As in so much of life, the devil's in the detail. Untidy or uncared-for nails can let down all your best efforts. This month Shop WINDOW on Lifestyle takes a look at how to care for your hands so that they'll be as beautiful as the rest of you. If your nails are ridged and uneven or break easily, you may need to talk to a dietician. Such imperfections can be a sign that the body's not getting the minerals and vitamins it needs.
Manicure at Home The first step is to loosen your finger joints with this simple exercise. Clench your fists tightly for a couple of seconds and then extend the fingers as far as you can. Repeating this half a dozen times will improve the blood circulation and firm the skin.
If your hands are dry and chapped from too much housework, you can make a simple moisturising lotion with a teaspoon of honey, a teaspoon of vegetable oil and a quarter of a teaspoon of lemonade. After first washing your hands in salty water and drying them with a soft hand towel, apply the lotion and work it gently into the skin for ten minutes. If your nails have yellowed, because of repeated application and removal of nail varnish, you can restore the healthy colour by soaking them for ten minutes in a solution of water with two teaspoons of lemonade added.
When filing, go from the corner to the centre. Follow the groove from the side of your nail. The white part of the nail shouldn't be more than a quarter of an inch clear of the base pink part. Any longer, and they'll break.
To remove any ridges and give a shinier look, buff your nails working from the cuticle to the tip with medium pressure.
If you're going to use varnish apply a base coat first and allow it to dry. Apply two coats of varnish allowing several minutes between each application. You should be able to cover the nail in three strokes - one on each side and one down the middle. Don't use quick-drying products - they don't last. Lastly, apply a top coat to seal the varnish.
Always use a remover which contains hydrating oils.
Follow these simple rules and you'll always have elegant, beautiful nails to enhance your graceful gestures and loving caresses.
Now, how to improve on perfection? The answer is to add a ring or even two. More than that and you'd be guilty of gilding the lily. Pick a style of ring which will suit your fingers' shape. If you've short, chubby fingers go for a slimmer style; tear-shaped facets will work for you.
If you've got strong, bony fingers you can carry off a stronger, wider fashion. It'll make your fingers look healthy. If you've a problem with large knuckles look for a style of ring which is open at the back - it'll spring to a comfortable fit.
Never, never, never wear a ring which is too tight - it looks ugly and will hurt!
Time was, when all we wore were engagement or wedding rings, but nowadays costume jewellery is all the rage. In these difficult economic times when frugal is cool, the good news is they're not that expensive. We took a look at what's currently on offer in Phuket's fashion shops.