Raise your less-than-TV-ready hand if you suffer from dry cuticles, hangnails or constant chips in your freshly lacquered manis. That’s what we thought (you can put your hand down now).
Since you’ve been so honest, we’ll do the same — thanks to hundreds of women across web, we’ve drummed up a foolproof list of the best nail products on the market. Finally, winning the battle against those little troublemakers is at your fingertips.
Susan Nam, celebrity manicurist and owner of Polished Beauty Bar in New York City, weighs in on the truth behind nail care:
First, your cuticles — Nam recommends not cutting them (since they protect us from germs and bacteria) and says to choose cuticle creams and oils that contain ingredients like jojoba and vitamin E. Also, remember: “You can get the same results from moderately priced items as really expensive ones,” says Nam. “The most important thing to look for is the list of ingredients.”
Our guru also advises using 240-grid nail files, since they are the least abrasive on natural nails. You definitely shouldn’t drop a wad of cash on one of these, either — according to Nam, “nail files should be changed every few weeks, because they are prone to grow bacteria.”
Once you’ve filled your tool belt with the basics, there are a few things you can do to maximize the staying power of a manicure. “You should apply a coat of topcoat mid-week to keep it looking fresh and help prevent it from chipping,” Nam says. “If you do your manicure at home, make sure to start with a clean, oil-free nail.”
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s clean up those suckers. Here are the best nail products you need in your mani toolkit.