Tips for Great Home Manicures
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Getting a manicure in a salon or spa is awesome! Massage chair. Flipping through that magazine you didn’t want to spend money on. Oooh… Ahhh…. Then you leave, and your nails look purty. It’s a luxury that most of us can only enjoy from time to time. It is exactly that, a luxury. Not just for the financial aspect, but time spent because let’s face it, to throw down $20 to $30 for an hour or two of peace and quiet can be well worth it. But for a busy mom or full-time student, the luxury of time is something you just cannot afford. While it would be nice to be pampered, life doesn’t always present you that option when Wednesday at 10pm is the only free moment you have to give your nails. So, if you find yourself in need of a manicure, here are some great tips for home manicures to give you the nearly salon quality you can easily do yourself.
Clean ‘Em Up
First things first, good home manicures start with clean nails. Start by removing any leftover polish with a simple acetone nail polish remover. While acetone removers may be more abrasive on your nails, it gets the job done faster without leaving any residue. Next, clip your nails if necessary, shape them with a less abrasive emery board. Using a metal or coarse nail file could cause it to splinter or break. Then, using an even less abrasive buffer, buff the tops of your nails to even the surface. Go easy on the buffing, as making your nails too smooth won’t allow the polish to adhere properly.
At a salon, a nail soak would be in order, but if you want your home manicure to last, skip that step. Instead, make those cuticles as clean looking as they can be. Use a cuticle cream or remover to gently push and shape your cuticles back, making sure not to push too far or get rid of too much of your cuticles. The gentler the better with this step as the cuticles act as a barrier to protect your nail bed from bacteria and damage.
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Paint Like Michelangelo
Lastly, prep for painting color with a good base coat to help protect your nails from staining. If you suffer from brittle or weak nails, look for bases that have ridge fillers. Wait a few minutes for the base coat to dry and begin applying your polish color. Depending on the color, you may need a few coats to cover the nail, then apply a top coat to protect the polish. I’ve used a quick drying top coat in order to save time and it really works wonders. Otherwise, try the old wait it out method or drying with a fan (not too close to the fan or the polish can bubble). Avoid heat like a blow dryer as it will cause your polish to chip and peel.
Make Your Home Manicures Last
Applying a layer of top coat each day can elongate the lifespan of your manicure for that out of the salon look and preserve all the hard work you did giving yourself the best at home manicure that money didn’t buy!