Slim down thick nails: With age, nails gradually thicken—and not in a strong, healthy way. The thickening occurs because the small blood vessels that feed our extremities become less efficient, so less oxygen and fewer nutrients reach the nails. The best way to keep thickness in check? Buff twice a month with a gentle sanding device like the Sephora Nail Buffer Block ($6;sephora.com).
Get rid of nail fungus: If you take polish off your toes and find white spots or yellowing in addition to thickness, don’t ignore it. Instead, have your podiatrist take a clipping to check for a fungal infection, advises Elisa Kavanagh, a Manhattan podiatrist. Soaking feet in pedicure tubs and going barefoot in gym locker rooms are the most common ways to pick up a fungus. Remedies include topical ointments, oral antibiotics and the YAG laser treatment, which can help get rid of tougher cases.
Smooth Ridges: Ridges are the nail version of wrinkles—and like fine lines, they are more annoying than harmful. “It’s hard to apply polish over ridges because they cause streaking,” says nail guru Deborah Lippmann. Again, buffing can help, as can a ridge filler like Deborah Lippmann Ridge Filler Ultra Smoothing Base Coat ($20; deborahlippmann.com), which contains fibers that create a smooth canvas for your polish.
Prettiest Pedicure Polishes
The Hot Hue: Sonia Kashuk Nail Colour in Sunset Boulevard($5; target.com). This vivid coral shade not only is the season’s trendiest but alsois age appropriate and flattering to every skin tone.
The “We Dare You”: Jin Soon Nail Topping in Polka White ($18; jinsoon.com). This white polka dot top coat, applied over your favorite polish, is an adorable (but not too precious) way to go.
The “Goes with Everything”: Essie Nail Polish in Urban Jungle ($9; essie.com). This pale beige is a no-brainer: It works with your whole wardrobe, and its barely-there color makes chips less apparent.
The Classic: OPI Nail Lacquer in Girls Love Ponies ($10; ulta.com). Hot pink is like a warm- weather red—it’s always in style, and it has sex appeal.