9 reasons your nails aren’t growing properly

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Are your nails growing at a snail’s pace? Or were they once long and strong, but seem to have diminished? You might be guilty of one or more of these bad nail behaviours. Yes, most of us use our hands every day, so a little breakage and tearing is normal. But paying just a smidge more attention to your habits could get you about a million steps closer to that dream mani…

#1 Toxic chemicals

You probably already use a hand cream (10 beauty points for you!), but some household cleaning products can expose your nails to nasty toxins, causing dryness and cracking and undoing all your good work. To prevent this, wear gloves – or alternatively, use natural cleaning products such as tea tree oil. Some nail polishes can also be aggravating. If you have weak nails to begin with, boost their health by using Breathable nail polish and 3-free nail polishes.

#2 Improper usage

Whether you’re wrestling keys off a key ring or jimmying open a jar, using your nails in place of proper utensils (think: scissors, cutlery) can result in fissures, chipping and slow nail growth. So, if you want your nails to look good, you have to stop using them as tools! Painting them with a pretty polish should help the process: we love the glossy Sea Siren Cosmetics Coral Atoll as well as the trendy essie Colors of Couture Collection.

#3 Nail biting

Ok, this one’s a bit obvious, but biting your nails can seriously worsen their condition. Yes, that snag or hanging nail is super annoying, but instead of biting it off, make the extra effort to use a nail clipper or file (keep a cute one such as COLOUR By TBN Nail Files in your bag so you don’t get caught out). Once you break your nail biting habit, you’ll start to see a positive change in the growth and appearance of your digits, guaranteed.

How to stop nail biting
#4 Lazy polish removal  

You’re probably really careful when applying nail polish, but do you show your nails the same courtesy when it comes to getting it off? Picking away at your old nail polish can aggravate the nail bed, leading to damage. If your polish is lifting prematurely (and tempting you to peel it), try using less lacquer – multiple, thin coats will last a lot longer than one thick one.  When it’s finally time to take it off, use a gentle nail polish remover such as Manicare Nail Polish Remover – Extra Gentle and a cotton pad (I like Swisspers Make-Up Pads). Your nails will thank you for it.

#5 Your work environment

Certain work discourages nails from growing. For example, any job that involves placing your hands in water for extended periods can make nails soft and prone to breakage. Similarly, hands-on labour (like construction work) can lead to continuous snagging and tearing. Once again, wearing gloves is the best way to minimise the damage.

#6 Your fitness routine

If your toenails keep breaking, consider whether you’re walking or running too much. Nobody wants super-long toenails (and I’m definitely not suggesting you stop exercising), but to help prevent them from snapping off entirely, make sure your runners have enough wiggling room at the front.

The best sneakers for running
#7 Bad nutrition

A nutritious diet can affect the growth of your nails a lot more than you might think. Failing to consume a good variety of nutrients, particularly iron, zinc and protein, can make your nails brittle. So eat nail-nurturing foods such as beans, broccoli and red meat. Reducing your sugar intake is also a good idea.  

#8 An underlying health condition

Some underlying health conditions can cause your nails grief. Heart, liver and lung illnesses as well as fungal infections may make the base of your nails weaker. Overactive thyroid glands can also cause your nails to break. If you think you could be experiencing an underlying health issue, consult your GP.

#9 Stress

We already know stress can make you physically unwell, but did you know brittle, peeling nails are also a common side effect? This is because your body is busy concentrating on recovery and healing – so nail growth becomes a low-level priority. To nip your anxiety in the bud (and prevent it taking a toll on your talons), take a look at our 8 top ways to beat stress.



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Member Comments

Posted by: aleksandra (Member since 2008, Australia)

I like to use a base coat before I paint my nails, I often use a cuticle repair cream, and I use a nail strengthener (Sally Hansen) to help grow my nails

Posted on: April 22, 2015 (Apr 22, 2015 9:24am)

Posted by: Pink Hornet (Australia)

Massaging a nail oil into my cuticles made such a difference to the strength and length of my nails.

Posted on: April 22, 2015 (Apr 22, 2015 9:28am)

7 of the best products for pimple-prone skin

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Are you prone to the odd blemish or two? Or do full-blown breakouts insist on popping up regularly? Stress less – they can be dealt with, just as long as you’re armed with the best blemish-busting products.

Check out the products the bh team (and our members!) call on to fight those darn pimples…

Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Wash

Best Products for Pimple-Prone Skin

What it does:
This daily cleanser deeply penetrates pores to rinse away pimple-causing oil and dirt. It contains soothing green tea and cucumber extracts to nix irritation for a fresh, calm complexion.

You say:
“This cleanser comes in quite a large, squeezable tube, making it easy to dispense the amount required. It’s quite rich and creamy – a little bit goes a long way. I love how this product feels on the skin. It’s very soft and refreshing due to the green tea. It doesn't smell too much like chemicals. I love how this clears and prevents acne, reduces redness and soothes the skin. A WINNER!!!” – Laura74


Do you have blemish-prone skin? How do you deal with pimples?




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Member Comments

Posted by: Trish_D (Australia)

I've been extremely fortunate in this area with very few problems, even when I was young (a long time ago.) Every time I see an article dealing with blemishes I am so thankful that the young ones have access to so many helpful products these days.

Posted on: April 21, 2015 (Apr 21, 2015 4:08pm)

Posted by: aleksandra (Member since 2008, Australia)

I have tried the Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Wash - in fact I think I was lucky to be sent it on the Trial Team way back when and it was a great product. It really helped to give my skin that deep clean feeling without being harsh. I have always preferred cream cleansers

Posted on: April 21, 2015 (Apr 21, 2015 4:11pm)

Olivia Wilde slams celebs who go ‘make-up free’

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Olivia Wilde’s already impressed us with her openness about her post-baby bod, and now she’s hit us with another honest truth: celebrities who go make-up free aren’t really that brave.

Yep, the actress has said what we were all secretly thinking! Taking to Twitter to share her views, she slammed the “bare-faced” selfies for setting unrealistic beauty standards:

“Don’t compare yourself to actors. You too would look ‘perfect’ with a giant wall of soft light following you around.” You mean like in this too-funny Insta snap, Olivia?

           Photo credit: @oliviawilde Instagram

The “giant wall of soft light” is probably an exaggeration, but I get what Olivia’s trying to say.

Speaking to Huffington Post Live, the 31-year-old mum gave some context to the controversial tweet.

“I guess I’m a proponent in general of people loving themselves,” she said.

“I looked at this huge wall of glowy light and all these bounce boards underneath me, and I thought, ‘People at home watching movies thinking that they’re supposed to look a certain way, in that flawless nature that Hollywood promotes in some films’. I just wanted to point out...that none of this is real.

“I feel like when I was an adolescent, that would have been kind of illuminating for me.”

Of course, most of us are smart enough to know there’s a LOT of hair and make-up help behind our favourite celebrities’ smouldering red carpet looks.

But with the recent rise of the ‘no make-up selfie’, it’s hard not to question whether these celebs really do have picture-perfect skin IRL. I mean, just look at new mum Jessica Biel (whose fresh face defies all post-pregnancy logic)!

           Photo credit: @justintimberlake Instagram

Heidi Klum’s also caused a bit of a stir with her recent “before make-up” shot where she flaunted a suspiciously flawless face.  We reckon she was wearing a BB cream at the very least!

In comparison, Olivia’s set to go totally make-up free in her upcoming film, Meadowland.

Following in the wake of a barefaced Reese Witherspoon in Wild, the actress also spends most of the film wearing track pants and baggy jumpers – a look she says felt “really freeing”.

In fact, it wasn’t even a big deal: “It was just a reality for the character and certainly didn’t feel like a brave risk ... I don’t hear people calling men brave for not wearing foundation.”

She certainly has a point. Well said, Olivia!

While I agree that going make-up free from time to time’s no biggie, I still can’t imagine going barefaced for a year, like this girl did!

What do you think of Olivia’s views on celeb beauty? Do you think they’re setting unrealistic beauty standards, or could you not care less?



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Member Comments

Posted by: GildedButterflies (Australia)

I always roll my eyes at celebs going" bare faced" in selfies or magazines. I'm pretty sure they take like a 100 selfies and pick out the best one. Lighting, makeup and filters also help.

Posted on: April 21, 2015 (Apr 21, 2015 1:18pm)

Posted by: Snailor (Australia)

I think when celebrities go "make-up free" it's more harmful than good for the self-perception of youth. I don't know one person who looks like Jessica Beil make-up free. If she is make-up free in that picture, people forget that celebrities utilise thousands of dollars worth of products and professionals to look like that.

Posted on: April 21, 2015 (Apr 21, 2015 1:20pm)

The perfect ‘do for rainy days

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If you’re in Sydney today, you’ll know it’s not just a little bit rainy. It’s absolutely biblical. Unless you want to be battered by rain, wind and wayward branches, settle in and stay inside. Yep, it’s safe to say it’s shaping up to be one seriously bad hair day.

Or is it?

Celebrity hairstylist and artistic director of Phyto Global, Anthony Cristiano, says rainy days don’t have to spell doom and gloom for your hair. In fact, there are styles that look even better when wet. Cue the wet look trend. How easy is that? But if you’re after something a little different (but equally chic and simple), try this wet weather-friendly ‘do - as explained to Refinery29.

And the best part? It requires no hot tools, and works on just about all textures and lengths. Hurrah!

images from Refinery29, illustrated by Anna Sudit


Step 1:

Wash and towel-dry hair, then section off the top portion along your crown, starting at the temple on either side. Tie this piece into a small topknot to keep it out of the way.


Step 2:

Rub a 20 cent-sized dollop of gel (we recommend the VO5 wet look styling gel) between your palms and then work it through two small sections of your hair, taken from right above the ear. Then, gather these pieces into a taut ponytail.

bh tip: If your locks are on the finer side, create another topknot to add more height and volume to the end result. If you’re hair’s too short to pull into a pony, just pin these parts in place with a few Lady Jayne bobby pins. Easy peasy.


Step 3:

Undo your top bun, then apply some more gel to this front piece and comb it up and back. “Think modern-day Elvis-style pompadour,” Cristiano says. Use a wide-tooth comb to get that cool, grooved appearance. Once it’s slicked back, secure with bobby pins behind your ears.


Step 4:

Set your finished style with a quick hit of TONI&GUY Hair Care Casual Rough Texturiser and you’re good to go!


Any rain your ‘do gets caught in will only accentuate the wet look. Rain, come at me!


Would you try this look or do you have a go-to hairstyle for wet weather days like this?


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Member Comments

Posted by: Unidentified (Australia)

I'm going to have to give this a go. The suburb that I live in is on Botany Bay and there's ALWAYS wind at my bus stop. Mornings aren't too bad but afternoons the wind is crazy. Great for all the kite surfers, not so much for my hair.

Posted on: April 21, 2015 (Apr 21, 2015 11:09am)

Posted by: talk-a-lot (Australia)

I don't mind this style, it would be good to wear on a rainy day.

Posted on: April 21, 2015 (Apr 21, 2015 11:37am)

3 things you didn’t know about foundation

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As adult women, we’ve spent a few solid years playing around with make-up. And chances are, foundation is the most essential part of your ‘dolling up’ routine. So you probably think you’ve got a good handle on it, right?

Well, it may surprise you to find out these fun facts about foundation. Once you know them, the way you buy foundation could be forever changed…

foundation ageing skin

Did you find your Holy Grail foundation in your twenties? Been using it ever since? Sadly, it might not actually be your HG in your thirties, forties and beyond. See, as you age, your skin changes, and it may need different things from a foundation (and the same goes for skin care). For example, you may have loved powder foundation in your youth, but it’s not the best choice a few years down the track because powder can settle into fine lines. Or you might find you need a foundation that gives you more of a ‘glow’ as you get older.

So instead of reaching for the same ol’ cover-up every day, assess where your skin’s at every few years and look for a foundation formulated to help counteract any issues and enhance your best features.

makeup weather season change

And here’s why: 1) different weather conditions affect your skin differently, and 2) your skin tone varies between summer and winter.

As a general rule of thumb, during summer, you should opt for a foundation shade that’s a touch darker (which you’ll only use once your skin is a bit sun-kissed, of course), and look for a formulation that helps to control sweat and shine. Rimmel London Lasting Finish Foundation is a great choice as it’s not only been formulated to blend easily into skin, but it's also sweat-, heat-, and transfer-proof for up to 25 hours.

A BB cream or tinted moisturiser is another good option for those who prefer lighter coverage during the warmer months (we’re fans of Rimmel London BB Cream Matte).

During winter, you’ll most likely need to use a foundation that’s a touch lighter than your summer shade, as hibernating indoors tends to take away that summer glow. Look for a foundation that offers nourishment and hydration to combat the cold and wind of winter and even better, contains light-reflecting particles to give your skin that radiance we all know and love (try Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation). If you prefer the lighter coverage of a BB cream, find one that boasts the same features (like Rimmel London BB Radiance).

In autumn and spring (aka the ‘in between’ seasons), you can mix your summer and winter formulations as needed.


Here’s something you know: when your foundation shade is a little too dark or a little too light, it throws off your entire make-up look. But here’s something you may not know: if you’re using a foundation that leaves a dewy finish (or contains light-reflecting particles) when you’re after a smooth, matte, velvety finish, you won’t get the desired result. On the flipside, if you want radiant, luminous skin, it’s going to look anything but when you use a foundation that works to absorb oil and shine.

Think about the level of coverage, too. If you’d prefer a base that’s natural and quite sheer, skip foundation and opt for a BB cream instead. Or conversely, if you need more coverage, pick a foundation that offers more coverage.

The golden rule? Consider what you want from a foundation, then hit the beauty aisle!
For a natural, radiant glow: light-reflecting particles, nourishing formula
For a smooth, shine-free finish: oil-absorbing particles, mattifying formula
For light, sheer coverage: BB cream
For more coverage: foundation

What do you look for in a foundation? Did you know these foundation facts?



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Member Comments

Posted by: CherryBlossom (Australia)

These make sense because I'm sure for summer, I'd need a lighter foundation that doesn't feel too weighed down on my skin and let's it breathe more in the heat.

Posted on: April 21, 2015 (Apr 21, 2015 8:47am)

Posted by: Anita1502 (Australia)

An article that younger ladies should read. :) I know all of that and follow these rules.

Posted on: April 21, 2015 (Apr 21, 2015 8:54am)