Vogue Magazine’s Nail Essential Tips of the Trade
“One of the main reasons our nails become damaged is due to improper removal when taking off gel or acrylics,” notes Gibson Tuttle, who recommends a full 15 minutes of acetone soaking to correctly remove color during a polish change. Less time can result in the stripping of enamel, since technicians will often buff or scrape away the residual color.
Step two involves committing to a few extra minutes of maintenance each day with a hefty dose of cuticle oil and hand lotion. “We expect our nails to cooperate, but a weekly manicure simply isn’t enough,” explains Gibson Tuttle. She suggests slathering the entire nail area with a hydrating oil, like CND’s classic SolarOil, three times a day, which, after two weeks of constant application, “will improve the overall texture dramatically.”
Those with excessive damage, peeling, or weakness may need true nail detox in the form of a brief break from polish altogether. “[Lacquer] dries out your nails,” explains Gibson Tuttle. “Taking a week or two off will rehab the enamel, promoting healthy growth.” During that time, switch to a growth elixir containing antioxidants or keratin (like OPI’s nail growth treatment) or a strong base coat (like Sally Hansen’s Nail Rehab, which is formulated with an almost invisible sheer pink tint, optical brighteners, and fillers to soften the appearance of ridges in the nail bed). Finally, to keep nails strong in between salon visits and prevent future damage, Gibson Tuttle advises clients to apply a clear topcoat every other day. Here’s to your best manicure yet—now just at your fingertips.