Ami's Guide to The Most Perfect Red Nails

I aspire to have perfect nails, but somehow - even after the most professional manicure - my polish just two days. But my friend Ami always has the most beautiful, long, red nails. I have never, ever seen even the tiniest chip on her talons, and she does her own manicures. Read her story about being fascinated with red nails and the tips to make them look perfect - All. The. Time.  

"My fascination for nail polish began when I was as little as three. My first vivid memory, that of my mothers hands, short, neat nails, painted a pale silvery pink, subtle albeit elegant. But what was to really impact me happened around the age of five, on one of our summers at the, Viceregal Lodge, Shimla. Here I was introduced Mala, an elegant woman whose lush red nails captured me. 

From then this obsession with nails started and in particular my love story with red nails. Being too young to wear a varnish all the time. My grandmother encouraged me to look after my nails instead. So I, filed regularly, massaged each nail diligently with oil, and pushed my cuticles back — note, pushed cuticles back, not cut or shave — my grandmother always said, if you started this young, the half-moons at the base of your nails would always show, and your cuticles would remain soft, and ladies, is the true sign of beautiful nails. 

While there is a certain luxury to having someone else do your manicure, the perfectionist in me doesn’t allow for that pampering. I choose to do my own, My process far different from your average, I spread my manicure over two days, allowing for the perfect and more importantly long lasting finish. That in itself is another story. 

A few quick tips: Soak your nails in warm water with baking soda, and scrub with a lemon to de-stain. Start with two coats and let it set a day. Now here if you want to get a really smooth salon finish, I am going to recommend the unthinkable, one really thick coat in quick brush strokes. Once set, do the final coat, but only if you really need it, and a top coat. Always a top coat. If you refresh the top coat once a week or twice if your like me, your polish should last at least ten days. Though of course it depends how much you use your hands. I wash dishes sans gloves, and do other household chores and mine at a push last a fortnight. As a fan of natural long nails, I’ll share one last secret, when a nail cracks but the manicure is looking too good to ruin, because honestly lets face it, there’s nothing more tacky than, one or two short nails, and the rest long. Don't fear, take a small piece of tissue, one ply only, and a little superglue, and use it to ‘bandaid’ the crack. Apply a lick of a top coat and voila! your nail should fixed for a bit longer. Be very careful, you don't want to stick your fingers together, or get superglue over your other nails. 

Nails are meant to be fun, a quick way to up a look, so have fun. Stay aware of what works and what doesn’t. Look at yours hands in the sunlight. If your skin looks brighter you got the right shade, if your cuticles look darker, this is not a shade for you."

- By Ami Unnikrishnan

Lead image: Shutterstock