Beautiful nails require care and attention. A short nail, cut straight across the top is the latest trend. But how does one get gorgeous nails?

Any beauty store will have all the supplies needed, or you can order nail polish online.

The first step is for the hands and nails to be clean. Use a mild hand soap and a nail brush to get gunk out from underneath the nails. If cuticles (the bits of skin at the bottom of the nail) are long, push them back very gently. Any loose skin at the side of the fingertip should be trimmed with sharp scissors.

File nails when the white part is about 1/4 inch long. Having nails that are longer than the base pink part is a surefire way to make them break easily, but filing them before they grow out 1/4 inch can weaken them. File from the corner to the center.

Filing nails properly involves short, quick strokes starting with a rougher file and eventually moving down to a less abrasive one, until the nails are smooth.

After the nails are filed, buff them. Beginning at the cuticle, work toward the tip with medium pressure. Continue until all ridges on the nail are smoothed out.

Before applying nail polish, clean off any lotion or old polish. Be sure nails are dry.

Always use a base coat and let it dry for at least one minute. Doing this will make the polish last longer and keeps polish from chipping.

Nail Polish should be applied in two coats, letting it dry for several minutes between each coat. If nails are still wet when the second coat is applied, it could snag on the bottom layer and will not adhere as well. Darker shades take longer to dry.

Quick Tip: How to make your nail polish dry faster

Once the nails have been painted and are dry, apply a clear top coat to keep them looking fresh and shiny. It also protects the polish.

To take the best care of your nails , avoid harsh chemicals. Instead of using an acetone-based nail polish remover, pick up a gentler product in the beauty store. Following these nail care tips will result in a lifetime of healthy, beautiful nails.

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