Today I am watching a Taiwanese TV show which brings up a good point. Hands and feet show age the fastest. Oftentimes, we are so caught up in taking care of our face that we forget about our extremities!
Personally, I went through a crazy hand phase and read up a lot on hand and nail care ^^; Then of course I went and forgot all about it, but I do still pay attention to my hands and nails a lot. Lolitas often have extravagant nails, and the chemicals used in making such nail art can be damaging over time.
Some quick tips on hand and nail care:
1) Always Moisturize Your Hands
After every washing, use some lotion. Wear gloves to protect your hands when doing dishes or household cleaning. Those chemicals are harsh!
I always use a beeswax hand lotion produced in my state. It is natural and local!
Vaseline is also a good thing to use. Rub Vaseline on your hands before bed, put on a pair of cotton gloves, and wake up to wonderfully soft hands!
2) Scrub Your Nails Once a Week
Using a nail brush or a children's toothbrush, scrub some soap, and then brush your cuticles, your nail bed, and under your nails. If your nails are pretty bad, do this every day for two weeks to get rid of the dead cuticle and encourage blood circulation, and then only once a week from then on. I do this in the shower so it is not messy at all~
3) DO NOT Use Your Nails as Tools!
Nails =/= Claws. They are much more fragile! Use tools to do things like cut tape off of packages, pry things open, etc. If your nails are very long, it may take some getting used to. Keep your fingers curled back towards yourself when reaching for things so you don't hit your nails. Use your knuckles to get creams and lotions out of pots to avoid getting it underneath. Scratch a bar of soap before working on something messy like painting, clay, or the garden. The soap will prevent anything getting under your nails and will wash out easily!
4) Take Care of Your Cuticles
Cuticle oil or cuticle butter can be a big help if your hand lotion is not enough. I use Burt's Bees cuticle cream because it is mostly natural and has a pleasant lemon scent. Cuticle cream can also help to protect your nails from drying out. In a pinch, chapstick can actually work too!
Remember to never cut your cuticles off. They are essential for keeping germs out from under your skin. If your cuticles are getting hard, try the nail brush scrubbing for two weeks and moisturizing to rehydrate and grow new, healthy cuticles. They can be soaked in warm water for 5 minutes and then gently pushed back. If you push too hard or cut them, they can become irritated and turn red and ugly!
5) DO NOT Bite Your Nails!
This should be common sense! Apart from the germs under there, it is not attractive (neither the action nor the result) and not Lolita at all. If you have a nail-biting habit, try giving yourself a manicure and painting pretty designs on your nails. This way, you will notice your nail colors and be able to stop yourself from biting. Or if you DO bite, the nasty flavor of the nail polish will remind you not to. Chewing gum or keeping your hands busy are also good ways to help curb the nasty habit
Hopefully in the future I will be able to do a manicure write-up. For now, here are your hands and nail tips!