There is nothing like getting a professional manicure. You walk into a beautiful building loaded with organic smells as relaxing music spills from the speakers. Your manicurist is full of kind words and talent that will leave your hands looking and feeling amazing.
Suddenly reality hits and it’s time to pay. Depending on the type of manicure you received you could be forking over lots of cash. The average manicure is about $20.00 and if you like no-chip manicures you could be looking at more than $40. After you’ve paid, be prepared to bolt for the door, otherwise the receptionist will try to schedule your next appointment. Sure your nails look great but can you afford to visit a professional every 1-2 weeks?
If the answer is no, you may want to try doing a manicure at home. Although you may need to invest in a few tools, it will beat paying the salon!
Get your materials
If you’re someone who likes your nails looking their best at all times you probably already have a few of these materials. If you aren’t one who believes in at home nail care don’t worry, many of these things only cost a few bucks.
To do an excellentmanicure, you should spend a little money on these essentials:
- Clear topcoat
- Nail Polish
- Polish Remover
- Cotton balls or pads
- Cuticle/callous remover
- Emery Board
- Nail Buffer
- Nail Clippers
Remove any nail polish you have leftover
Before you begin a manicure you want to make sure that everything from your last manicure is removed. Use nail polish remover to get rid of any leftover polish or nail decals because they will ruin the look of your manicure.
If you have artificial nails or gel polish, you can remove them by soaking your nails in acetone. Acetone is a very potent chemical that can dry out natural nails so only use it in those cases. Natural nails need aremover that is acetone-free, and if it includes essential oils for hydration, it is even better. To remove your old nail polish, pour a little remover over a cotton ball or pad and rub the nail until it is clean. If your nails are brittle, be sure not to rub too vigorously otherwise you might break them.
Give the nails a shape
If your nails are too long for your liking, you should use a nail clipper to clip them. Now, use an emery board to smooth the edges into your desired shape. Do not use excessive force while using your emery board because you’ll end up with shorter nails. Next, smooth the top of the nails with a buffer. Buff lightly because too much can cause your nail polish to reject! If your nails are thin you should limit how many passes you make with the buffer; it would be tragic if you buffed through your nails.
Soak those cuticles
Now it’s time to create a nail soak. Soaking your nails will help remove dirt and debris and helps to soften the cuticles for easier removal. Your cuticle soak should contain warm water, a gentle cleanser, and perhaps a few drops of your favorite essential oil for hydration.
After soaking the nails for about ten minutes, it is now time to care for the cuticles. Since they are soft from soakingthey should be easy to clip, but you can also add a cuticle remover. Another option is to push the cuticles back; this is an excellent option for those who are afraid to use cuticle nippers. If you have any hangnails, now is the time to remove them.
Hydrate your hands
Use a hand cream to help moisturize the cuticles and skin on the hands. You may take the time to give yourself a hand massage if you have an extra minute. Hand massages are proven to reduce tension, stress, and headaches!
Prepare the nail to be polished
Before you polish your nails you want to ensure they are clean and dry so your polish lasts awhile. You can do this by wiping each nail with nail polish remover.
Paint your nails
Now it is time to paint your nails. You must first start by using a basecoat. The main purpose of using a basecoat is to protect your nail from nail polish. Polishes can stain the nails and give them a permanent yellow color. If your nails are healthy, you can purchase a clear basecoat but if you have ridges, you should invest in a ridge filler.
After your basecoat, it is time to use a nail polish. If you don’t have much experience painting your nails you may want to start with a lighter color; mistakes with darker colors are more noticeable. You want to use two thin layers of nail polish, so it doesn’t appear goopy or bubbly. After each layer, you should allow your nails to dry a bit and then proceed with the second layer.
Once you’ve applied two layers, you want to protect your work with a topcoat. Topcoats come in a variety of finishes such as glitter, pearl, matte, or shiny; the choice is yours. Be sure to reapply your topcoat every two days so your polish doesn’t chip too early. If you have any nail polish on your skin, you can remove it by dipping a thin brush in remover and passing it over the area of concern. Now let your nails dry thoroughly.
Lastly, you should reapply moisturizer to ensure the hands and nails are adequately hydrated. You want the skin on your hands to compliment your nails!
Want to ensure your manicure goes smoothly? You could probably use some professional tips:
- If you have trouble getting a smooth edge while filing your nails try using a glass nail file. Since the glass is finely ground it produces a cleaner line.
- Your nails shouldn’t be more than ¼ inch over your fingertips if you want to appear professional. If you provide a service that requires you to use your hands, nails should not go beyond the fingertip.
- There is an enormous debate on if you should be removing your cuticles. If you have healthy nails it will probably be harmless, but if your nails are weak try pushing the cuticles back instead.
- If you have nicks in your nails, try using a polish with glitter or a pearl finish to reduce their appearance.
- If you have nails that appear yellow,try soaking them in lemon juice. The citric acid found in lemons can dissolve away yellow nail stains.
- Taking Biotin daily can help strengthen your nails.
- Try soaking your nails for a few seconds before clipping them to prevent splitting.