Test your talon IQ with our ultimate hands and nails questions
Think you know your hand creams from your cuticle oils, your hang nails from your nail wraps?! Well see how talon-ted (couldn’t resist!) you really are by checking how closely your answers match up with our pro’s in this, the ultimate hand and nail care quiz.
Why is it important to apply hand cream?
“Think about the amount you use your hands each day,” says OPI nail expert Lena White. “It is vital that we take good care of them. The extremes of heat and cold they are exposed to, frequent washing, and not to mention all the tasks we use our hands for each day, can leave skin dry and damaged, so a good quality hand cream is essential for hands which are soft and nourished.” Some of the best ingredients to look for in a hand cream are shea butter, vitamin E, milk proteins, SPF and anti-oxidants, for their moisturising and anti-ageing benefits.
When is the best time to apply hand cream?
Hand washes can strip the skin of natural moisture, so the best time to apply hand cream is after washing the hands, or alternatively after a shower, when moist hands will allow moisturiser to soak deeper into the skin. The other alternative is to apply hand cream before bed and put on a pair of cotton gloves overnight, which will deeply nourish the skin so when your customers wake up their hands will feel smooth, soft and supple.
What issues are likely to affect hands if they are not cared for properly?
Hands are the first part of the body to start showing the signs of ageing, so fine lines, ‘crepey’ skin and age spots are the concerns most likely to affect your customers. As with the face, which is also exposed to the elements constantly, it is imperative to moisturise hands regularly with a moisturiser that contains UVA and UVB protection. Lena White says: “As we know, the sun causes more damage to our skin than anything else. In the same way we use a moisturiser with SPF on our face, the same rule applies to hands. OPI’s Finishing Butter contains SPF15 to prevent the signs of ageing.” Dry, scaly patches of skin are also common of hands that have been neglected of moisture; applying an intensive hand cream at night and wearing a pair of gloves will help.
What will happen to nails if they are neglected?
Nails can easily become dry, brittle and weak so it is important to keep them moisturised with hand creams and cuticle oil, and to keep them strong by using a nail strengthener regularly. Cuticles can become sore and irritated if not moisturised enough and will often result in hang nails, the small bits of skin that stick out at the edge of the nail. To remove them, clip them with a pair of nail clippers as close to the base as possible, being careful not to pull or snag them.
What products should customers use to help maintain good nail health?
Cuticle oil, nail strenghtheners and a decent moisturiser are the three nail health products most experts recommend. Nail expert Andrea Fulerton explains: “If you struggle with nails that are brittle as well as cuticles that tear, snag and look unsightly, then you can benefit by using nail oil for your cuticles and nail plates, as the specialist oils will feed and nourish the nail, and will greatly help to prevent brittle, dry and flaky nails. I love Decléor Aromessence Ongles Nail Oil, which feels and smells like a luxurious body treat. Andrea Fulerton Nail Boutique Cute-icles Love Oil in Spearmint is also great. A little slick goes a long way, and a layer over freshly painted fingers or toes will protect varnish and help stop dust and fluff from settling.” Moisturisers will also help boost the moisture in nails, Jessica Hoffman, official manicurist for Sally Hansen, says: “A great way of encouraging nails to grow is to obsessively moisturise. As I am a manicurist, giving many hand massages a day with thick and concentrated hand creams, my nails are always strong, flexible, pink and shiny. When I do not work for a while, there is a remarkable difference when I don’t use much hand cream. My nails become more brittle and would eventually break if I didn’t keep them so short. When your nails are hydrated, they will naturally thrive.” Strengtheners are also an essential component of any nail care routine. Clair Rose, nail care expert at Dr Lewinn’s Renunail, explains: “Strengtheners are made from a mix of proteins, calcium and keratin – all found naturally in our nails, but when the nails are damaged in some way these ingredients help to restore the nails and put back the missing nutrients. Most strengtheners are suitable for anyone with weak, peeling or brittle nails, also those with nails that just won’t grow past a certain length. Sometimes the nails just need a helping hand and a few more specific ingredients in order for your nails to reach their optimum health and length. Once your nails are at the desired length and strength it is important to maintain them. Overuse of proteins will have the opposite effect and with continued use can cause the nail to go brittle. I suggest that once you have got your nails the way you like them, maintain them with specific maintenance treatment such as Renunail Sensitive, which makes an ideal base coat to maintain the strength of your nails.”
Why is it important to use a base and top coat when painting nails?
Andrea Fulerton explains: “A thin coat of base coat is a must as it acts as an anchor, bonding the varnish down and protecting nails from highly pigmented nail varnish that could possibly stain without the use of a base coat. A top tip is to paint in as thin coats as you possibly can, as thick coats are prone to chipping.” She adds: “A good top coat will enhance and protect your manicure or pedicure. Use it again two to three days later to revive your varnish and add wear.”
What are the top nail trends for 2012?
2011 nails were bright and experimental, with the advent of metallic shades, feature nails and the increasing popularity of minx nails and nail wraps – all trends that will continue to develop in 2012, says Andrea Fullerton. She particularly highlights glitter and patterned artistic nails as those to look out for: “Nail art appeared on the Golden Globes red carpet this week – it’s here to stay. If you’re not brave enough for nail art, or feel too old, then try the accent (feature) nail by painting one nail an entirely different colour. The delicate wedding finger is striking but ‘pimping the pinkie’ is more subtle. Or do more dominant texting thumbs for ultimate noticeability. Nail colours will be led by fashion and at London Fashion Week we saw Antonio Berardi sporting red nails, while lilac was at the Dior shows in Paris, and ice cream pastel was seen on the Golden Globe red carpet.” It’s also a very British year, with the Olympics and jubilee, so look out for lots of reds and blues.
What advice would you give to a customer who wants a funky nail design but doesn’t know how to achieve it?
There are so many products available for people who want to experiment with nail design, from Andrea Fulerton Nail Studs to glitter shatter top coats from MUA. One of the easiest ways to get a funky design with minimal effort is to use a nail wrap. Zoe Pocock, creative director for Nail Rock, says: “Nail wraps are ready-made nail art which you can apply in an instant. They come in a variety of trend-inspired designs, they won’t chip and there’s no drying time. For 2012 we’ve started to create Nail Rock designs with a different look for each finger. We want nails to be exciting and attention grabbing.” Nail wraps are so simple to apply; just shape and file the nail, wipe over with an acetone-based remover, and apply the wrap from the cuticle up. Then remove excess wrap by running a file under the nail – easy! They should last for between a week and ten days, but to remove, simply peel back off the nail.
Why is choosing the right nail file so important?
Choosing the right file is ‘extremely important’, says Jessica Hoffman: “Using one that is too abrasive will feather the nail microscopically and cause the nail to tear or crack in a relatively short amount of time.” For the best results, use a soft nail file in an outward to inward motion, filing from the sides.