5 expert tips for healthy, beautiful nails at home

Celebrity manicurist Tom Bachik shares his easiest hacks to get salon-worthy nails (without the salon prices).

L'Oréal Paris global nail designer Tom Bachik.

L’Oréal Paris nail artist Tom Bachik.


Tom Bachik calls himself the “MAN”icurist. The L’Oréal Paris global nail designer has been doing Jennifer Lopez’s nails for seven years, and Victoria Beckham, LeAnn Rimes and Eva Longoria are also clients. We sat down with him to chat fall nail trends (for colour, it’s deep, rich, royal tones like plums and blues; for art, it’s still all about the negative space mani), celebrities with the nicest nails (Heidi Klum!) and his top tips and easy hacks for achieving healthy, beautiful nails at home.


1. Condition your nails in the shower

“Take a washcloth with a little bit of hair conditioner and just rub your cuticles — this will help exfoliate the dead skin cells so that your cuticles stay clean, tight and pushed back.”

2. Cleanse with rubbing alcohol before polishing

“The problem with nail polish removers is that they usually contain moisturizers such as lanolin and oils, and, if left on the nail prior to polishing, these moisturizers will actually cause the polish not to adhere as well. I recommend using rubbing alcohol to cleanse the nail first — 70 percent is fine, but 90 percent is better — and you’ll find that you’ll get much better wear.”

9 outrageous mani-pedi colour combos to try now

3. Remember: Two thin coats

“A lot of people put on one big coat of colour and the polish is so thick that it takes a long time to dry. Apply your first thin coat, then let it dry for about a minute [before applying your second].”

4. Make the most of your drying time

“An easy thing to do during the two-minute wait before you apply your top coat is to take an old eyeliner or lip liner brush and remover and clean up around your cuticles. Top coats are designed to dry faster than polish, so if you don’t wait the two minutes it’ll dry and trap in the solvents — that’s why 30 minutes later you can dent or smudge your polish.”

5. Rub on an oil at night

“Use a cuticle (or face) oil on polished nails before bed. It’ll keep the polish more flexible so it wears much longer.”


Gwyneth Paltrow on natural beauty, nontoxic lube and beauty tips from her mom
Faux freckles are the latest anti-aging makeup trick
Style Real Talk: How to pull off flats for a party

Get Chatelaine in your inbox!

Our very best stories, recipes, style and shopping tips, horoscopes and special offers. Delivered every weekday morning.