Beauty, Style

Beauty Edit: The Manicure

I just recently finished Garance Doré’s book Love x Style x Life, in which she dedicates a whole chapter of her book to the importance of the perfect (salon) manicure (in NYC). The chapter starts:

“Having the perfect nails takes time, commitment, and money …”

Now, here is where I want to step in and somewhat disagree and dedicate an entire blog post to the importance of good nails. Sure I believe it takes time and commitment but it doesn’t have to mean spending your hard earned cash on going to a beauty salon every week. Instead, buying in the essentials you need, learning a good practice to taking care of your nails and dedicating 15 – 30 minutes a week to filing and painting your nails with the all important clear nail polish.

In recent years, I have come to realise that well manicured hands should be an essential part of my weekly beauty routine and never to be forgotten. In fact, since including this to my weekly beauty routine I’ve continuously had strong, long and healthy nails and believe it or not, it really makes me feel that little bit better about my appearance. That’s what it’s all about though right, making yourself feel great. So, believe me when I say it, good nails do!

In fact, as I write this blog post at my desk and I glance down at the week old chipped red nail polish on my toes I realise it’s time for a quick mani/pedi, so, no time like the present I say! 20 minutes later here I am with perfectly manicured nails and toes … Just saying! That’s all it needs to take.

At this point you might decide that a weekly visit to the salon for a mani/pedi might be the best option for you. But before you go rushing off let’s talk about what it takes.

When I first started religiously looking after my own nails I first invested in the following:

Cheap cotton pads

Nourishing nail polish remover

Nail/hand moisturising cream

Good nail files

Clear nail polish

Nail colour (of your choice – mine would most likely be red or black)

A little bit of patience

Oh! and lastly when washing the dishes always use marigolds !

So, to start out I would recommend clipping your nails very short, filing them with the smooth side (rough side is for your toes) of the nail file and then adding 2 thick layers of clear nail polish. Thereafter, each week, when your nails start to grow you can pick what shape you would like to file them into – I didn’t even know that was a thing but I’ve actually gone from squoval to oval. Massaging your cuticles with a thick cream each time you remove your nail polish will help keep your nails in better shape.

Checking in on your nails each week to remove the old nail polish, massage your cuticles, file them back into shape and add those forgiving thick layers of clear nail polish really helps keep them strong and looking much more elegant than just going bare. In fact, that’s my secret … never go bare! Even a lightly tinted clear nail polish can just make your nails (and hands) look so much healthier. If nail colour is more your thing I have included a video on how to paint your nails perfectly – there is even an art to that! That’s right, don’t forget to base coat (to prevent staining) or to paint the tips !

My go-to nail polish would be Essie simply because their brush is large and flat and gets right down the sides of your nails unlike those thin round brushes. So, when buying a nail colour always be sure to check it has a wide flat brush. Those luxury Dior and Chanel nail polishes can feel like an investment but they can be expensive and in my opinion aren’t any better than a cheaper brand nor do I feel they last any longer. Though sometimes it’s a nice treat, plus they have some really unique colours.

Also, ladies (and gents) let’s not forget chipped nail polish … Remove it, don’t wait around for it to get even more chipped, that’s just not going to make you feel glamorous at all.

I would recommend clipping your nails right back at least every 3-4 months to start again.

As for gel nail polishes – I personally wouldn’t recommend them as I’ve heard more than a few bad nightmare reviews on those. But if you do decide to go down that route do check for a reputable local salon online.

My top tip: NEVER paint your nails in the evening – no matter how early in the evening you paint your nails and no matter how long you sit around drying them, the next morning you will be sure to wake with a million creases on your nails (or is that just me ?). So, I suggest you opt for a morning routine.

If all this fails and you just want to be pampered and living in Paris then I hear that Prana gives a great mani/pedi. Otherwise, if you feel like splashing out then Sultane de Saba is my favourite place to go for almost all my beauty needs, including the best sugar waxing hair removal in town!

Gosh ! That really was a long post about nail care and I didn’t even have time to tell you about my amazing Rosa Maria stacking friendship/engagement/wedding rings Matt gave to me, and why I/we wear them on the “right hand” … oh well, any excuse to dedicate a blog post to Rosa Maria’s beautiful jewellery.

Post Details

Nail Polish – Essie

Rings – Rosa Maria