Everyone loves a glossy nail but if party season saw you rock a different nail effect at every occasion you need to take a step back and go au naturel for now.
The first issue you might be faced with is that not-so-nice yellow nail plate (a side effect of all those dark wintery colours) but it's is only going to get worse the more polish you layer on, so start working on that stain removal.
"There are two ways to get rid of that yellow tinge," explains Jess Hoffman, Sally Hansen's go-to pro. "Dip your nails in lemon juice and water which will help naturally lift the stain away or mix together a paste of baking soda and water then rub it into your nail beds. It's like a detoxifying scrub."
Squeaky clean? Next you need to size them up. If your nails split at the ends or are prone to chipping then you're probably not filing them into the right shape for you. Rounded ends are the strongest as they're less flimsy while stiletto nails are the weakest because they have a smaller surface area, which means they're more prone to snapping. Squoval is a good compromise and while any length goes, a natural nail looks best kept short.
As well as the nail, it's the skin around it that needs some attention before you launch into next season's nudey nail trend.
"For Spring/Summer, it's your nails but better. Nudes with a hint of shimmer or gloss so the light can reflect upwards off the nail giving an almost cellophane effect," reveals nail guru, Marian Newman. "But for that you need to have healthy skin and a nice manicure. The condition of the nail is just as important as what you're putting on them!"
Hand moisturisers will go some way in helping but for serious nail maintenance, cuticle oils win hands down every time. Rub one in and around the edges of your nail every day (try keeping one on your desk!) and within a week you'll notice any brittleness starting to disappear.
"I always use a cuticle oil on hand models half an hour before they go on camera," continues Jess. "They can really help to give nails a crazy plumping effect!"
If you're really getting into your nail rehab, you could stop here and simply apply a clear treatment that strengthens and protects your nail plates but still adds a subtle sheen. Or, if you simply cannot succumb to a month without colour, start the spring trend early and paint on a peachy nude to enhance your natural nail colour. Then stop. This really isn't the time for confetti-flecked nails.
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