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7 Ways to Have Prettier Hands (Even Without a Manicure)

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Typing. Cooking. Working out. Coloring with the kids. Our poor hands can never catch a break--especially when we can't seem to squeeze in that weekly mani. So here are a few tips on keeping your digits presentable in a pinch.

Exfoliate regularly
First and foremost, you've gotta keep the flakes at bay, and it's easy to do with a simple hand scrub you can make at home using raw honey and sugar. Slather it on a couple times a week and you'll be shocked at the difference it makes.

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Keep a cuticle pen on hand.
Sorta like your trusty concealer pen, but this guy is filled with oil that soothes those scraggly cuticles (and prevents painful hangnails). We love Dr. Hauschka's version, which fortifies nails against breakage while softening any hard skin around the nail bed.

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Moisturize after washing
Scalding-hot water and soap are pretty much the biggest culprits of dry, cracked hands. Every time you cleanse, be sure to follow up with lotion to add moisture back in. We keep a bottle next to the sink as a constant reminder (and a smaller one in our purse).

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Keep nails short.
Long, almond-shaped nails may seem glamorous...until you're constantly picking dirt out from under them. Do yourself a favor and keep your nails trimmed to avoid unnecessary grime.

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Work around a chip
A weird but useful trick: At the first sign of chipped polish, grab the acetone...but don't use any elbow grease just yet. Dip a cotton ball into a tiny bit of remover and then gently swipe it from the base of the nail toward the tip. The remover will spread the color and cover the chip enough to continue on with your day. Then, once back at home, go forth with full removal.

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When in doubt, paint a clear coat
So you don't have time to apply an actual color? Never underestimate the power of simple clear polish. If you're in a pinch, just swipe on a topcoat to give your nails a hint of shine.

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Show some skin
OK, so this isn't exactly a treatment, but showing off your delicate wrist area works wonders. Roll up your sleeves and slip on a dainty gold bracelet to make your hands appear elongated and more feminine. Trust: It's the same concept as showing some ankle.

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