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Stalking the Prettiest of Pretties
Welcome to the first in the Only Gorgeous Beauty Series. This week the focus is on nails.
There will be a lot of attention on your hands and nails on the big day. Whether it’s getting the perfect ring shot, checking out the details in your bouquet or seeing how the nerves are holding up, your hands will want to look their best. The good news is that the sooner you start taking care of your hands and nails the better the will look, the even better news is that Only Gorgeous is going to help you get the low down on all the tips, tricks and terrific options available to you.
First off is your hands: the key here is to exfoliate, moisturise and moisturise again! Exfoliating will get rid of any hard or dry skin while moisturising will make sure your hands are soft and the skin plump.
The cheapest exfoliant (and one of the best) is pretty simple to make: some oil (olive, baby, etc) coarse sugar and a couple drops of any essential oil you like the smell of, or even a squeeze of lemon or lime. Mix it all up into a paste, pop it into a jar and keep it somewhere handy. When you want to use it, just dig out a lump and rub into your hands for a few minutes and follow with moisturiser. Remembering to do this even a couple times a day will soon help your hands.
Everyone has their favourite hand creams. I think it’s hard to beat Nutrogena’s classic cream and I love Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream for my cuticles. The 8 Hour Cream is worth it’s weight in gold in my opinion. It has work for me as a hand cream, dry skin softener, mega-successful lip balm and cures a nose that is red raw from hayfever. Try to get into the habit of always moisturising after doing the dishes, cleaning, or simply washing your hands. Make sure you wear rubber gloves when cleaning with detergents and rinse afterwards. Keep an eye on your cuticles and make sure to gently push them back when needed.
Having soft, well moisturised hands and washing well after application should stop you from getting orange knuckles, but sometimes it still happens. And it’s not a good look. St Tropez do a fake tan remover but it is recommended that you use it within 4 hours of putting on the tan. Others recommend using lemon juice or toothpaste to remove stubborn marks. I very rarely use fake tan myself so I have no personal recommendations here!
There are loads of options when it comes to your nails, from bare and buffed to fake or flashy! But first you should ensure that your nails are strong and healthy. Making sure your hands are well moisturised by following the above steps is a good start. Diet also plays a big part, but it will normally take a while to show improvements. If you regularly paint your nails, always have a couple of days where you leave them bare to breathe. Don’t forget your base coat when using strong colours to avoid staining. OPI have a line of polishes specially formulated to strengthen and protect your nails, but probably the best known brand for nail care is Sally Hansen.
I started listing the options that you can have your nails on the day. It turned out to be much longer than I expected and so I’m listing the do-it-yourself options here and will have the professional options next week.
If you are a real low-maintenance kind of girl you can always keep your nails bare. I would recommend that you shape and buff your nails on the big day though! A good emery board and a buffing block like this one from Revlon are pretty much the only tools you need. Oh, and 10 or 15 minutes of your time to do them. It doesn’t even require too much concentration so can be done while watching the soaps or the ever delightful ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.’
The pros: It’s cheap (yes, that Revlon buffer pack is £22, but it is a 6 pack and you get multiple uses out of each one) quick and you do it in your own time. It also will not damage your nails and there is no danger of chipping.
The cons: It ain’t fancy and if you have weak, damaged or discoloured nails it won’t mask the problem.
Another DIY option is to paint your own nails. A lot of us do this on a pretty regular basis anyway so why not for the wedding? It could turn out to be a nice little thing for you and your bridesmaids (and/or your Mum) to do the night before. You can even use it as an excuse to splash out on some big name polishes like OPI or China Glaze (both of whom leave me drooling.) Always give whatever polish your using a test run. You don’t want to find out that your choice chips easily when your about to leave the house. Also, make sure to leave plenty of time to dry between coats, rushing is the easiest way to spoil a manicure.
The pros: It can be cheap, depending on polish. You can do it in your own time instead of trying to fit another appointment into your schedule. It’s not very abrasive as long as you use a base coat to avoid staining. You can change the colours for all your honeymoon outfits!
The cons: It’s not professional so it may not look professional – you need to be confident in being able to paint a straight line! Polish will normally only last a couple days before starting to chip, it won’t last you through your honeymoon.It’s also best to have someone who can take over if your hands are shaking!
Have you any fail-safe tricks for perfect hands or nails? Did you do your own nails on the day? Let me know in the comments below.