Stop with shellac.
It all started happening the day I swore off shellac. My nails grew. They grew to a length I had never seen in my 29 years of life, and it blew my mind. My nails are now so long and strong that I get compliments on them from strangers, even when they aren't polished. If only that happened in other aspects of my life—but that's neither here nor there. I'm here to talk nails, and how I got mine to be healthy and long.
Step 1: Stop the Shellac
Or gel. Or, dare I say it, acrylic. Save your pennies and give your nails some time to heal. Because you know the buffing and roughing up of the nail bed, plus the harsh chemicals of the polish, plus the UV light (don't get me started on UV lights) messes up your nails' natural structure. And if you’re like us, you’ve probably impatiently peeled them off, too. All of which leaves you with thin, brittle and bumpy nails. So, like I said, stop.
Step 2: Determine Your Shape
Personally, I love an almond shape. The rounded edges don’t snag or chip as easily as square, and it creates an optical illusion of added length. Kind of a win-win scenario.
Step 3: Get a Good Nail Treatment
I swear by the stuff. One of my favorites is Trind’s Keratin Treatment duo: the first is a keratin nail restorer that moisturizes the nail bed and surrounding cuticles as it absorbs. The second, is the keratin protector, which strengthens and acts as a basecoat for your regular polish. I also love Formula X’s The Fix—the 5-in-one treatment strengthens and teensy little blue pigment particles buff out and mute the yellow-y tinge natural nails can have. Essentials for preventing your *long* nails from bending and breaking.
Step 4: Always carry a file
This is key, friends! At this point, I have nail files buried in practically every purse and drawer, so that I can instantly smooth out any little chip, snag or peel. If not, the entire thing is on the brink of breaking and then you’ll have to start from scratch.
Step 5: Moisturize
I don’t know about you, but especially in the winter, my nails love to split and peel. And this happens because the air is dry AF. So I always try to moisturize with a hand cream and cuticle oil. Also, hydrating from the inside out is a game changer—drinks tons of water and load your diet with healthy fats and omega 3s.