Something about modeling that should never be forgotten is the importance of a manicure that’s just right. Like your hair, skin, and socials, your hands and nails should be carefully maintained if you’re planning on getting in front of the camera any time soon.  This is especially crucial for product shoots because there’s always a possibility that there will be hand shots or closeups featuring your hands. Not only should you get a manicure before your gigs, but you should also religiously take care of your nails, hands, and cuticles in between trips to the nail bar. You can, of course, always give yourself a manicure at home, but be sure to use high-quality products, and keep in mind that it’s hard to beat a good nail technician. Your nails, while small, are important parts of your presence as a model, so here are the best tips for keeping your hands and nails photoshoot-ready.

1. Color

When you get a manicure, go for a nude color or pass on the polish altogether, unless you have specific instructions from the photoshoot stylist. Any other nail color runs a risk of distracting from sample products or the surrounding aspects of the shoot and could potentially clash with the color schemes picked out by the team or photographer you’re modeling for. Vibrant and neon colors should almost always be avoided; if you really prefer a specific color, be safe and ask your agent, the shoot producer/coordinator, or the photographer about which nail colors and designs are acceptable.

2. Never cut your cuticles

Proper cuticle care is essential. Cutting your cuticles encourages the skin to grow back faster, leaving it sore and prone to bacterial infection. Instead of cutting, use a cuticle remover and gently push them back. You can do this in between your manicures, taking care to also apply a bit of cuticle oil to help moisturize and protect the skin.

3. Always apply a base coat

If you get a professional manicure, they will always apply a base coat. For DIY manicures, never skip the base coat, otherwise your nails can become stained from the polish. This is especially important if you apply a long-lasting color method like gel or acrylic, because these can be damaging to your nail bed over time and upon removal.

4. Products matter

For any type of self-care, the products that you put in and on your body are important. The same goes for nails; cheap polishes and oils can contain chemicals that are harsh on your nails and skin. This is especially important if you get long-lasting manicures like acrylic or dip powder. Be sure to only use brands that are trusted by professionals globally, like SNS, for polishes, powders, gels, and oils.

5. Moisturize

When it comes to hand care, moisturizing is key. This is extremely important for hand models. Applying a high-quality hand lotion on a regular basis will keep the skin looking young and healthy. Pay attention to when your hands need to be moisturized; this will depend on your skin type, oil levels, and physical activity. Typically, great times to moisturize are before bed, after a bath or shower, and after swimming. Pro tip: for deeper moisturization, apply lotion the night before a shoot and sleep with nitrile gloves on. This helps your skin retain moisture, so you wake up with beautiful, radiant skin.

6. Take care of hangnails

Hangnails are those small pieces of skin or cuticle that start to grow away from the nail. Some people get hangnails multiple times a week, and others rarely see them at all. When you spot a hangnail, deal with it right away. Trim it back as close to the nail as possible, trying not to tear any skin. Then apply almond oil or SNS vitamin oil to help it heal back in with the surrounding skin.

7. Speed-heal cuts

If you’re a hand model, you should protect your hands on a daily basis and avoid getting any cuts or scrapes on your hands. However, accidents inevitably happen. When you get a cut, treat it immediately. Apply Sudocrem or another healing ointment three times a day, and it should heal in a couple of days with no scarring. You can also find a recipe for a healing serum online; popular natural healers include grapeseed oil and vitamin E. You can add other natural ingredients to help with consistency, such as pure aloe vera.

8. Wear gloves while cleaning/doing chores

This tip is major for hand models but also works if you just want your manicures to last longer. Dish soap and common cleaning products can contain harsh chemicals that will damage your polish and dry out your skin, such as ammonia, strong acids, and phenol. To protect your hands and your color, always wear thick cleaning gloves when washing the dishes or doing any cleaning around the house.

Modeling can be very challenging, but paying attention to small details, like the appearance of your nails and manicures, can certainly be something that helps you succeed.

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