how to care for your nails

by Sylvia

How to care for your nails

I got such an amazing response and some wonderful tips on my article on pretty nails for women over 40, that I wanted to share them with you in a separate blog post, as not all of you will read the comments.

What was the general consensus? Should women over 40 care about their nails?

Overall most of the women that responded through the comments and on Facebook felt that grooming gets more important as you get older. Suzanne says: “I truly believe that the older you get the more “well groomed” you need to be to look your best.” And Heather writes: “I never used to care, but now that im older all the little details are so important.”

I tend to agree.

So how to look after them?

It’s all about taking care of your nails with proper care. I like to share some wonderful tips from my readers.

Not dressed as lamb |

The always superbly groomed Catherine from Not Dressed As Lamb feels that the secret to good nails, is to keep the cuticles healthy. In order to achieve this, she comes up with a 14 step plan:

  1. Rub in hand cream every time after washing your hands.
  2. Apply a good cuticle remover (liquid/paste, don’t cut them).
  3. Push the cuticles back gently with a wooden or plastic cuticle stick, never metal.
  4. Buff them using a 3-sided buffer.
  5. Rub in loads of cuticle cream.
  6. Use a glass file to file them – never cut with scissors or clippers. When I stopped cutting them the condition improved enormously!
  7. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS use a good base coat under nail polish.
  8. When painting, don’t allow the polish to touch or seep into the cuticles. A tiny gap between polish and your cuticles is neater and allows the nail to breathe.
  9. To get them neat is simply down to doing them on a flat surface, holding your breath briefly and lots of practice!
  10. Use a nail polish spray to dry them more quickly – or plunge into a bowl of very cold water.
  11. Forget French manicures (too fiddly!) and choose a really neutral, almost skin-like colour, it’ll hide a multitude of painting sins and look modern (Revlon’s Elegant is perfect).
  12. Use a cotton bud dipped in nail polish remover to remove excess polish. Or better still, a small, round, flat artist’s brush perfects the edges beautifully. (Sam likes to use a nail polish remover pen, which is like a thick felt tip pen you can use around the edges of your nails to tidy things up a bit once your polish has dried. But, Catherine feels that the pens get too loaded with polish too quickly.)
  13. Apply a clear top coat and then another every other day to keep it from chipping.
  14. Remove the nail polish after 4-5 days maximum, and let the nails breathe at least overnight before painting again.
  15. Buff them straight after removing the polish and apply the hand and cuticle cream again. Even if you don’t paint them a colour, I’d recommend always keeping a clear base/strengthening coat on them to protect the nail from general bashes, stops them splitting too!

A step-by-step guide on how to care for your nails |

When to find the time for your nail care?

Heather likes doing it in the evening after dinner when there isn’t much to do and there is time for them to dry, while Catherine has made painting her nails a ritual during her lunch break at work.

Which products to use?

Heather Loves to use Wet & Wild nail polish and also Essie. She gives a lot more tips on the best products for pedicures and manicures on her blog.


I’m going to give the above mentioned routine a go. How about you?



How to care for your nails |

Feature image by EdZbarzhyvetsky

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Suzanne

So many great ideas! It makes me want to paint my nails. 🙂 But even if I don’t polish them it is healthy to do the cuticle care and buffing. I am checking into the glass file too. I’ve never heard of that. I love this Blog and all of the wonderful women who share their beauty secrets on it! I learn something new each time I check in.


2 Sylvia

Yes, I learned a lot from these tips as well. Got to put them in practise!


3 karen ellison

QVC has a “set” of tempered glass nail files…one for hands, the other for feet. I absolutely love mine! The edges are Never smoother… karen E.


4 Greetje

I have a “diamond” file, presumably the same as glass. Works better I agree. For the rest I have to give it a miss unfortunately.


5 Sylvia

Should try one of these some time…


6 Catherine @ Not Dressed As Lamb

Sylvia thanks so much for featuring my tips (haha, tips!) – all of them together make for a great post! I do like to pass them on, as most of them are ones I’ve picked up from other blogs 🙂

Catherine x


7 Sylvia

It’s you I have to thank Catherine for leaving such a useful and thoughtful comment on my article!


8 Suzanne

I did some checking and there is a store about 40 minutes away from me that specializes in glass files. They are so pretty (decorated handles) and not expensive at all. You can get a “set” of 3 – small, medium, and pedicure size – for $26. I am giving these to my friends for Christmas!


9 Sylvia

Great idea!


10 Heather Fonseca

Great article Sylvia! I like how you pulled all the information from the comments into the post, and thank you so much for linking to me!


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