Friends, Romans, etc., I have a message. Hands are important. After all, they are the primary way in which we physically interact with the world – Aristotle called the hand the “tool of tools”. We use them to gesture, work, greet, protect… I could go on.
Therefore, we have to look after them. In recent months, I have found myself getting increasingly interested in hand care – making sure that the old mitts are soft, and look fairly nice, not just brightly coloured. Manicures and nail polishes are all very well (and believe me, my collection of Chanel polishes is more than a little bit shameful) but they are pretty useless if you have tight-feeling dry hands and flaking nails.
Good thing is, one week of applying the magical combination of a potent hand cream and a cuticle treatment at night before you go to sleep, and your hands will genuinely look and feel different. Try the Kiehls Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, which is pretty damn powerful. The Sephora by O.P.I. Cuticle Treatment is great, and so is the Skinfood Jojoba Nail Essence pen, for those who live in Asia, but the Dior Creme d’Abricot is on another level. I can only describe the texture as goo-scious. And I love goo-scious things. I could goo on all day.
I have a theory that the more frequent one’s manicures are, the worse condition your nails are in. When I lived in New York and worked at a large beauty company, it was somewhat mandatory to have perfectly groomed, manicured nails, which meant trips to the late night nail salon down the block from my apartment at least three times a fortnight. (Not complaining at all – I loved it). When I left New York though, the regular manicures pretty much stopped. Partly because nail places in London (where I’m from) and Hong Kong (where I live now) are $$$$$$ more than New York*, but also because of the fact that they take about ten minutes in NY and an hour everywhere else. Which is dull. Therefore, I’ve mostly been doing my nails myself, and not often. Their condition is so so so so much better, no flaking or weak nails anymore, and they grow faster.
However, I do occasionally reach into the Chanel stockpile. When I do, this Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab set is a game-changer. The base and top coats are supposed to mimic the long-lasting nature of gel nails, but in a regular formula. They are supremely sticky, very thick, and take longer to dry than regular ones, but damn do they hold. Other formulas chip in about two days on me, but these remain genuinely chip-free for as long as if I get a real manicure. ‘mazing.
*For good reasons – you should read this New York Times article about the nail salon industry in NY. If I’d known, I’m not sure I would have been going quite as often…