Rescue Your Nails: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Perfect Fingers and Toes


What you’ll learn:
The best way to repair smudged polish
The best way to store your polish—not in the fridge
The secret to cleaning up spilled polish (hint: check your desk drawer)
The must-haves in your nail-care arsenal: lemon juice and...

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What you’ll learn:
The best way to repair smudged polish
The best way to store your polish—not in the fridge
The secret to cleaning up spilled polish (hint: check your desk drawer)
The must-haves in your nail-care arsenal: lemon juice and salt
The best way to repair a split or chipped nail
Colors for the beginner, colors for the pro

The ten unbreakable rules of nail care

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Editorial Reviews

“Ji Baek combines impeccable taste with clear-eyed practicality. When Ji talks, beauty editors listen.” –Linda Wells, Editor-in-Chief, Allure
“Ji Baek is queen on the Manhattan manicure! Her practical, eye-opening new book is the ultimate A-to-Z resource or anyone who cares about their hands and feet.” –Sarah Brown, Beauty Director, Vogue
Marie Claire
“Ji is one of our top authorities on nails. For the next big trend, just check out her fingers.” –Ying Chu, Beauty Director, Marie Claire
“Ji makes it fun, she makes it easy, and she makes it glamorous—this is a great read as well as a great guide.” –Jean Godfrey-June, Beauty Director, Lucky
Vanity Fair
“Ji Baek, the nail guru! It’s super simple with great tips…a very smart way to take care of your hands and feet.” –SunHee Grinnell, Beauty Director, Vanity Fair
From the Publisher
“Ji Baek, the nail guru! It’s super simple with great tips…a very smart way to take care of your hands and feet.” –SunHee Grinnell, Beauty Director, Vanity Fair
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761143772
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/29/2007
  • Pages: 166
  • Sales rank: 484,035
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ji Baek founded Rescue Beauty Lounge, New York's top nail salon, in 1998, and soon after started garnering attention in Vogue, InStyle, Allure, New York, Lucky, Jane, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, The New York Times, WWD, and more.

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Read an Excerpt

The Ten (Unbreakable) Rules of Nail Care:

1. Take your vitamins. Nails are keratin-based, so make sure you have enough calcium, protein, and nutrients in your diet.

2. Moisturize and hydrate. Dryness can cause your nails to crack and split. Use moisturizer for your outside, drink plenty of water for your inside.

3. Keep your nails clean. There is nothing more unattractive than having dirt under your nails—remember, clean is chic!

4. File your nails weekly into a smooth, even shape, whether they’re short or long.

5. Take care of your tools. Learn the three S’s—sterilization, sanitation, and storage—and be vigilant. Preventable infections are just that—preventable!

6. Trust your instincts. If it hurts, don’t do it. If it feels wrong, stop it. If (heaven forbid) it bleeds, tend to it immediately.

7. If it chips, take it off! If you can see the chip, everyone can see the chip. Uniformly lovely nails are just a swipe of remover away.

8. Don’t be a slave to the trends. If you’re seeing the same color everywhere, only wear it if you like the way it looks. Say no to peer pressure! 

9. Don’t be afraid of trends. Get out of your rut and try something new!

10. Have fun! Experiment! Remember, your nails’ style is hardly permanent. If you’re even slightly tired of your current look, change it! If you’re not happy, all it takes is some polish remover and you’re back in the safety zone.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1
You’ve got nail
Ji’s story, Land of Opportunity, The Evolution of Beautiful Nails, A Field Guide to the Fingernail, The Ten Unbreakable Rules of Nail Care, You Are Your Nails, The Real Deal on Fakes

Chapter 2
Getting started at home
The Instant Medicine-Cabinet Manicure, Lotions & Potion, Do-It-Yourself Exfoliators, Tools of the Trade: An Illustrated Guide, Three Ways to Sterilize Your Tools

Chapter 3
The at-home rescue manicure
Manicure Mise en Place, Stage One: Trimming and Smoothing, Shaping Up, Stage Two: Cuticle Care, Stage Three: Finishing Up, Stage Four: Cleanup

Chapter 4
The at-home rescue pedicure
Pedicure Mise en Place, Stage One: Getting Ready, Stage Two: Trimming and Shaping, Stage Three: Not-So-Cuticles, Stage Four: Out, Dead Skin!, Stage Five: Finishing Touches-Stage Six: Cleanup

Chapter 5
Polish perfection
Nail Polish Application 101 Polish Mise en Place, Polishing Fingers, Polishing Toes, French Manicure Tips, Nail Emergency 911!, The Big Spill, Reviving Your Manicure…Quickly! Color Theory Easy Colors and Hard Colors, Whites and Clear, Neutrals, Pinks, Reds, Brown Reds, Cutting-Edge Colors, Caring for Your Polish In the Buff: Naked Nails

Chapter 6
The skin you’re in
Aging Hands, The Many Uses of Moisturizer, Working Hands: In the Kitchen, In the Garden, At the Office, Hands in Extreme Conditions, Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!

Chapter 7
The imperfect nail: troubleshooting
Types of Problems: Weakness, Discoloration, Ridges, Splits, White Spots, Homemade Wraps, Foot Therapy: Toenail Shape, Calluses, and other Concerns, Athlete’s Feet

Chapter 8
NBA (nail-biters anonymous)
Twelve Weeks to a New York, Male Biters, The Emergency Kit—and How to Use It The Program Weeks 1-4: Boot Camp; Weeks 5-8: Recovery; Weeks 9-12: The Promised Land, Once the Twelve Weeks Are Over

Chapter 9
Professional nail service

What to Look for in a Professional Salon, Spa and Salon Etiquette, Sanitation and Sterilization, Demystifying the Manicure, Keep It Up!

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    Many women can relate to Ji Baek's childhood desire to have bright shiny nails. She remembers '....begging for little pearly seashell pink dots of nail polish on my tiny, tiny nails, but the response was always a firm no.' After all, she grew up in South Korea in the 1970s under the guidance of a very traditional mother who wanted Ji to become a concert pianist, and definitely believed that nail polish 'was only for trashy little girls.' It's been a long road from there to here for Ji . Hhere is now New York City where in 1998 she founded that city's premier nail spa, Rescue Beauty Lounge. Her accolades are numerous - she's been called 'Queen of the manhattan manicure' by Vogue's Beauty Director, the 'nail guru' by the Beauty Director of Vanity Fair, and a woman with 'straight-talk, charm, and uncompromising standards' by W's Beauty Director. After reading Ji's 'Rescue Your Nails, ' I join her list of devotees. For many years I've been doing home manicures, saving salon manicures and pedicures for very special occasions. To me, my nails looked fine - Thanks to Ji they look oh-so-much better! Her book is an easy to follow, very practical guide to nail care. She opens by introducing the ABC's - her ten rules of nail care, and explaining how much our nails reveal about who we are. (Try it - next time you're out and about take a look at people's nails, both men and women, and see what you discover.) She gives us the straight scoop on fake nails, and lists the necessities for doing at home manicures and pedicures. One of my favorite pre-pedicure treatments is her orange-mint soak, 'one of the best parts of stiletto rehab.' She also offers tips on reviving a manicure, and even instructions on how to file (Confession: I've just been sawing away!). It really does make a difference if you use long slow strokes and not short choppy ones. Full-color photos and step-by-step instructions show how to do a professional at-home manicure and pedicure. Plus Ji makes each easy, fun, and relaxing. - Gail Cooke

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    Notes from a-soon-to-be-ex-nail-biter

    I was a nail biter throughout most of my life (with a few bite-free months spaced throughout). I got this book as part of my effort to really learn to care of my nails.

    I loved this book! I've never had a book on nail care book before, (never had manicures, etc.) so I honestly have nothing to compare it to, but I've learned a great deal about my nails and how to keep them healthy. I especially love the explanation of the tools for feet and the tools for hands; up till now I had no idea that there was a difference or even how to keep my few tools clean! A great book for someone learning to really take care of themselves.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good reference book

    As a self-declared fashionista and product whore, I wasn't sure if I'd learn much from this book. However, I found it useful, motivating, and helpful. It's nice to see someone who has found her passion and can share it with others. I definitely recommend the book to anyone who loves to do their nails at home and wants a little 'friendly push' on how to do it right!

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  • Posted June 11, 2009

    Rescue Your Nails provides excellent recommendations for home manicures and pedicures.

    Ji explains many of the tricks of the trade that ensure a safe home manicure and pedicure that are as good as you would get in the saloon. She is somewhat obsessive about cleanliness and provides 3 options for sterilization of your tools. Great color tips and Nail-biters Anonymous 12 week program too. You might not have to spend money at a saloon again--well maybe occassionally.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2010

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    Posted March 3, 2012

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