush through this process.  It would be best if you can find a nail tech that you know cares for the clients' nails and become their regular client.  

 

HELP! I think I have....nail fungus! 

Have you ever been the "lucky" one? Don't be shy to own up...we have been through it too. And it is a real draggy problem to get rid of, and when you are not looking, it creeps back again.

So what's the implication of nail fungus? Don't I just cover it up with dark polish?

That's a big NO NO. Fungus thrives where light cannot reach and putting polish over it will simply aggravate the problem. If you are not careful, it might even spread from one finger/toe to the rest. 

And when fungus hits, it simply means no pretty polish for the next few months, until you get it cured.  In many places, nail salons will turn a client away if they observe nail fungus.  The right thing to do would be to get the nail fungus treated (visit a podiatrist if it is a serious attack), and only get your nails done after you've recovered.  Not all salons have the required level of sanitisation, and by visiting a nail salon with your nail fungus, you put their other clients at risk.

So to avoid getting into this dire strait and be banned from mani-pedi for a good 6 months (or more), it is wiser to do EVERYTHING you can in your effort to NOT get fungus on your nails in the first place.

Do this:

- Never let your toes stay in a moist environment, e.g. in sweaty socks, in closed up shoes, for a long time.  In winter, be sure you give ample "air time" to your feet since fungus thrive in dark and wet environment.  Alternate you footwear everyday so your favourite pair of shoes/boots get some "air-time" too.

- In common area, e.g. the pool, public shower area, avoid walking around bare-footed if you can help it.  These common areas are great environments for fungus to pass on.

- For our mani-pedi lovers, make sure you do all your homework before visiting a new salon. Do not ever be tempted to go for a cheap mani deal if their hygiene standards look iffy.  

- NEVER never share nail tools with anyone, not even with your better half. Treat nail tools like toothbrush meaning even when visiting a nail salon, bring along your personal nail kit, so you minimise your risk of a nail infection.  Never be shy to ask about the salon's sterilisation procedure and even with your own nail kit, request for the nail salon to perform a thorough sterilisation procedure after use.

Which Nail Tool do you hate to share at the Nail Salon?

 

- For Acrylic nail lovers, do not skip the regular filling by a nail professional at any cost. Our hands come into contact with water so frequently giving fungus many opportunities to penetrate between your natural nails and fake nails if the acrylic nails are not maintained regularly.  If you are not convinced, check out some of the horror stories online.

 

HELP! My nails got caught in the groove!


Avoid growing nails too long to prevent damageOuch! We've been there too.  And this often happens when we try to keep our pretty gelish for juuuust a little while longer and the nails become too long for comfort.   

As our natural nails grow out with gelish, acrylic or even regular polish, points of weakness start to appear. The tendency to get our nails caught in grooves or flipped backwards, for example when we accidentally mis-estimate the side of the table (yep, that's how clumsy we are) increases.  When that happens, we may experience nails lifting from the nail bed, or nails breaking at the edge, cutting into the nail bed.  Sometimes, part of, or the entire nail breaks off.

At this point, there is no choice but to remove all polish, cut all the nails short and nurse the nails back to health before starting again.

 

 

Do this:

As the saying goes, "Treat your nails like jewels, not tools". With long nails, we have to be even more conscious as we go about our daily lives, and pay more attention to the space around us. Needless to say, for nails with intricate nail art and embellishment, this consciousness needs to go up extra few notches to make sure the nails don't get caught in any fabrics or gaps.

The rule of thumb, don't let the polish stay on the nails longer than the recommended duration.  Be diligent in the removal as you are with putting them on.  And if you do not have the right skills, don't attempt the removal yourself.  Always visit a trusted nail salon.

 

Natural Nails are beautiful too

It's a good idea to give your nails a break and be free from any polish from time to time.  Not because they are so thin and weak that you can't do another round of gelish, but simply because natural nails can be beautiful too!

Just maintain a consistent shape and length using a file with grit 180 or more for natural nails, and perhaps give them a light buff every now and then.  Keep them moisturised with cuticle or coconut oil.

Now Beautiful nails all year round not only sounds appealing but is also within reach.






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