5 Tricks for Making Your Nails Look Great Without Polish

Natasha Burton
clean nails

Nadya Lukic/E+/Getty

With the crazy low temps happening these days, the last thing we want to do is sit for an hour in a chilly nail salon. (It really takes away from the time we’d rather spend curled up by the fire, you know?)

But winter weather is no friend to nails and cuticles, leaving nail beds and surrounding skin cracked, dry, and so not sexy. Clearly, something has to be done.

So, how do you make your nails look fab without getting yourself to the salon? We consulted Paintbox manicurist Julie Ventura for her top tips on how to get fab fingers.

Protect your digits.

Always wear gloves or mittens when walking outside in this cold, dry winter weather. This will protect your nails from becoming dry and brittle, and even helps prevent hangnails that happen from dry, cracking skin around the nails.

MORE: 5 Tricks For Dealing With Peeling Nails

Be mindful of shape.

This is so not the time for the pointy nails of last season. Because of drying weather, nails tend to break more easily. Try a rounder shape to eliminate the risk of square corners breaking.

Oil up.

Use a cuticle oil—like CND Solar Oil or Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Oil—daily to keep your nail beds and the surrounding skin moisturized and healthy. This will keep your nails flexible, so they’ll bend slightly rather than breaking.

MORE: Pastel Nail Polish Shades For a Light, Polished Look

Keep the clippers handy.

If you do end up with hangnails, clip them before they cause a problem. Never ever pull or peel hangnails, this will cause live skin to tear and bleed! (Yuck.)

Watch out for sneaky moisture stealers.

Winter is also codename for flu season and while we all attempt to avoid germs, overusing alcohol-based hand sanitizers can seriously dry out our hands and nails. Simply washing your hands is much more effective, and try massaging in a bit of hand lotion—try L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream—after washing to replenish that lost moisture.