Back in March, Roisin tickled us a little with some beautiful wedding nail art and well, it really got us pinning and growing… for those of you that don’t know me, I cannot keep my nails long and I am the worlds worst for picking off nail polish. I’ve always had the excuse that I need to keep them short because I play the harp. Truth be told, I rarely play the harp anymore. As for not being able to keep nail polish on? No excuse. I just don’t like the feeling of it. Having said all of that, I am the first admirer of well filed nails and only wish that I could manage to keep my own perfectly polished, so much so that last week, I set myself a challenge. To become a better nail polish wearer and of course, I’m hoping that you will all be inspired to join me on my mission!

Before we get into the fun stuff and start exploring amazing nail art, styles and trends, we need to talk about nail health. Preparing your nails for your wedding starts months and months in advance of your big day and if you can’t afford a monthly manicure, then these tips will hopefully go a long way to esnuring healthier, stronger and prettier nails on your wedding day. The last thing you want is an ugly looking nail in the one picture showing off your new wedding ring…

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Image by Jose Villa

Healthy Diet

It’s common sense. We are what we eat and maintaining a healthy diet will not only ensure that your nails are at their best, you will see skin that starts to glow and hair that shines too.

Nails require calcium so take a look at your diet. Are you drinking enough mik and eating enough dairy products? Check your nails. Do you have any white spots? If so, you are lacking in calcium and need to find a way to increase your intake. Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and carrots are also good for nail health and almonds will also improve their strength.

It goes without saying, water has one of the best effects and drinking plenty of it will keep your nails from becoming brittle.

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Image by Paige and Blake Green Photography

Cleaning

Good looking nails are clean, simple as that! Avoid spreading germs to food and getting ill by keeping them washed and trimmed. Lathering soap into your cuticles and using a soft, babies nail brush to get under nails is a must and removing dead skin with a pumice stone will leave the skin around your cuticles nice and soft. Avoid filing your nails after a shower  as they will be too soft and will likely break.

Buffering your nails stimulates growth as it helps the blood circulate. Very hot or cold water can weaken nails so washing them in lukewarm water is kinder.

Trim and file your nails regularly. Uneven nails are as bad as split ends so keeping them tidy and the same length will make them look stronger. Avoiding biting your nails (a terrible nervous habit of mine) by applying the appropriate cream.

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Image via Glanet

Moisturising

Keep fingers and nails soft by moisturising them regularly. It’s good to moisturise your hands after washing and both before bed and throughout the day. A pharmacist or beauty counter advisor should be able to recommend a moisturiser for your nails if you are not in the habit of going to a nail salon. Vaseline, hot oil and baby oil with vitamin E oil are all good for massaging into your nails. A pharmacist can also advise you on supplements that improve nail strength and growth.

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Image via Glanet

Avoid Using Acetone

Nail polish remover is not great for your nails and acetone in particular can be quite damaging to your nails. Instead, use nail polish removers that contain acetate as it’s not as harsh. Nail polish can also weaken nails so changing your colour every day is not a good idea. Before applying nail polish, use a base coat that is kinder to the top layer of your nail. The base coat will also prevent staining caused by strong nail polish colours.

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