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FEBRUARY 98: HAND AND NAIL CARE
You can get real relief from dry hands and brittle nails. The key is constant protection from the elements. For starters, always protect your hands with rubber gloves when cleaning, working with chemicals, or washing dishes, and wear regular wool or cotton gloves or mittens when you are outside in the cold.

Treatment

The best remedy for dry hands and nails I've found is hand cream. Apply an emollient cream to your hands and nails every chance you get, working it into the nail bed and cuticles. Your hands and nails need moisture to stay healthy and supple. Even the most popular nailpolish-style treatments don't work as well. Here are a few of my favorite creams and nail treatments:

  • Philosophy handmade - serious care for extremely rough hands and brittle, peeling nails. I swear by it to keep my skin soft and nails healthy.

  • Bath & Body Works Shea Butter Hand & Foot Treatment - rich with macadamia and safflower oils, shea butter, and vitamin E. Smells heavenly!

  • Lush Dream Cream - known for their fresh ingredients, Lush has packed this cream full of essential oils like rose, chamomile, tea tree, and lavender, along with cocoa butter, to make this the ultimate hand and body lotion.

  • BeneFit Touch me… then try to leave cream - with a fragrance this great, you'll want to use it all over!

  • Philosophy save the nails cuticle cream - for rough, dry cuticles and parched nails, smooth a little "save the nails" in every night before bed for amazing nails.

To keep your nails looking their best, trim or file any rough edges, always file in one direction (not back and forth), and please, don't use your nails as a tool. Follow these easy tips and you'll have healthier looking nails in no time!

Color

Ever since nail polish revolutionaries Hard Candy and Urban Decay came on the scene with their then-outrageous blues, purples, and greens, nail polish has become more popular and more colorful than ever before. On top of adding wild new colors to your nail polish choices, these new brands also introduced to the mainstream, often younger generation consumers, the notion of paying $12 and more for a bottle of nail polish.

Do you really get better polish when you pay $12 for Hard Candy instead of $2.55 for Maybelline? Ultimately, no, because out of all the brands I have tested, they all perform pretty much the same. If you subject your hands and nails to the stresses of everyday life, most polishes, regardless of price, will last 2-3 days at the most without chipping or peeling.

As for color selection, now that brands like Maybelline and Revlon have added more "urban" colors to their line-up, you have more choices than ever, all at reasonable prices. Here are a few colors and brands that are fun choices and my personal favorites:

Basecoat - essential for protecting your nails and helping polish to adhere better

  • Poshe 4 in 1 treatment base - works best if you apply it every few days over your polish
  • Pro10 Liquid Fiber Wrap - great for nails that peel and split
  • OPI Nail Envy

Pinks and Neutrals

  • Maybelline Express Finish "pearl"
  • OPI "Coney Island cotton candy"
  • Revlon Top Speed "dusk"

Berries

  • Jessica Custom Nail Color "raspberry preserves"
  • MAC "raffia"
  • Jane "undercurrant"
  • Stila "Venus"

Reds and Fuchsias

  • OPI "Casablanca Crimson"
  • FACE Stockholm #12 (fuchsia red)
  • Cover Girl Nail Slicks "classic red"
  • OPI "Boston red snapper"
  • Christian Dior "autumn rose"

Browns and Golds

  • Hard Candy "angel"
  • MAC "gel"
  • Jane "electricity"

Fun Blues, Purples

  • Hard Candy "frigid"
  • Stila "luna" or "diana" (new for spring)
  • Hard Candy "soul"

Fast Dry Topcoats - speed dry top coats that help your color last longer and stay shiny

  • Urban Decay Quick Dry
  • Zoom Ultra Super Fast Drying System
  • Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat (my very favorite)

 

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