It can be intimidating, but with the right tools, and a little patience you can perform a manicure at home with even better than spa results!
The biggest mistake people make when cleaning their nails is using an acetone nail polish remover, which can leave nails dry and brittle. Dip a cotton swab into the remover and, avoiding the cuticle, swipe the nail from base to tip, removing polish. (This may take several passes). When all traces of polish are removed, wash hands and dry completely.
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Using an emery board, file and shape the nails, using a singular-direction movement towards the tip. (Sawing back and forth can tear the nail) Your best guide for the shape should be your cuticles, and mimicking that oval shape works for every hand. TIP: For longer nails, you can check to see if they are shaped well by looking at them with your palms up!
Apply a cuticle cream to soften this delicate tissue.
Soak fingertips in warm water with dishwashing liquid. TIP: For a spa-like experience add a few drops of healing rose oil to this bath.
Using a nail brush, gently clean nail beds and the top of fingers. This will exfoliate to remove dirt and dead skin.
Gently push back cuticles with a wooden cotton swab (often called an orange stick).
Clip only cuticles as any other clipping can damage the delicate tissue around the nail.
Using a buffer in one direction can improve nail texture and increase the longevity of your lacquer. TIP: If you aren't using polish, using a jewelers polish will leave nails extra shiny!!!!
Base coat, two color coats, and top coat. You should be able to coat each nail in three strokes, center and each side. Take your time to ensure that no polish gets on the cuticle or skin. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly in between coats. TIP: A good test of polish dryness is to touch you tongue to your nail, and if you taste polish it isn't dry yet! TIP: If you make a mistake, tap a non-polished finger onto a paper towel soaked with polish remover and blend polish in a circular pattern to smooth and apply another coat!