Winter Nail Problems & Eyebrow and Eyelash Enhancements

Dear Laurel: My nails seem to crack and break more easily during the winter months. Is there anything I can do to prevent them from breaking?   Melissa ~ Lexington

Dear Melissa: Our nails aren’t necessary for living, but they do provide protection for the tips of the fingers (and toes) and aid in picking up small objects. Without finger nails, we’d have a hard time scratching an itch, untying a knot, manipulating jewelry clasps, as well as a variety of other tasks made easier by our nails.

Nails are an extension of our skin and, similar to our hair, are made of protein called keratin. Nails can be an indicator of a person’s general health, and illness and other factors often affect their growth. In the cold winter months, nails become brittle and weak, often cracking and splitting. This is a result of extremely dry air associated with central heating and low humidity.

Your best bet to help alleviate dry nails and cuticles during these bitter winter months is to apply a cuticle oil, or moisturizing emollient like petroleum jelly, on the nails and cuticles to help hold moisture in. At night, apply a generous layer all over the nails and, if you can stand it, wear cotton gloves to bed in order to maximize absorption. Regular manicures can also help to keep your nails looking their best. Polish helps to protect your nails against harsh weather, so make an appointment with your favorite nail technician, pick a fun color, and watch them grow!

Dear Laurel: My face looks dull and colorless this time of year and I’m not crazy about applying a ton of makeup. What can I do to brighten up my face without having to cake on makeup?   Denise ~ Belmont

Dear Denise: There are two features on your face that can bring out your natural beauty without the use of heavy makeup, your eyebrows and eyelashes.

Your eyebrows are a part of your expression and can make you look happy, sad or angry; all dependent on their shape. If you’re not sure what shape eyebrows would suit you, ask a professional esthetician who has been trained in brow shaping. There is no one style that suits everyone so a professional will look at your bone structure and natural brow shape while determining what would look best on you. Believe it or not, a beautifully shaped eyebrow will transform your face.

Your eyelashes do an incredible job of framing your eyes. Whether you are lacking length or thickness, a good mascara will brighten up your eyes. Take some time to experiment with how you apply your mascara. If you are looking for thicker lashes apply mascara in layers. If you are looking for length but a thinner look, comb out your lashes while the mascara is still wet. Another alternative is eyelash extensions. The process involves adhering single strands of synthetic lashes that are meticulously applied to your own natural lashes creating a dramatic luxurious look.

You could go so far as to say that for a minimal makeup look, you need only do these two things. If you get your eyebrows looking immaculate and apply a good mascara, or treat yourself to lash extensions, your face will come alive. You could leave the rest of your makeup in your cosmetic bag.

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