So many people always ask me why they can't achieve a salon-quality manicure at home, so I thought I'd break down the technique and the tools for you. DIY manicures are not only a great money saver, but I happen to think they are a relaxing weekend ritual. Here's what you'll need:
- Cotton Balls
- Paper Towels
- Nail Polish Remover
- Emery board
- Cuticle Cutter
- Cuticle Remover
- Wooden manicure stick
- Base Coat
- Nail Polish
- Step 1, Remove Old Nail Polish: Begin with clean, dry hands and be sure there is no dirt under your fingernails. Then, wet the cotton balls with nail polish remover and one at a time, press down firmly on the nail and then pull away so that you get most of the polish off in one fell swoop. Repeat until all of the nail polish is off.
- Step 2, Trim and File: Next, cut your nails to the desired length, or, if they are short, you can simply file them to a uniform length and/or shape. Popular nail shapes include variations on rounded edges, long and short squares and pointy tips.
- Step 3, Cuticle Maintenance: After your nails are shaped, take your oil or cream based cuticle remover and dab a generous amount over each cuticle. Then, soak your hands in warm soapy water for a few minutes. You can do this at the sink or with a bowl filled with mild soap. Remove your hands from the water, dry them and push your cuticles back with the wooden manicure stick. If they are red and swollen just leave them be. If they are healthy (pink) you can gently trim them with your cuticle cutter. Do not over-trim.
- Step 4, Base Coat and Color: Apply a base coat to your nails and let it dry for about thirty seconds. This will act as an adhesive for the polish. Next, prepare to add color to your nails by shaking the nail polish bottle to mix the ingredients. Wipe the front and back of the brush off on the tip of the bottle so that you coat your nails evenly. Begin at the base of your nail and steadily bring the brush towards the tip. Wait a few minutes before applying a second coat. Wait another few minutes and apply a top coat for added shine and protection against chipping.
For the final two steps,