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5 Bad Habits To Break For Long, Strong, And Healthy Nails

There are too many ways to destroy our nails. For Jacqueline Kilikita at Refinery 29, she had to learn the hard way that she has been harming her nails. But the good news is the good nail practices she has collected as a result. Read her article to help revive your nails below!

Credit: Jacqueline Kilikita

For many of us, a manicure is one of life’s little pleasures. But with the pandemic throwing a wrench in our previous standing weekly salon appointments, we’ve been left to our own devices when it comes to our nails. 

There are so many great long-wearing nail polish collections and countless genius DIY tools for achieving an expert finish at home, but I recently came to realize that some of the nail caretechniques I’d been following weren’t giving my nails the best start at growing long, strong, and healthy. Add nervous picking and biting to the mix thanks to COVID-induced stress and anxiety, and my nails were looking decidedly worse for wear.

So, to try and breathe life into my flimsy nails, I decided to switch things up. From investing in a top-quality nail file to always using a base coat under nail polish, read on to uncover the most common nail mistakes — and the simple adjustments I’ve made to achieve my best nails so far.

Investing In A High-Quality Nail File

Multipack nail files are such good value for money, but some of them can be flimsy and sandpapery, causing my nails to split at the tip. Since investing in a glass or crystal nail file, my nails haven’t broken or snagged once, and the speed with which it files is impressive. I’m using the Leighton Denny Small Crystal Nail File, which comes in a protective case; Nail Tek’s Crystal Nail File is another brilliant highly-rated option.

A top tip all nail artists swear by for healthy nails is not filing back and forth — instead, file slowly in one direction to keep your nails intact.

Using A Base Coat Before Nail Polish

Credit: Refinery29

If you regularly skip a base coat before painting your nails, you might want to give it a second thought. Not only does a good base coat act like Velcro for nail polish you apply on top, encouraging it to stick around for longer, but it shields your nails from stains, which can often occur if you’re using a darker shade of polish. Stained nails can take on the color of your chosen hue and even appear yellow over time — not great if you want to try the nude or sheer nail trend. I love nails inc. Nailkale Superfood Base Coat, which treats nails as it protects.

Since making a promise not to skip the base coat (and applying a top coat, too), my nails have chipped far less than usual so I’m not picking off my polish. Which leads us nicely on to the next bad habit…

Visit Refinery29 for the full list.

Vanessa Roberson

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