Low Maintenance Nails in 4 Savvy Steps:

Low Maintenance Nails in 4 Savvy Steps:

Did your mom ever tell you that you should evaluate a potential boyfriend by how nice his nails were?  Mine did and boy am I glad I didn't follow that particular piece of advice or I never would have taken a second glance at Mr. Savvy, whose nails resemble those of a mental patient who's been restrained and clipped against his will.

The truth is, after our baby blues (or browns, greens or hazels), our hands are our most expressive feature and subject to subtle scrutiny--good and bad.  If you're not the salon-going type, are on a budget, or even just lack nail-gardening skills, it's no problemo since simple, natural nails are always *IN,* and are fairly easy to maintain.  They just take a little bit of regular pruning and maintenance, like a nicely tended garden.

Low Maintenance Nails in Four Easy Steps:

Step #1: Clip 'Em Dano: Clip your nails after you've bathed or showered.  They'll be more soft and malleable and you'll be able to shape them nicely and evenly.

Step #2: Cuticles: Push 'Em Back, Way Back: It's better to push back, rather than clip your cuticles, unless you want them growing in wild and scraggy looking.  You can do this step after showering as they'll also be softer, or use a soak or cuticle oil to loosen them up.

Step #3A: Shine, Baby, Shine, Buff Edition: If you're not a fan of the extra work involved in maintaining polish, just get a soft nail buff or chamois buffer and buff your way to a lovely, natural shine.  Keep one in your purse and you can do this under your desk at work, on the train, or waiting in line.

Step #3B: Shine, Baby, Shine: Polish Edition: Skip color polish which shows chipping more easily and stick with clear or a sheer hue for a longer-lasting shine effect.

Step #4: Moisture, Moisture, Moisture: Moisturizing your hands and nails regularly keeps them from getting dry, cracked and ashy-looking—a major sign of an untended nail garden.

Bonus Tip: Invest in a few pairs of housework gloves from your 99 cent store, for tough-on-nails jobby jobs at home!  Your nails will thank you.

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