Home Manicure

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Regular manicures (and a balanced diet) make fingernails strong. Professional manicures are a treat, but you can give yourself a manicure at home without going to unnecessary expense.

Use a soft emery board to file your nails, in one direction only, in a shape that suits your fingers-and your lifestyle; pointed talons don't always suit typists or busy mothers.

The strongest nails are of medium length, filed flat across the top with rounded corners that do not catch.

Dip your finger tips in a cup of warm olive oil to soften the nails; if nails are supple, they are less likely to snap off.

Rinse and dry your hands; use an orange stick to remove any dirt from underneath your nails.

Massage in hand cream; wipe any excess from your nails and apply a base coat of nail polish.

Add a coat of colored or neutral polish on top; allow it to dry, and add a second coat. Apply a top coat to seal the polish and stop it from chipping; keep a bottle of this handy, so that if you are wearing colored polish you can keep applying it to maintain the colour.