If you need some pampering at home, a manicure is an easy way to lift your spirits. Indulge yourself with a new nail polish color and get started. With just a few basic tools, the perfect color of nail polish, and a little time, you can recreate the spa experience at home for yourself – at just a fraction of the salon cost! Use these tips to treat yourself or trade manicures with a friend.
What You’ll Need
Before you get started, make sure you have all the tools you’ll need for your home manicure. These items can all be purchased at your local pharmacy, beauty supply store, or even grocery store. They are also very inexpensive and will last for multiple uses.
Gather these supplies: nail polish remover, cotton balls, nail clippers, nail file, small bowl, towel, cuticle cream, cuticle stick, hand lotion, base coat, nail color (any shade), top coat. A nail dryer is optional, and definitely not required for a successful home manicure.
Step By Step Guide
The first thing you’ll need to do is prepare your nails for the treatment. Use the nail polish remover and cotton balls to remove any nail color already on the nail. Once you’ve finished, wash your hands in warm, soapy water and pat them dry.
Next, you’ll want to shape the nails, either with rounded or square edges, it’s up to you. Use a nail clipper to take away excess and trim down the size of the nail, then file the edges smooth with a nail file. The Knot’s beauty editors suggest you start using the file at one edge of the nail and move across the top in a fluid motion, rather than sawing back and forth. Using the nail file too briskly and in this motion can weaken nails, so be gentle for a better end result.
Soak your hands in a bowl of warm water with a drop of soap or nail cream in it. This will soften up the cuticles and moisturize the nails for the next steps of your manicure. Leave them in for about five minutes and then towel them dry gently.
Place a drop of cuticle cream onto each nail and rub it in. Using a cuticle stick, gently push back the cuticles to leave the nail clean and clear for polish. Don’t cut the cuticles, as this can lead to infection, and don’t push too hard as to damage the skin.
Again, rinse your hands in warm, soapy water and dry gently, then apply the hand lotion. Rub it into the hands, fingers, and nails, and let it absorb for about five minutes before rubbing away the excess from your fingernails. The experts at The Knot recommend quickly swiping the nails with more polish remover, so as to clear away remaining lotion that can interfere with the polish application.
Now, you’re ready to start painting your nails! Use a base coat first and let it dry for about two minutes. This preps the nail while also providing a smooth surface for the color to stick to. The color is next – any shade will do. Use three strokes per nail – one on the left, then the right, then straight down the middle – for a smooth application. Give the polish one full minute to dry, then apply a second coat for consistent and even color. If any polish gets on the skin, it can easily be removed afterwards with a Q-tip and polish remover.
Finally, it’s time to set your nails. Use a top coat over the color and allow it to dry. The longer you let your nails dry, the less likely it is that you’ll smudge them. You can use a nail dryer if you have one, but that’s not necessary. Wait at least five minutes, just to be sure. After all that hard work, you don’t want to have to do it again! So relax, put your feet up, and watch some TV. Before you know it, your nails will be ready to go!
Beauty Tips Online. Home Manicure Tips.
Marie Claire. Do It Yourself Manicure.
The Knot. Your Nails: The At-Home Manicure.