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Manicure Monday: Au Naturale

Manicure Monday: Au Naturale via The Collabor-eightYou might be wondering why my nails aren’t painted here. I put a lot of thought into this week’s Manicure Monday post, but not in the way you’d expect. I have spent countless hours planning the colors, patterns and techniques I use to create a Manicure Monday tutorial each week. But this week – and for a while to follow – my Manicure Monday post is all about natural nails. Wondering why I’m skipping out on polish? Read on.

One of my best friends came to visit me over the weekend and the first thing I noticed was her nails. They were long, beautiful, perfectly shaped – and most importantly, strong. See that picture to the right? Yeah, those are her NATURAL nails. You’re probably wondering, as was I, how they got so beautiful. I asked, “What are you doing to get your nails like that?!” Her response: “Nothing.” She didn’t buff, file, take extra vitamins or slather on cuticle oil. But she also didn’t paint them. She left them alone. As I was sitting there with two broken thumb nails and chipped polish, I knew I needed to try for it.

Manicure Monday: Au Naturale via The Collabor-eightAfter talking at length about nails (I’m sure her boyfriend was really enjoying this riveting conversation), we realized what’s so damaging to my nails – nail polish remover. Never painting her nails meant never using harsh nail polish remover. I consistently paint my nails, and even if I’m using a 3-free polish, I’m still damaging my nails when I remove the polish.

So here’s my plan. I’m aiming for two entire months manicure-free. In reality, I’ll be proud of myself for making it one month. But anyway, the picture at the top? Consider that my “before.” I filed my nails down last night to make sure none of the tips were frayed or damaged – I’m starting fresh. I applied one clear coat of Nail Tek II, a strengthening polish. And that’s it, I’m not removing the polish or filing or buffing. We’ll see how long this lasts!

In the mean time, check back for more Manicure Monday posts throughout my hiatus! I’ll be posting round-ups of my favorite looks, tips on how to prep your nails, and more.

How do you keep your nails healthy & strong? Let us know in the comments!

Check out more of our manicure tutorials:

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About Kathleen Tower

Kathleen is the style editor for The Collabor-eight. She's a 23-year-old true Jersey girl; big hair, bigger heart. Her passion for beauty and makeup started with an internship at Seventeen Magazine and has grown ever since. After graduating from Villanova, she turned her love for Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter into a full-time job as a social media coordinator! When she's not at work, she's browsing everywhere from the Internet to the streets for her own "Manicure Monday" inspiration. She believes that true style comes from a mix of high and low, designer and drugstore, expensive splurges and nearly steals!

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