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A Bit of Nail Prep - Bridal Nails
After I got engaged I received some very important wedding advice – three months out from the wedding book in and start pampering your hands and nails, especially if you are going to have gel or acrylic nails (which is what I opted for). At the time I was in the Air Force and I kept my nails short, but when I got to the three month mark before my wedding I made sure I was up to date with all my training and weapons handling so I could book in and get my nails made up all pretty and keep them that way until the wedding. You don’t have to go crazy with your hand and nail care, although some may feel the need to go to the extent of the character J.P. Prewitt, the hand model in the movie Zoolander; “I'm a hand model, mama. A finger jockey. We think differently than the face and body boys... we're a different breed”. Might be a bit tricky getting around if your hands are sealed in hyperbaric chambers!
I had a great nail technician in the lead up to my wedding and she pampered my hands every fortnight. In between visits I would slather my hands with hand cream and be careful not to get cuts or grazes. The day before my wedding she did a final touch up and as a treat she embedded little crystals in the nail on my ring finger. My hands looked beautiful!
Next to the wedding gown, your hands – or to be more precise your left hand will be the centre of attention as your guests will want to admire your wedding rings and you will have the photos of your hands entwined with the rings on display so you don’t want dry, split, chipped nails. If you are going to have artificial nails, then you need to allow time for the nails to settle and grow out after the initial application especially if you have short nail beds. I know a fantastic nail artist here in Townsville who has a technique that ‘lengthens’ the nail bed so French tips look more natural as opposed to having the white part sitting further down the nail thus making your fingers look stumpy. The bonus with the artificial nail is that it does not chip or split – they are pretty tough and if looked after properly can last for a while. These are great if, like me at the time worked in a job where long nails were not ideal or if you are a nervous nail biter.
If you are sticking with natural, then you have to be extra vigilant with your nails splitting. Keep a manicure set on hand at all times to deal with the little snags that can occur. If you happen to split a nail and can’t trim it back, I have heard that a slick of clear nail polish over and behind it can help hold it together. File your nail in one direction too – going back and forth with the file can weaken your nail and make it prone to splitting. Also try not to wear dark coloured nail polish a lot as over time it can cause slight discolouration/staining to the nail. Be careful with fake tan too as it can also stain your nails (natural and artificial nails).
Don’t cut your cuticles! I have been told in the past by some great nail artists that it can cause them to grow back thicker and in some cases you could end up with an infected nail bed. Keep your hands moisturised and get hold of good cuticle oil like Solar Oil to massage into your nails of an evening. You want your hands to be soft and polished for your wedding so wear gloves when cleaning and gardening to prevent drying out from cleaning products and callouses from heavy work. Also be wary of cutting or grazing your hands. You don’t want to have bandaids all over your fingers on your special day!
If before your wedding you want to brighten up your natural nails, dip the tips in lemon juice as it will make them whiter then add a slick of clear or soft pink nail polish. If you are going to paint your nails, then have your nail polish and manicure kit on standby before the wedding should the polish chip or smudge. Pink Frosting sell a beautiful bridal manicure kit too!
It is hard work being a bride – you have to really take care of yourself from head to toe, but don’t forget the groom. Book him in for a mani/pedi too. He could probably do with a bit of pampering himself in the lead up to the wedding! By the time you’re set to wed you could pick up jobs as hand models!
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