There’s nothing like a professional manicure and well-painted nails to make you feel glamorous all day long. Unfortunately, having your nails done at the salon can become costly, but by following a few tips, you can be on your way to creating a professional looking manicure in the comfort of your own home.
Tools of the Trade
Giving yourself a manicure at home is easy, especially if you have the right products. Here’s a list of everything you need:
- Cotton balls and cotton swabs – Cotton balls are essential for removing old nail polish from your nails, while cotton swabs are great for removing any excess polish that gets on your skin during your manicure.
- Non-acetone nail polish remover – the is great for removing polish from your natural nails, and unlike acetone remover, it won’t damage your nails.
- Nail file, clippers and a cuticle stick – a nail file is essential for shaping your nails, while nail clippers are great for to have around should you need to cut your nails. A cuticle stick helps to push down your cuticles and is safer than cutting them.
- Cuticle oil or cream and moisturizing lotion – keeping your cuticles and hands moisturized is key for keeping your nails and hands looking great.
- Base and Top Coat – applying a base coast helps to protect your nails from the effects of the polish, while a top coat creates shine and helps your manicure last longer.
- Your Favorite Nail Polish – there are so many great brands available at all different price points, so choose whichever brand and color you like.
The Professional Treatment at Home
Getting the professional treatment at home involves a little more than just painting your nails. By taking a few extra minutes for a few extra steps, you can transform your hands, cuticle and nails into true works of art.
Prep Your Nails
Start by removing any old polish with your non-acetone nail polish. Once the polish is removed, use your nail file to shape your nails to the shape you like. Always file your nails in one direction, starting with edges and then working towards the top.
If your cuticles are in need of some work, soak your hands in some soapy water for about 3-5 minutes. This will help to soften your cuticles and make them easier to work with. Next, apply some cuticle oil or cream onto your cuticles. Follow this up by pushing your cuticles back with your cuticle stick. Remember to never cut your cuticles, as this can lead to infection and nail damage.
Once your cuticles are done, apply a moisturizer to your hands and nails and work it into your skin. Then wipe any excess moisturizer from your nails with a damp towel.
Apply a Base
Now that your hands and nails are ready, you can begin to apply your base coat. Use a three-stroke method for easy application. Start by brushing the base coat over the middle of your nail, then brush it over one side of the nail and then the other. This process can be used to apply your polish and top coat and ensures an even application. If working from the center and then moving out to the sides works better for you, you can opt for this application process instead.
After letting your base coat dry for one minute, it is time to apply your nail polish. Be sure to apply two coats of your nail polish to each nail to ensure full coverage. Once you have finished applying two coats of polish, apply your top coat. To ensure your top coat goes on nicely, start with the first nail you polished and then work you way through to the last nail.
Clean Your Work
Finally, use a cotton swab or a tooth pick, dipped in nail polish remover, to remove any excess polish that may have gotten on your skin. Let your nails dry fully before going one with the rest of your day.