FIVE-STEP WINTER MANICURE GUIDE
The state of one’s hands and nails betrays more than just age; there’s nothing worse than offering up a parched handshake, and chipped, mismatched nails speak a thousand [far from pleasant] words. With a little care however, this need not be the case. Come winter, continual effort is required to keep hands, nails, and cuticles in good shape, and the timeless appeal of soft palms and a set of perfectly manicured tips endures more than ever. Here’s how to up your nail care game this winter season.
SHAPE YOUR NAILS
A glass or crystal nail file is a vanity table mainstay that presents a far more virtuous alternative to cheap emery boards, leaving nails stronger and healthier. Margaret Dabbs' Crystal Nail File* is also much more gentle on the nails in comparison and can be used in a backwards and forwards motion without causing damage. Use the blade to carefully shape your nails to your desired shape and length before pushing cuticles back with the rounded end to perfect the shape.
PREP YOUR HANDS
Dry hands require more than just hand cream, and rough hands in particular will benefit from regular exfoliation come winter. Margaret Dabbs’ Exfoliating Hand Scrub* is a luxuriously creamy exfoliator, which buffs hands and nails to a silky perfection whilst replenishing moisture levels with a blend of emollient plant extracts. Rich in intensely hydrating emu oil and gently exfoliating jojoba beads, it targets dry, flaky patches of skin, restoring softness and smoothness. Use across both hands and nails - the citrus oil-infused formula will remove yellow stains from nail polish and brighten dull nail beds.
The lifespan of a nail polish job depends upon the success of its foundation. Intensae’s quick-drying Storm Base Coat* acts as the perfect primer for a winter of long-lasting manicures, and [like the very best beauty products] does double-duty. The clear solution infuses nails with a cocktail of vitamins that have an immediate strengthening effect upon weak nails [which become increasingly damage-prone during the colder months]. For winter, consider warm, dark shades that add an elegant sophistication to your overall beauty look. Chanel’s enduring classic Rouge Noir is the stuff of winter manicure dreams; a failsafe deep red-brown that is at once glamorous, dark, and dignified.
For those who seek a subtle but seasonally appropriate enhancement, go for gold with Chanel’s Le Top Coat Lamé - an eye-catching gold-glitter infused solution that feels especially appropriate come festive season. In typical Chanel style, this is far from a typically garish glitter top coat, and instead lends a subtle metallic shine and a hint of sparkle. For a final finishing touch, Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat locks down colour beneath a layer of impenetrable shine - the unique formula binds the below layers of polish together and locks them onto the nail bed whilst preventing discolouration.
Aēsop’s Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm* envelops hands with an intensely hydrating shea butter-based formula, delivering rich hydration to both hands and cuticles. Whilst it’s not the fastest saturating hand cream on the market, the inclusion of vitamin-rich botanical extracts means that it had long-term maintenance in mind. The seasonally-appropriate scented formula [mandarin, cedar, and rosemary] creates an extra-hydrating emollient barrier and has best results when applied in a thick layer immediately before bed. For extra care, treat breakage-prone nails with CND’s ingenious SolarOil - a jojoba oil-based formula that is rich in Vitamin E, and hydrates and nourishes both nails and cuticles, leaving behind a light almond scent. Simply swipe on daily and allow the formula to sink in and result in stronger more flexible nails.
How do you care for your hands and nails come cold-season?