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Over The Edge 1

Get to the bottom of nail care.
Over The Edge 1 Get to the bottom of nail care.

“Q: How do I take care of my manicure at home?”

A: The ongoing heat wave is an indication that summer's definitely around the corner: say hello to the season of open-toed sandals, in-your-face bright polish, and, freakishly, nails growing at a ridiculously faster rate (nope, it's not your imagination).

This means more upkeep, and with the world at the recessive state it's in at the moment, home nail care options have been gaining popularity. Beauty treatments may not suffer as worse a fate as, say, designer clothing and accessories, but clients are still spacing out their pro appointments by adding some penny-saving D.I.Y. treatments in between.

For an at-home treatment that looks professionally done, OPI International Spokesperson Joey Brown has three main musts: a short, chic length filed from the corners to the center, base and top coat to act like a primer for nails and cuticle oil to refresh the manicure and make hands look younger. Scott Smith, OPI's International Sales Manager, concurs, saying nail strengtheners, ridge fillers and color-correctors all make up a complete nail care system.

Experts from ORLY also offer the following basic tips:

• Keep nails and hands clean and dry.
• Soak hard-to-cut toenails in warm water for five to ten minutes to help soften.
• Toenails should be cut straight across with slightly rounded corners.
• Cuticles shouldn't be cut to avoid infection; be careful when trimming hangnails as well.
• File in one direction to promote nail growth.
• Don't do a guerilla move and “extract” ingrown toenails yourself.

Finally, remember that saying that you should let nails “breathe” every couple of days? So false—“Nails don't have lungs, they don't breathe!” says Joey Brown—and, provided you use high-quality lacquers, you can change your nail color every day, time-willing. And don't stress too much about what shade your digits should be: have fun with the season's hottest colors, like bright melon and purple. At the end of the day, it's just a bit of nail polish.

—Eunice Lucero, Beauty Editor