7 Tiny Hacks For Better Nails

Unless you're an obsessed nail fanatic like me, you probably don't have the time or energy to make sure your nails are perfect all the time. That's why these tiny hacks for better nails are something you need in your life. You can make little tweaks to your routines that will offer a huge improvement over time. Think of it as the nail care long game. The pot of gold at the end of a rainbow of patience.

For example, most people don't know you need to moisturize your nails just like the rest of your body. Not doing so means they can get dried out, split and crack. Sure, you can go get a fancy mani at a salon, but that's kind of a band-aid. It's better (and more satisfying, in my opinion) to learn how to take care of your nails so that you don't have to run to a salon for a fix when you have to be somewhere fancy.

Incorporate these little, game-changing seconds into your day and all you'll have to do is paint them. And you can stop wishing for gloves to come back into style year-round. Or just only wear things you with pockets so you can hide your hands. It'll totally be worth it.

1. Use Hand Lotion

After you put your hands in water, like if you wash dishes, take a shower, or swim laps, make sure to put on some hand lotion. If you remember, put some on a couple of times a day. If you really want to get crazy with it, you can use a lighter lotion throughout the day, like O.P.I Avojuice, and then use something thicker before bed to really power through dry cuticles and nails while you sleep. Moisturized nails and cuticles resist breaking and splitting. They also look better in general because you have fewer hangnails and split, broken, or peeling cuticles (and nails).

O.P.I. Avojuice, $10, Amazon

Ava Anderson Body Butter, $30, Amazon

2. Either Wear Polish Or Don't

If you're that person who wears chipped, half-painted nails for days on end, I would humbly ask you to pick a side. Either take that mess off or put more polish on. The chipping paint can pull layers of your nails off. Plus, there's the impulse to pick at the chipping polish, which is a great way to damage your nails. Better to just take the chipping polish off and put on a base coat and some lotion. Plus, I'm pretty sure wearing chipped nail polish makes your soul cry tears of sadness inside your body that you can't see, but that make your day into a total bummer.

3. Remove Gently

Use nail polish remover instead of picking or chipping your polish off. And try to use something that says "moisturizing" or "strengthening" on the label. Pure acetone dries out your cuticles like woah. I use it like it's going out of style because it's powerful and I'm impatient, but if you use it, just make sure you put on some cuticle oil or good hand lotion. You don't even need to use anything fancy or expensive. Drugstore strengthening nail polish remover is totally fine.

4. File Weekly

Because your beauty routine didn't have enough steps, amirite? But this still counts as a tiny hack because you literally only need to spend like one minute or less filing your nails. You're not trying to shorten them or reshape them here. You're just giving them a few passes with the file to smooth any tiny cracks or tears (that you likely can't even see) so they're less likely to break or peel. Some people say you should only file in one direction and some say it doesn't matter. I'm not on a side of this debate, because I've done both and the difference isn't huge. Plus this isn't for shaping, just for a quick smoothing. And if you want to get fancy with it here, too, use a gentle glass file.

Crystal Nail File, $10, Sephora

5. Wear Gel Polish

Gel polish takes a minute (or a lot of minutes) to put on, but it counts as tiny hack because it saves you so much time later. It lasts forever. It's strong as heck. It lets your nails grow out a little and keeps them looking like you care about life. If you're a peeler or a picker, be warned: Gel nail polish is awesomely satisfying to peel off. But don't do it! Use it as a way to get length and avoid damage, not cause damage. Plus, if you're a person who loves painting your nails, you can get a white or neutral gel manicure and paint over with with regular nail polish. Win win.

6. Get An Assistant

OK, I know, you probably can't get an assistant (and if you can, please life swap with me), but you can get a staple remover. My point is that your nails aren't tools. Opening soda cans are also a no-no. In fact, you should pretty much avoid opening anything with your nails. Use a butter knife in a pinch. Or be one of those bad-asses who has a pocket knife on her person. Just don't stab yourself (not speaking from personal experience or anything).

7. Swing By The Kitchen

Really, moisture is the number one ingredient in a the recipe for a healthy nail game. So if you're in the kitchen and you happen to get some olive oil or coconut oil on your hands, just rub it in to your nails and cuticles. If you don't have any lotion, you can use the same oil in a pinch. In fact, I know a lot of women who use these types of oils on purpose because they're such good moisturizers. Plus, if you're about to cook something, you're already right there...

This seems like a lot of information, but if you actually do all of these things, we're talking about adding maybe five minutes of nail care to your week. You got this.

Images: Pixabay; Giphy (7)