Nail Care For The Weary Traveler

…Because fancy manicures don’t usually mesh well with long travels and outdoor adventures. Here’s how to deal.

1. Unless it’s a short trip, avoid getting nail art or high-maintenance manicures before you travel overseas.
The last thing you want is to fuss over chipped polish in the middle of a tour or look for last-minute nail spas, which are usually expensive in first-world countries as compared to our trusty manicuristas in the Philippines. Go crazy for nail art when you’re back in the motherland.

Check out my galaxy-inspired nail foil art from I Do Nails.

2. Avoid packing nail polish in air travel.
No matter how tightly you close the bottles, nail polish tends to leak when there’s cabin pressure. The TSA may also confiscate it if they find that the ingredients are flammable. Besides, you want to spend every minute of your travel wisely; the mani-pedis can wait until you get back home.

The only nail tools I bring when traveling are: nail cutter (This one’s from Korea) and nail file (This one’s from Revlon, ₱150).

3. If you really must wear nail polish when traveling overseas, get a gel manicure from the pros.
Gel lasts weeks longer than regular lacquer, and it doesn’t chip as much. The only downside? It’s such a hassle to remove! If you try DIY gel polish removal, you’ll most likely damage your nails, so it’s better to have it removed by the salon that applied it in the first place, but of course there’s a price of around ₱300 per service.

Orly Gel FX, ₱445 each, is a popular choice for gel polish. But one thing I learned is that when you want to do gel nails right, leave it to the pros. Try Salon Beauvoir’s gel mani-pedi services. Photo from Orly.

4. Moisturize and exfoliate regularly.
If you’re a nail polish addict or the outdoorsy, traveler type, chances are your nails are drier than usual. Save them from chipping and drying by applying hand cream daily and exfoliating weekly.

I recently tried the Orly Exfoliating Scrub and Hydrating Crème for my hands, feet, and entire body. They come in a variety of scents at ₱275 each. Photo from Orly.

5. Strengthen your nails.
Good nutrition helps keep your nails strong, so make sure you’re getting enough calcium, vitamin A, protein, iron, and zinc. Also try investing in nail products with built-in strengtheners.

Sally Hansen has just revamped its Complete Salon Manicure. It now has keratin complex to strengthen nails and prevent chipping, on top of its regular built-in features—base coat, top coat, and gel shine finish. In the Philippines, it comes in 49 shades at ₱395 each. More shades are available internationally.

Beauty Directory:

I Do Nails Branches: 3/L Eastwood Mall, Eastwood City, Quezon City; (0917) 531-5365; G/F Building 1, Tuscany, McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio; (0917) 838-8095;;

Orly Available at all PUREBEAUTY stores, select Watsons and SM Stores, Landmark TriNoma and Makati, select Robinsons and Gaisano Department Stores, and PCX outlets; In the Philippines, visit,; For international stores, visit

Revlon Available at all leading department stores nationwide; In the Philippines, visit; For international stores, visit and

Sally Hansen Available at all leading department stores, supermarkets and beauty hubs nationwide; In the Philippines, visit; For international stores, visit and

Salon Beauvoir Upper Ground Floor, Somerset Olympia 7912 Makati Avenue corner Santo Tomas St. Makati; (02) 904-5154 and (02) 478-7670;