1. Inspect your hands. Sometimes we have dried skin, torn cuticles, or small cuts on our hands. Before you begin your manicure, be sure to recognize if you have any broken skin. If you do, be careful with the kind of products you use on your hands. You don’t want them to get infected by the nail polish remover or by any other oils or creams you may use.
2. Moisturize your cuticles. Apply a cream or oil on your cuticles if needed. Massage it in until your cuticles are soft. Professionals also recommend pulling your cuticles back with the pads of your fingers, or pushing them back with a cuticle stick. If you have minor cuts or splits on your cuticles, massage them with petroleum jelly or aloe vera gel.
3. Remove nail polish. Saturate a cotton ball with nail polish remover, place it on your nail starting at the cuticle, and drag the cotton ball up to the tip of the nail. A lot of us scrub our nails with the cotton ball, but that can dry out our nails. Just calmly rub the cotton ball on your nails from cuticle to tip-the same way you apply your nail polish.
4. Shape your nails. You can shape your nails the way you please, but the “ideal” shape is a squared shape. However, some professionals say to mimic the shape of your cuticles. It really doesn’t matter. It all depends on what you prefer. I personally file the sides of my nails straight up and down, then I file the top straight across, then I round off the corners.
5. Base Coat. Apply your base coat by starting at the cuticle, then pulling the brush all the way to the tip. For the first stroke, place the brush in the middle of the nail, then apply a little bit of pressure so the brush bristles fan out. Then apply the base coat to the sides of the nail until the whole nail is covered.
6. Color Coat . Make sure your base coat is completely dry. Polish on your color using the same technique as the base coat. You can apply two coats of color to get the desired effect. Just make sure the second coat of color is applied after the first coat of color is already dry.
7. Top Coat. (Optional) Your top coat can seal in the color and make it last longer. It will also give you an extra touch of shine. To me, the base coat is more important than the top coat because the base coat fills in any dips or sinks in your nail, making the color coat apply smoother.
There you go! A quick and easy manicure!
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