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How to keep your nails looking good all summer long


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As someone who has bitten my nails since childhood my nails have always been a source of insecurity. 

However, this summer I have been on a mission to grow them and keep them safe from peeling, cracking and breaking. And, by some kind of miracle, I’ve actually managed it! 

So here’s a guide for helping you to keep your nails in good condition this summer.

Filing is your friend

Regular filing works wonders. The way I see it, filing your nails regularly is the same as getting your hair cut regularly. Regular haircuts keep your hair strong and thick and prevent breakage. Filing works the same way. Gently filing your nails once or twice a day ensures that any breakage is whipped away before it can cause damage to the rest of your nail, ensuring thick and strong growth.

I previously used to use nail scissors to do this but I always felt as though it left my nails with definite edges on them whereas filing gives them that smooth finish. If your nails are particularly brittle make sure to soak them in warm water before you file them, either in the bath or shower. This will soften your nails and help to prevent splitting when you come to file them.

Glass over metal

A glass nail file is the way forward. I can’t stress this enough. Metal nail files, although they last longer, tend to be a lot harder on your nails. This can mean that if you have weaker nails that are more prone to peeling and breaking, it serves only to weaken nails rather than strengthen them.

Using a glass nail file is much more gentle on your nails, whilst still being strong enough to smooth away any loose edges. You can buy glass nail files from most high street beauty stores. This one is only £2.99 from Superdrug - and just look how pretty it is!

Don’t forget to buff

Buffing is often overlooked when it comes to nailcare but it shouldn’t be.

Buffing and filing go hand in hand. Whilst filing is good for keeping your nails growing strong, buffing helps to keep them smooth and looking generally more attractive. After filing, take a buffer and rub it along the edge of the nail and on top of the nail itself.

A good buffer will help you get rid of any bumps or ridges on the top of the nail and give the edges a much smoother finish. That way when it comes to painting your nails the polish looks smoother and sleeker and overall your nails look so much better.

The perfect buffer to get you started, this handly little tool has four edges, giving you choice depending on how hard you want to buffer - ideal for people with especially sensitive or thin nails. 

Cuticle care is key

This is a tip that really does make a difference in terms of making your nails look longer and neater - once a week make sure you push your cuticles back (gently!) into the nail bed with a cuticle tool.

It sometimes helps if you have particularly tough cuticles to drop some oil onto the nail bed to soften them. This way it’s easier to push the cuticles back.

Most manicurists will use this oil, or one similar. However, any moisturiser would work to soften cuticles.

This is as far as I take my cuticle care, however you can buy clippers that will trim the skin you have pushed back to make the nail look neater.

The only danger with trimming cuticles is that it can make the nail more susceptible to infection, so be careful how much you trim off...

Hand cream always helps

Using hand cream is a good habit to get into anyway as it prevents dry hands and cracked skin, which will become especially important as we head into the winter months. Using hand cream regularly also helps to moisturize your nails and encourages maximum growth.

I never used to use hand cream as I always felt it left my hands greasy. It was only when I found The Body Shop hand creams that my opinion changed.

The Body Shop products are all cruelty free and use all natural ingredients in their products so they are not only good for you but are ethically produced too. My personal favourite is the Moringa hand cream.

Always use a base coat

Does anyone else remember when we put neon coloured nail varnish on our nails in year 8 and then after trying (and failing) to remove it, had to live with yellow stains on our nails for weeks afterwards.

We’ve all been there, or at least I certainly have. Using a base coat before you put any colour on your nails not only helps the varnish last longer but also helps protect the nails underneath from any stains or discolouration that might occur.

You can even buy specialist base coats from brands like Sally Hansen that actually moisturise your nails as well as acting as a base coat. 

Vitamin D is key

Being in the sun really helps your nails grow so if you’re going on holiday any time soon now is a great opportunity to put some time into your nail care as you will begin to see the change very quickly!

Sitting in the sun gives you a great time to soak up all that Vitamin D which is exactly what your nails need to grow quickly. Just don’t forget to sun cream up beforehand!

Sunlight is great for growth but for those who prefer the shade (like myself) vitamin D can be found in other places; try foods like tuna, salmon and egg yolks to aid with nail growth.

Follow these tips and before you know it you will be enjoying lovely long nails, free from breakage, discolouration and peeling. Good luck!

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