Your hands and nails have probably weathered the winter with very little protection, so why not take time now to focus on your fingers? Simple health is the basis of beautiful nails. After that, it's up to you whether you opt to paint them; if you do there's a whole colour palette to choose from: the ever-popular red, aqua, coral... they've all featured on the catwalks for this season. If you want nails to be proud of this summer, just follow our recommendations.
- Cut nails straight across or into a gentle oval shape to prevent them developing awkwardly and causing in-growing nails, which are not just unsightly, but can be painful and and cause infections.
- Once cut to the require length, give the final shape to the nail using a wooden emery board – it's gentler than a metal file and more accurate than scissors. File with long strokes from the sides towards the tip.
- If you want healthy nails, you need to look after the cuticle – the skin that protects the growing cells. Never trim or damage the cuticle as this may cause infection.
- Nails need to be hydrated to be healthy. So when you apply hand cream, don't forget them - even if they are polished - and don't neglect the cuticle. Occasionally, treat them to a nourishing oil massage applied to clean nails and left on overnight.
- If you have weak nails, food supplements for hair and nails (they're basically the same substance!) are very effective in strengthening both, but since they act on the new growth, it will take an average of two or three months for effects to be noticeable.
- Remember that a balanced diet will help keep your nails healthy – like the rest of your body, they need a wide range of proteins and vitamins.