15 Nailcare Tips From A Top Manicurist

Megan Evans is an up-and-coming name in the beauty world – her chic nail designs and glossy-looking finishes have made her one of DryBy’s most requested manicurists. From the products she wouldn’t be without to the colours that flatter everyone, here are her best nail tips…

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Start With Filing 

“For a healthy nail, you need to be filing them right. I start mine by taking the length down gently, filing back and forth in a straight line until I’m happy. I’ll then go back in and softly taper the corners with a file to create a subtle square effect. I feel this shape is the most flattering on everyone. Before I finish, I’ll always turn my hand around to view it from the front. Doing this allows you to see it from a different perspective so as you can make any changes.”

Always Apply SPF

“People forget to do this, but you should apply SPF to your hands and nails every morning. It slows down the ageing process, and protects against pigmentation forming on the thinner skin. Look for a hand cream with SPF in it – there are more available than you think.”

Don’t Skip Exfoliation

“Having a proper nailcare routine may seem silly, but twice a week you should give them some real attention. Use an exfoliator to scrub and remove the dead skin. This will help even out skin tone and give your hands and nails a brighter appearance. Every nail expert will tell you to apply cuticle oil morning and night every single day. It’s the easiest thing to do and it will have the biggest impact. Cuticle oil also extends the life of any manicure – be it gels or normal polish. My favourite is the balm by Navy Professionals.”

Book A Regular Manicure 

“If you can, try to have a manicure every two to three weeks. It helps to maintain the look and health of your nails. This timeframe is ideal – it allows nails to grow out just enough, while still looking healthy. Regular manicures also help you maintain a good shape, even if you don’t apply any polish on top.” 

Invest In A Liner Brush

“One of my favourite hacks is to use an eyeliner brush to fill in any gaps when painting. The sharpness of the brush lets you get closer to the cuticle without flooding the colour onto your skin.”

Having a PROPER NAILCARE ROUTINE may seem silly, but TWICE A WEEK you should give them some real attention.

Avoid Acetone

“One ingredient to avoid is acetone. When using a nail polish remover, try and find an acetone free one. It dries nails out and causes premature breakage. Any manicurist will tell you the Bio Sculpture Gel Remover is one of the best on the market. It lifts away colour but is so much kinder to nails than just pure acetone.” 

Buy Flattering Shades

“Sheer, buildable shades are my go-to. I love having a milky colour and a soft pink in my kit – they suit all skin tones and give you that chic, clean effect. My favourites are by BioSculpture in ‘Rose’, ‘French Crème’ and ‘Lyrics of A Lily’. CND’s Polish in ‘Bouquet’ is very flattering, too. If you want a timeless red, it has to be BioSculpture’s ‘Pillar Box Red’ or the shade ‘Angelina’. The latter has a slightly orange tone that works on all skin tones.”

Get To Grips With Gels 

“A good brush is key when working with a gel. My preferred one is BioSculpture’s Round Six Bling Brush. It’s the easiest way to achieve a thin layer of gel as close to the cuticle as possible. A brush like this also allows you to smooth along the whole nail bed.”

Play With Colour 

“Everyone has their own preference, but I prefer to keep colour minimal. If I am going to use a pop of something, it will be in the form of a French tip or a simple dot in yellow or a baby blue. It’s the easiest way to keep nails chic and clean with just a hint of something. Plus, it means you won’t get bored of the look that quickly.”

Let Peeling Nails Heal

“We are all aware of how damaging it can be to peel of your gels. It’s a massive no-no and it will cause breakage no matter what product you are using. It’s all about soaking everything off carefully. If it’s too late and the damage has been done, try Bio Sculpture’s Lavender Base. It soothes and repairs damaged nails at speed – it’s one of the best remedies out there.”

Know What A Healthy Nail Looks Like

“To check if your nails are in full health, see if they are all one colour. Often a soft pink or mauve colour with zero darkness in the nail bed means a healthy nail. You want smooth tips with minimal ridges and pits. Signs of unhealthy nails include discolouration, splits and deep ridges. If you have any of the above, check with your GP to rule out any conditions.”

Rely On Base Treatments

“Nail bases are often neglected but there are so many which can treat different nail problems. For example, if you have flaking or general damage, there will be a base to help with that. Apply them regularly to help your nails recover – especially in between any gel manicures.”

Trim Cuticles With Care

“It’s advisable to leave cuticle care to the pros because it’s such delicate work. I take care of mine using my Navy Pro Tools. I start by gently pushing the cuticles back with a tool called ‘Doris,’ then I take ‘Ethel’ to remove any dry skin or debris. To finish, I will remove any excess skin with my ‘Katey’ nippers. Finally, it’s always a big layer of cuticle oil – either my Navy Pro Cuticle Balm or the Hermès Oil.”

Ignore This Common Myth

“It’s often said you should take a ‘break’ from gels, but if you’re using products that are safe and seeing a specialist, there’s no need. To avoid having any breaks between gels just follow the rules above and keep up with hydration. If you are going to remove your gels at home, only use removers that are acetone free and designed to work specifically for gels – this will guarantee easy removal that doesn’t deteriorate the nail. That said, if you ever feel your nails are beginning to thin out or weaken, always speak to your manicurist and take a break from whatever you’re currently using.”


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