While every woman will always appreciate well-manicured, perfect nails on others, most have a love/hate relationship with their own. Beautifully shaped and polished nails can not only give a massive boost to your level of confidence, they also give you a reason to smile through the day by making you feel classier and more put-together. However, a manicure at the salon can often be too expensive to afford every other week, which is why it is important to know how to care for your nails at home.
Here is the good news: Having perfect nails is simpler than it looks! All you really need is the right products, knowing the right (though thankfully simple!) technique to use the products, and about 30 minutes of your time. Sporting perfectly groomed nails has never been easier!
1. Remove nail polish
– Before you can start preparing your nails for a perfect manicure, you need to remove old, chipped polish. Make sure you invest in a good quality nail polish remover, as a cheaper quality product can leave your nails dry and brittle. Simply use a ball of cotton, dip in some remover and wipe off the old polish. In case you have a darker shade on, you might have to work extra hard and repeat the process 2-3 times till all the old color comes off. A tip to make the job easier – cover nails with the remover dipped cotton ball and leave for a couple of seconds, and you will find the old polish comes off with just a single swipe.
2. Cut and Shape
– Now that the old polish is gone, it is time to cut your nails and shape them in a way you prefer. If you are a busy girl, short nails that have rounded or straight edges work best. They look sophisticated while being practical at the same time. However, for those aiming for a classy, feminine look, well-filed, longer nails are the better choice. To get the perfect nails, always use the nail file in one direction; going from the edge to the center. Filing in both directions will leave the nails with jagged ends.
3. Warm soak
– Now that your nails are shaped, soak your hands in some warm soapy water. This cleans the dirt and dust embedded in the nails, while softening the cuticles so they can be pushed back easily. However, if you have longer nails, do not soak for more than 3 minutes as leaving your hands in water too long results in a swollen nail bed.
4. Get rid of dead skin
– Use a hand scrub or a general body scrub to slough off dry, dead skin from your hands. This not only makes your hands look perky and smoother, it also does wonders to remove any loose dry skin or hang nails around the cuticles. Rub a little around the nail, and you will find that your nails look whiter and your hands softer.
5. Fixing cuticles
– You can either push back the cuticles or remove them completely. Use a good cuticle remover all over the nail and push back the extra cuticle to the base of each nail. In fact, use one that has some glycolic acid and AHAs to moisturize the skin, especially if you are prone to hangnails. If you want to remove the cuticle, use a cuticle clipper to remove all excess skin.
6. Buffing nails
– The next step to get perfect nails is to buff them. Using a nail buffer, work on each of your nails. Doing this will smoothen out the ridges on the nails and give them a natural healthy gloss.
7. Nail oil
– Most of us are not blessed with strong nails, but it is possible to add strength and shine to your nails by massaging them with a good quality nail oil. Good nail oils will contain natural jojoba oil, almond oil and be enriched with Vitamin E. These oils provide nourishment to the nails and also hydrate and condition the nail bed and cuticles. Massage a drop of nail oil into your nails. Using the oil regularly results in healthier and stronger nails. Remember to massage your nails every night with a bit of nail oil for nails that you will be proud of.
8. Prepping for polish
– Now that your nails are moisturized, it is time to prep them for polish. But before you do so, use a wet wipe to remove all traces of nail oil from the nails. The next step will be to apply a base coat. This will make your polish last longer without staining your nails or yellowing them.
9. Painting your nails
– Choose a color you like and apply the nail polish using three smooth strokes. Paint the middle of the nail in one clean swipe, followed by applying color on either side. Let the paint dry before you apply another coat of paint. Applying a single coat of polish can make it chip easily, and since you are putting in so much effort, you might as well give it another few minutes and seal the deal with two coats of color! Once applied, give your nails ample time for the polish to dry.
10. Quick drying top coat
– The last and final step. Apply a quick drying transparent top coat of polish that will seal in the colored polish. Make sure you pay extra attention to the tips, as that is where your manicure is most prone to chipping. Give yourself sufficient time when you are doing your nails. This is not something you would want to do in a rush.
The Final Word
So you see, getting manicure or pedicure at home is all too easy! Salon manicures might seem like worth the money you pay because you find it hard to get the same finish at home. But if you simply follow these 10 easy steps; you can get yourself a wonderfully relaxing manicure at home that is guaranteed to stay chip-free for two weeks while saving you a lot of money.