A true fact of my past is that I chewed on my nails and ate them too. No, I didn’t find them yummy. It was just a habit. I am grossed out even at the thought of it now. My mom did every possible thing to take this habit off me, but in vain. Till start of my teens, 12-13 years I had these horrible looking all chewed up nails. Then this magical age arrived when beauty and glamour struck me. I grew my nails long for the first time and painted them. There was no looking back after that.
Today I have long nails, well manicured and polished up most of the time. No, it’s not impossible to have it and continue doing your house hold chores? You think so? I still cook every single day. I chop veggies, peel garlic, marinate chicken, roll chapattis, devein prawns and knead dough and everything that calls for using my fingers.
How do I take care of my nails? Don’t they chip off the edges? Isn’t the polish bad if it goes into the food? Isn’t it unhygienic? Don’t they discolour with constant color application? I know you have a lot of questions. I have listed down a few things I do to keep my nails in top shape all the time.
1. Don’t miss the base.
Base coat is quintessential to having healthy nails. Always ensure you wear a base coat before applying any nail color. It not only makes a good canvas to the nail color but also prevents the nails from yellowing due to harsh colors of the nail polish. Plus it forms another layer to the nail that helps in prevent chipping. Invest a good Base coat. There are options of Base and Top Coat 2in1 available in the market.
2. Give it a break.
Don’t wear nail colors continuously. Give your nails a breather. Nail colors are loaded with lots of chemicals and colors that may decolour nails and make them weak. I follow this routine of giving a 2-3 days break to my nails after every nail polish application. I keep the nail polish on my nails for a max of 7-10 days depending on how soon the color chips of.
3. Buff and Shine
Every time you give your nails a break. Ensure you buff and shine them. They not only look good, healthy and manicured on your hands but also form a smooth base for your next application of color. They also take off yellowness off the nails.
4. Cuticles aren’t cute
Cuticles can be quiet a hindrance for good nail color application. They need to be sent home. Best time to push them away is after your hot bath when they are still soft and manageable. Else you get these instant cuticle removers in the market. I use the one from Sally Hansen.
5. Alter lengths
Longer nails are prone to more chipping and breaking. Shorter the nails and closer to the skin, stronger they are. Keep altering the length of your nails by a few millimetres. I keep my nails shorter when they are bare and with no nail color. As soon as they grow a little I wear nail paint. This way you will trim your nails regularly.
6. File it
Make time to file your nails regularly. Small chip off the nail can ruin a lovely scarf or a stocking by giving it a run. This happens to us most of the time. With well filed nails the chances are less. I keep a nail file handy always. I have a mini nail file in my purse always and also the keychain of my car.
7. Check the Calluses
Calluses are the extra / dry skin at the edges of the finger or below the nail, near the nail bed. They make the fingers look unruly and lifeless. Keep them in check. Go for regular manicures to your favourite salon or have a quick manicure at home. I use the same Sally Hansen Cuticle Remover to control them. Yes, it’s a great product. Review coming soon.
8. Top it up
Never ever miss a Top Coat. After good 2-3 coats of nail color top it with a top coat. And DO NOT forget to seal in the ends of the nails. That’s where all the chipping happens. With a base coat, 2-3 coats of nail color and top coat you make the nail thick and chip resistant. That’s the secret to longer wear of nail colors and freedom from brittle nails. Try it, it works.
9. Chores to the core
We are talking of well manicure nails of practical women like you and me who works in the kitchen day in and out. There chores can also take a toll on your nails. If you wearing light shade of nail color beware of Turmeric or Haldi. It can change your nail color to a degree you will not recognise you nail color. Bleach can also leave your nail color stained and bad looking. Chopping veggies can chop your nails too.
I never mix things with my hand when I have light color nail polish on my nails, specially marinate of chicken. I use a spoon/ fork/ ladle to do so. Or I use a Kitchen glove. I am careful while I chop veggies else I use a food processor Kneading dough for roti can also be a pain with long nails. Food processor can be an option or your friendly maid This not only saves my nails but also the consumer of the food with all the chemical going into the food.
Whenever I have color on my nails, I ensure I eat with a spoon or fork. I can’t let the color get into my mouth.
Yes, it’s tough to maintain all this. But it’s my lifestyle now. I have grown to it and after all. No pain, no gain.
10. Wash up
Long nails are bearers of dirt, grime and germs if not kept clean. Hygiene is the key for maintaining long nails. Most of you know I have a OCD of washing hands dozens of time. So as soon as I enter the kitchen I wash my hands with antibacterial liquid soap. And the course of cooking I wash my hands, I don’t know how many times
Excessive washing can leave your hands dry and dull. Invest in a good hand cream to hydrate and soften your hands. I also have 2-3 variants of hand cream that I use at a time.
Hope these tips were of help. They are most practical and what I personally use. Let me know if you have any other nail tip for great nail tips
Here are few of my nail obsession pictures:
How do you maintain your nails?
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