The grooming rules for an SQ stewardess are notoriously strict. Besides the makeup rules, which decree that only selected colours be used - blue eyeshadow for cool skin tones and brown for warm skin tones; bright red lipstick shades only - even her nails must be appropriately groomed.
The official SQ nail polish colour is red - specifically, a bright chilli red, not anything remotely dark like maroon or burgundy. In fact, only in 2013 were reds with a slight pink tone such as shades of cerise or ruby allowed.
Needless to say, an SQ stewardess’ nails must always be painted and most stewardesses also carry a bottle of polish in their handbags, in case of chipping. Toe nails aren’t spared. either - if a stewardess doesn’t paint her toe nails, she is required to wear stockings that cover her feet.
This constant wearing of nail polish is harsh on nails, to say the least. So good nail care is an absolute must. Here’s what many an SQ stewardess does to care for her nails.
1. Apply hand and nail cream obsessively
A lot of the job of a stewardess involves her hands. She’s serving food and giving out in-flight amenities, pushing carts and keeping the cabin neat and comfortable. A hand and nail cream (stashed away in her handbag) is applied at every opportunity. Even when nails are painted, this moisturising remedy can be rubbed onto nail beds and fingertips to protect and nourish nails.
2. Remove all nail polish after every flight
Nails need to breathe so a thorough removal of nail polish is crucial if a stewardess has at least a couple of days off before her next flight. Yes, the constant removal and re-application of nail polish means she’s usually an expert at painting her own nails.
3. Stay away from acetone removers
Acetone-based removers may be able to swipe off nail polish faster and more thoroughly, but they’re horribly harsh on nails. SQ stewardesses usually reach for acetone-free removers, which are kinder to nails in the long run.
4. Nourish nails
Her days off (and when the nail polish is off) are when an SQ stewardess really gets to pamper and nourish her nails, slather on cuticle oils and nail creams, and maybe slip on a cotton glove for a while too, to let it all soak in.
5. Eat for healthy nails
Picking biotin-rich foods like cauliflower and avocados helps to strengthen nails and keep them healthy. There are also oral hair and nail supplements that can help do the trick.
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