Simple tricks for healing damaged nails
Note to self: Always apply a base coat.
Tenoverten

Manicures are great and all, but truth be told, a weekly polish change can give your delicate nails a pretty harsh beating. Here, four tips to keep them healthy:

If your nails are stained First of all, you should always start with a base coat--we’re fans of Tenoverten The Foundation ($18). But to truly banish stains, mix 1 tablespoon baking soda with ½ teaspoon olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Rub the mixture onto your nails, let it sit for five minutes and--voilà!--crystal clear.

If your nails are cracked Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment ($18) looks like polish, but it’s actually a special formula that helps conceal flaws while allowing your nails to breathe (i.e., come back to life). Use it instead of polish for a week and your nails will be less likely to break.

If your nails are weak Soak your fingertips in olive oil for ten to 15 minutes every day for a month. Seems cumbersome, but if you keep a bottle on your kitchen counter and dip while watching TV, the process is quite painless.

If your nails are bumpy Buff ’em! Buffing your nails not only creates a smooth surface but also stimulates nail growth by increasing blood flow. Pick up a buffing block ($2), use the rough side to smooth bumps and the flat side to make your nails oh so shiny. Your digits will look so good, you may even (finally) nix the polish.