A BRAND new manicure or pedicure can make you look and feel a million dollars.
However, if badly executed it can be a disappointing experience, which can leave your nails weak and brittle.
Which is why it's so important to listen to the experts.
Here, Elegant Touch Nail Tech Sara Sordillo shares the six things she would never do when it came to looking after her own nails, including buying a DIY gel set to use at home…
The number one sin when it comes to nails is obviously peeling off old polish.
Sara says: “I would never peel off or pick off gel polish, nail extensions, stick on nails or any nail enhancements.
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"When you pick or peel these off, you take a layer of your nail plate off as well.
"Your nails are like onions and there are layers to it.
"Once a layer has been removed it does not heal you have to grow the whole section of nail out and keep the nails short, as each layer removed weakens the nails and you are more likely to break your nails if they are thin."
It can be tempting to try and cut corners and save some money by doing gel nails at home, but it's not something Sara recommends.
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Sara says: "I would never use at home gel nail kits or attempt to do gel nails at home without proper training.
"Constant skin exposure to gel polish can result in an allergy which once developed, means you can experience pain and uncomfortable sensation from wearing and applying gel and the worst part is it will be all gel polish not just a singular brand.
"Getting gel on to the skin and not removing it properly can cause this so it is best to take a training class and learn how to apply gel properly or see a qualified nail expert.
"I have seen many people who have had this happen as they thought it would save them money to do gel nails at home but now can no longer wear gel nail polish, as a result of their allergy."
Sara adds: "Likewise, I would never buy product that you would usually need a beauty license to purchase from a website or shop that doesn’t need you to show a beauty qualification for.
"Several brands are for licensed and qualified nail technicians, and this is because of the training needed to use these items.
"Gel polish brands are often not available to the public as improper use can cause an allergy.
"Some websites have these items for sale but often they are fakes which can cause other issues."
Be careful about nail health
It's also important to make sure the right tools are being used.
Sara says: "I would never have my nails done at a place that files off gel polish.
"This is often done so that they can speed up the appointment.
"The proper procedure is to file the top later of gel polish off and then wrap cotton soaked in acetone on the nail with foil.
"Some places will use an electric file to file the entire gel polish off which can cause damage to the nail as they are concerned with speed and not nail health.
"This may remove some layers of the natural nail as well, which will cause the nails to feel sore and also thin."
Leave some tasks to the professionals
Additionally, Sara adds: "I would also never have a pedicure in a beauty or nail salon that uses a blade to cut off the dead skin.
"This is a specialist procedure and used by podiatrists and chiropodist and should be used by those experts when medically needed.
"Using a blade on skin that is a bit rough or broken can cause it to grow back thicker and harder as the skin is going through trauma.
"Buffing with a single use foot file is the best way to remove the majority of dead skin.
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"Metal foot files can be cleaned and sanitized between clients and disposable files ensure that cross contamination is kept at a minimum.
"Pumice stones and foot files where the attachments are not replaceable are harder to ensure they are hygienic and can cause infections to spread from one client to another.”
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