04 Jun How to Nail Your At-Home Manicure
Whether you’re still feeling a bit wary about visiting your local nail salon or you’ve gotten used to that sweet feeling of saving all that cash from skipping your usual appointment, it’s never a bad thing to know how to whip your nails into shape from the comfort of your couch.
It’s an undeniably great feeling to have perfectly polished and shaped nails. There’s something about it that makes you feel like you can take on the world. And, the right shade can even disguise some of the signs of aging that hands are notorious for showing.
But, it does come at a cost of both time and money to have your nails professionally done. Luckily, it’s not all that hard to do at home if you have the right tools in your beauty bag.
Here’s what you’ll need…
- A good quality nail file
- A pair of sharp and precise nail scissors
- Cuticle pusher
- A pair of cuticle trimmers
- Cuticle oil
- Nail buffer
- Your choice of top and base coat
- Nail colour of choice
Our top tips before you start your DIY manicure…
Preparation is everything and, in many cases, even more important than the quality of polish you choose. Don’t be lazy about your manicure and jump straight to the polish part.
If you want to really improve your nail health to make at-home manicures even easier, consider a collagen or biotin supplement, both of which improve the strength of your hair, skin and nails.
Always leave your thumbs as the last two nails you paint. This way, you can use them to tidy the edges of other fingers without worrying about smudging freshly painted polish.
How-to do a manicure at-home…
Step one – Remove any old nail polish, wash your hands and use the end of your cuticle pusher to remove any dirt from underneath your nails.
Step two – Use the nail scissors to trim your nails and even out the length so they all match. Then, use your nail file to shape them to your desired shape. Take things slowly when you shape to prevent taking off too much length. A great way to do this is to only file from the centre of your nail outward on each half rather than filing back and forth.
Step three – Use your nail buffer to gently buff away any damage or texture on your nails by lightly scrubbing back and forth.
Step four – In a bowl of warm water, soak your fingertips for about three minutes to soften the cuticles before using the cuticle pusher to gently push excess skin off your nails toward the nail bed.
Step five – Using your cuticle trimmer, carefully trim away any excess skin or callouses from the edges of your nails until you have a clean and neat canvas. Be careful not to pull or tear at the skin as your try to remove it as this will cause unnecessary damage.
Step six – Moisturise your hands and nails and massage your cuticle oil into your fingertips. Your nail growth starts at your top knuckle so be sure to massage the area between your nail and knuckle as well as around the edges of your nail. Use a cotton bud to wipe any excess product from the surface of your nails before you start.
Step seven – Start with your choice of base coat and apply a thin layer to each nail, leaving your thumbs until last. Allow it to dry completely before adding any other polish.
Step eight – When your base coat is dry, apply a thin layer of your nail polish leaving your thumb nails until last so you can use them to tidy any edges as you go. If you need to apply a second coat to intensify the colour, ensure the first coat is completely dry.
Step nine – When the coloured polish is dry, finish with a thin layer of top coat to add shine and improve the staying power of your polish.
Step ten – Be patient and allow your nails to fully dry before reapplying your moisturiser. If you don’t have much time, you can use a fan to help your nails dry but don’t use heat as this can make your nails and the polish brittle and prone to chipping.
For lasting results, top up your nails with an extra coat of thinly applied top coat every few days until you’re ready to change colours or completely re-do your manicure.