Who doesn’t admire perfectly manicured nails? There is a certain kind of classiness about them that keeps you smiling all days and boosts your self confidence too! But, let’s face it – lots of women neither have the time nor can afford to get their nails done professionally every 2 – 3 weeks. Read on to find out how you can always sport perfect nails with a lot less effort and without burning a hole in your pocket…
We know that at-home manicures have a lot of advantages over salon manicures. The only thing most women worry about is the salon finish that’s hard to get when you do it yourself. Trust me, it’s a lot easier than you think and with a little practice, you can sport salon perfect nails all the time!
(Image by: Hanna)
Steps to follow when doing your own manicure
1. Remove Old Polish
The 1st step in any manicure is to remove old polish. Use a cotton ball or pad dipped in acetone polish remover to remove old polish completely. If it’s a darker shade or takes longer to remove, leave the acetone dipped cotton on the nails for a little while and then remove the polish. It comes off easily.
2. Cut and Shape Your Nails
Cut your nails to the desired length. For a professional look and convenience, keep your nails short. Cut them straight across and round the edges for a modern, sophisticated look. Use emery boards to file the nails and go in only one direction – from the edges to the center. This will keep your nails healthy and prevent uneven edges. Avoid metal nail files as they are really rough on nails.
3. Soak Your Hands in Warm Soapy Water
Take a small bowl with warm water and add your favorite soap. You can also add any scented oil for a spa like feeling. Dip your hands in this for about 5 – 10 min. This will clean your nails and leave your cuticles really soft. Pat your hands dry.
4. Remove / Push back Cuticles
If you like to have no cuticles, apply cuticle remover to all the nails and push the cuticles towards the base of the nails using an orangewood stick. Then, using cuticle clipper, clip the excess cuticles. You can also use a regular nail clipper but make sure you are clipping the cuticles, not pulling them. Be very careful not to clip your skin or flesh.
If you don’t want to remove cuticles and yet have that clean manicure look, apply cuticle oil to soften the cuticles and push the cuticles back with an orangewood stick. Wipe with a cotton ball and the cuticles that are loose will come off leaving the healthy ones in place.
5. Apply Moisturizer
Dab moisturizer on your hands and massage it in all the way to your elbow. This will leave your skin silky smooth.
6. Polish Your Nails
Before you apply polish, remove any oil or cream on your nails using acetone remover. Apply a base coat and let it dry for 2 min. Then apply 2 coats of your favorite color and give it about 30 min to dry completely. Apply the top coat only after the color has completely dried. This is the advantage of doing your own manicure – you are not in a hurry to finish the manicure.
Quick dry top coats can ideally be applied as soon as you are done with your polish – but you will have to give it sufficient time for all the coats to completely dry. Else, there is a good chance you will spoil your color and make it smudgy or uneven. So I prefer waiting before applying the top coat. This way the top coat dries in minutes and you are all set! After the top coat is dry, go over the sides of your nails with an acetone dipped cotton cloth wrapped around the orangewood stick to remove any extra polish on your skin.
Voila! You’re done!
A Quick Tip for those in a hurry
Spray Moisturizing Oil
If you cannot afford to wait till the polish has dried, spritz your nails with a moisturizing oil like SolarSpeed spray. This sets your polish, moisturizes your cuticles and gives your nails an amazing shiny look.