Remove old nail polish with a single stroke by soaking a cotton wool pad with nail polish remover. Wipe away traces of polish around the cuticles stick dipped in remover.
Using an emery board, shape nails lightly, working from both edges towards the centre. Avoid moving the board back and forth quickly, which produces heat that dries out the nail and leads to splitting. Try holding the emery board at a single angle under the nail. Don't file down the sides- the nail tip needs the sides as support, otherwise it will weaken and nicks form.
Apply a cuticle remover around the nail contours. Using the tip of a cuticle stick wrapped in cotton wool, gently push back the skin. Work away dead tissue before carefully passing the stick under cuticles.
Wash your hands in warm soapy water, and brush nails with a soft manicure brush so that polish will adhere to them properly. Pat hands dry with a towel.
If nails are weak, apply a strengthening or hardening product, paying special attention to the tips. Allow to dry.
Apply a protective base coat, covering the entire nail but stopping short of the cuticle.
Apply two coats of polish, starting with a single stroke down the center of the nail, then across the cuticle base and down the two sides without touching the cuticle. Allow each coat to dry.
Finish with a top coat for extra gloss and the shield against chipping.
For optimum skin and nail health, check that your diet includes plenty of vitamin A, E and B complex, and the minerals calcium, Zinc, magnesium and iodine. If need be, take nail-fortifying vitamin and minerals supplements.