A 'camera ready' manicure and pedicure are a must in our profession, whether it be for modelling a beautiful peice of jewellery or showing off a close up of some fabulous shoes. Although this comes under the remit of 'getting ready for work' for us, we think it's a very important part of anyones image, even if you're not expecting a close up inspection of your hands and feet anytime soon. The fact is 'looking after yourself, is good for you.' Your grooming routine is part of your subliminal message to yourself that you are 'cared for' and 'prepared for'. 'Cared for' speaks for itself, being cared for makes you feel good even if you're doing it for yourself and 'prepared for' means that you know whatever life throws at you that day, if you are called in for a presentation at work or suddenly have an impromptu lunch with an old colleaugue or friend you won't feel like you need to hide your hands if you're looking after them properly.
As we mentioned before looking after our nails is a part of our routine for our work and lifestyle but we believe it's important to share that although we might like the theory and occasional practise of an indulgent *'professional pre-holiday pedicure' for our summer holidays, it is actually quite rare for us to have professional manicures and pedicures, mainly because we enjoy doing it ourselves, it is convenient and it is cost effective, so we've decided to share some our basic tips below.
(*Professional Pre-holiday Pedicures are the ones where you feel like you come out feeling like you're walking on clouds, the local weather is just warm enough for your feet to be comfortable in flipflops whilst they dry, your feet feel brand new and... you've chosen some rather loud tropical colour for your toes just because you're in 'holiday mode'!)
BASIC NAILCARE TOP TIPS
Our no.1 'top tip' for heavenly hands, flawless fingers and marvellous manicures is to treat your nails as 'jewels not tools'. We must all remember (we're reminding ourselves too!) to resist the temptation to use our nails as tools for jobs such as teasing those irritating sticky tags off new products...admit it, we've all done it...or something very similar! It ends up wrecking your manicure, leaving it chipped and vulnerable or even worse damaging and weakening the nail underneath. Filing your nails must come under this too...be gentle, don't hack your nails with the file. We recommend using a good emery board and filing the nail, edge to middle and edge to middle rather than back and forth.
If you are truly inspired to have 'perfectly polished paws' you need to start being more aware of how you are looking after them, which leads me nicely on to 'tip no.2' ... Never do the washing up or similar household chores without the use of rubber gloves. The abrasive chemicals in domestic products will dry out your hands and weaken your nails, so be sure to protect them as much as you can. We're sure most people already know this and it is an obvious tip but if you are anything like us, as above in tip one, a gentle reminder never hurts!
Tip no.3 may not be as obvious but definitely one that we share most often with friends and family. We always always have our nails painted. This for a very good reason apart from 'being prepared.' If our nails are nicely painted and cared for, we find we're much less likely to trip up on any of the above. If your polish is chipped or you don't have any colour on your nails you're not going to be as careful or aware. However, if you've taken the time to paint your nails and are enjoying them looking good and cared for, we find it much more likely that you'll be careful with them.
The next thing you need to do is find a good base coat, colour and topcoat that works for you.
Base coat is personal to you and dependant on the current condition of your nails. There are hundreds of differents brands and most in themselves have different base coats to choose from, find one that works for you and stick with it. Always use your basecoat as a prep before any colour remember it isn't just for looking after the condition but also to protect your natural nail from being stained by any colour polish you apply next. Colour is obvious, find colours that you are drawn to and that work with your wardrobe and lifestyle. Next find a fab topcoat that helps your manicure last, we love Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat (Boots.com). It's not only very quick drying but leaves a high gloss finish that lasts well and gives the appearance of a professional finish.