Tips for a DIY Manicure with a Professional Look August 07 2014

A good manicure or even a pedicure (especially in the summer months full of flip-flops and peep toe shoes) can make a big difference. One of the first things many people will notice about you is your hands with well shaped nails being the icing on the cake.

You really don’t need to spend all of your hard earned cash on a weekly professional manicure to make a great impression; you can do it at home yourself. Here’s how:

  • Take off your old nail polish using remover.  A cotton bud dipped in nail polish remover will help to get the stubborn color out of the corners.
  • Re-shape your nails; it’s amazing how quickly they grow, particularly in the warmer summer months. Be sure to file them in a single direction towards the center until they are all at the desired length and shape.  The most flattering shape for nails is not square, it’s not long and it’s not short – it’s somewhere in between.  Try to match the shape of the base of your nails with the other end.

  • Next you can get to work with some cuticle remover – don’t skip this important step because it makes a big difference to the overall finished appearance however, if you usually use cuticle remover cream but have run out of it don’t worry too much and go on to the next step, it won’t make too much difference just this one time.
  • Soak your fingers for around 5 minutes in warm water with a few drops of almond or jojoba oil, in fact choose your favorite oil because any of them will work just fine. Pat your hands dry and go on to the next important step.

  • With an orangewood stick wrapped in moist cotton wool push the cuticles back gently – don’t try cutting them because it’s extremely delicate and painful if you go wrong.  Clean under each nail carefully with the orangewood stick.
  • Apply nail varnish remover one more time using a cotton wool ball. This will prepare your nails for the new coats of polish. The surface needs to be as clean and dry as it can possibly be before you start polishing.
  • Apply a thin base coat to all of your nails starting from the outside (pinky finger) and working in on each hand. This will stop you from smudging the freshly painted nails with your other hand as you move from nail to nail.
  • When the base coat is dry you can start painting with your favorite color.  Multiple thin coats work much better than fewer, thicker coats.  Professionals apply nail polish in just three strokes per nail, one down the center and one on each side. If you can perfect this technique that’s great, if not it just takes a little practice.
  • Make sure that each coat is dried before applying the next – at least 2 minutes should be fine. If you wrap a little polish around and under the nail it will last longer before chipping.
  • When you have finished applying the color leave your nails to dry for around 20 minutes then apply a top, clear coat for added protection.

And that’s all there is to it  . . . .