Come chipped nails, splits, cuticles or Shellac regrowth, give your manicure and pedicure a helping hand with our ultimate nail buff guide

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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.”

MORE GLOSS: Shellac facts - 5 dos and don'ts every gel nail addict needs to know

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.”

“On the Piste”, Townhouse S/S 2018

5. Transform chips into French tips

Should you get a chip in your Shellac nail armour, resist the tempting urge to peel it off. “Whatever you do, never pick at gel or Shellac,” says Juanita. “Our nails are made up of multiple layers of keratin and picking off gel will take off the top layers, leaving your nails weak and brittle.”

To prevent it from chipping further, make room in your suitcase for a matching bottle of polish and a top coat. “If a chip appears, touch up the chip and then apply a full coat of top coat across the whole nail.” GTG team favourites include, the gel-effect Essie Gel Couture Top Coat , £9.99, fast-drying Seche Vite Top Coat , £10.95, and glossy Nail HQ Top Coat , £4.49.

The shade doesn’t have to be a perfect match - in fact, it can be the polar opposite. Another handy trick is to turn the tip from the last point on its head (it also works a treat on regular nail polish too) to modify your original mani into one that features contrasting French tips.

If however your Shellac has reached the point of no return, swap peeling it off for an at-home removal kit. A favourite of Juanita’s is Offly Fast by CND , £16.95. “Lots of our customers who are planning a long vacation pick up a pack,” she tells us. “It contains everything you need.”

6. Wrap up splits

When it comes to dealing with a split nail, Juanita advises filing it down as a first port of call. If it’s particularly deep though and you can’t get to a professional, she recommends recreating her salon technique of creating a type of invisible silk wrap by using a teabag:

“Simply cut a single layer of the mesh from a teabag slightly smaller than your nail bed. Remove all polish from the broken nail, clean the nail surface and apply a base coat over the whole nail. While wet, gently lay the teabag segment on the nail and over the split – it will disappear into the base coat and form a matrix which should bond around the split. Apply another layer of base coat, then colour and top coat and voila! It won’t be perfect but it might just give you that extra bit of strength to make it home!”

Is there anything a cup of tea can’t fix?!

Read more: Why your Shellac manicure is about to get even better

Follow Townhouse  @mytownhouseuk  and Ayesha  @ayesha_muttu .