With the help of long-taloned stars like Cardi B and Kylie Jenner, 2019 was arguably the year we became obsessed with nails. Whether you’re the kind of person who’s always at the salon getting the latest design or more likely doing your own at home, chances are you’re always curious about how to keep your nails looking their best. Google Trends put together a list of frequently searched nail queries, proving that we’re all asking a lot of the same things. We picked out five of the most common questions and tapped celebrity manicurist Joanna Newbold to answer them – and help you nail nail care.
How to Remove Your Nails
Whether it’s how to remove gel, acrylic, or other fake nails, this question popped up repeatedly. When your pristine manicure has had its day, you want to be rid of it immediately – but it’s not as simple as wiping it off. Most of us are too impatient (or lazy) to go to the salon to have it professionally removed, so need a good at-home remedy to prevent us from picking the polish straight off the nail.
“The safest, healthiest way to remove product from nails is to use pads soaked in acetone, covered in nail clips,” says Newbold. “This should take between five and 10 minutes. Next, remove the clips and pads, and wipe away the dissolved product from the nails.” If there’s anything left over, repeat the process until your nails are natural and fresh. Don’t worry if you don’t have special nail clips; wrapping tinfoil around your fingers to hold the pad in place can do just as well. You’re probably well aware that you shouldn’t scrape, peel, or pick the product off your nails, but it bears repeating. Newbold says this could cause “dilapidation” – essentially, it can ruin your nails.
How to Shape Your Nails
Knowing how to shape your nails properly is key to keeping them strong and healthy, but are you doing it properly? “I would recommend filing the nail using a natural file that is gentle on the nails,” says Newbold. “File from the outside of the nail into the middle to form a beautiful round nail that complements the cuticle.”
How to Strengthen Your Nails
Whether it’s growing them out or stopping them from peeling, stronger and healthier nails are (always) in demand. For Newbold, this means being more careful on a day-to-day basis. “Nails will benefit from being covered with gloves in cold weather and when using detergents,” she says. “Don’t put your hands in anything you wouldn’t put your face in.”
To encourage strength and growth, Newbold recommends using a professional cuticle oil, like the Jessica ‘Phenomen Oil’. “This product heals and nourishes dry cuticles and promotes strong nail growth,” she says, a lot of which is due to key ingredients like vitamin E, jojoba, sweet almond oil, and rice oil.
Jessica ‘Phenomen Oil’
How to Do Ombré Nails
With more than two million tags on Instagram, it’s clear the trend for ombré nails – where one color gradually blends into another – isn’t going away. But how can you achieve that yourself at home? For Newbold, the easiest way is to use glitter. First, you paint your nails the base color you want, then “apply a tonal glitter to the tip and blend upwards toward the middle of the nail”. She says this can also be done with polish or gel using a sponge.
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Why Your Nails Are Yellow
Few things are more unpleasant than off-color nails. Unfortunately, it’s easy for this to happen. “They are porous, so left bare, they will absorb colors [from food etc.] and can become yellow or stained,” explains Newbold. So it’s important not to leave them bare. “Cover them at all times with a hybrid manicure or a nail polish, but be sure to always apply a base coat to stop the color penetrating the nail plate,” Newbold says.