Our abuelas grew up in a time before you could find a beauty bar for your hair next to one for your skin next to one for your nails, which means we've inherited some of the cheapest and most effective DIY beauty tips from them. For my abuela, nails were a particular point of pride. She always had long, strong nails that she would only paint with clear nail polish as to not damage them. But that wasn't her only secret. Below are some tips on how to strengthen, smooth, and grow the nails you've always dreamed of.
1. Put garlic in your nail polish.
Honestly, second to Vicks VapoRub, garlic is the solution for everything. If you put it in your tea, it'll help fight a cold or stomach problems. If you put it in your clear nail polish (we mean literally put it in the bottle and let the varnish absorb it) your nails will be stronger.
2. Rub olive oil on your nails.
Have you ever noticed that many of our grandma's beauty tips revolve around things that are found in the kitchen? Talk about resourceful. Abuelas say that all you need to do for good nail beds is rub your nails with a bit of olive oil.
3. Smashed avocados keep your nails tough.
Guac may be extra at Chipotle, but it doesn't matter to abuela as long as it is for your cuticle health. The avocados that make up your guac are the same avocados you should smash up and use to smooth out your cuticles.
4. A mask of olive oil, aloe vera, and honey keeps your nails from breaking.
Olive oil and honey are both staples in abuela's kitchen. She uses them to cook, cure colds and also make sure that everyone in her family has the smoothest, strongest nails. Mix a dab of each olive oil, aloe vera and honey in a small bowl, dip your nails in, and let the magic happen.
5. Make Vaseline your friend.
This is a little less DIY and a little more "your grandma's Glossier equivalent." The same way that you put Glossier's balm dot com ($12) on any dry surface in your body, your grandma swears by Vaseline ($4) to soften cuticles and improve overall nail health.
6. Mix sugar, olive oil, and lemon juice for hydration.
This may sound like the beginning of a very strange recipe, but it's actually an exfoliating and hydrating tip abuelas have passed on for decades. Place some sugar on your hands, add a bit of olive oil and lemon juice, and then rub the mix on your hands as you would any other lotion. After you rinse, apply a hydrating lotion and you'll have supersoft hands and cuticles.
7. Wear rubber gloves.
Grandma's biggest tip: Always, always, always wear rubber gloves when you do the dishes. My nails could actually make her proud or leave me listening to a very long lecture on why I should take care of my hands better.