Beauty Monday: Taking care of nails

Every week Road Warriorette features a beauty tip or product that makes traveling easier. Do you have a favorite? Send it to 5-11-14-3RoadWarriorette @

Traveling can be so hard on your nails! Whether it’s maneuvering your suitcase, grabbing things out of your briefcase, or just general wear and tear, regular travel can reduce a beautiful manicure to ruin. I had a short travel hiatus of a few weeks in April and my nails grew into long and lovely shape. The minute I hit the road, nail after nail has broken. What gives?

After some research, here are some ways to keep your nails in fighting shape:

Keep ‘em short. As tempting as it is to leave my nails long, before trips it’s better if I shorten them. That way there’s less chance of one breaking badly. As long as they’re groomed, short nails can look great.

Clear coat. Using a clear strengthening coat regularly like Essie’s All In One. Not only will your nails look nicer, they will be protected from a lot of the damage that travel inflicts on nails.

Clip, not file. For some people, filing works great. Not me. Filing breaks my nails, but using small clippers helps them stay strong, not thin. Now I keep nail clippers in my toiletry bag at all times, so if one breaks I can repair it immediately.

Shellac or gel nails. The last time this problem came up, readers recommended trying a manicure with gel nails or shellac. I don’t really do manicures, but people seem to love the heck out of shellac. Everyone swears it will last for 2-3 weeks without chipping.

Vitamins. The best my nails ever looked was when I was taking prenatal vitamins. If that’s not your thing, there are plenty of hair-skin-nail vitamins out there.

Readers, how do you protect your nails during travel?

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  1. I always go the shellac/no-chip manicure route. You really do get 2+ weeks, no matter the color, and I’ve never had a nail break. (And I can open all the soda/beer cans I want! ;-)) The down side is that repeated no-chips seemed to make my nails thinner overall, so I just plan on a no-chip before travel and go regular in between. I bring a nail file with me when I travel for emergencies, but that’s it. Love your blog!

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