We use our hands for everything, and our nails can take quite a beating. If you're a nail art junkie (like me!), then it's important to know how to care for your nails, too. The good news is that a lot of the products that can pamper your nails and return them to health are already in your home. (And if they aren't, they're inexpensive and worth buying. No-guilt shopping!) Here's how to pamper and care for natural nails.
I like my nails short, so I cut them once a week. If you like yours a little longer, that's okay. No matter the length you like, it's good to give yours a regular trim with a large nail clipper. I find that this minimizes how much your nails peel when cutting them. After they've been trimmed, file your nails to shape them and smooth any rough edges.
After your nail edges are smooth, lightly buff the nail. I prefer to use this glossing buffer rather than a buffing block to smooth the nail surface, but this is personal preference. Turn over the buffer, and use the finer side to shine the nail surface.
Next, apply cuticle remover around the base of your nail, and rub in. Let it soak in for a few minutes before pushing back your cuticles with a cuticle pusher to remove any excess skin. I used the pusher in this kit from Tweezerman. Make sure you wipe off excess cuticle remover before proceeding.
If your nails are brittle, apply a base coat to protect your nails. I like Orly's Bonder and OPI's Nail Envy to strengthen and protect them.
To finish, apply cuticle oil and massage in to moisturize your cuticles and keep them healthy.
For more nail advice from Alice, go to One Nail to Rule Them All.