It looks like winter will be around a bit longer, and the dry winds are really doing a number on our hands! So we talked with 13-year veteran manicurist Katie Green of Dominic Michael Salon for tips on how to keep hands and nails in tip-top shape, even when the weather won’t cooperate.

LN: What are some steps people should take between salon visits to keep their nails and hands in good shape?

KG: I think the best thing to do is put a little oil on the cuticle before you go to bed. Follow with any good hand lotion. It’s best to get the moisture in your hands and let it sit while you go to sleep.

LN: What are some ingredients you would look for in a hand moisturizer?

KG: Stay away from chemicals and alcohol-based products. Aveda Hand Relief, which is an excellent product, has a high concentration of aloe and almond oil. You’re looking for a high concentration of any kind of natural oils. The more pure and natural the product is, the better it’s going to be for you.

LN: Do you have some tips for people with severely dry skin?

KG: I know this sounds really weird, but olive oil is really good for your skin. You can put any kind of household olive oil straight on your hands and rub it in before you go to bed. It’s a very clean product, it works well, and you could even put it on your face too.

LN: How often should you visit the salon?

KG: About 90 percent of my clients come in every week for manicures. Sometimes you can get away with every other week, but you definitely want to make sure to take care of your hands in between visits if you do that. For pedicures, you can go about four to six weeks between visits. A really great new product is Shellac polish, by CND, which stands for Creative Nail Design. The polish gets cured underneath a light, and it literally lasts two weeks without problems, and there’s not damage to the nail like you can get with acrylics. Normally if you get a good manicure, the polish will last five to seven days, but this lasts twice as long and there’s no dry time.

LN: What are some of the big colors for nail polish this winter? 

KG: Deep purples and gray are probably the two hottest colors for the winter season.

LN: And for the spring?

KG: Good standbys that always sell well are the light pinks. One of the hottest sellers is Ballet Slippers by Essie, which has been around for 15 years.

LN: What do most people overlook when caring for their nails?

KG: Putting on a top coat about two times throughout the week can allow the manicure to last two to three days longer. For my clients, I use a product called Daby. It’s a great nail strengthener and it will hold your polish an extremely long time. It doesn’t contain any formaldehyde, which a lot of polishes do and which will dry out your nails, causing them to chip or peel. Also, if your nails do have a tendency to peel, it’s sometimes good to have just your natural nail with no polish for a week to 10 days.  LN