Your Top Nail Questions – Answered

In this series, we ask the pros to answer your top beauty questions. This time, it’s nails – from smoothing ridges to using DIY gel kits and the easiest way to achieve the perfect shape, we asked manicurist Julia Diogo – @PaintedByJools on Instagram – to share her advice.
By Rebecca Hull /

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01

Do You Have Any Advice For Treating Or Covering Ridged Nails?

 “There are many reasons why ridges happen, including nail trauma, new medication or even an iron deficiency. If you have them, I encourage you to talk to your GP about a blood test, just to make sure everything is as it should be. If there isn’t anything underlying, and you simply need to treat the ridges, the Biosculpture Seaweed Calcium Base Coat is great. I apply it before any nail colour – especially gels – as it smooths everything out just like a primer.”

02

How Can You Stop Nails From Splitting?

“It’s important to keep your nails at a manageable length to prevent splits. Make sure the edges are rounded so they never snag on clothing or hair and if you find your gels grow out quickly, don’t be afraid to file the edges to prevent premature breakages. Finally, stay on top of nail hydration with creams, oils, body lotions.”

03

Do you have any remedies for soft, flaky nails?

“Everyone thinks this is a cliché, but oiling your cuticles really is the answer. Doing so will play a big part in the health of your nails – you just need to be consistent to see results. Doing it regularly – both morning and night, and even during the day if you can – will really nourish nails and the skin around it to prevent premature flaking. Stick with it and I promise you’ll see results.

04

What Are Some Of The Best Cuticle Treatments?

 “Dior’s Crème Abricot Cuticle Cream is an investment, but it’s so worth it. It deeply nourishes the cuticles, keeping them hydrated and cared for at all times. I love to apply a hefty layer at night. For a daytime option, I’d suggest the La Mer Renewal Oil, or the Elim MD Cuticle Oil. Both are lightweight and not too greasy, which means you’re more likely to use them throughout the day.

05

If Your Nails Are Wrecked After Acrylics, What Can You Do?

 “Anyone with thin or brittle nails should avoid acrylics completely. They can add a lot of weight to the nail which can cause more damage – something you need to avoid if your nails are prone to breakage. Again, try to keep your nails short after having acrylics. Then, apply a strengthening base coat and really layer on as much hydration as you can  to gradually repair the damage. It may take a few months, but consistency is key. Finally, the CND Rescue RXX Treatment is brilliant at rebuilding nail strength. It contains jojoba oil and keratin and should be used twice daily to see results.”

06

Are DIY Gel Kits Really Worth The Money?

 “I have mixed opinions. I know they may look easy to use, but I’ve seen so many bad allergic reactions, which can be due to uncured gels and not following the proper steps. In my opinion, a professional gel system should be left to a professional nail artist. That said, the brand Manucurist has recently launched a range of gel polishes which are vegan and bio-sourced. As a brand, it’s focused on natural nail health, which is something I’m passionate about. Designed to be used at home, you can also remove them with regular nail polish remover, so it’s a great way to try a DIY mani, without causing any damage.”

07

Is There Any Way To Get Rid Of Distinct Lines On Nails?

 “Most of us don’t pay much attention to our nails on a regular basis, yet they are a big help to us in our daily lives. You might also be surprised to learn that the appearance of your nails can help you better understand your health – in some instances, their condition and appearance may pinpoint specific health problems. Distinct lines can be caused by a number of issues, including blunt trauma, but also vitamin deficiency. Like ridges, it’s essential you speak to your healthcare provider to clear up any concerns, and to find the right treatment plan.”

08

How Often Should You Give Nails A Break From Gels?

“I get asked this one a lot. In my opinion, you don’t really need to give nails a break from gels. If they are being done professionally and are removed safely, your nails should have no signs of damage whatsoever.”

09

What About Nail Colours – Any Good Ones For Summer?

“Neon shades are very much in right now. Paired with a neat cuticle, they look so chic. As for nail art, using neon colours against a clean, natural base is also trending – hearts, lines, all the subtleties but with a hint of vibrant colour. It’s fun and experimental, but without being OTT.”

10

What’s The Best Way To Create A Perfectly Shaped Nail?

 “Seeing a professional nail artist regularly makes all the difference when it comes to a flawless nail shape. It’s a skillset and it’s hard to maintain them at home. Regular appointments allow manicurists to train your nails into your desired shape. Appointments can be costly, but even seeing someone occasionally can make all the difference.”

11

What Are The Best Suits-All Nail Shades?

“Biosculpture does the best. For pale skin, the shade ‘French Rose’  is beautiful and healthy-looking. On olive skin tones, I like to apply ‘French Crème’, and for deep, darker skin tones, ‘Spun Out Of Drama’ is my favourite.”

12

Can You Treat Discoloured Nails At Home?

 “Yes, you can. Always use a base coat before applying any sort of colour to the nail to prevent staining. If you do notice some discolouration after removing it, my favourite hack is to soak nails for five to seven minutes. I do this by submerging them in lemon juice and soapy water. It works every time to brighten them up.”

13

How Can You Prevent Keratin Granulations?

 “This is essentially dryness on the nail surface, which is usually caused by wearing nail colour for long periods. I recommend removing the colour and keeping nails bare for a week or so while also regularly using a good quality cuticle oil and hand cream. When you reapply colour, make sure you use a good basecoat first and always apply a cuticle oil regularly to keep nails in good condition.”

14

What Are The Nail Products Everyone Should Own?

 “Biosculpture’s Seaweed Calcium Base Coat  – it’s a great all-rounder. Dior’s Nail Glow for a healthy-looking colour, Weleda’s Skin Food for serious moisture and Shiseido’s Power Infusing Hand Cream for a luxurious treat.”

15

Finally, Can You Share Any Easy Nail Art Tips For Novices?

 “The micro dot is trending right now and it’s easy to replicate. At home, use the end of a kirby grip to dip into your chosen colour, then simply dot it onto the nail wherever you want – at the bottom of an otherwise neutral nail is popular right now.”

Follow @PaintedByJools_ for more nail advice, tips & tutorials


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