There are more theories than people when it comes to nails. The best tricks are to keep the fingers well manicured- use orange sticks to keep the cuticles pushed back. NEVER cut them! Keeping them pushed back and with a bit of moisturizer will avoid getting hangnails. Eat lots of calcium to prevent ridges and gelatin to keep them strong. Keep them cut neatly and only file from the outside edges to the center.
A visit to a nail technician is worth the 20 bucks just for a lesson in care. If you have one of those tough dirty occupations, an investment in a good hand cream is essential and easy to hide from the guys in the locker room. Some of the better industrial hand cleaners have lanolin in them which is ideal.
Before applying polish, put on two good layers of a polish foundation. This will prevent staining of the nail by dark colours and also makes it much easier to remove the polish before “buffy” sees you! Apply two or more coats of the polish allowing adequate drying time – see bottle for details. Finally apply a topcoat to help prevent nicks and chipping. I like to apply polish early before anything else is started (ie. before the shower) to give it lots of drying time.
If you use glue-on nails, for God sakes read the instructions!!! ALWAYS, ALWAYS clean the nail bed with alcohol before gluing them on. To avoid doing so risks losing the nail(s) to fungal bacteria and damage to the nail bed. Also only apply enough glue for the length of the event – it is really hard to remove cyanoacrylate glue from nails. For this reason I usually prefer to use stick-on double sided tape pieces. The trick to using these is to make sure you clean both the natural nail and artificial nail with alcohol before application to erase any oils. Press the nail on firmly and hold it for a few seconds before the next one is applied.