How to do the perfect at home manicure

 

Get that insta-worthy mani in the comfort of your own home with these simple steps for a pro-like finish.

Step 1: Clean your nails with polish remover

To get that salon-worthy finish you need to prep your nails. Start by removing any old polish with a remover. Even if you don’t have any polish on, you’ll still want to wipe a cotton pad over each nail to get rid of any dirt and debris on the nail bed. Wash hands with soap and water after.

Step 2: Clip, file and buff

First clip nails, especially if they are all different lengths. Next gently file moving in one direction to get your tips square, round or somewhere in between. Finally buff the tops and sides of your nails lightly with a nail buffer to create a smooth surface getting rid of ridges. The natural oils in your nails can leave residue on them and will affect the finish.

Step 3: Push back your cuticles

Apply a cuticle remover to help dissolve dead skin and to soften the area. These are like an exfoliating treatment for the nail bed. Then, gently push back with a cuticle stick. Never cut cuticles as they protect your nails from bacteria and keep them soft, so avoid cutting them.

Step 4: Exfoliate your hands

Get rid of dry skin on your hands and fingers by exfoliating hands, wrists and forearms with a scrub that eliminates dead skin and replenishes moisture. Use your orange stick to clean any grime under the nails. Wash hands afterwards and dry thoroughly.

Step 6: Apply a base coat

Apply a base coat to hydrate and protect the nails and prevent chipping. Wait at least two minutes for it to dry. A base coat will also prevent nails from staining with darker shades of polish.

Step 5: Moisturise

Applying a hand cream to your hands now will avoid smudging your nails later. Go for a lightweight version and take this opportunity to give yourself a mini hand massage. Finish by wiping each nail with nail polish remover to get rid of residue.

Step 7: Apply the colour

Apply your first coat of polish making sure to get the brush all the way down to the cuticle and into the corners of the nail. Keep the layer thin, load just enough polish on the brush to cover the nail in one coat. Stripe your nail three times, once down the middle, once on each side. Allow a full two minutes for it to dry, then apply the second coat. Sheer or pastel shades may require a third coat for a full seamless coverage.

Step 8: Finish with a topcoat

This final step protects your manicure from chipping and adds shine to the nails. Go carefully when you apply this as it can be messy, and you don’t want to ruin your entire manicure. Tidy up any mistakes with a cotton bud soaked in remover around the end of your cuticle stick. Be patient and allow at least 5 to ten minutes for it to fully dry. 

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