With at least six more weeks of winter ahead of us, and temperatures dropping as fast as the stock market, it’s not just our faces that are suffering from a serious case of cold-air aging. Look down: how do your hands look? Dry? Chapped? I thought so. And your nails? Yikes. Luckily for you we got a backstage pass to New York Fashion Week’s Colovos runway show, where Zoya Nail Polish was all about giving the girls a gorgeous winter nail look (don’t worry: my hands were in my pockets the whole time). We got to chat with lead manicurist, Alicia Torello, about her go-to remedies for upping your nail game. These are serious insider tips, so keep reading.

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Water: drink it. Lots of it. Your skin is your largest organ and it needs to be hydrated to not look like a flaky mess. Torello emphasizes the utter importance of starting from the inside and overloading your body with good ol’ H2O.

Essential Oils
Torello’s most insidery-insider tip can be found at (almost) any grocery (Whole Foods) or drugstore (Amazon). Essential oils such sea buckthorn or tamanu are great for hydrating your cuticles, while many of the “cuticle oils” you might find on the shelves are full of have alcohol, which has the exact opposite effect. Remember to apply in the morning and at night. Pro tip: add chamomile or lavender oil for a drool-worthy fragrance.

Use a Serum
Spritz your hands with a hydrating serum (Torello likes Zoya’s Hydrating Hand and Body serum). Look for something with a high concentration of hyaluronic acid which draws moisture deep into your skin.

Torello is a big fan of locking in your new-found hydration with a healing hand cream. Zoya’s Naked Manicure Hand and Body Cream is just the ticket. It will lock onto your serum, and save every bit of moisture your dainty hands need.

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Stay Away From Gel Manicures
Or, if you can’t stay away totally, limit the number of times you get them. The gel can make your nails dry and brittle.

Add color
Find a nail color that makes you happy and will give you reason to keep your hands in tip top shape. At the Colovos show, Torello painted model’s nails with “Mary,” a kind of silvery-mauve which looked amazing.