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December Foot Column
Comfortably Naked

Many people ask me how exactly I get my natural toenails to look so great without polish. As someone who takes a lot of photographs of my feet I have found that taking extra special care of your feet and toenails overall is a great start.

Your fingernails and toenails are a an important part of your body and can actually tell you if you have certain health issues to address. Of course you should always consult a physician if you feel that any of the symptoms suggest illness. You would then need to be officially diagnosed and treated. Here is a little chart of what I have found searching the web!

Nail Appearance Associated Condition
White nails Liver Diseases, such as Hepatitis
Yellowish, thickened, slow-growing nails Lung Diseases, such as Emphysema
Yellowish nails with a slight blush at the base Diabetes
Half-white, half-pink nails Kidney Disease
Red nail beds Heart Disease
Pale or white nail beds Anemia
Pitting or rippling of the nail surface Psoriasis or Inflammatory Arthritis
"Clubbing," a painless increase in tissue around the ends of the fingers, or inversion of the nail Lung Diseases
Irregular red lines at the base of the nail fold Lupus or Connective Tissue Disease
Dark lines beneath the nail Melanoma

Another key point in the care of your nails is the pedicure. There are so many unrealized steps that some skip over. Any good pedicure requires the following basic items: polish remover, cuticle/nail oil, nail file, nail buffer, toenail clippers, orange sticks, cuticle nippers, foot bath (for soaking/cleansing feet), foot soak/wash, nail brush, pumice stone and soft towels. There is also additional items you can add to this list to make your pedicure extra special including various Aromatherapy and Essential Oils, Ped Egg Foot File and Paraffin Wax Bath treatments. Be sure to clean your feet first as best you can. Soaking them in a hot soak for 5-15 minutes helps ease the muscles. This process helps remove dirt but also soothes the skin and gets it ready to be scrubbed and pumiced. This is when you will use the nail brush which will lift dirt from under your nails gently. At the end of this foot bath is when it is most ideal to scrub your soles with the pumice stone to remove any dead or rough skin. Now that the soles are taken care of, the next big step after a bath/soak is the care of the nails themselves. This is where you get to break out the cool tools like nippers, clippers and files. Be sure to trim down your nails now, when they are softest and able to withstand the havoc a pair of clippers can reek. Buffing them is another important step that can help remove any discolorations from previous polish changes and smooth the nail to make the next coat perfect.
I have found that this product, Bubble White is a great way to get the yellow tint off your nails after repeated polish changes. It is an effervescent nail cleaner that takes about 5 minutes and is well worth the time! It requires warm water and your toes! I really like the feeling of all the little bubbles working their magic to lift the dirt!

Most people are aware that calcium is necessary in the formation of the bones and teeth and in maintaining bone density and strength. However, calcium plays a critical role in other important bodily functions as well, such as muscle contraction, nerve function, blood clotting, enzyme function and heart rhythm. Since calcium is so important to the body, low calcium levels can produce a range of problems, with symptoms ranging from mild ones to, in extreme cases, life-threatening health issues.
I never was huge on taking medications and in my search for topical applications and solutions I found other ways to strengthen my nails. I found my solution in a few small bottles offered at a local beauty supply store and all for just under seven bucks. I have tested each and every single thing I am about to suggest and I use them each and every time I do my own pedicures at home!
The first three bottles shown are top coats as well as crucial base coats. The fourth bottle (Rush) is a top coat ONLY and does really take 60 seconds or less to dry completely! It gives a great glossy finish that makes your nails look almost wet continuously and also promotes health in your nails.
L. A. Girl
Calcium Nail Builder
American Classics
Yellow Stopper Top Coat
American Classics
Nail Bright Whitening Gel
60-Second Speed Top Coat
All can be purchased @

My greatest tip I saved for last, GO NAKED A LOT!

Once the nail grows from the matrix it is basically dead. It does not feel and has no blood supply. This is why you can trim your nails as well as your hair and not feel pain. Though your nails do not actually "breathe" it is crucial that you stop abusing them with abrasive chemicals (polishes and removers) for a while if you really want them to be healthy and sexy again. Hide your polish bottles on yourself for a minimum of two weeks! Act like you don't even own a bottle! Constantly applying layers of varnish actually assist in the breakdown of your nails and can be easily a contributing factor for weakness.