I’m always envious of women with beautiful long nail beds, and without being genetically blessed in this area, i’m forever looking for insights into how to make my nails look and be the healthiest they can.

Luckily for me, I was recently treated to a CHANEL manicure by one of the best manicurists in Sydney, who is also an official nail expert for CHANEL, Jocelyn Petroni. CHANEL have launch two limited edition colours for the holidays, so I got into the festive season with the new holiday red ‘Flamboyance’ which has the most chic subtle shimmer.

Jumping at the opportunity to pick the brain of one of the best in the biz I asked Jocelyn some of my biggest nail and manicure questions.

How long should a manicure last, what are you tips for making them last the distance?

Our professional manicures last two weeks as we treat the nail to ensure the polish wears for as long as possible. There are also a number of ways to making your polish last longer including:

1. Reapplying the top coat. The day after your manicure, wash your hands and apply top coat. Top coat should be applied after every manicure, every second day for chip resistant polish. The top coat acts as a protective shield and will wear down before the polish does, so the colour lasts longer.

2. Push back cuticles whilst you’re in the shower and cuticles are soft and soapy. This way you’re less likely to tear or break the skin and cuticles stay intact.

What’s your advice for those that aren’t born with genetically blessed long nail beds? Is there anything we can do to improve their shape?

Everyone suits a slightly different nail shape so we always work with clients to determine what shape and length will be best for optimum nail health.

We shape nails dependant on the existing shape of clients nail bed, nail curve and cuticle however a shorter nail length is preferred if you like a sophisticated finish. Short nails are classic cool but they must be neat and well-manicured worn with a vibrant sexy shade or sophisticated nude. If you have shorter nail beds then you can wear your nails a little longer.

Once nails are painted you can’t see where the nail bed stops and the free white edge begins, so this gives the appearance of a longer nail bed. If you consistently have your cuticles pushed back then this will gradually lengthen the nail bed over time.

Best way to care for your cuticles? Should we be trimming them, pushing them back, apply oils, or all these above?

Soft cuticles are much better to work with than dry hard cuticles because the skin is malliable and cuticles push back easier. Soften cuticles by soaking for a few minutes in a bowl of warm soapy water. Pat dry and gently push cuticles back with an orange wood stick, which you can also use to clean under the nail edge.

There is actually a cuticle under the free edge of the nail too so cleaning under your nails removes this skin build up as well as dirt and debris.

It is important not to trim away too much cuticle, as it is easy to nip away too much skin which can cause bleeding and infection. Some salons cut away too much cuticle which can actually make them grow back worse.
Because a manicure removes all traces of dead skin, if you regularly apply cuticle oil after your manicure (as the cuticle grows back) it will be smooth without splitting, breaking and hardening.

How often should we be treating ourselves to a professional manicure?

Ideally investing in fortnightly manicures will ensure optimal nail health. If you are looking to prep your nails for a big event such as a wedding I would recommend 3 consecutive manicures over six weeks where your manicurist can assess your nail condition, perfect the shape, trial colours and get to know the exact amount of cuticle to trim, plate to buff and condition and strengthen your overall nail health.

How should we look after thin, weak nails?

The best way to care for thin, weak nails is to have regular manicures as they’ll protect your nails, and also nourish at the base, encouraging good growth and strength.

What’s your favourite CHANEL everyday colour?

Nude nails will never go out of fashion because they are the most complimentary shades to wear, reflecting the natural colour of a healthy glossy nail plate. They always make our hands look their best, at any age.

What is your current favourite statement nail colour?

I am loving the new Chanel Flamboyance shade for its sophisticated shimmer. Red is the perfect colour for the party season, its rich texture is deep and sexy whilst also being elegant and sophisticated.

The key to applying vibrant colours is to prep the nail before painting, it is essential to remove excess oil from the nail which otherwise prevents the polish from adhering to the nail plate properly, which results in chipped polish. Wipe the nail plate with polish remover before painting so you have longer lasting results.

Apply two coats of polish, then apply top coat every second night to lengthen the duration of your colour by protecting the polish from chipping and sealing the free edge of the nail where polish tears away first.

Photography and Gifs by Tim Kindler

*Shot In Collaboration with CHANEL