Friday, August 7, 2009

Nails: I have nail ridges. What causes this problem and can it be fixed?

Q. How do I use a nail buffer, and is it healthy for my nails?
A. A nail buffer can be used on both nail extensions and natural nails without harm. Begin with the most coarse section which is usually black. Finish with the smoothest section, which is usually gray. This buffer removes imperfections on the natural nail and nail extensions, and results in a smooth, glossy shine. Best bets are Tropical Shine 3-way and 4-way. A natural chamois skin buffer is used with a buffing creme like Winning Nails. For buffers, try Perfect Nails Chamois Stik or Winning Nails Chamois Buffer.

Q. Is there any special type of nail file that can be used on nails that are soft?
A. A fine-grit nail file (240 grit) is excellent for shaping the free edge of soft nails. It is also the first step in removing scratches, ridges or imperfections from the natural nail surface by using a three or four-sided buffer.

Q. What is the best nail length for someone with short fingers?
A. Nail length is not necessarily determined by the shape or length of the fingers. People with short fingers normally have shorter nail beds, so a medium-to-short length for natural nails is best. If nail extensions are preferred, a shorter-to-medium length extension is best because nails that are too long on a short nail bed will not be well-balanced with the length of the nail bed and free edge.

Q. I have big, athletic hands. What is the best nail length for me?
A. People with larger hands normally have medium-to-larger nail beds, so a medium length for natural nails is best unless a very active life style requires a shorter length. If nail extensions are preferred, depending on the life style, a shorter-to-medium length extension is best. Depending on a person's life style, most nail extensions work well as long as you keep a shorter-to-medium length. Nail tips now come in a variety of lengths and styles to suit all life styles and preferences.

Q. What is the best length for a bride-to-be?
A. That depends on personal preference and life style. On this very special day, you tend to be hard on your nails. With little or no time for maintenance, a shorter or medium length nail is preferable.

Q. I have nail ridges. What causes this problem and can it be fixed?
A. There are many different causes of nail ridges. Trauma to the nail, certain medications taken over long periods of time, and chronic health conditions can cause temporary or permanent nail ridges. If ridges are temporary, they will grow out within six months to a year. Use nail strengthened and ridge fillers as well as cuticle softeners to promote healthy new growth. If the ridges are permanent, continuous use of a natural nail buffer or chamois skin buffer and buffing cream like Winning Nails, as well as a ridge filler, will smooth the appearance of ridges. Try Beauty Secrets Ridge Filler, Brucci Ridge Filler or Nail Selectives Silkfill Ridgefiller.

Q. I have always buffed the top of my nails to smooth unwanted ridges. Is there a product that will fill in the ridges snd leave a smooth finish?

A. Yes! These products are called ridge fillers and are designed to fill in the ridges and imperfections on the natural nail. They should be used on a regular basis because most ridges are imperfections of the natural nail. Natural nail buffers can be used in conjunction with ridge fillers for the perfect finish to a smooth nail. Try Orly Ridge Filler Primer Base Coat or Super Nail Fiber Nail Wrap.

Q. I have rough nails with ridges. What can I do to camouflage these imperfections when I wear pale pink polish?

A. Use a ridge filler as a basecoat to fill in ridges and smooth out the surface of rough nails, before applying polish. Also, use a natural nail buffer in conjunction with a ridge filler to leave the appearance of a smooth natural nail. Try^Brucci Ridge Filler, Orly Ridgefiller Primer Baseeo-dfor Nail Selectives Silkfill Ridgefiller.

Q. Can I use a topcoat as a basecoat or vice versa?
A. Probably not. Although they look similar, these two products are designed to do different things. Basecoats are usually thicker and stickier, which helps the nail polish adhere better, and they contain more resins to give the nail added strength. Topcoats on the other hand, are thinner and contain more ingredients that create a durable surface on the nail, they are made to add strength, dry quickly and protect the polish from daily wear and tear. There are a few time-saving combination basecoat/topcoats on the market, but usually the two are not formulated to be interchangeable. Try Nail Selectives Hydra-Coat Base Coat or Nail Selectives Radiant Top Coat. For a combination basecoat/topcoat, try Orly Top 2 Bottom or Beauty Secrets Base/Topcoat/Clear.

Q. Recently, all my nail polish peeled off in one large piece after a professional manicure. What caused this, and how can I prevent this from occurring?

A. It is very unusual for polish to peel in one large piece. If it does occur, these may be some of the reasons: an oil or creme was applied to the nail and not rinsed off, the base coat and polish were not compatible or a quick-dry polish (looks like basecoat) was used instead of a base coat.

Q. What is a nail strengthener?
A. Strengthening treatments are also called nail hardeners, and they are formulated to strengthen the nail plate. The nail plate is made of keratin, the same protein as hair. Some strengtheners actually penetrate into the nail plate to strengthen nails from the inside. These strengtheners often contain formaldehyde to penetrate and harden nails. Protein strengtheners work in a similar way and contain a protein such as collagen. Other hardeners, like a liquid wrap, work on the surface of the nail plate. They contain tiny fibers of a fabric, like nylon, to coat nails for extra thickness. Nail vitamins can always be used in addition to your manicure routine. Nail strengthening treatments to try include Beauty Secrets Nail Hardener and Thickener, Contours "Ten Natural Nails," Brucci Miracle Formaldehyde-Free Nail Hardener, SuperNail Fiber Nail Wrap (liquid wrap) and Windsor Nail Nutrition Tablets (vitamins).

Q. I've had the flu, and my nails are weak-and brittle. What can I do to make them "well"?

A. Weak nails usually need more nourishment or more strength. By using a nail strengthening treatment, nails build up as they grow out. Cuticle conditioners will nourish the nail, since healthy nail growth begins beneath the cuticle. Good skin care can help too. Professional skin moistruizing lotions and creams should be a part of every basic manicure routine. Nurse your nails back to health with Beauty Secrets Dual Treatment Kit, Delore Onymyrrh, Revlon Salon Professional NailBuilder, Nail Nutrition Tablets or Nail Selectives Rebuild Fortifier.

Q. How do I get my nails to grow faster?
A. There is no "sure thing" to make nails grow faster. The averse age adult's nails grow one-eighth of an inch per month. The right diet and proper maintenance are your best bet for healthy nails. Nail vitamins, cuticle conditioners and nail strengtheners all can help promote healthy new growth. Consider using Windsor Nail Vitamins, Revlon Salon Professional Cuticle Gel, Revlon Salon Professional Nail Builder (which contains calcium), Nail Selectives Rebuild Fortifier or Formula 10 Nail Strengthener.

Q. Do nail growth products work?
A. Products applied to the surface of the nail plate do not affect nail growth, because nail growth begins at the matrix of the nail (commonly referred to as the "mother of the nail") deep inside the finger. Massaging cuticle oil or cream into the base of the nail every day will help to stimulate circulation in the nail growth area to promote nail growth. Good products to try include: Beauty Secrets Nail Matrix Fortifier, Nail Selectives Rebuild Fortifier, Beauty Secrets Dual Treatment Kit or Contours Botanical Oil.

Q. My nails will grow to a certain length but then begin to chip near the tips. What can I use to strengthen them?

A. Nails that chip are caused by a number of different things, but usually they need more nourishment or more strength. By using a nail strengthening treatment, nails build up as they grow out. A cuticle conditioner will nourish the nail, since healthy growth begins beneath the cuticle. Good skin care can help too. Professional skin moisturizing lotions and creams should be part of every basic manicure routine. Natural nail buffers will smooth the chips and peeling on the free edge of the nail to preserve the length until the nail grows out. Nail vitamins can always be used in addition to your manicure routine.Strengthening products include Delore Onymyrrh, Brucci Miracle Nail Hardener Formaldehyde Free, Windsor Nail Nutrition Tablets and Nail Selectives Rebuild Fortifier.

Q. How can I prevent my nail polish from chipping two or three days after my professional manicure?

A. Proper home maintenance can ensure longer wearability of a professional manicure. Use products such as cuticle oils or conditioners, professional polishes, topcoats and nail buffers. To prevent chipping, try Brucci Acrylic Shield, Delore Chip Proof, Wet Look Glaze and Revlon Professional Energized Topcoat.

Q. What is the best nail color for small hands?
A. All well-manicured natural nails or nail extensions, on small or large hands, can wear any shade that best complements your skin tone. If you have blue tones in your skin, choose shades with a blue base, like rose or plum shades. If you have yellow tones in your skin, select shades with a yellow/orange base such as corals, oranges, tomato-reds. Do not wear red nail polish on nails that are bitten. If you are uncomfortable with color, sheer shades look very natural.

Q. What is the best nail color for long fingers?
A. All well-manicured natural nails or nail extensions, on small or large hands, can wear any shade that best complements your skin tone.

Q. I love bright red polish, but not long nails. Can I wear red on short nails?
A. Certainly! Pick a shade that complements your skin tone, and for best results, use a professional polish such as Beauty Secrets Polish, Nina Polish, Revlon Polish, Brucci Polish or Theons.

Q. What is the difference between a French Manicure and an American Manicure?

A. In contrast to the stark white tips and "painted" look of French Manicures, the American Manicure Natural Look Polish System gives both nail extensions and natural nails the authentic look of perfectly healthy bare nails wearing only a clear topcoat. Both Orly and Nina make products for a French Manicure.

Q. When polishing my nails, what is the best way to achieve an opaque look with the pale polish?

A. To achieve an opaque look, follow this procedure: First, apply a coat of basecoat; then apply a coat or two of white polish. Apply a single coat of desired color, then finish with topcoat.

Q. Which is more drying to my nails, frosted or matte polish?
A. Because the basic ingredients in frosted and matte polish are the same, neither is more drying to the nails.

Q. What is Toluene?
A. Toluene is an organic solvent that is used in nail polishes, top coats and basecoats to help the polish stay on the nail. Toluene is included in a list of hazardous chemicals cited in a 1987 California law. A study conducted by the CTFA (Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance Association) produced evidence that the amount of toluene found in nail polish is 10 times below the maximum amount allowed by California law. In other words, the amount of toluene in nail polish does not pose a threat to users. If you are looking for toluene-free nail products try Revlon's new Salon Professional Nail Enamel or Nail Selectives 3/4 oz. Nail Treatments.

Q. How many coats of polish are best for a perfect manicure?
A. For best performance, we recommend one basecoat, two coats of your choice of polish and one topcoat.

Q. My polish bubbles up? What causes this?
A. Several factors can cause nail polish "bubbles." First, be sure to use a professional quality polish. Second, check the age of your polish - old polish will thicken and cause bubbling. Polish thinners are available, but a new bottle is best. Third, never shake your polish bottle because the beads in the bottle can create bubbles. Instead, roll the bottle between your hands. Fourth, if you use a spray-on nail polish dryer, don't hold it too close to the nail or over-spray. Finally, be sure the first coat of polish is completely dry before applying another coat. To thin polish, try Adios Polish Thinner.

Q. How Song does it take to completely dry polish?
A. How long it takes depends on the type of polish and polish dryer. Generally, it takes one to two hours before nail polish is completely dry. Formaldehyde-free polishes take more time to dry. Many nail polish dryers allow you to use your hands five to 15 minutes after polish is applied. However, that doesn't mean heavy gardening!

Q. How long should nails dry after a manicure before typing or. using a computer?
A. Today, many nail polish dryers are available that allow you to begin typing or using your computer five to 15 minutes after your polish is applied. There are topcoat polish-drying systems brushed on over the polish color to protect polish and speed up drying time, as well as light-drying systems, many of which require the use of a specific topcoat and/or basecoat. Do not mix and match different systems, and be sure to follow manufacturer's instructions. Nail drying machines dry polish gently and efficiently with the use of cool or warm air. There are also spray and brush-on polish dryers of the oil-base type, used on top of the final coat of polish to set it, or the oil-free variety, used between coats of polish to speed drying time.

Q. The only time I have to polish my nails is at night before bed. How do I prevent "sheet marks" without losing my sleep?

A. Today, many nail polish dryers are available that will allow you to sleep soundly five to 15 minutes after your polish is applied. Best bests for sleeping soundly are Varoom Speed Dry, Nail Selective's Rush Super Quick Pro-Dry/Topcoat, Contours Polish Dry and Beauty Secrets Fast Finish 60 Second Polish Dryer/Topcoat.

Q. How Song must I wait before taking a bath after I've had a manicure?
A. To prevent smudging, it is best to wait one to two hours before hopping in the tub or shower. A topcoat polish dryer, such as Nail Selectives Rush Super Quick Pro-Dry or Varoom Speed Dry will help nail polish dry faster.

Q. How can I get rid of smudges without doing a complete manicure?
A. Try Claire Topper's Nail Triage which will smooth out little smudges and chips to make your manicure last longer.

Q. I want to do something really unusual with my nails. What's a good option to try for special occasions?

A. Try Nail Art! Beyond polish, there are a myriad of products for decorating nails. This is called "nail art," some of which, like airbrushing, take a great deal of skill and are left to the professional. There are a variety of products that make nail art easy for almost anyone. Decals are probably the easiest way to create multi-colored designs that look almost like air-brushing. Some come with adhesive backing; others need to be moistened with water. They must be applied to clean, dry nails which may be previously polished. Foil nail decorations are applied by first coating the nail with a specially formulated glue, sometimes called a foil emulsion. Then, the dull side of the foil is pressed onto the nail. When it's lifted away, the colorful side shows. One or more colors of foil can be used together for a "mosaic" effect. Most nail art decoration must be sealed with a special topcoat, often called a bonder or sealer. Follow the manufacturer's instructions exactly for best results. If you want to try nail art yourself, check out Winning Nails 4-Color Airbrush Lace and Foil Decals, Cina Nail Jewelry Decals, Cina Foil Mosaic Kit, Cina Rhinestones, Cina Try Me Nail Art Kit, Eimsuk Fine Art Nail Decals, and Cina Top Coat and Bonder or Winning Nails Tough Coat Bonder/Sealer.

Q. Can I use a regular topcoat instead of a bonder for applying nail art?

A. It depends on the topcoat. If it is an especially thick formula, it will probably be sufficient to protect the jewelry or decals and keep them in place. It is always best to use the specific bonder or sealer made by the nail art manufacturer.

Q. Are decorative nails proper for a wedding, and what types are available?
A. There are a variety of products that make nail art easy for almost anyone. From decals to foil nail decorations. Also available are festive lace, pearl and gemstone designs, which are designed with the sophistication appropriate for a day as important as your wedding. A recommended style for your wedding day is soft and subtle. Remember to follow manufacturer's instructions. For wedding-appropriate designs, try Winning Nails Lace Decals, Foil Decals, and Eimsuk Fine Art Nail Decals for Wedding.

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