Q. How do I strengthen soft nails?
A. ‘The perfect nail is strong but flexible,’ insists Mayfair-based Iris Chapple.  She (like us) recommends massaging oil into cuticles at night, like clockwork; nail hardeners, by contrast, can over-dry and over-strengthen nails so that they ultimately break and shatter. Adds Iris: ‘If you have soft nails, your worst enemy is water. Wear rubber gloves for washing-up, cotton gloves for housework – and keep hands above the water in the bath, ‘having first slathered them in cuticle cream.’ Don’t neglect diet, either, Iris advises. ‘vitamin B, wholegrains and cereals all help build healthy strong nails.’