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How-To: A Lightning-Fast Manicure

You're running late for a hot date or you've got tickets to a concert. You want your nails to look amazing, but don't have the time to do the full-on manicure treatment. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to do a quickie manicure. Here's how:


  • Step one: Rinse hands with warm water. Apply an oil-based salt (or sugar) scrub to soften and exfoliate hands and nails. Spend some time working the product into each nail, pushing back cuticles as you go. Rinse again with warm water.
  • Step two: Quickly remove any residue and oils from nails twice (trust me) with nail polish remover. Keep pushing back those cuticles.
  • Step three: Choose your polish. This is more of a suggestion than a step, but I highly recommend using a medium-to-lighter shade for your speedy manicure, as dark shades aren't as forgiving of errors. Think about using a polish with a built-in base coat or a quick dry formulation. You're in a hurry, folks — this stuff's got to dry.
  • Step four: Paint! The optimal way would be the "sandwich" way — base coat, two layers of color, and top coat. This is a five-minute manicure after all, so we've got to cheat a little and do a few short tricks. The best way to paint is in a three motion process: first apply one stroke down the middle of your nail, then blend by painting one stroke on each side.
  • For more specific product and polish suggestions

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