Beauty How-To: Give Yourself a Manicure

Manicures are an easy way to drop a lot of dough on something you can do at home. No matter how unsteady you think your hand may be, with the right tools and our tips you’ll be polishing your way to perfection in no time.

Remove Old Nail Polish:
Cover a cotton ball with a non-acetone polish remover and take off any old color on your nails. Remember to remove the nail polish that slips underneath your nails.

Have a Good Soak:
Add a gentle soap to a bowl of warm water and let your nails soak until the cuticles become soft. Not only will this weaken the dreaded cuticle, but it will also get rid of any excess polish remover still on your hands.

Clip and Shape:
Clip nails straight across to the length you like. Then, use a nail file to smooth and shape your nails into submission, but remember to file in one direction to keep nails from splitting. The professional way to hold a file is to secure the board at the top with your forefinger, letting the rest of the tool press flat against your palm. With a flick of the wrist, you can easily smooth nails into shape..

Buff Nails:
To make the nails smooth for polish application and smooth any roughness left from clipping or filing, buff your nails with a gentle side to side motion. Start with the roughest buffer texture, then work your way down to the next level, and finally use a smooth buffer to add shine.

Tend to Cuticles:
Leave the sharp instruments to the professionals. Apply a cuticle remover and push you cuticles back in a small, circular motion to rub away the dead skin.. If you have a bad hangnail, carefully clip it with cuticle scissors.

You might be missing the in-salon massage, but you should still pamper your paws with a luxe hand cream.

Nail Color:
Use a base coat to protect your nails and lock on polish. Place the nail polish brush 1/8 of an inch from the bottom of the nail and then sweep the brush towards the tip. Starting too close to the cuticle and polish will run onto your skin. Apply polish in a thin coat, sweeping up the middle and then once on each side. Let the polish dry for at least 2 minutes between coats. Applying another coat to wet polish can drag on the brush and create a rough finish.

Top Coat:
A top coat will make your mani last longer. When polish is completely dry, smooth on a coat of any no-chip or quick dry solution, and pay extra attention to the tips of your nails. Apply another coat later in the week to keep your color chip-free.

Tags: beauty, hands, nails