There's more that goes into a good manicure than just the colorful polish. Create the perfect at-home experience with these nail shaping, cleansing, and nourishing products that will make any DIY manicure feel like the real deal. Plus, they'll help you make that polish last a whole lot longer and they're all under $10. Go ahead and pamper.
Just like your body suffers from flaky patches during the Winter, your nails are prone to dehydration, too. Cracked cuticles, peeling nails, and jagged edges are just some of the symptoms. Turn your dry digits around with a slew of nail car products that can fit in your purse.
Cuticle care: The sensitive skin around the nail bed can begin to peel and split when your hands are thirsting for moisture. Keep a cuticle oil, cream, or balm nearby to keep hangnails at bay. If you're on the go, you can also use your favorite lip balm.
Handy man: Store a hand lotion at your desk, the bathroom sink, and in every bag to make sure you always have a hydrating solution. Make it a goal to apply salve after you wash your hands — every time. Formulas packed with urea and beeswax will help lock in moisture.
Smitten with mittens: Gloves are not only a fashion statement this time of year, but covering your hands while outdoors will help protect them against whipping winds and dry air. And at night, wearing a set of cotton gloves over a moisturizing treatment can help heal cracks and other rough patches. Finally, always wear rubber gloves when you're working with harsh chemicals to shield nails from their drying effects.
Beyond reach: If it's too late for these preventative measures, it's time for a heavy-duty hydrating spa visit. Schedule a paraffin manicure service to get supple hands and fingernails in no time. But remember to respectfully decline any cuticle cutting, which can cause infections.
So you've overslept and have practically zero time to deal with a chipped manicure this morning. Before you take the term "meltdown" to the next level, take a deep breath and relax. This easy 10-minute manicure will leave your nails looking better in no time. Find out how to shave off the minutes from your next manicure — without cutting corners.
Gel manicures are popular fixes for busy women who need chip-free finishes that will last. And recently, at-home kits have hit the market with brands like SensatioNail, Red Carpet Manicure, and Sephora by OPI (available soon) coming out with their own versions. Now that Spring is here and temperatures are rising, your hands and feet will be begging for a little attention — not to mention the benefits of long-lasting manicures and pedicures. Get tips on making your DIY gel set look good for weeks when you read more.
The vivid colors and patterns of the American Southwest are popping up all over accessories for Spring, but you don't have to visit Mesa to work the motif into your wardrobe. This easy "flying v" manicure has plenty of Southwest flavor, and all you need to make it work are three nail polishes and some tape. Ready to hit the trail? Then find out how to do it.
>> Get a head start on next season with these super-chic nail looks, poached straight from the Fall 2012 runways. From the quirky polka dots on offer at Kate Spade New York to the moody "modern moons" at Antonio Berardi, there's definitely no shortage of inspiration to glean. Click through to see some of our favorites, and stay tuned for more to come from Paris and Milan.
>> Spotted backstage at the Parkmoonchoo Fall 2011 show, this inky ombre manicure is a fresh way to wear dark nail polish this season — and getting the look couldn't be easier. You'll need three nail polishes: an opaque nude color, a super-dark hue, and a clear topcoat. Start by painting nails with the pale hue, and let dry completely. Next, paint a very thick layer of clear topcoat over the nude color. While the topcoat is still wet — and working one nail at a time — use short strokes and a heavily-loaded brush to dab the dark color just along the tip of the nail. It's all about creating a painterly effect here, so be sure to lay it on thick and don't worry about being too precise; the two polishes should run together to create a marbled effect. Let nails dry completely, clean up any mistakes around the nail with nail polish remover, and finish with another layer of clear topcoat.
If you need cute, conversation piece nails in a hurry, these Kiss Pink Color Change Sticker Nails in Belle ($5) fit the bill. While they're actually meant for kids (as the whimsical packaging suggests), because they're cut down to a reasonable length and size, they'll also work for smaller adult hands. Tip: as an added measure to help them stay better, try brushing nail glue on your nails before applying.
Did I mention they change color? The base shade goes from white to pink when exposed to sunlight, and the multichrome polka-dot pattern on top is equally attention grabbing. Everyone who has noticed them has thought they were both expensive and all kinds of trendy. They hit the season's nail art craze on the dot.
While a judge has since ordered an injunction that the offender, Rich's Nail Salon, not charge different prices based on gender (they were charging $10 for a man's manicure and $9 for a woman's), we'll learn the final say after the suit goes to trial next month. But here's the thing: Women have been paying more for things like haircuts and dry cleaning for ages, and that's on top of the gender-based wage gap that leaves women earning less than men. So does Sydnor have a case, or is this just a lawsuit waiting to be thrown out?
OnSugar blogger Lesleykat always features the most clever manicures, and her latest one is no exception. Regarding her inspiration for this look, she explained, "When I sat down to do my nails for the week, I couldn't decide between the two colors, so I did them both."
To achieve this cool split-color look, Lesleykat began by applying two coats of Zoya's Areej, a creamy fuchsia pink, to one side of each nail, followed by Gosh's Peachy, a bright coral, to the other side.
Would you like to write about beauty (or any other topic for that matter), too? Why not start an OnSugar blog of your own? You might just be featured here on BellaSugar, too.