The Perfect Manicure & Pedicure at Home

Airdate: 2/14/12

Cozy up with our tips for an at-home mani/pedi with nail expert Jaime Schrabeck! Discover the best products to use and how to take the best care of your nails whether at the salon or at home.

Paula Begoun: Hello, I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop. And I'm here keeping you beautifully informed. We have Jaime Schrabeck who owns a nail salon, Precision Nails, down in Carmel, California. So, let's talk to Jaime. Jaime, teach us all about our nails. Jaime, are you there?
Jaime Schrabeck: I'm here.
Paula Begoun: How are you? Are you doing okay this evening?
Jaime Schrabeck: I am doing very well.
Paula Begoun: You are the nail everything.
00:00:33 You are the nail expert. You are going to help us learn what we need to know about taking care of our nails. We are turning all of our problems over to you. And the first one I have to ask, because I think it was one of our Facebook friends asked us to ask you what to do about yellow nails. And, you know, you see all kinds of things on the internet recommending these.
00:01:02 One was soaking your fingers in lemon juice. I'm thinking, "Ouch, darn, you got a hang nail or any cuticle cut, that is going to burn!" And lemon doesn't bleach anything. I thought, "What a strange recommendation." So, what do you do about when nails are yellow, and we are not talking about fungus? Obviously you have to rule out fungus infection.
00:01:26 What's your steps for that?
Jaime Schrabeck: Right. So if you are looking at a healthy nail, I would want to know more about what the client typically does with their nails, if they are wearing polish, typically, and don't wear a base coat, or perhaps they are not wearing a very good quality base coat, it is possible that the pigment in their color polish may be penetrating the top layers of nail plate, and staining the nail.
Paula Begoun: Ah.
Jaime Schrabeck: Another possibility - and it is always good to ask people questions - and we have had this with clients in our salon before, we have had clients who peel oranges with their hands.
Paula Begoun: Right.
Jaime Schrabeck: A tangerine.
Paula Begoun: Is there another way to do that?
00:02:05 Oh, you are saying that the orange rind stains the nails?
Jaime Schrabeck: Yes. It is absolutely possible. Food items can stain the nail. When you look at, like if you cook an artichoke - I love artichokes this time of year - but you look at the water after it is cooked, it is like that green color. If you are handling food, it can stain your nails. So, those are the kind of questions that you need to ask to find out what kind of products the client is using on their nail, or what kinds of chemicals and other things that they are into on a regular basis.
Paula Begoun: So your nails are yellow, and you are going to be better about wearing gloves to keep your fingers out of the -
00:02:45 And maybe you get a better base coat.
Jaime Schrabeck: Absolutely.
Paula Begoun: And you will make some recommendations. But I have done everything I can do, and particularly my red nail polish, the deeper red nail polishes seep through, and I have yellow nails. Anything I can do to get rid of it?
Jaime Schrabeck: What you can do is you can lightly buff the top surface of the nail plate with a very find grit file. You are not taking a lot of thickness from the nail plate.
00:03:13 You are not over-thinning it. But you are just lightly removing the very top surface to reveal the nail fills underneath that haven't been stained.
Paula Begoun: And how do you feel - one of the other kind of little cute recommendations that I actually found intriguing, because it kind of makes sense to me, is to soak your nails for a minute in hydrogen peroxide, you know, the $0.89 brown bottle you can buy at the drugstore.
00:03:41 What do you think of that?
Jaime Schrabeck: You can try that. I'm not a big advocate of soaking your nails in anything, because I think that your nails are better off, and they are certainly stronger when they are not wet. There are products that you can purchase, and I can't say that I can recommend any with any confidence, because I don't have as much experience with particular products.
00:03:59 But there are products in the marketplace that are applied with a felt tip applicator onto the nail plate that have ingredients in it that are meant to bleach out that nail surface. Maybe that is something I need to do more research on, because...
Paula Begoun: Well, 3% hydrogen peroxide in that brown bottle would bleach a very surface layer, much like hair, because hair and nails actually have more in common. You know, people think calcium/bones, you know calcium makes your nails healthier, but nails and bones, that would be like taking calcium to make your hair thicker. Nails and hair are actually almost identical in form many ways.
00:04:43 And, right, hydrogen peroxide bleaches your hair. It should, technically, do the same for your nails. But you are right; you would be soaking in it. But, yes, that was actually - I have got to experiment on that because I do have that problem sometimes where my nails -
Bryan Barron: Hey Jaime.
Jaime Schrabeck: Hi Bryan.
Bryan Barron: Hey. I wanted to ask a quick question.
00:05:03 I'll bet that many of our listeners are wondering about this. Based on the research that you have done, are there any oral supplements that you have seen good research on, showing that they actually do help the nails to become healthier - like [tree] oils?
Jaime Schrabeck: We are not talking about [gelatin]?
Bryan Barron: No, no. None of the gimmicky stuff like gelatin. Actual bona fide nutrients, B vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, that type of thing.
Jaime Schrabeck: The only product that I have heard anything remotely promising would be Biotin.
Bryan Barron: That has come up before over the years.
Jaime Schrabeck: And other than that, we owe our healthy nails primarily through our genes. And beyond that is how we take care of them.
00:05:55 Some people are just blessed with stronger nails naturally. And they don't need as much work. And others of us have to have a little help.
Desiree Stordahl: I have a question for you, Jaime.
Jaime Schrabeck: Yes, Desiree.
Desiree Stordahl: And this comes from our fan, Jan, on Facebook. And she said, "For a few years now I have had one nail with a vertical ridge down the center that splits at the end up to where it hurts. Is there anything that can fix this?
Jaime Schrabeck: Given that that person has had that condition for awhile, I would say it is likely to be permanent, and it is likely that at some point in the past she damaged her nail at the matrix, at the base, where the nail plate actually formed.
00:06:34 And if that ridge is there, that means it is going to be a weak spot in the nail. That is why at the point that it is at, her free edge is splitting. The best recommendation I can give her is that she should consider having an artificial nail product applied to that nail only, just to cover that and to reinforce it. It is like a crack in a foundation. It is never going to go away completely, but it can be covered so that it doesn't split and become painful.
Paula Begoun: So, you know, it is interesting. When I was a very young girl I slammed two of my fingers in a school - a big heavy school door. And ever since that, those two nails grow damaged: one splits, and the other one kind of cracks off at a particular point.
00:07:19 I remember young, before I knew what I know now, doing everything I could imagine to try to fix it. And eventually I learned that nothing fixes it, that it is much like anything else - it is a permanent damage to the nail plate, just like Jaime is saying. But in that regard, you know it's funny, you mentioned about strengthening the nail with an artificial nail, because then it is covered, it is protected, it is not going to split off. But what about all of those nail strengtheners on the market? The ones with calcium, and the ones with gelatin.
00:07:57 I mean, they come with a horde of ingredients. Vitamins. I keep thinking of calcium. But what about those? Sally Hansen must launch new ones, and have dozen lined up at the drugstore.
Jaime Schrabeck: And I can understand why, because I think most women in particular would like to achieve beautiful nails naturally. And would not necessarily to have to maintain artificial nails. And so I can understand the appeal of those kinds of products, but typically what they do is they contain ingredients that effectively dehydrate the nail, and make them more brittle.
00:08:36 So, a nail that is becoming more brittle may seem stronger, but over time if the nail becomes overexposed to a product like that, it is possible that they can become so brittle that they would just end up snapping instead, and that is another issue, where there is not enough moisture content in the nail for flexibility.
Paula Begoun: So, one of the products I am looking at from Sally Hansen - there is just such an array - Marine Minerals, blue Algae and protein - pearl protein. It can't just be any protein. It has to be from pearls.
00:09:07 And coral calcium. This is the new hardening formula that they are currently advertising. Any thoughts about those ingredients?
Jaime Schrabeck: Did you say calcium?
Paula Begoun: I said coral calcium. Not just any calcium. I'm sorry, it is coral calcium.
Bryan Barron: And then pearl power.
Paula Begoun: Coral is actually an environmental - you shouldn't take coral. But, yes, pearl protein and blue algae, and marine [calcium]. Sorry.
Jaime Schrabeck: That taps into a number of things. I think it taps into the myth, and we discussed this previously, that the nails are somehow related to calcium. And we know like hair they are made of keratin. So, I think that sort of makes people think that somehow that is going to make their nails as strong as bones, when we know that is not the case.
00:09:54 And I think that in order to patent these formulas, they have to throw in different ingredients from other manufacturer's products to make it unique. And it sounds like marketing to me.
Paula Begoun: It does like marketing. One of my complaints - oh, let me ask you a question. Do you have...I have so many questions for you, Jaime. By the way, just for our listeners, we are talking to Jaime Schrabeck who - am I pronouncing your last name right, Jaime?
Jaime Schrabeck: Yes you are.
Bryan Barron: Yay! We were debating.
Paula Begoun: Jaime owns a nail salon in Carmel, California called Precision Nails.
00:10:35 She has a Ph.D. in Education. She is educating us tonight. Everything you need to know about nails. You can also visit Jaime on her blog. Jaime, what is the link? Your website is
Jaime Schrabeck: That is the best place to reach me. I am so busy writing articles for the Stylist newspapers that I don't have time to update my blog. And when I do update it, it tends to be more substantive.
00:11:02 So there is great information on the blog, but you can get to it through That is the best way to get great information about nail care.
Paula Begoun: Okay. So, Jaime, I'm always wondering about - I mean, I must buy cuticle clippers like some women buy shoes. I am always looking for the next best cuticle clipper. I wouldn't say I am disappointed, but either I get one that is too sharp, and I am literally committing suicide, slicing into my cuticles too steep, or it is too dull.
00:11:40 What about that? What are your know, is Tweezerman the way to go? Just pick up the Revlon one that is hanging on the wall at the drugstore? What do you recommend?
Jaime Schrabeck: Well this is a great question, because cuticles are one of those things that actually few manicurists know how to discuss accurately enough, because we don't learn exactly what cuticle is when we are in beauty school, unfortunately.
00:12:05 The fact of the matter is that cuticle, as we should know it, is actually dead skin that is attached to the nail plate. It is not the live tissue surrounding the nail structure that we think of when we get a hang nail, and it hurts, and it bleeds. That is not cuticle. And so, when we are doing a manicure service as professionals, and we are pushing back the dead skin, that shouldn't hurt.
00:12:31 And that can be gently removed and not cause anyone any problems. And so if you are finding that in working with your cuticles and the skin surrounding your nail that you are having problems, then there are certain steps, and certain tools, that will help you achieve a nice, clean nail plate without causing you any injury. What I would like you to do though is think of your nail plate as if it were a piece of glass, and that cuticle as if it were stickers on the glass.
00:12:58 Rather than using something dull, like a birch wood stick to push it back and chisel away at it, I would rather you use something sharp. And one of the best things you can do is actually use a cuticle softener, or we can actually even call it a remover, because we want that dead skin off the nail plate, to actually break down the dry skin before we push it back. And then only after that happened would we need to pick up a pair of nippers.
00:13:25 And as far as actual recommendations, cuticle removers tend to come either like in an alkaline, or an acidic formulation. I happen to like ones that are alkaline, that contain a very mild formulation with potassium hydroxide in them. My favorite right now is from VB Cosmetics. The owner of the company happens to be the chemist. And it is just called cuticle remover. But you apply that and let it sit there for about thirty seconds, and then you push back your cuticle with something actually sharp.
Paula Begoun: So, I'm sorry, just so it is called Cuticle Remover?
Jaime Schrabeck: It is called Cuticle Remover.
Paula Begoun: It is from ZD?
Jaime Schrabeck: It is like Very Beautiful. VB.
Paula Begoun: Oh, VB.
00:14:08 And do you know what the website for this company is? So if our listeners want to go buy this cuticle remover you are recommending, because I know I do.
Jaime Schrabeck: I will send you some, Paula. It is And their site is not typically set up to handle consumers. So it may be better once you log on there to actually call their number. And I will find that number for you.
00:14:39 But I would suggest you apply that. It takes a very little amount. You don't want to apply it directly to any broken skin, because like any of these kinds of chemicals that are meant to break down dry skin, if you apply it to broken skin, it may end up stinging, and we don't want that to happen. But I would recommend that you use rather a sharp too, and just gently scrape back the dead skin once the cuticle remover has done its job.
00:15:04 And the product that I like to use for that is a tool from Mehaz which is one of the premier tool manufacturers in the world. They are manufactured in Germany. And they are distributed here in the states. And the Mehaz product, the pusher, will gently push back that dead cuticle. You can wipe away the residue before you pick up your nippers, because you don't want to start cutting away if you can't see exactly what you need to trim.
00:15:30 If you have used a good cuticle remover, and a great pusher, there should be very little nipper work that you have to do. And as far as nippers go, my favorite tool, and I have used it from the beginning of my career, is the Mehaz, the style number is 777. It is a cobalt stainless cuticle nipper, manufactured in Solingen, Germany, so it is very well made. It has a lifetime guarantee.
00:15:56 So, there is never an issue of it breaking on you and having it be replaced, because they will take care of you.
Paula Begoun: Are you saying that you don't use nippers at all?
Jaime Schrabeck: I do use nippers, but I don't have to use them very much, because when you have a quality cuticle remover, and you have a really good pusher, that should do most of the work. And the only thing that you would trim would be any little dead pieces of skin that may still be remaining after you have used the cuticle remover and the pusher.
Bryan Barron: But you don't want to pull off.
Jaime Schrabeck: You don't want to use them like pliers.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, that is a habit I get into.
00:16:33 I just see those little pieces there, and I either use tweezers, or sometimes even my teeth, and I will just yank it off. And then I utter a few choice words and go on with my day.
Jaime Schrabeck: And then you cause yourself to bleed at that point, because you have pulled. And that dead tissue may still be attached to live tissue, and that is why you can still cause yourself harm if you pull on the cuticle.
00:16:58 That is why you would rather trim it away so that what is left is just the live tissue, and you have not actually cut any of that live issue.
Paula Begoun: So, by the way, I wanted to mention to our listeners, I use something called Callus Eliminator: Be Natural. It isn't all that natural, but it is called Be Natural Callus Eliminator which is much of what, just like Jaime is mentioning and recommending.
00:17:29 I think it is a little bit easier to find, Jaime, than you are mentioning. It is all over the internet. And it is cheap. Be Natural - I love those names. It isn't natural! Be Natural Callus Eliminator. The other thing I wanted to ask you about because I, as many of my listeners know, I am neurotic about my heels. I mean, I am neurotic about having smooth heels.
00:17:55 I do go to a salon that I have been going to for a long time. I respect them. I know how they disinfect their tools. And every now and then they ask me if I want them to use that Callus Shaver, that little blade thing. And I know they sell them online. And I suspect you might have some opinions about that. But I have to admit, when they do that, it is great - it looks so good! I just go, "Shave that stuff off!" So, tell me what you think.
Jaime Schrabeck: I have several opinions.
00:18:26 Let me go back to your recommendation about the Callus Eliminator first. That is a product that I used to use, and I have discovered something that I like better because the Callus Eliminator is a fairly harsh product in terms of its pH level. And you have to be very careful with it. If you do choose to use it, whether you are a professional, or you are doing it at home, you are going to want to wear gloves. You don't want to get it anywhere on live skin because the potential for burning yourself chemically is there. So be very careful.
00:18:55 I'm using a product now that contains urea. And it is not nearly as aggressive in removing skin. But I feel that it leaves a smoother, more moisturized finish to the live tissue that is left behind.
Paula Begoun: Which product do you recommend?
Jaime Schrabeck: That is another one from VB Cosmetics. It is their Be Silky Callus Spray. I'm going to have to get you that information so that we can --
Paula Begoun: I wish it was easier to find. But
Jaime Schrabeck: I know. Let me get you their phone number. I have their phone number right here if you need it.
Paula Begoun: Sure, go for it.
Jaime Schrabeck: Okay.
00:19:27 You will want to talk to Kathy. Kathy is my contact there. And the number is 866-398-9357. And Kathy would be happy to help anyone try the product. And, again, it is the Cuticle Remover and the Be Silky Callus Spray. They are gentle enough, Paula, that I feel confident selling retail sizes to my clients, and not worrying about them harming themselves with those products.
00:19:55 When we are licensed to do this kind of work professionally, we each have a scope of practice, and that depends on your state's requirements. And so I would urge consumers that when they go to a salon that they make sure that the salon is licensed, and that the individuals providing services are licensed. That they are clean, following the state's rules about cleaning equipment. And that they are not going beyond their scope of practice.
00:20:17 We are not meant to replace podiatrists, and that is why using particle tools that cut or shave calluses is an issue for us, because we don't want to be caught practicing medicine. We don't have that training, and we certainly don't want to take on that liability.
Bryan Barron: So, Jaime, if a client at a nail salon is asking those questions regarding licensing and what not, and they are - I suspect an establishment like yours, those questions are met with enthusiasm, and "Yes, of course, we will show you our credentials." But, what if the nail salon owner or manicurist is suspicious or evasive of those types of questions?
Jaime Schrabeck: Well by law they are required to display their licenses in their reception area.
00:21:02 Any salon that is reputable would be proud to show you their licensure. They would be proud to show you their disinfection procedures. Because these are the kinds of things that we invest in to distinguish ourselves from the competition, and we want informed consumers coming to us and appreciating all the effort that goes into, and the money, in fact, that goes into providing a quality service that is performed safely.
Paula Begoun: It is a hard one. Safety issues are difficult. So, Jaime, do you mind hanging with us?
00:21:32 We are going to take a couple of calls. Desiree, we have a couple of callers asking questions for Jaime?
Jaime Schrabeck: That would be great.
Desiree Stordahl: We actually do. We have quite a few. And our first one is Rashanda. She is a faithful listener on our show every week. Rashanda, are you there?
Rashanda: I'm here.
Jaime Schrabeck: Hello, Rashanda.
Desiree Stordahl: Ask her your question.
Rashanda: Hi. How are you?
Jaime Schrabeck: I'm well. What's your question?
Rashanda: My question is I'm kind of - I love doing my nails at home, I always have.
00:22:05 And so I have written down all your stuff about the nail products, the tools that you were saying. So I am looking at it right now. But I am getting ready to start a nursing clinical, and going into the medical practice they ask you not to wear nail polish. And what I was looking for was what are your tips for buffing your nails at home to get that nice high shine? Because even though I won't be able to wear polish, I would still like them to kind of look nice.
00:22:32 So how can I get that nice buff look at home?
Bryan Barron: That is a great question for our male listeners, too, because I know, Jaime, years ago when I met you at a show you gave me a multi-buffer tool.
Jaime Schrabeck: Yes. I did.
Bryan Barron: And I used it faithfully for years. And then during one of my moves it got misplaced, and I have never replaced it because I honestly don't know what to buy.
Jaime Schrabeck: Oh, I could tell you exactly what to buy and how to use it.
00:22:56 And more and more women are actually finding that buffing is a great way to achieve a beautiful, natural nail. You don't have to worry about your clear polish chipping off because there is no polish. It is just your own nail buffed, essentially, to a high shine. And the product that I love best for that is the Flash Shiner. So, if you were Googling online, you would look for that particular product. Make sure that you are not spending any more than about $2 for it, so, in terms of how much you need to pay.
00:23:25 But it is a product that has three different grits on it. And what you would want to do with your natural nail, before you buff it, is I would buff a dry surface. Don't soak your nails first. Have them be dry. If you have ridges in your nails, you are going to want to start with a coarser grit file to get out any deeper ridges. But in between each grit, you are going to want to wipe the residue of the previous filings away. So, if you just take a little dry nail wipe, or a little piece of tissue, or a paper towel, as you graduate your grits from the coarsest to the finest, you are going to find that you will see the shine come up.
00:24:03 And then by the time you are done, it is going to look like you have clear nail polish on.
Paula Begoun: And, Rashanda, we are going to send you a gift from, our Cuticle and Nail Treatment. Keep it by the side of your bed, or keep one in your purse or at your desk. And you just put some on, rub it in, whenever you are feeling a little dry. And you will be a happy camper. I promise. Rashanda, thank you for calling, dear.
Rashanda: Thank you.
Paula Begoun: Thank you. Desiree, next caller.
Desiree Stordahl: Our next caller is Langdon from Denver.
Paula Begoun: Hi Langdon. What can we do for you?
Langdon: Thank you so much.
00:24:39 I love your products, Paula. And, Jaime, I went to your website last night in preparation for this program, and I noticed that under the favorite products, the VB, and also you recommended [SE] products. My problem is I would like to wear clear polish, or nail strengthener, or something, but I cannot find one that stays on.
00:25:09 I have tried many, and within a day or two they just seem to partially peel off. And I am very careful that my nail is dry. My nails are dry when I am putting the nail protein on. And I really - I just would like to wear something to give them a little shine.
00:25:32 I certainly will try the buffing, too, but in the mean time I was wondering if this VB or Essie has a product you would recommend that would stay on?
Jaime Schrabeck: I actually have a great recommendation. Well, actually, it is not the products that you are purchasing or trying. It is probably in the preparation of your nail. And, when you prepare your nails to apply polish, or actually when we would prepare nails to apply an enhancement product, we need that nail to be dehydrated. We don't want it to have been soaked previously. We want it to be in its natural state in terms of the moisture, because if you apply polish to a nail that is swollen with water, for example, at the point that the nail contracts because it is drying back down, that polish does not expand and contract with the nails as it gets wet.
00:26:19 So, what we like to do is let the nail be dry, and we use acetone. Acetone is my favorite chemical for the salon because it is the safest and greenest polish remover, or nail prep, that you could possibly use. And it is the most efficient, too, because it works so quickly. But what we do is we actually make sure that we wipe the entire nail plate surface with a wipe saturated with acetone to make sure that all of the oils are off the nail plate.
00:26:47 And then we apply either clear or a base coat, and then subsequent coats of polish and top coat to that nail. And we find that we should be able to get anywhere from 7 to 10 days wear out of it once we have applied it to the surface that is dehydrated. And it is only a temporary dehydration, so no need to worry about a long-term detriment to your nail. And then going forward from there, you want to make sure that you keep your hands out of water as much as possible.
00:27:15 So no doing dishes without your gloves on, that kind of thing.
Langdon: Well, I always do use the remover with acetone in it. Now you are talking about pure acetone?
Jaime Schrabeck: Pure acetone. Your polish remover that has a little bit of acetone in it is primarily water. So they are selling you a bottle of water with a little acetone.
Langdon: Usually after I have had a bath or a shower, so I am thinking, and then I do use the remover, but they are probably kind of wet without me realizing it.
Paula Begoun: Right. Nails take on water just like hair does.
00:27:52 Remember that nails and hair have a lot in common. So, yes, the soaking before you take - Jaime, you were saying you are not nuts about soaking nails in general because the water doesn't necessarily help all that much. So you just use the cuticle softener to deal with the built up skin and push it back, right? You don't soak nails?
Jaime Schrabeck: We don't soak nails. We don't soak feet, in fact. We do a waterless spa pedicure, and that is because the risks associated with getting pedicures these days has much to do with contaminants in the water. So we don't take that risk.
Langdon: I don't take that risk anymore.
00:28:30 I used to enjoy pedicures, but every time I would get one at what would probably be good salons, but I'm sure they just cannot seem to be disinfecting. I would get, when I would remove the polish there would be ridges on my nails. And when I do them at home, I never get that. And my nails look so healthy because I don't soak them. And, it is interesting because I still sometimes will get a manicure, and they soak your nails.
00:29:02 And a lot of places have been a little bit better, but anyway.
Paula Begoun: So let's give that a try in terms of getting your nail polish to stay on better. Any other polish that you recommend other than Essie? So, we know you like Essie, Jaime, what else do you recommend?
Jaime Schrabeck: I like China Glaze for their range of colors. They have some great glitters and things like that. Typically the ingredients from brand to brand are essentially the same.
00:29:27 There is not that much variation. What there is variation in is the range of colors, and the coverage that they give. But the wearability likely has more to do with the preparation of the nail at the point that it is being applied, and then of course how the person takes care of their hands afterwards. That is going to have more to do with how it wears.
Paula Begoun: Desiree, let's make sure we get a Cuticle and Nail Treatment - any products you need from us, Langdon? Anything skincare wise I can help you with as long as I have got you on the line?
Langdon: Oh, yes. Well, I am just thinking here because I do use... - I love your Balm, I have used it for years. And some of the cleansers. But I have gotten a little confused about the BHA products, which ones are appropriate for me.
Paula Begoun: What kind of skin type?
00:30:19 Tell me your skin type?
Langdon: I have combination in the summer. And just normal to a little bit dry in the winter. And I cannot use the retinoids, or I haven't found an alpha hydroxy acid that I can use. I tried yours - they just sting too much.
Paula Begoun: Let's do this. I'm sorry, dear. From the kind of skin you are describing, I think you would be far better off with the 1% or 2% BHA lotion. So, I am going to send you one of each so you can play with them and see how your skin does along with our Cuticle and Nail Treatment from
00:30:57 And thank you for your question. It was a great question. Good luck. You will have to let us know how your nails are doing.
Desiree Stordahl: All right, ready for the next caller?
Paula Begoun: Yes. We need Jaime, right?
Jaime Schrabeck: I'm here.
Paula Begoun: Our nail guru. What's the next... - Jaime, are you ready for the next question?
Jaime Schrabeck: Yes.
Paula Begoun: Okay. Desiree, what do we have?
Desiree Stordahl: We have got Pat from Connecticut on the line.
Paula Begoun: Hi, Pat, how are you?
Pat: Hi, how are you, Paula?
Paula Begoun: Good.
00:31:26 Have you got a question for Jaime?
Pat: Yes. Just within the last two years, I never had trouble with my big toes. And I have always done my own toe nails, and they always looked beautiful. I didn't even need a pedicure; it looked like I had one. But now I am getting ingrown toe nails. And the nails are starting to grow thicker. Is that something that happens with age? I just went to the doctor today for an ingrown toe nail, and he didn't give me any advice. So I just have to go to him every time I have an ingrown toe nail, because I can't cut them out myself.
Jaime Schrabeck: Pat, did you go to a doctor?
00:32:07 Or did you go to a podiatrist, a specialist?
Pat: A podiatrist.
Jaime Schrabeck: Okay, I'm disappointed that that person didn't give you more specific advice because I would have expected that.
Pat: He didn't tell me what to do to prevent it.
Paula Begoun: I think that is because he likes you.
00:32:23 Pat, I think he either thinks you are cute, or he likes you coming back into.
Pat: I'm there about every four or five months.
Paula Begoun: He can charge you his fee. So, Jaime, how do you help Pat not having... - That happens all the...when I used to do my nails myself, I always got ingrown toe nails. Now that I have someone else do it I don't, but I don't exactly know what they are doing that I wasn't doing. How do you stop that from happening?
Jaime Schrabeck: Well, it is interesting, because the propensity to get ingrown toe nails has a lot to do with the shape of your nail, and whether or not your nail grows deep into the nail grooves on either side.
00:33:02 And some people are just more prone to them, and it can be an issue, again, of how their nail is structured, and then also the kinds of activities they do, the shoes they wear, and how they are trimming their nails. And you want to make sure that when you are trimming your own nails that you are cutting all the way across the nail, straight across, and getting any little bit of nail at the sides. You don't want to leave any little spike of nail at the side.
00:33:25 And certainly as a professional, and we are able to get closer to you, we are facing your toe, we have the proper tools - it is much easier for us to make sure that we are cutting the nail, any nail actually, in a manner that is not going to cause you additional problems. And with an ingrown toe nail, we are not allowed to work on you if you have an infected toe nail. If it has gotten to the point where it is already pushing into your skin and creating an infection, we are not allowed to touch you at that point, because that means that you would need to go to a podiatrist and have that taken care of.
00:34:02 So you want to make sure that you are cutting your nail straight, you are getting all the way across, not leaving a little spike of nail in the corner, and then making sure that your shoes fit you properly. And I would hope that you would find a podiatrist, so this may not be the perfect person for you as a medical professional.
Pat: Yeah. He doesn't give me any advice how to prevent it. It's pathetic.
Jaime Schrabeck: Yeah, that's not... - You could find someone who would be happy to explain what is happening, and should be able to explain.
00:34:30 And they should be able to ask you questions about your activities, and be able to look - that person would have that, I certainly don't, is I can't look at your foot. And I'm not able to diagnose you anyway, because again, that is not our purview as manicurists. But we definitely in our salon feel very comfortable recommending our clients visit podiatrists when it is appropriate so they can get medical care when necessary.
Pat: Okay.
Bryan Barron: Jaime, what about --
Paula Begoun: I'm sorry, Bryan, go on.
Bryan Barron: I didn't want to lose the part of the question regarding toe nails thickening with age.
00:35:07 Is that a reality, Jaime?
Jaime Schrabeck: That is a reality. But if you notice that there is also discoloration happening, or a separation of the nail plate from the nail bed, you would want to have that looked at because that also gives bacteria or fungus an opportunity to access parts of your nail structure that normally should not be accessed. So you don't want to create an environment where an infection could happen because there might be some separation of that nail plate through the nail bed happening.
00:35:38 So I think those are questions that are valid. Any podiatrist should be able to answer them for you, and give you some information. If a podiatrist felt that there may be an issue, they can always culture the nail and do a test on them to tell you exactly what is happening, if anything.
Pat: Okay. I think I am going to find a new podiatrist.
Paula Begoun: I think that sounds like a good idea. Pat, we are going to give you the Cuticle and Nail Treatment from And, Pat, what kind of skin type do you have? Let me take care of your face as long as we are taking care of your toes and nails.
Pat: I have oily skin.
00:36:16 And it's in the medium range.
Paula Begoun: And whose products are you using right now, dear?
Pat: Right now I am using Unwind Age products, I think it is by Maybelline.
Paula Begoun: Unwind? Bryan -
Pat: Age Unwind.
Bryan Barron: I think she is referring to makeup, Paula. Because Maybelline does a line of foundations called Instant Age Rewind, like the [double face protector] that you like.
Paula Begoun: Oh, right, right. No, Pat, I was asking you about your skincare.
Pat: Oh, my skincare. I have been using Victoria Principal's Reclaim. And I also use Dr. Denese.
Paula Begoun: Well actually, is it Dr. Denese or Dennis? Dr. Dennis's products got big happy faces on where we review products. Victoria Principal, Victoria Secret, you can kind of leave those on the shelf. WE are going to send you some Paula's Choice Skin Balancing products. Desiree or Sherry will get you the information. We will get some products out to you.
00:37:21 And we thank you for your call and your toes.
Pat: Oh, I wish I had my old toes back again. They were beautiful. I never had any problems.
Paula Begoun: You will get yourself another podiatrist, and you will have gorgeous feet again. Thank you for calling, Pat. Desiree, I think we have time for one more caller. Real quick question.
Desiree Stordahl: All right. It is Shane from Ohio.
Paula Begoun: Hi Shane.
Shane: Hi, Paula. I'm glad to talk to both of you tonight.
00:38:00 My question is I have gone to a different manicurist who was using that newer product Axxium by OPI. And it worked well the first time, but the next two times when I went there, I didn't realize that she was supposed to soak it off, and she filed it off my nails. And now my nails are really ruined and weak. And I was just wondering what you would recommend.
Paula Begoun: Do you know the product she is talking about, Jaime? Can you answer her question real quick?
Jaime Schrabeck: I can answer her question.
00:38:26 Axxium by OPI is a gel product. That means it is an artificial nail product that is cured with UV light in this case. And was it in a color?
Shane: Yea.
Jaime Schrabeck: Okay. It is meant to give you a color that can last longer than polish because it is not something that is easily removed. So, as you saw, you would have either had to soak it off, or file it off. Even though it is something that may soak off, a lot of manicurists get impatient and would rather file it off.
00:38:56 So in filing, if it is done properly, and you are not over-field, only the product should have been filed, and not your natural nail. But as often happens, natural nail gets filed as well. Do you think that is what happened?
Shane: Yes. Yes.
Paula Begoun: Boy is that what sounds like what happened. I will tell you, they do that. They take that buffer thing, that electric buffer thing, and go over your nails. I have changed salons; they just really chow down on your nails. And mine are thin enough as it is, why are they taking more off?
00:39:28 So that is a bad thing to do, right Jaime?
Jaime Schrabeck: It is not necessary. The product will adhere to the nail plate if the nail plate is prepared properly - dehydrated. And the over-filing often occurs when someone who is doing nails doesn't know how to apply properly. And may be applying too much product, or they may have other issues where the product may be separating from your nail. So in order to get rid of that lifting portion they over-file. And the bottom line is that your natural nail should always be protected.
00:39:58 In fact, those acrylic nails, gel nails, silk, fiberglass, any kind of enhancement product that is applied over your natural nail is meant to protect your nail. It is not going to make your nail stronger. They may seem stronger, because of course they are reinforced, but it is not going to change your nail. But what could happen is your nail could become weaker if in the application and the maintenance of those products your nails are being over-filed. And that has nothing to do with the product; it is the person who is applying it and using a drill, perhaps, or using a hand file and being too aggressive.
00:40:32 So as far as --
Paula Begoun: Jaime, I'm sorry, finish what you were saying, Jaime.
Jaime Schrabeck: Oh, no, go ahead.
Paula Begoun: Well, I was going to ask you. Actually, my question will have to be the last question. Shane, we are going to send you a Cuticle and Nail Treatment from Paula's Choice. And we are going to also send you a handful of our body care products. Shane, thank you for calling.
00:40:56 Jaime, real quick. In terms of fake nails - your position on fake nails? Good? Bad? Indifferent? Ugly? Gorgeous? Nails that go on for inches and feet, what do you think?
Jaime Schrabeck: All of the above. They can look natural. They can fool someone if they are done well enough, and someone would not even believe that those were a fake nail product on the nail. It has everything to do with the skill of the person applying the product. And there is a great article on my website, if you log on and look under Nail Basics.
00:41:31 And it talks about the false advertising of artificial nail services. And I think that consumers need to be more aware. And that any time you see liquid and powder being applied to a nail, that is acrylic. I don't care what you are being told, that is acrylic. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but just know what you are paying for. And know that when it is done well, it should never hurt. They should look beautiful. They should function in your life. Your life should not function around your nails.
00:41:59 And they're great. I have to wear them myself because I unfortunately was blessed with very weak nails. I have great parents, but I have weak nails.
Paula Begoun: Jaime, you are wonderful! Jaime Schrabeck from Precision Nails in Carmel, California. Jaime, you have got to come back. I know we didn't even get to half of the questions about our toes, about our nails, about our heels. You are wonderful. Thank you for taking all of this time this evening to talk to us.
00:42:30 The listeners, I know, are going to be going home with great information to take the best care of their nails. Jaime, thank you so much for this evening.
Jaime Schrabeck: Thank you. I enjoyed it.
Paula Begoun: All right. We will talk again. Take care, Jaime.
Jaime Schrabeck: Okay, bye-bye.
Paula Begoun: Bye-bye. Bryan, you are going to have to find that buffer now. And it is only $2.00.
Bryan Barron: I know. I'm going to go out and look for that Flash Shiner.
Paula Begoun: So, for everyone who hung in there on the show for all the strange shenanigans with the phones and getting through today, thanks for hanging in. Oh, gosh, I need to talk about the shows coming up in the next weeks.
00:43:12 We have got thrilling shows. Well, personally I think they are thrilling. Hopefully you guys will think they are thrilling out there. Next week we are going to talk about traveling beautifully. I'm going to help you take beautiful care of your skin on planes, on boats, when you are out swimming - wherever you are traveling this summer, or any time of year. I am going to help you pack and take great care of your skin so you get to where you are going, and when you are there you are looking great.
00:43:38 On the 22nd, this is a really important show because it is probably the number one question I get from women: What is your skin type? Women don't know how to tell their skin types. We are going to teach you once and for all how to tell what kind of skin you really have. And on the 29th, this is great. Dr. Brandith Irwin, who is my cosmetic dermatologist, and a dear, dear, brilliant woman, written books about saving your face, and non-surgical solutions for sagging skin, and face lifts, and not having to go under the knife, but how to marry cosmetic corrective procedures.
00:44:23 That is on the 29th with Dr. Brandith Irwin. On the 5th we are going to talk about Rosacea/sensitive skin. What to do about sensitive skin and specifically Rosacea, that redness that comes up on the face, and just sensitive skin in general. And on the 12th, on August 12 we are going to talk about what to do about when you are struggling with acne and wrinkles at the same time - as if it is not bad enough having a breakout, and then you start wrinkling. Yuck.
00:44:52 We will help you get through it. That is our job here with me, Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, and my Cosmetics Cop team, keeping you beautifully informed every Thursday. And, of course, you can log into BlogTalkRadio and listen archived at any time. Share us with your friends. Come visit us at Desiree Stordahl, my producer -
Desiree Stordahl: Paula, can I actually make a little announcement real quick?
Paula Begoun: Yes, absolutely. Are you kidding?
Desiree Stordahl: Tomorrow we will be launching another Facebook and Twitter exclusive special.
00:45:28 So make sure you are following us on either one of those sites.
Paula Begoun: Oh, a special two-day special for Oh, it is a secret special. Yes. But I know it is 50% off some things. So you have got to log onto Facebook to find out the spectacular, dynamite special we are going to have, only for our Facebook friends and Twitter followers on So, Desiree Stordahl, Bryan Barron. Bryan is going on vacation. Bryan, I miss you.
00:45:57 Are you not here next week, Bryan?
Bryan Barron: I am not going to be on the show next week. I will miss everyone. But I'm sure it will be great.
Paula Begoun: Are you kidding? I have no brain without you! Oh my god. I will start working on the show right now. Actually, of all shows that I can do on my own it is traveling, because I have put on a couple hundred thousand air miles a year. So maybe I can handle this without you.
Bryan Barron: I always learn something when I travel with you, even if it is just a great new cocktail.
Paula Begoun: Oh, giving away...well, yes, that is true.
00:46:30 And I'm going to Las Vegas, so I am definitely thinking cocktails. Cocktails are not health food, so we won't dwell on that. Thanks everybody for tuning in and listening. Come visit us at Visit us every Thursday, staying beautifully informed with the Cosmetics Cop team. Good night.
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