Your Top Nail Questions, Answered
Your Top Nail Questions, Answered

Your Top Nail Questions, Answered

In this regular series, we ask the pros to answer your top beauty questions. Nails are next – from taking care of your tips after a gel manicure, to the best neutral shades and the easiest way to achieve the perfect shape, we went to two top manicurists…
By Rebecca Hull

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

Do You Have Any Advice For Treating Dry Cuticles?

“I can understand why this is a top question from the SL Community – we all suffer with dryness from time to time. The problem is, not all cuticle products provide the same long-lasting results. Some formulas only make the surrounding skin appear moisturised and do nothing for the natural nail or the surrounding skin. You want to look for cuticle oils that include vitamins (E in particular for nourishment) and ones that hydrate, including fruit and nut oils like almond, jojoba and apricot. These ingredients specifically address nail concerns and work quite quickly. My favourite oil is the Elim Cuticle MD. It has antibacterial benefits and is the best I’ve tried. It also contains a natural SPF that’s designed for the nail.” Faye Louise Dennis, Bio Sculpture manicurist 

How Often Should You Apply A Cuticle Treatment?

“At least three times a day. That might sound like a lot, but upkeep is essential for healthy, strong nails. It’s important to find one that isn’t sticky or overly greasy – that way you won’t forget to apply it. Keep one on your desk and in your bag so you have it within easy reach. I love Chanel’s Huile de Camelia.” Julia Diogo, pro nail artist 

Can You Minimise The Damage Caused By Gel Manicures? 

“Nails aren’t actually a living thing, so they don’t need a break from gels – I know we’re made to believe this, but lots of hydration, a good diet and the right supplements are what improve nail health. Providing you apply gels correctly and then have them removed by a professional, you shouldn’t experience any damage to your natural nails so you’re fine to continue with regular appointments.” – Julia 

Bio Sculpture is generally considered one of the best options for your nails, as every manicure is tailored to the client’s specific nail needs. Think of it like skincare – if someone has oily skin, they would need a completely different routine in comparison to those suffering with dryness. Bio Sculpture acts like a prescription, with a base gel that suits you. I would recommend either a conditioning gel or a soft gel – these are formulated for weaker nails and will flood them with moisture.” – Faye

How Can You Improve The Look Of Discoloured Toenails?

“This is difficult because it doesn’t happen to everyone. It’s possible a chemical in your polish is causing the problem and reacting with the keratin protein in your nails. This process makes nails brittle and yellow. But if your nails are a deep yellow, it could be an indication of a nail infection. The Elim Fungal Force is an amazing treatment that contains antibacterial tea tree oil and undecylenoyl glycine which blocks bacteria. It’s worth trying if you suffer. Likewise, clear salt crystals and bicarbonate of soda acts as a great neutraliser for feet and toenails.” – Faye


Are There Any Nail Supplements That Really Work?

“I swear by Manifesto Beauty Vitamin Gummies. I use them all the time and can vouch for the results across hair, skin and nails.” – Julia

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

“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 for best results.” – Julia

Do You Have Any Tips For Taking A DIY Manicure To The Next Level?

“In-depth preparation should be left to the professionals because you can end up doing more harm than good. That said, you can up the ante by maintaining the appearance of your cuticles. To do this, I would recommend using the Doris tool from NavyPro. Hold it the same way you would a pencil, with a light but firm grip; place the edge of the tool flat against the nail plate and gently glide it over your nail lifting off dead skin residue. If you find you’re getting painful hangnails, this is a sign your fingernails are lacking in oil, so keep drenching them in hydration. Never cut the actual cuticles as this can break an integral seal and allow bacteria to enter.” – Faye

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 a difference.” – Julia

‘Funny Bunny’ Aside, Can You Share Some Neutral Gel Suggestions?

“My favourite neutral gel shades are by Bio Sculpture in Dané, Classic Jacquard, Seafoam, Crème, Rose and Mute. I like to combine Crème and Rose for something a bit more unique.” – Faye


Is There Any Way To Get Rid Of Nail Ridges Or Lines?

“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. 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.” – Julia

Realistically, How Often Do You Need To Get Gel Manicures? 

“General maintenance of gel manicures is two to three weeks. Most brands are very long-lasting now and promise to provide three or more weeks of chip-free wear – though your gel manicure could stretch to four if you really maintain the hydration. If you are looking to compare prices and treatments, I recommend using this salon finder. It will also help you decide which manicurist is best for you.” – Faye

Finally, How Can You Prolong The Life Of Gels?

“First, oil your cuticles. It bears repeating and is essential for ensuring your gel manicure goes the distance. Regularly using oil helps polish adhere better and keeps moisture sealed in. You should also consider your nails as jewels, not tools, so make sure you are wearing gloves when washing up. Avoid using your hands to open boxes and pick off tape – instead use a knife or scissors.” – Faye

Follow on Instagram @PaintedByJools and @FayeLouiseDennis

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