DIY Manicure Do's & Don'ts: A Celebrity Manicurist’s Words of Caution About Nail Care by Belinda Lichty Clarke
Professional, regular manicures are a celebrity staple, just ask As U Wish nail spa owner Skyy Hadley, whose clients include Liv Tyler, Uma Thurman and Janelle Monae. "It’s really important for celebrities to keep their nails in tip-top shape since they are always in the spotlight,” she explains. "When you’re being seen and photographed so often, it’s best to have both well-manicured nails and healthy, moisturized cuticles and hands."
Of course, most of us are not red-carpet regulars, so for those of us who like to DIY, Hadley offers these cautionary words of advice:
- Never cut your cuticles. Cuticles should really only be pushed back, not cut, in order to avoid any potential infections, Hadley says. “The cuticles act as a natural barrier to prevent bacteria from entering, and this barrier is compromised when cuticle trimming occurs.” Can’t resist the trimmer? Then avoid the cuticles and stick to cleaning up the dry skin around the nail.
- Use a cuticle remover. If you’ve got stubborn cuticles that require more than a nudge, Hadley suggests going with a chemical cuticle remover. “I recommend the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover as opposed to a traditional cuticle trimmer because it breaks down excess cuticles in less than 30 seconds.” Once the cuticles are broken down, Hadley says it’s OK push them back gently, again, no trimming.
- Chill on the gel. Back to back gel manicures are a huge “don’t,” says Hadley. “Gel polish can really suffocate the nail plate and weaken the nails, so it’s always a good idea to let your nails recover in between gel manicures, either with no polish or with regular polish." When you apply gel polish every two weeks consistently, you aren’t giving your nails any time to breathe and recover.
- Consider your metallic. Metallics are huge right now, says Hadley, but you need to carefully consider your color. “Don’t pick a shade that is too close to your skin tone,” she says. “A lot of silver metallics can actually be very similar to your skin tone, which will make the color blend in and look ashy.” When wearing metallic, you always want to pick a color that is going to pop. Hadley recommends shades No Place Like Chrome, Penny Talk and Nothing Else Metals because they work for every skin tone.
- Mind your mouth. Never bite your nails, despite the habitual urge. “I know for many this goes without saying, but for others this is a habit that is very hard to kick,” Hadley says. Biting your nails and/or peeling off nail polish causes damage to the nail beds by also removing layers of the nail. “What’s worse, biting your nails exposes you to excess bacteria."
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