Getting a mani-pedi has become a pivotal part of my pre-holiday routine for helping me make the switch from work to to rest mode. The feeling of freshly painted nails, much like a blowdry, is hard to beat. If only that feel-good feeling could last though.
If you’re as chip-prone like me, you’ll know only too well the difference a fortnight away can make, with sun, sea and chlorine causing nails to look very different on the plane back than they did on the plane out.
From splits to regrowth and chips, navigating the choppy waters of holiday wear and tear can be tricky. Which is why we asked Juanita Huber-Millet, the founder of Townhouse , London’s newest and slickest luxury nail salon, for her expert tips for giving your manicure and pedicure some much-needed summer staying power.
1. Get rid of that cuticle
“Dead cuticle is the number one enemy of a long lasting mani-pedi as it causes lifting and weakness in the polish,” says Juanita. How do you know if you have one on your hands? “Gently scratch near the base of your nail and you’ll see a white mark appear.”
In order to get rid of this dead layer of tissue, opt for an easy does it approach over a more abrasive one. “Before applying polish, make sure to use a cuticle pusher to gently push back and clean the nail plate,” recommends Juanita. If it's a little stubborn, soften it using a cuticle oil like OPI Pro Spa Cuticle Oil-To-Go , £10.70, her go-to.
Deborah Lippmann’s Cuticle Lab , £35, is also great in the nail bed department, a four-piece set that includes cuticle cream, cuticle remover solution, cuticle oil and a stainless steel cuticle pusher too.
2. Become all about that base
Much like skincare is to makeup, a high quality base coat can make a world of difference to the resiliency of your handiwork, and here’s why:
“This is the only part that actually attaches to your nail and so it is the foundation everything else relies on. We recommend Grow Stronger by Essie , £8.99, and use it as the base to all our polishes at Townhouse.”
This is one of my personal faves too. Thanks to its more conditioning formula that contains vitamin E, gingko biloba and other strengtheners, it does brittle nails a world of good. When painting it on, make sure to seal the edges of the nails by running the brush along them. Do the same with your colour of choice and top coat as well to help keep your efforts as chip-proof as possible.
3. Be wary of sunscreen
Sunscreen is a skincare staple, but it’s unlikely to find as much favour with your nails. “Many sun creams contain products that can weaken or even remove nail polish,” explains Juanita. “So if (when!) you get it on your nails, wipe it off straightaway and wash your nails with soap and water.”
4. Gloss over regrowth
Shellac has been a game-changer where the mani-pedi is concerned thanks its long-lasting and high-shine finish. Due to its staying power, visible regrowth is therefore its main adversary but rather than fighting it, Juanita recommends embracing it:
“Pack a second colour of polish and carefully paint over your regrowth for a chic (and totally planned!) look. We love the subtle contrast of a darker and lighter shade of the same colour – and in fact this design (we call it “On the Piste”) is one of the hottest looks from the Townhouse S/S 2018 nail art collection.”