“Any woman can wear a great outfit, but it is her nails that make the statement”, Tammy Taylor. Our hands go long hours doing chores, not to mention our poor feet bundled in those sneakers walking endlessly, especially in Hong Kong. And often they are left unattended and uncared for. Beauty and makeup expert, Pearly Chhabra reminds us to indulge in some TLC for the ten fingers and ten toes once in a while.
Long nails look gorgeous but are also a powerhouse of bacteria. Maintaining them needs just a few minutes of attention every day. A good mani-pedi once a month goes a long way. I remember my grandfather once pointed out, “You can tell a woman takes care of herself by looking at how well she keeps her hands and feet”. Nothing is more disgusting than cracked heels and callouses on feet. You may look sharp but if your feet tell a different story, it’s a no go. It shouldn’t be embarrassing when you decide to put your feet up on the couch when your friends come over for afternoon coffee. So, let’s start the new year with a promise to include a little nailcare routine in our day.
Himalayan Pink Salt:
Prepare your foot tub with warm water, Himalayan pink salt and a few drops of essential oil. Soak your feet for 20 minutes. The salt is great for drawing out odours and toxins. The oil keeps the feet supple. Just the activity of soaking the feet will spread a general sense of relaxation from the feet muscles to the whole body. Repeat for hands. *Avoid this in case of an open wound or infection. Consult a doctor*
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Mix a capful of apple cider vinegar in warm water, just enough to soak the feet. This works like a miracle for dry and cracked feet. The vinegar will cleanse through the cracks and clear out the dry skin. After rinsing and drying the feet, moisturize and wear cotton socks. You can repeat this weekly until the dryness and the cracks disappear.
No matter how much you moisturize those pesky flakes on your hands and feet, if you don’t exfoliate, your effort to achieve baby soft skin will go waste. Make a coarse paste with ground coffee, honey, rose water or aloe vera gel. Gently slough the dead skin to reveal the softer, glowing skin.
Complete with a bedtime mask which includes glycolic and lactic acid. It encourages new cells to appear to the fore by breaking down dead skin.
Irrespective of the weather, use a good moisturizing cuticle cream or a biotin rich oil (almond, jojoba, vitamin E) before you go to bed to keep your cuticles hydrated. If unattended, the dry brazen cuticles can really hurt. (And look nasty!)
Paints and Polishes
Whatever colours you choose, remember to start with a base coat and finish with a top coat. The base coat helps protect the nails from strong colours while the top coat keeps acts as a sealant and keeps the glossiness of your paint longer lasting.
If you’re a regular at the nail salon for gel polish (soft or hard), nail art or extensions; allow your nails some ‘downtime’ from these treatments.
A tip: Personally, I keep my toenails short and devoid of any nail paint in the winter unless I’m wearing peep toes. If you don’t like the pale, de-coloured look on the bare nails, use a light nude layer to keep them looking fresh. Also be mindful of not wearing tight or narrow-tipped footwear too often as they can alter the shape of your natural growing nail and possibly develop ingrowth.
- Nudes – match them to your skin tone but make sure they are opaque
- Neon tips – think mint, yellow, electric blue, orange and pitch them against nude base
- Chrome nails! A party favourite
- Pantone’s colour of the year – Classic Blue on square nails
As published in A-DesiFlava – Jan-Feb 2020 issue