Crafting a perfect look is an inclusive process; just as you’d think about what shoes you were going to wear or what accessories you were going to team with a specific outfit, your cosmetic routine is about so much more than simply preparing your face before you leave the house. Our hands are one of the most expressive parts our bodies, and we use them to communicate almost as much as our words. As such, we need to care for them in the same way as we do our faces. Depending on our choice of footwear, our feet are also important. A beautiful pair of shoes is only as attractive as the feet that wear them. If you want to care for your extremities, take a look at our five step guide to marvellous manicures and perfect pedicures.
Every artist starts with a blank canvas, and you should be no exception. The first step in your nailcare routine should be to cleanse the nails themselves; of course, it goes without saying that your hands and feet should be thoroughly washed before you start. Once you’ve cleansed your fingers and toes, remove any traces of old nail polish with nail polish remover solution.
Once the nails themselves are clean and clear, it’s time to clear the areas around the ends of your fingers of unattractive dead skin. Using a cuticle clipper, gently clip around the crescents of your cuticles, removing any hard, dry skin and taking care not to run too close to the fingers themselves. With that job done, it’s time to sculpt your nails into the length and shape you require.
Use a nail clipper to trim your talons into a more manageable length before filing. Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t use a sawing motion when filing down your nails as this can cause them to split; instead, file in one consistent direction every time. Square off the ends instead of rounding down the sides, as while you may think a more traditional rounded nail shape is attractive, this can often cause ingrown nails and other related problems.
When you’ve achieved the desired shape and texture of your nails, you need to buff them to a smooth finish using a quality nail buffer. Most of these have three dedicated surfaces with different grain sizes; work each nail from the coarsest grain down to the finest in order to ensure a high-shine finish. You should also look to buff the leading edge of each nail as this will help to prevent splitting. Buffing your nails can make them look as though they’re coated in a clear coat of gloss, but you won’t have to worry about it chipping or peeling, and acts as a smooth base when adding further colours.
The piece de resistance and the moment we’ve all been waiting for: it’s time to apply the polish. This season, nude-look clear polishes are very much in vogue, but if you’re looking for something a little more colourful, we’ve got a comprehensive range of styles to choose from. Apply from the cuticle down to the tip of the nail and try to cover the entire surface in three strokes for the best possible finish.