You might already be following Harriet Westmoreland on Instagram; you are at least very likely to be familiar with her work, which has captivated the beauty community over the last year. Her signature manicure, which she has dubbed ‘the British Manicure', is perfection in its simplicity: it’s comprised of a short, rounded shape, barely there colour, and mega shine. A radical departure from the more trend-driven nail styles, and an embrace of correct and thorough prep and excellent nail health, it has gained fans in the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (she’s currently nail artist in residence at the model’s site, Rose Inc).

“I think this style of nail is so wearable day to day, which really appeals to most women,” Harriet tells us. “The style is complementary to your nail beds and can elongate them when shaped correctly. My clients will often say they feel clean and fresh when they have short neat nails.”

How To Get The Look

For that ‘my nails but better’ look, Harriet shares: “My current obsession is Dior’s base coat: three coats creates a perfect peachy sheer glow.” Another winner combo we’ve spied on her Instagram is one slick of the base coat plus a coat of Dior Nail Glow, the rosy-hued polish that’s not unlike a tinted moisturiser for nails (it subtly enhances and perfects).

Image: Instagram @harrietwestmoreland

It all starts with prep

A chic mani ultimately starts with correct hand prep, so we turned to Georgie Palamountain, owner of Pamperina in Sydney’s Woollahra, to share her go-to hand care tips: “Once per week at night you can apply a mix of natural butters (I love the Remedica fig cream), or jojoba oil to hands before putting on soft white cotton gloves for an easy overnight mask to improve skin.” And while it might seem obvious, it’s important to regularly top up hydration: “Whenever your hands feel dry, use a rich hand cream,” Georgie shares.

Harriet Westmoreland shares a similar philosophy: “Before you start to apply polish, it’s great to scrub and hydrate the hands and cuticles. This will help with hard skin build up around the side walls, and also soften and remove any dead skin.” Her product recommendations? “One of my favourite scrubs is the BYREDO hand scrub. I love Weleda hand cream for softening and intense hydration, while Glossier (ed. note: not available in Australia) is a great hand cream for every day.”

Image: Instagram @harrietwestmoreland

Make regular manis de rigueur

Treating yourself to a weekly mani-pedi, either at your favourite local salon or enjoying a DIY at-home version, is more than a well-deserved treat to self: it’s actually good for your nail health long term, Georgie says. “Regular manicures help to avoid nails breaking or peeling, and keeps cuticles clean. If you’re having a weekly manicure your nail condition should be getting better, for sure.”

Tools of the trade

For a good at-home kit, Georgie suggests investing in a nail buffer and a fine nail file (you can buy kits at Pamperina). “Keep it super simple at home and file every now and then,” advises Georgie. “We wouldn’t recommend using any manicure implements professionals use, as if you don’t know how to use correctly you can easily nip or cut too deep or on the wrong angle. They can also be hard to use when held in the different hand.”

Cuticle care

Cuticles are a fundamental part of a well-executed manicure, but many of us are nervous about attempting cuticle maintenance at home and might skip that step all together. But keeping our cuticles in good nick is, happily, not that complicated. “Apply a cuticle oil to your nails and cuticles daily,” recommends Georgie, who rates the CND Cuticle Rescue RXx Oil. “This product is amazing for strengthening and building nails.”

Image: Instagram @harrietwestmoreland

When it’s time to undertake your mani at home, here are Harriet Westmoreland’s shaping tips: “Gently push your cuticles back, as this will help your manicure to last and it will enable you to achieve a clean finish around the cuticle. My favourite tool for the job is Doris, a double ended tool from Navy pro tools.”

Georgie recommends a cuticle nipper to remove dead skin, but proceed with caution – or leave this one to the professionals at your next visit.

Interviews and story by Tess de Vivie de Régie. Holding shot via Instagram @rosiehw

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