After two posts about my migraines, I thought it was time for a lighter topic: manicures!

People often ask me how I’m able to have such “perfect nails” when I’m a jeweler. I work with my hands every day, yet I’m able to keep my nails manicured (most of the time anyway…)

Well, my first secret is that my nails _aren’t_ perfect. They’re a bit uneven in length, and there is always a chip or two. The truth is that if you want to work with your hands, your nails will never be absolutely perfect, but you can still keep them pretty if you want.

The most important thing for keeping pretty nails is to keep them trimmed and shaped. I shape my nails a few times a week, and I trim them every weekend. Trimming and shaping help to avoid breaking nails.

For a manicure, you can either go to a salon or go DIY, which is what I choose to do. If you go to a salon, you can get a gel manicure, which is really long-lasting but requires trips to the salon for maintenance about every two weeks. If you enjoy being pampered at the salon, this is a great route to take. The disadvantage is that you cannot remove or fill in gel at home.

For my at-home manicures, I like to use OPI or Essie brand polish. Most OPI and Essie colors I’ve tried are fairly long-lasting. There are a few duds in every brand, but most shades work well.

I always use a base coat for natural nails, 2-3 coats of color, then a top coat. Skipping any of these layers will give you a manicure that won’t last more than a couple of days. My manicure looks good for about a week.

For applying nail polish, I make sure both hands are firmly on the table. This helps to apply the color with accuracy, which means less clean-up later.

To hide chips in my nail polish, I usually choose pale colors. Pale colors don’t show chips as well. Clever eh?

I usually trim my nails and choose a new color every Sunday. Choosing a new color sets the tone for the next week, and it’s something I always look forward to.