9 Fixes to make embarrassing nails immaculate
While you do everything you can to keep your digits looking great, constant manicures can lead to some icky issues like hangnails, discoloration, even fungus. Sometimes, your nails just need some good ol' fashioned TLC — and a few great products to whip them back into shape.
1. Dry/rough cuticles
If you're not the biggest fan of cutting and trimming your cuticles, then take Butter Melt Away Cuticle Eliminator for a spin. It's a gentle cuticle exfoliator that helps break down dead skin cells and softens your cuticles. Over time, they even become less overgrown. (Ulta, $19)
Hangnails. Barf. When your hands are dried out from regular hand washing or polish changes, these little critters can become as relentless as the stage five clinger you were set up with last weekend. Curel Hand & Cuticle Therapy Cream is a heavy duty moisturizer that'll soothe that sandpaper skin of yours. It's also a cuticle-strengthener (in other words, fewer broken nails), and continues to do its job no matter how many times you wash your hands. (Amazon.com, $15)
Few things are more annoying than doing your nails, only to find you can see every crack and crevice — if anything, the polish enhances them. Enter Deborah Lippmann Ridge Filler Base: It's a base coat that helps smooth out the bumpy, uneven portions of your nails. It looks great on its own too. Either way, you get to say sayonara to line-riddled manicures. (Nordstrom, $20)
Whether they're looking funky from all those dark polish applications or have yellowed from (gasp!) a fungal infection (hey, it happens), consider Develop 10 Nail Whitening Scrub to be your knight in shining armor. It's a water-based solution with lemon juice that gradually removes the stains on your nails and gives them a healthy-looking appearance. (Ulta, $7)
5. Weak nails
My mom has Terminator-strength nails… and I didn't even come close to inheriting them. If your digits are prone to breakage and peeling, Julep Oxygen Treatment is your ticket to stronger nails. This perfecting nail tint allows your nails to breathe while strengthening and conditioning them. (Sephora, $18)
6. Slow growth
If you're starting to feel as if your nails are never going to grow (like, ever), Butter London Horse Power Nail Fertilizer will help speed up the process. It contains horsetail extract, which is a powerful herb rich in nutrients. The formula helps strengthen and soothe nails, and can be used as a base coat, top coat or on its own. (Ulta, $19)
7. Brittle nails
If you use nail polish religiously, you're bound to run into a brittle, cracked nail or two (or 10). Give your digits a vacay — including the spa treatment. Orly BB Crème is an all-in-one topical treatment that helps smooth, moisturize and brighten your nails with a sheer peach tint, while protecting against future breakage. (Orly.com, $15)
Oy to the vey: Fungus is the worst. Nailtiques Fungus Treatment is an oil that will kibosh the spread of nail fungus infections both on and under your nails. Take that! (Ulta, $22)
9. White spots
Contrary to popular belief, white spots on your nails don't indicate a vitamin deficiency — they just mean your nail bed was injured at some point (either from picking, biting or banging your nail against something). The only solution to this problem is patience: Allowing them to grow out, and not being such a klutz in the future. In the meantime, why not cover them up with a snazzy polish color, like Essie's Urban Jungle — grrr, baby! (Beauty.com, $9).