Tips from Hand Model Ashly Covington
In case you hadn’t noticed, winter is here with a vengeance this year. The cold biting winds, frost and dry heated indoor air can really take a toll on your skin, and the relatively thin dry skin on your hands is especially vulnerable. How do you winterize your hand care routine? I asked one of the world’s top hand models, Ashly Covington, to share her hand care secrets.
Originally from Virginia, now based in New York, Covington is one of the industry’s most sought-after hand models. Her flawless hands, which have graced many an advertisement and fashion spread, are scrupulously cared for; keep reading to learn how she keeps her hands camera-ready.
DC on Heels: Please describe your hand care routine.
Ashly Covington: I take very good care of my hands and nails. It is something that has become a routine that is ongoing through my day and consists of constant moisturizing. I keep small bottles of olive oil around and am consistently moisturizing. At night or if I am watching a movie I will put on a thicker lotion like a cocoa or shea butter with a layer of Vaseline and wear gloves to let my hands get a deep moisturizing. I love rubbing vitamin E oil into my cuticles and nail beds. The best thing that you can do to keep your hands looking healthy and beautiful is to make sure they are moisturized.
DCOH: What are some of your favorite products?
AC: One of my favorite nail polish lines is Patricia Yankee’s. You can find her polish collection online at Ricky’s. I love her polishes because they go on smooth with no streaking and the brush is great. It makes painting your nails a breeze. I am also a fan of Chanel and Essie polishes. The colors are great.
See Covington’s favorite lotions and products here.
DCOH: Do you change your routine in the winter? How do you address winter dryness?
AC: In the winter I have to make sure to moisturize more frequently, and I will use the heavier lotions more often during the day. I also always wear gloves outside.
DCOH: How do you maintain your perfect nails? Is there a special nail soak that you use?
AC: About once a month, I will rub a lemon over my nails and soak them in lemon water for about 10 minutes. This helps avoid any stains from polish and just promotes a healthy nail.
DCOH: How do you keep your cuticles moisturized and looking perfect?
AC: Vitamin E! Rub a little drop of Vitamin E into your cuticles and nail beds and they will look and feel great. Also, NEVER let a manicurist clip your cuticles. That is one of the worst things that you can do for your nails.
DCOH: Are there any activities that you avoid to protect your hands and nails?
AC: Yes! I had to stop playing the great game of foosball. It is too easy to break a nail the way that I enjoy playing the game. I have to think about protecting my hands a lot because if I break a nail or get a cut then I am out of work until it heals. Because of this, I avoid a lot of activities that might put them in harm’s way. I have never felt this as a hardship — just something I have to think about.
DCOH: Are there any foods/drinks that you avoid to keep your hands looking great?
AC: Not that I can think of. I was never a coffee drinker, so I never had to give that up. Drinking a lot of caffeinated drinks before or during a job is not a good idea as it can make your hands shaky. Also, it is always good to avoid any foods that could stain your skin if you are working. I once saw a hand model eating Cheetos during a break and it was a funny ordeal to get all that orange off before the next shot.
DCOH: Are there any foods/supplements that you take for your nails/skin?
AC: WATER! Drink lots of water! It isn’t good to keep your hands in water for long periods of time as that can be very drying to the skin, but drinking lots of water is the best thing you can do for your skin.
DCOH: What do you typically do before a shoot to achieve picture-perfect hands?
AC: Since I never know when a job will happen, a lot of hand modeling jobs book the day before, I always keep my hands in picture-perfect condition. The night before a shoot, I will do a deep moisturizing layer and keep gloves on for as long as I can. I always pull them off in my sleep.
DCOH: What is the number one enemy of beautiful hands? How do you address it?
AC: Those little cuts that happen that you don’t know how they happened. Hands are the most used part of our bodies, and it is a challenge to make sure they are always flawless. I wear gloves a lot of the time. Another big enemy to beautiful hands is dryness. I make sure that I always use Pure Harmony soaps when I wash my hands as they put moisture back into your skin instead of stripping it away.
DCOH: How often do you get professional manicures? Do you get any other professional treatments for your hands/nails?
AC: A lot of times manicures are part of the job, so I don’t have a regular schedule as my nails are always being changed for shoots. I do not get any other professional treatments for my hands/nails.
DCOH: Do you have any other recommendations for achieving and maintaining beautiful hands?
AC: Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize! That is the best thing you can do to improve the look of your hands and to ensure that they age well.