With new polish and varnish ranges designed for each season, nails play an important fashion role all year round, but many of us feel that insummer our finger tips really come into their own. The warmer weather and lighter days make us want to experiment with colours and take more risks.
But if we want our finger nails to look their best, it's not simply a question of painting them in the latest shade: we need a healthy canvas to work on.
So here we've got five tricks to keep your nails in tip top condition:
Trim them: Always cut your nails either square or into an almond shape so that they grow well-formed and healthy. In-growing nails are not only ugly, but can be painful and have a tendency to become infected.
File them: The best tool for making final shape adjustments after trimming, or for tidying up a broken nail, is an emery board. These give more precise results than scissors and are less harsh than metal nail files.
Cuticle care: If you want your nails to grow strong and healthy, you need to ensure the health of the cuticles, as this is the skin that protects the cells where the nail is formed. Avoid cutting or damaging the cuticle as this could lead to infection.
Moisturise: When you apply your hand cream, don't leave out your finger tips. Even if you are using polish and the nail itself won't absorb the cream, by gently massaging it over and around the nail, you will feed the cuticle. Nails also need moisturising if they are to grow strong. As a special treat for your nails, remove all traces of polish and apply a nourishing cream overnight.
Be patient: Creams and lotions that are specially formulated to feed hair and nails can be very effective, but they act at the roots, not on the nail that is already formed; this means you must be patient as it can take two or three months before the effects become apparent.