New Delhi: Bored of the regular nail polish? May be it’s time to give your nails a shimmering effect. Try nail art; it is the latest trend in the market for college girls and even grown ups.

Colleges are about to begin. Enthusiastic students are all geared up for their new academic year. New clothes, shoes, bags, funky jewellery and umbrellas-that completes your college wish list. But when you deck up for the first day of your college, do not ignore something very important — nails.

Most girls avoid working on their nails, and try to keep them short and clean. But with very little effort, your nails can get you a lot of attention! And if your excuse has been breaking nails, try some artificial nails. You can find them in the market, and need not take efforts to embellish them specially, as they come decorated in a wide range of colours and designs available.

But for all those who believe in the DIY 'funda', here are some tips to keep your nails beautified:

French Manicure

Most ladies go for French manicures, as they look simple, yet classy. A French manicure is done at most parlours for minimal rates. You can try the art by yourself at home by following the simple procedure:

First clean your hands and nails, till they are completely spotless. Use a clipper to cleanse them. Try to keep your nails medium and not too long. Give them a rounded shape.

The next step would be to paint your nails with a base colour. Then polish your tips with white.

Finally, apply a transparent colour on the rest of the portion, and you get a French manicure done, just by sitting at home.

Besides, nail extensions are also available in markets for Rs 50, but they do not stay for long.

Neetu from Stylo says, "The gel extensions are trendy, and most college girls opt for it. But the acrylic ones appear more natural, and last longer."

Says Sunita Motwani Makhija, the director of the Schnell Hans Salons and Spa Academy, "The kind of art depends on what the occasion is. Women go for more flashy art when there is a wedding, while simpler ones for college. The art also depends on theme. For instance, on Valentine's Day, we draw hearts."
The salons first put the nail polish and then go ahead with the design. It is a long procedure of about an hour, if the designs demand a 3D effect. The art on the natural nails last for about a week. But the artificial ones can last for two-three weeks, as there is some topcoat on them.

Cost:

There are two ways to go ahead with nail art, one can go for acrylic and gel extensions. Nail extensions are best done at parlours. The ones that you get in the stores are not, and last only for one use. A nail art could cost you anything around Rs 2000 to Rs 3000, says Neetu Saluja from Stylo.

Sunita says, "Art on natural nails do not cost much, but if one is opting for artificial nails, then the cost would be more, as special acrylic powders and gel are used to stick the nails."

Care to be taken

One should take care that while eating food, the nails do not yellow, or that food does not settle in them.

As long as the extensions remain, one cannot wash clothes or utensils; you can only do light work.

Women should take care that they do not disturb the art, especially on the artificial nails, as the nails would scrape and give pain, says Neetu.

Sunita feels that more care should be taken if crystals and diamonds are used, as they may fall off while doing some household work.

Keep your nails smooth and strong

*    Put nail polish in the freezer, as it makes the polish smoother

*    White iodine and castor oil smoothen cuticles

*    Most girls face the problem of brittle nails; an effective solution for it would be petroleum jelly

*    While filing nails, first file the sides and then go on the centre. Never file nails back and forth, as they make nails brittle.
 
*    While trimming your nails, give them a rounded shape, as nails looks slender.

*    Calcium rich foods should be consumed in greater quantities for those suffering from the problem of brittle nails

*    If you apply vinegar on the nails before putting polish, it tends to remain for more time

(Courtsey-City Plus)