We may be in the final furlong of winter months with spring just on the horizon, but February is a month that can really take its toll on your skin and nails.
Our homes still have the central heating on to keep us nice and toasty, but the world outdoors remains stubbornly chilly. It's this contrast between warm and cold that has a really drying effect, so you might be noticing that your nails are much more brittle than usual.
Although preventing this in the first place is better than curing it, there's still time to give your nails some TLC and get them back to their beautiful best. Here are some tips on how you can treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure during the last of the long winter evenings.
Set up a relaxing ambience
You don't want to have to jump up and answer the door or start doing housework in the middle of your mani-pedi, so set aside plenty of time for it. You will also find it more of a treat if you create a relaxing ambience, so put on some gentle music, dim the lights and put out one of our scented candles in a glass for the ultimate chilled-out feel.
The most important thing about any mani-pedi is hydration, so exfoliate first and then rub in a really rich moisturiser like our Olive and Fig Hand Lotion. This will not only do the skin on your hands and feet good, but will rejuvenate the nails to make them more supple. Don't limit this to your relaxation session, though - apply moisturiser every time you've showered or washed your hands for maximum benefits.
Nail filing can be harsh, so don't grind away at those nails as though you're sanding a block of wood. Instead, wait for them to dry and then hold your file at a 45-degree angle along the nail edge. Then, starting at one corner and working in one direction only, gently smooth the edge towards the centre with minimal pressure. Do the other side afterwards, aiming for a square or oval shape to prevent future breakage.
Apply the perfect polish
Although it's best to avoid nail polish if your nails are really in dire straits to allow them to recover, a great colour can be the ideal finishing touch if they're looking pretty good. At this time of year, bright hues can look a little out of place though, so try a wintry shade like an icy silver, lilac or even blue to reflect the continuing frosts. If these really aren't your cup of tea, a classic muted red or a nude will suit everyone as well as the season.
Other tips for healthy nails
Your hands and feet should be looking much healthier after your mani-pedi, but don't limit good habits to these relaxation sessions only. Instead, do all you can to keep those nails looking great in between. It's important to drink plenty of water so you don't get dehydrated, as well as to eat a healthy diet rich in proteins and Omega-3.
Also, get into the habit of wearing gloves every time you go out, even if it doesn't feel so cold now it's not snowing and blowing a gale. The chilly air will still be drying and some nice cotton or wool gloves will provide a nice barrier for your skin and nails.
This is applicable for when you're washing up too - rubber gloves are essential because hot dishwater is one of the fastest ways to damage those talons and have them breaking off again.
Follow these tips and treat yourself to a relaxing mani-pedi - you should find your hands and feet wil be looking fabulous by the time spring finally gets here.