We're happy to present this article from one of our favorite sites, Real Beauty.
Nail art has become as ubiquitous as an ombré mane or black ankle booties. Thanks to Deborah Lippmann's surprisingly easy-to-do tips and tricks, you can skip the salon and attend to your digits in the comfort of your own home. Get expert manicure ideas when you read more.
1. Grooming is key. The most important thing is to start with nails that are the same length and shape, and cuticles that are pushed back. Once you achieve this, Lippmann says you're set to start!
2. Be careful! People tend to try to make polish look like the shade in the bottle on the first coat, but you want to apply two thin coats and build the color, advises Lippmann. If you use too much lacquer, the color will peel and chip easily. If you apply very thin coats, let the polish dry in between each layer (waiting at least a minute or two) so that the solvents evaporate. This will make it wear better and last longer.
3. Hydrating is important. "Most of us don't hydrate nearly as much as we should, and our nails would look a lot better if we did," says Lippmann. "Try to moisturize your hands with hand cream or cuticle oil every time you wash them."
4. Be creative! When it comes to fun DIY nail art, Lippmann suggests starting by painting ideas on fake nail tips before actual nails. "It's not rocket science, but it does take a little bit of practice. Playing with nail tips takes some of the fear out of it. Women feel different when their nails are different shades, and we like being able to state what our mood is by showing it on our nails. Have fun with it!"
5. Shape up. The shape of the nail can help to elongate your hands and improve the overall appearance. Never saw back and forth on the tip of the nail. File from each outside edge toward the center of the nail. "Right now I am enjoying a slightly longer, almond-shaped nail. It's very slenderizing, quite sexy, and still very strong," says Lippmann. "Stay away from a super square-shaped nail, it's not the most flattering shape and makes fingers look shorter."
6. Exfoliate. Similar to your skin, your nails need to be exfoliated to stay strong and healthy. Use the Smooth Operator Buffer and buff nails with fabric #1, #2, and #3. Only use fabric #4 when you are not finishing with nail lacquer. This brings the nails to a high gloss causing it to not adhere. Don't over-file or over-buff, but make sure your nails tips are smooth to prevent tearing.
7. Cap it! During the application of each layer, be sure to cap the tip of the nail to seal the color — it will make a huge difference in the wear.
8. Layer. You can paint a shade that has a little bit of shimmer over a crème shade and completely change the look. "The fun thing about layering is that youre creating your own color," says Lippmann. "Let your creativity come out — you can't make a mistake!"
9. Don't cut! "I'm a big believer that cutting the cuticle is not the way to go. Your skin is your body's largest organ and your cuticles are the end of the skin — they are meant to be there to act as barrier for bacteria. The Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover is a convenient way to care for and maintain cuticles because it's a completely waterless system. Apply it liberally to all nails where the skin meets the nail and gently push the cuticles back. You must go around the cuticle area several times to get a clean cuticle, finally wipe clean with a piece of cotton.
10. Fix a chip! If you have a little chip, put remover on the pad of your index finger and smooth out the ridge where it is. After you let that dry, take a thin coat of polish and dab (not brush) the polish on, then lift the brush. Let it dry for thirty seconds to a minute, then apply a top coat over the whole nail.
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