Secrets from a Nail Maven

Secrets from a Nail Maven

Behind-the-Scene Secrets from a Nail Maven

For America's top hand models, camera-ready hands and nails are essential to the job. We asked celebrity manicurist Gina Edwards- nail guru for Taylor Swift, Gisele Bundchen & many other famous hands & faces-to share the tips she teaches hand models to keep their "bread & butter" looking flawless…and how your hands and nails can look like a million too!

Wash: No harsh soaps! Wash hands with a mild soap or gentle liquid cleanser and never use hot water.

Sanitize: Hand sanitizer, yes or no? Edwards says models do use it as needed, but they follow up with moisturizer since hand sanitizer can be drying.

Gloves: Vinyl gloves are the hand model's go-to for wet work and most other tasks and chores, and your hands will thank you for wearing them while washing dishes, doing laundry, and more. Cotton gloves are also a hand model's BFF; they wear these inside vinyl gloves so their hands and nails don't get sweaty, and they slip a pair on when vinyl gloves aren't practical (shopping, carrying grocery bags, packing for a trip, folding laundry, you name it).

Cuticles: Keep them in perfect condition with a daily dose of almond oil or vitamin E. Should you cut or nudge? Edwards recommends nudging, or lightly trim if nudging isn't enough. "Most of the time, hand model's cuticles are pushed back and lightly buffed, sloughing excess skin from the nail surface," says Edwards, who suggests using a 280 grit or higher buffer.

Moisturizer: Act like a hand model and religiously apply moisturizer after hand washing or any wet work. It needn't be anything fancy or complex; in fact, hand models tend to use reasonably-priced name brands that absorb quickly and moisturize well. It's a good idea to occasionally nourish hands with a deep moisturizing treatment like KISS Hand & Nail Mask Gloves, or wear olive oil and cotton gloves to bed.

Anti-aging: It's important to protect hands from fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, discoloration and other signs of aging, before it happens. Although it's not practical for everyone, hand models rarely expose their hands to direct sunlight, and they wear sunscreen with SPF 70 or higher when outdoors or driving/riding in a car.

Manicure: Hand models need to sit through frequent manicures for work, and they have to be ready to instantly change their nail color, length or shape, depending on the job. For this, KISS acrylic nails, fake nail tips or imPRESS Press-on Nails are saviors!

Trick of the trade: For a photograph or to temporarily hide noticeable veins, keep your hands in an upright position. This keeps the circulation away from the hands and voila…the veins aren't noticeable.

So if you follow these tips and get in the habit of wearing gloves, make moisturizing your mantra and treat your hands with the same TLC you do your face, your hands will always be ready for a close-up!