The lowdown

 Just as I was despairing at the state of my nails, I received a perfect tool kit from nail guru Jocelyn Petroni. Her Naked Manicure Kit (jocelynpetroni.com, $145) contains a nail file, nail buffer, CND Rescu RXx keratin nail treatment to help repair nail damage and strengthen the plate, Mavala’s Nailactan cream for brittle nails and Repairing Night Cream.

At home

 To begin, I cut my polish- free nails with clippers, then file them into a square shape. Next I squeeze some fresh lemon juice into a bowl of warm water and soak my nails for three minutes to clean and brighten them. Then I scrub my nails and cuticles with a clean toothbrush to exfoliate them and gently push back the cuticles with my thumbnail. Next I apply the nutritive cream and finally wipe my nails with nail polish remover. To keep my hands supple, I apply the Mavala repair cream nightly.

Pain factor

 None.

Downtime

 Forty-five minutes.

Results 

I could go polish-free but decide to paint two coats of pale nude O.P.I Nail Lacquer in Bubble Bath (adorebeauty.com.au, $20), topped off with CND Vinylux Top Coat (adorebeauty.com.au, $15).

ASK STEPHANIE

What’s a quick fix for dark circles under the eyes?

Those shadows are caused by dilated blood vessels beneath thin undereye skin. While it’s great to target them with dedicated eye creams, the best cosmetic fix is to use a light-reflecting concealer in a shade lighter than your natural skin tone. We like Dior Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen (sephora.com.au, $72).

Words by Stephanie Darling for Sunday Life