{Beautiful Bridal Nails By The Time You’re a Bride}

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We’ll go ahead and admit it right here: We’re not nearly as good to our nails as we should be. If you’re like us—prone to nibbling cuticles, peeling snags and generally neglecting, even abusing, our poor, defenseless nails—you’ll be pleased to know that there is still time to change your ways before your big day.

To get your hands in fighting shape for your debut as a bride, you should ideally start training a few months out. That means from here on out, NO washing dishes without wearing gloves; NO picking, peeling or otherwise harassing cuticles or hangnails; NO removing labels or untying knotted stuff or doing other utilitarian chores with your fingernails instead of the appropriate non-fingernail implement.

It also means ALWAYS applying lotion or hand cream after exposing hands to water (you can’t beat
Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream for dry cracked hands, and we love the silky feel and pretty scent of L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream; ALWAYS treating any cracks or snags immediately with judicious clipping and moisturizing; and, whenever possible, getting a regular manicure—even if it’s just to groom and buff natural nails.

For at-home nail conditioning and maintenance, we highly recommend the Nailtiques line—especially the much-beloved Nailtiques Formula 2, with calcium and hydrolyzed keratin. This stuff is a godsend for weak, brittle nails like ours, and for nails damaged by years of acrylics. Apply it exactly according to instructions, and you can expect noticeably stronger nails in about a month.

Stick to a nail regimen like this, and by the time your wedding rolls around, you’ll be able to sport hot, new bridal nail looks like these:

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