Have you always wondered how to get the perfect manicure at home? Well look no further! We’re here to help you buff and shine like never before!
Having a shiny new manicure is bound to make anyone feel a little more confident. Polished nails are the best accessory for any outfit, but when it costs at least 50 dollars (or more!) to get a manicure it might not seem worth it. And when you do your nails at home, they don’t always come out looking salon quality. But they can! With these tips and tricks, your at-home manicure will look like you stepped out of the salon.
Prepping the Nails
Prepping the nails for the polish is the most important part. Nail salons spend so much time buffing and scrubbing your nails before painting so, why shouldn’t you? So first things first: take off any old polish that is still left on your nails. That will leave your canvas clean and ready for the next steps!
Next, you’ll want to cut, file, and shape your nails. Having your nails all the same length will make it look professional. So if you, unfortunately, have a nail break short, you’re going to have to cut them all to that length. That can be a bummer if all you want is long beautiful nails, but your nails will grow back (I promise!) and you won’t even notice when you have your nails perfectly painted at the end. If you have long nails, use the larger grit on a file to change the shape completely. Then, use a smaller grit to clean them up and smooth out the shape. After this step, go wash the nail dust off and scrub under your nails to remove any dirt or rouge nail dust.
Usually, nail salons will soak the fingertips in warm, soapy water for a few minutes to soften everything for the next few steps. If you’re looking for the full at-home salon experience, go ahead and do this step! It’s easier to do both hands at the same time, but then you might be stuck standing at the sink for a few minutes in silence. Be sure to turn on some music before you’re stuck! By now your cuticles should be soft, so you can push them back with a cuticle pusher or an orange stick. Careful, though! Don’t be too rough. Gentle pushes will get the dead skin up and push your cuticle back just far enough.
Getting the dead skin removed and pushing back your cuticle is important. It keeps your manicure looking fresher, longer and will help it look like you got it done professionally! You can also take this time to use cuticle cutters, nail scissors or even nail clippers to remove any hangnails around the skin. If you do have cuticle cutters, don’t let the name fool you. Cutting your cuticle can cause small cuts that can lead to infection, so be careful.
Prep is almost done! Lightly buff your nails, so that the polish sticks better, and make sure to wash off everything from the last few steps. Then, rub in moisturizer all over your hands. Don’t forget to rub moisturizer into your cuticles and let it sit and soak in while you relax.
Painting the Nails
Finally! While prep may seem to have so many steps, it will all pay off in the long run in making your manicure look professional. Before painting, make sure you take some acetone on a cotton pad and wipe away any moisturizer on your nails. Oils and lotion residue won’t make the nail polish adhere as well, so this step is important.
A nail polish base can help to protect the nail against staining and can help the nail polish stick to the nail. Topcoats can also double as treatments, whether you need strengthening, growth or conditioning. While they have many benefits, it isn’t a necessary step.
Painting your nails is the fun part! You can choose any color, and won’t be charged extra for any extra color or fun design. Try to get a small amount of polish on the brush so you don’t flood your cuticle or the sides of your nail. If you do? No worries – get a q-tip or old, tiny paintbrush dipped in nail polish remover and clean everything up. One to two coats should make everything opaque and shiny, depending on the color. Make sure you wait in between each coat so that no bubbles form.
A good topcoat is a sure-fire way to make your nails look salon quality. If you’re in a rush, a quick-dry topcoat is the way to go. But a high-shine topcoat (my personal favorite) will make your nails look ultra-glossy and professional. With whatever topcoat you choose, make sure you take the time to let it dry completely. Smudges and fuzz getting stuck in your manicure aren’t cute or professional! When it’s all dry, finish up with cuticle oil or lotion on your hands and take care to rub it into your cuticles.
After all that, your manicure should be looking fresh, glossy, and professional! You’ll likely get compliments on your new nails, and the best part of that? Knowing you did it all yourself.
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