If your nail polish chips quicker than you can make it from the salon to your car, you’ve no doubt found solace in longer wear formulas like Shellac and SNS.
And while there are plenty of positives to choosing a gel manicure over a conventional one (not the least of which is them staying chip-free and looking glossy weeks after having them done), they don’t exactly do your natural nail any favours, often leaving them in bad shape, especially when picked at or removed incorrectly.
“Synthetic nail polish options occlude the nail, suffocating it from airflow and resulting in a weaker, softer nail,” explains beauty expert and official manicurist for Chanel Australia, Jocelyn Petroni. “This weakening of the nail surface has a knock-on effect on the nail bed and root, which sees critical blood and nutrient flow reduced.”
Problem is, when you’re caught in a cycle of having them done and re-done, you’re not only likely to notice nails becoming dryer, softer and even peeling, but you’re also leaving yourself wide open to fungal infections. Oh.
But there is help on the horizon to bring them back from the brink of brittle. Enter: the naked manicure, a treatment that strengthens and conditions nails, long term.
Aimed to repair all types of nail damage, the mani includes a keratin nail treatment and firm hand and arm massage, with a ‘miracle shine’ gloss to finish. Nails are then left with a breathable high-shine glassy finish – that doesn’t include coloured polish.
“There’s a growing trend towards healthy bare nails that are shiny and look healthy, with pink nail beds reflecting good blood flow, strong white edges and no discolouration,” explains Petroni, who counts Megan Gale and Miranda Kerr as clients.
And while it might seem counterintuitive to get your nails done when you’re trying to give them a break, Petroni recommends having your tips tended to weekly for five weeks to get them in optimal condition.
“The treatment is completely personalised to your own individual nail concerns, which makes it unique from the common manicure.”
Can’t make it into her Sydney salon? Jocelyn says your best bet is to use a nail harder like Mavala Scientifique K+, $30.95, a natural formula that reinforces the nail and prevents breakages.
“A specialist cuticle oil is also a great solution for ragged cuticles and often best applied overnight for intensive results. If you regularly apply cuticle oil as the cuticle grows back it will be smooth without splitting, breaking and hardening.”
Your 2019 nail rehab action plan starts now.
Words by Ashleigh Austen