April 23rd, 2020
This week our lockdown series looks at nails and how to take care of them when you can’t get to the salon, particularly if you have gels or acrylics that need some TLC. We asked an expert about the best course of action. There has been a boom in nail polish sales recently as people are using their time to get some pampering in and so we’ll look at some cheery colours to use to brighten up your home manicures and pedicures, along with some treatments to keep your nails as healthy as possible. Finally we’ll spotlight some of our favourite false nails, glamour without the mess!
Julie-Anne Larivière, one of Salon System’s Nail Experts says
Removing gel or acrylic nails at home can be pretty fiddly, so it’s important to take your time to avoid damaging the natural nail. You can get soak off kits online, which include files, pads, foils and cuticle pusher, but you can easily grab what you need on your next supermarket trip if you don’t have what you need in your bathroom cabinet. All you need is a file, some acetone, cotton pads, tin foil and a cuticle pusher or orangewood stick.
If you have acrylic or gel builder extensions/overlays you will need a good file (80-100 grit) to remove the bulk before soaking. You may need to look for these online as supermarkets probably won’t stock them. Leave roughly 1mm of product on the nail then cut your cotton pad into quarters, saturate a piece with acetone and place it on the nail and wrap your nail tightly with a piece of tin foil (Shiny side in). Leave for 15 minutes then scrape the crumbled product with a cuticle pusher or orange wood stick. If there are any stubborn bits, don’t force them off, just repeat the soaking process until it’s all removed. Then gently smooth out the surface with a soft buffer if you have one and rub in cuticle oil to restore moisture.
For gel polish, you will need to use a file to remove the top coat only. Then proceed to soak your nails the same way as mentioned above for about 10 minutes at a time.
If you are wearing hard gel overlays or extensions sadly this cannot be soaked off so the best thing to do is file off a lot of the bulk then file the length down if you want. Buff with a soft buffer and leave them to grow out. By taking the bulk off you will avoid nasty breaks from the weight of the product when the product gets too outgrown.
We would suggest perhaps painting over the area that needs an infill with a darker colour using a few coats to conceal the regrowth.
The most basic treatment you can perform at home is just a simple manicure. It only takes a few minutes once a week and will keep your nails looking healthy until you can get to your nail technician again.
File your nails to shape, push the cuticles back and trim dead skin if needed, then either rub in cuticle oil or apply a clear nail polish just to give them a shine and also protect them. Finish with hand cream. Make sure to apply cuticle oil and hand cream 2 to 3 times a day at least, more if you wash/sanitise your hands very frequently. This will prevent the nails and skin dehydrating and keep them looking nice and healthy.
Gellux Nail and cuticle oil (£4.35+vat)
Gellux Hand & Foot Lotion (£11.95+vat) both available from wholesalers nationwide.
There are a wide range of nail treatment products available; at Warpaint Towers we love the Skin Republic hand and foot masks. The Nail + Cuticle Hand Mask (£4.49) promotes longer, stronger, healthier looking nails and cuticles, whilst moisturising and softening. Helps to visibly improve condition of nails damaged by gels and acrylics.
Foot Repair (£5.49) Dual layered booties contain an intensive moisturising serum packed with Plant Extracts for soft, silky smooth feet. The outer layer of the booties stays dry so you can continue with daily activities. Or you could have a cuppa and put your feet up while they work their magic. Both available from theskinrepublic.
Leighton Denny Expert Nails Renovate Nail Repair (£12) is formulated with 7 essential oils, and will help hydrate dry nails. The nourishing cream is filled with avocado oil, antioxidants and vitamins to hydrate and strengthen nails. Available from marksandspencer, lookfantastic and nailpolishdirect.
If you can’t bear bare nails then why not paint your nails with regular polish? If you miss nail art you can always watch some nail polish tutorials online to give you some ideas of easy designs you can attempt on yourself and remember to look at the ones we’ve featured here on Warpaint recently.
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Saturday is a fab excuse to practice some – albeit, much needed – selfcare. Our friend and Algenista Queenie Nguyen, LA-based nail artist @nailartbyqueenie, provided us with her pro-tips and step-by-step tutorial for doing an at-home red carpet manicure. Follow along, try it yourself and let us know how you're practicing #selfcare this Saturday. – In this video, we used: – Algenist Microalgae Oil – Algenist Liquid Collagen Hand Cream – @orly TOP 2 BOTTOM all-in-one base and top coat – SUPER GENIUS, a custom nail lacquer we created at the @orlycolorlabs – #algenist #poweredbyalgae #selfcaresaturday #manitutorial #athomemani #nailart #orly #orlycolorlabs #manicure #celebnails #nailstagram 🎼via bensound.com
She used Algenist Advanced Anti-Aging Repairing Oil (£65)
Orly Top 2 Bottom all in one base and top coat (£13.25) and a custom nail lacquer created at the orlycolourlabs. Sadly we can’t get our mitts on this fab colour, so the closest is Just Breathe (£12.75) both available from orlybeauty.
Other nail shades you may want to try in the spring sunshine are
Salon System Gellux shades Bizzie Lizzie
and Watch Me Bloom. £11.95 +vat each, available from wholesalers nationwide.
Leighton Denny Expert Nails Nail Illuminator (£12) instantly brightens dull and discoloured nails due to Thai Porcelain Flower in the formulation. Wear alone for a subtle wash of colour or use as a base coat. Available from marksandspencer, lookfantastic and nailpolishdirect.
If you don’t have the time (or patience!) to paint your own nails, why not try some of the fabulous stick on designs from Warpaint favourites Kiss and Impress?
The imPRESS Press-On Manicure range (£7.99) is now slimmer and stronger with a new Ultra-Fit Design. The beautiful designs incude high quality jewels, special effects and 5G film. You just have to press and go with self-adhesive nails to achieve a DIY manicure in minutes. Available in 15 designs from Superdrug, Boots and Asda.
The Kiss Glam Fantasy range (£7.99) features special FX glitter, holographic chrome, shattered glass and other finishes for the ultimate illusion nail. Lasts up to 7 days with fuss-free glue on and adhesive tab options. Available in 5 designs from from Superdrug and Boots.
The Kiss Gel Fantasy range (£7.99) lasts for up to 7 days with glue or adhesive tabs. With unique multidimensional embellishments unachievable at home or in the salon, chose from glitter, ombré, matte, glossy, chrome and other fashionable finishes. Available in 12 designs from Superdrug, Boots and Asda
Kiss Masterpiece Nails (£11.99) are the ultimate on-trend manicure. Featuring popular nail shapes such as coffin and stiletto, with premium designs including chrome, marble, holographic, ombré and gold leaf finishes. The Kitty Gurl design (above) is available from Boots.
Whatever you’re doing, make sure you stay safe and keep your nails beautiful.