Wednesday, February 25, 2015

10 Steps to a Complete At Home Manicure

I have always enjoyed having my nails done at a salon, however since it takes so much of my time I end up going very sparingly. A year ago I started researching and looking for ways to do my own nails at home. It is very calming and relaxing plus I get to test different colors! So here goes my easy way...

1. File your nails or cut them depending on how long they are and how long you want them. I like to keep mine short in order to avoid unintentional scratches!

2. Apply cuticle remover. Sally Hansen´s cuticle remover is a good option since it works fast and gets the job done. Leave it for a minute or two and then push back the cuticles very gently with an orange wood stick or any of those rubberized manicure instruments. Another option is to leave your hands in a bowl with warm water for a while until your cuticles have softened. As you may know, cuticles are important to the health of the nail and we shouldn't cut them. That being said, I do cut hangnails whenever I find them! with a cuticle cutter (see third picture below).

3. Buffing. This is good for when you have any residue on the nail that does not come out with the cuticle pusher which is what happened today! I don't usually buff my nails because they can get very thin and brittle.

4. Use a hand scrub then wash your hands. Massage for about a minute and then wash your hands with soap and water. Or if you don´t have any at home, mix a bit of sugar with hand cream. That should do the trick. This step is optional, I try to do this once a month in order to get rid of dead skin cells. It leaves your hands feeling soft and smooth.

5. Moisturize. Use a heavy hand cream. I sometimes use olive oil which is great for the cuticles and hands. It is greasy but it's so good for my cuticles that I usually put up with the sticky factor for a while and then wash my hands after my nails are polished.

6. Clean your nail bed. Use a damp cotton swab to clean the oils left by the olive oil or the hand cream you applied before. This is very important. We want the nail polish to stick to the nail so we need a very clean nail bed.

7. Apply base coat. A very thin layer is what we need. Revlon's colorstay gel smooth base coat is excellent!

8. Apply two coats of color polish. I used Splash of Grenadine by Essie which I got during my last trip to the U.S. See my travel section where you will find the places we visited. You can have a look at part of our trip hereThese two coats of polish should be somewhat thin. I usually do the three strokes method - paint a line in the middle of the nail, leaving visible nail towards the cuticle, then another line on the right and then on the left - but it hasn't always worked in my favor...having to use other "non-approved methods" such as doing small strokes everywhere in hopes that everything would look acceptable! However, practice does pay off and now it is pretty easy to do. Leave one side of the brush free of polish in order to work with the amount left on the opposite side. Also, I always use a correcting pen to erase any slips of the brush. Sally Hansen sells a good one. Your manicures will look salon-like when you clean the skin around the nail.

9. Apply Top Coat. I've repurchased Sally Hansen´s Insta-Dry Top Coat many times and it is quite shiny and fast drying.

And that's it! Remember it is all about step number 10 and enjoying the process!
How often do you get a manicure? I go through months when I barely paint my nails but then other months I do them every week or even twice a week.

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