Like everyone else in other cities who are currently on lockdown, I'm personally counting down the days till I can visit my favourite nail salon for the ultimate post-quarantine mani/pedi session. But alas, till that day comes, we will have to patiently wait and care for our own nails in our homes. Luckily, we were able to speak to TIPS Nail Bar's resident Nail Artist Nargis Khan who shared her professional tips and tricks on how to properly give your nails that TLC it needs during quarantine.
It is without a doubt that one of the first places that will fill up post quarantine are nail salons (and we simply cannot wait!). In the meantime, what are some things people can do to care for their nails at home?
During this period of staying at home, our nails and hands may feel extra dehydrated with all the hand washing & hand sanitizer we’ve been using. Let’s utilize this time for some self-care and give them a little extra love.
Here are four essential steps to keep your hands and nails in great shape from home.
EXFOLIATE Exfoliating your hands is a key step in preparing your skin for ultimate hydration! This step will remove any dead dehydrated skin enabling your moisturizer to penetrate better as well as leaving your skin with a healthy glow. Without this step, your moisturizer will likely sit on top of that layer of unwanted skin and not absorb as well. You want to focus on your cuticles, working it in, in circular motions. Also on other areas that are prone to dryness such as your knuckles and in between your fingers.
Exfoliating your hands is a key step in preparing your skin for ultimate hydration
HYDRATE Now that your hands and nails are ready for hydration. The key to this is not only using a good moisturizer but also a good quality cuticle oil. Start by applying cuticle oil first and then massage it in. Cuticle oil is essential to keep your nails & cuticles hydrated, as oils are made up of smaller molecules that will absorb into your nail plates. The more often you do this (at least a few time’s a day), the more it will prevent nail breakage and hangnails. Then you can go in with your moisturizer, and take your time to gently massage & focus on dehydrated areas.
TREAT During this time, when most of us no longer have any gel polish on our nails (I know it’s hard!), we can utilize this moment to treat our nails with a specialized nail treatment. This will maintain the length and strength of your nails as well as repair any damage from rough or improper removals of gel polish done at home (it’s understandable, most of us haven’t done this before, and that’s okay!).
A base coat will not only make your nail polish last longer, it’ll also prevent any staining from your nail polish colour
POLISH Make sure you use a good top and base coat when painting your nails. A base coat will not only make your nail polish last longer, it’ll also prevent any staining from your nail polish colour. A fast drying nail polish and top coat is also recommended because let’s face it, it’s hard enough for anyone to patiently let their nails dry, which can take up to 24 hours!
Let's talk products. What are some things that we need to stock up on during the lockdown to keep our nails in tip-top shape?
BODY EXFOLIANT When choosing a body exfoliant I would recommend a sugar scrub that is super hydrating and packed with essential oils. My favourite is BODTINI’s - EXFOLIATING BODY POLISH. It’s all natural, locally made and comes in three amazing scents.
CUTICLE OIL I love CND’s - SOLAR OIL. It’s a must have and is most recommended by professionals. It’s all natural and contains a series of different oils including sweet almond oil and jojoba oil ensuring great aid in hydration without that greasy feeling. A good time to reapply is during your nighttime routine so you aren’t washing it off shortly after.
MOISTURIZER Another favourite of mine from the BODTINI line is the HYDRATING BODY SILK. Also all natural and comes in three delicious scents. It’s whipped silk like texture feels luxurious and will hydrate your skin immensely without any residue. When choosing a moisturizer be sure that it is paraben and phthalate free for proper absorption.
NAIL TREATMENT OPI’s ORIGINAL NAIL ENVY is a great choice as a nail treatment. Containing calcium & wheat protein, it will promote nail growth, strength and length. Yes to all of those!! It works best on a bare nail, so this is the perfect time to try it! BONUS; it also doubles as a base and top coat!
NAIL FILE AND BUFFER You can find these at your local drug store. Or skip the step of sourcing these products and invest in a mani kit! Like this super handy LUXE MANICURE KIT from TIPS NAIL BAR’s online shop, it includes most of the products mentioned and much more. You can find all the products I’ve mentioned on the online shop as well.
POLISH Use a long lasting and fast drying base coat, nail polish & top coat. I am in love with CND’s VINYLUX. The great thing about this time saving polish is that the base coat is built in! It won’t stain your nails so you can skip that step! Their colours are highly pigmented and dry in a matter of minutes. The top coat has a gel like consistency so it will smooth out and hide any minor imperfections.
There are tons of instructional videos online that are helping people do things like remove their gel and acrylic manicures, which are great. However, what are some of the things people need to keep in mind when doing their own DIY manicures at home? Any major do's and don'ts?
DO Hydrate your hands and nails. The more often you do this the better! There’s no such thing as too much hydration. So moisturize after washing your hands or whenever you feel necessary.
DON'T Buy a cuticle nipper and cut your cuticles. I do not recommend purchasing a cuticle nipper as tempting as it may be! The truth is it may be hard for you to differentiate what to trim and what NOT to trim. This could lead to inflamed and/or infected skin! Instead, use a good scrub and this should help to ease that problem.
DO Wipe your nails with polish remover before applying your polish. I recommended 100% acetone that you can find at your local drug store.
DO Cap your edges when painting your nails. You can do this by lightly stroking the polish on the tip (free edge) of your nail, with every coat. You will get a longer lasting manicure.
DON'T Refrain from using products with artificial scents. With our poor hands being a bit more dehydrated than usual and possibly cracked, artificial scents may further irritate your skin
While we wait to book our appointments, are there some fun things we can do in the meantime to experiment with our nails at home? Perhaps taking up nail art?
Now’s your chance to try your hand at some fun nail art! You can do this with items you have around the house. Such as a tooth pick or Bobby pin. You can create lots of fun designs like, dots, hearts and flowers. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can also try using tape to block out a section of your nail for a negative space mani. Check out @tipsnailbar Instagram for some great DIY ideas.