These are questions submitted by readers...you can go HERE to submit your own question! Similar questions will be combined. I am by no means a professional so I can't say I know everything, but I consider myself to have a good amount of knowledge when it comes to nails! :)
Q: Why do nails curl and how can you avoid that?
A: As far as I know, nails curl because that is the pattern they grow in naturally. For example, the corners of my nails curl inwards the longer they get. The only solution I know of is to either keep your nails short, or do what I do and manipulate your nail to the shape you want. My natural nail shape is more rounded than sqaure, but I always file them in a square shape. With frequent upkeep, they will stay that way! :)
Q: What is the best way to keep your nails looking great, even on unpolished days?
A: A good way to start is to make sure that when you do wear polish you use a good base coat to avoid staining. Nobody likes yellow nails! :P I would suggest to at least use a topcoat to give your natural nails some radiance. Also, make sure to maintain your cuticles (see below). File into a neat shape and take care of any ragged edges and you should be good to go! Also, I want to add that taking a prenatal vitamin can do wonders if you want long strong nails (and hair!). They are recommended for all women of child bearing age anyway. I enjoyed the benefits of those quite a bit when I was pregnant!
Q: How do you keep your cuticles looking good and feeling healthy? I try to push back my cuticles and moisturize them and all, but they still end up looking ragged, and I have a callous kind of build up on my thumb that also won't go away no matter what. If I tend to my cuticles, a day later they'll look like they did before.
A: In my opinion, this is what makes or breaks a neat looking mani (or naked nails for that matter). I don't know about you, but I really cringe when I see unmaintained cuticles! haha My personal regimen: I alternate between using Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme and Seacret cuticle oil (from one of those kiosks in the mall with those obnoxious people trying to grab your hands and sell you lotion and stuff. haha) I use a cuticle stick to push my cuticles back as well. If you have issues with your cuticles, I would recommend keeping lotion in your bag, office, car etc...and for super dry skin and cuticles try Aquaphor. It is a super thick, fast absorbing cream that delivers amazing moisture to irritated skin. I used this on my baby when she was first born when she had a ton of dry skin issues. Works really well! Being consistent is key!! Another suggestion to get a fresh start with your cuticles is to go to a salon and get a manicure. They do a really good job of removing the excess around your nails leaving them much healthier looking. And as for a callous that never goes away...is there something in your daily routine that you do that would be causing this callous? That seems to be the only thing that will help it go away is if you can pinpoint and change whatever it is.
Q: I often end up with bits off old polish and dirt under my nails. This is a problem if I've been wearing a dark polish and my next mani is a light shade. I find it very hard to clean under the nail especially between the skin of my finger and the underside of the nail. Do you have any tips for this?
A: I hear ya on that...I deal with the same thing! I would suggest using acetone and a q-tip to get into the under nail area. When I know I am switching from a dark to light color, I take off the dark color a few hours before I want to repaint. A lot will come off naturally through handwashing, showers, etc. Another way to help get dirt and debris from nails that I use occasionally is a product called Bubble White. It's a soak that fizzes while cleaning and whitening your nails. You will see better results after multiple uses, but it already feels better after one. You can get it at Sally Beauty Supply.
Q: I struggle with applying China Glaze polish. I want to love it because everyone else does, and they make some gorgeous colors, but the formula seems to have a steep learning curve for me. Any tips?
A: I can't say I have a definite answer for you, but I would suggest experimenting with different base coats and see if that doesn't make a difference. It also could be the brush...I find China Glaze has a thin brush that can make application difficult at times.