Here are a few guidelines to help show off your well-groomed hands. Hands that are well-looked after are attention- getting and once you establish a routine for their care, it’s easy to maintain.

To keep a manicure looking fresh for as long as possible, apply a thin layer of nail polish every night to add strength to the nail and repair chips that have occurred during the day.

Keep your hands and nails away from hot pans, hot water etc. as heat tends to shrink the nail polish, causing it to chip.

Bubbles usually occur on the nail polish surface as a result of applying multiple coats of polish too quickly, without allowing polish to dry somewhat between coats.

Don’t use worn-out emery boards on your nails or file nails when they are wet as this will tear the edges.

Apply color polish with a minimum number of brush strokes.

Always apply a base coat prior to using a shaded polish. It helps the colored polish adhere better, helps smooth the surface of the nail and helps prevent the polish from staining the nail.

Don’t file your nails down into the sides where the nail joins the skin. Breakage occurs most often at this point because the nail has been weakened.

To repair a split in a nail or a tear that has occurred in the flesh under the nail, a patch is required. Commercial menders are available – mending paper, glue or polish. A spot of glue or polish is applied to the split area and a tiny snip of mending paper is placed over the split. Another layer of glue or polish is then applied on top and allowed to dry and then the base coat may be applied when it is dry.

Always wash your hands after you have used nail polish remover and then apply a cuticle cream and massage the nail. Nail polish remover is extremely drying to the nail.

Never cut cuticles or use anything sharp on them. Trim hangnails with nippers.

Buffing can stimulate the growth of your nails by increasing the circulation in the area. It can therefore help prevent peeling or splitting. When using a buffer, remember to buff in one direction; from the base of the nail to the tip. Also watch the amount of pressure applied when buffing – lighter is better – as the friction can produce heat.

Wear gloves while doing dishes, gardening, paint stripping, painting, and housecleaning (when using chemicals and water).

Don’t expose hands and nails to the sun as the pigment markings will show up and the heat will dry the nail.