As much as we love nail art, we’re better at admiring designs than coming up with them ourselves. That’s why we’ve enlisted Anna Norman, the smarty pants behind Glitter, She Wrote, to be a regular contributor. Every Monday, she’ll be sharing her latest lacquer inspiration—you won’t be satisfied with plain ol’ polish again.
I’m all about New Year’s Resolutions this year. In addition to the rest of my list (eat more greens, run a half marathon, tidy up my apartment each night), I’m adding a few beauty-related goals for 2013. I put my nails through a lot during the year, so it’s time to give them a little TLC. Here are three things I’m doing this year to make it up to my fingers:
1. Use 3-free and 5-free polish lines as much as possible.
Have you seen the “3-free” label on a bottle of nail polish and wondered what it means? Many lacquer lines have said goodbye to three harmful polish ingredients—dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde. What’s even better? 5-free polishes are starting to hit the market. These formulas are made without formaldehyde resin, which can cause skin reactions, and camphor, which can cause irritation, nausea, dizziness, and headaches in large doses. I paint my nails several times a week, so to be a little more health-conscious, I’ll be boosting my collection with brands like RGB, Zoya, and ten over ten.
2. Take a Hair/Skin/Nails or Biotin supplement.
Brittle, weak, or splitting nails are common, and they really hinder the pursuit of a great manicure. Biotin, which is a B vitamin, can strengthen and improve nail quality. A study in Switzerland found that patients who took a Biotin supplement saw a 25% increase in nail plate thickness. You can find Biotin in supplement form, or increase your consumption of foods like milk, poultry, egg yolks, nutritional yeast, bananas, and cauliflower.
3. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
I love glitter polish and a speedy removal process too much to give up my acetone-based remover, but I certainly don’t love the dry skin and ragged cuticles that come along with it. Luckily, the solution is simple: a good hand cream applied liberally throughout the day. I’ll be keeping a tube of Alessandro Cream Rich, which includes nourishing sunflower oil, plus the soothing J.R. Watkins Hand & Cuticle Salve in my purse at all times. I’ve even been experimenting with DIY versions of hand creams and salves by combining simple ingredients like cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, and sweet almond oil.
Another mani resolution that we have for this year? Trying more nail art! Which is why we created this exclusive Birchbox + Color Club Nail Art Kit.